Employee GPS tracking is becoming more common in workplaces. With the improvement of SatNav systems and the increased use of smartphones, many businesses have adopted GPS tracking systems to track their employees in order to monitor their work throughout their hours of service.
Over the last few years, the cost involving the installation of tracking software in handsets has decreased. It is allowing even small to medium business (SMB) owners the opportunity to begin tracking their mobile workforce without worrying too much about the overhead cost.
The data recorded by the tracking system can be used to hold both employers and employees accountable for meeting their responsibilities. GPS data can be a powerful piece of information for keeping the employer-employee relationship fair. However, there is a difference between monitoring employees for the purpose of work and invading their privacy.
Employers need to respect their employees’ right to privacy while tracking them. Employers need to have a GPS tracking policy in place informing their employees that their device has a GPS tracking app installed that will monitor their whereabouts.
Employees should be aware of and understand all the capabilities of the tracking app, including time-clocking, mileage tracking, driving routes, and so on. Each and every one of those functions should be explicitly disclosed to diminish the employees’ expectation of privacy while on a job for the company.
There are a number of states that limit the legal use of GPS tracking devices. For example, the California Penal Code Section 637.7 limits the installation of a GPS tracking device that determines the location or movement of a person. Minnesota’s statute prohibits the use of a mobile tracking device without a court order. Similar laws involving GPS tracking use cases can be seen in Tennessee and Texas Penal Code.
Though there are laws stipulating how employees can be legally tracked by employers, it is still a better option to walk them through the actual circumstances under which they will be tracked.
Information should come before implementation, conveying how employers can use GPS to track employees. Employees have every right to know about each and every function of the GPS tracking system and understand how and when it is going to track them.
This will encourage employees to build trust. It is important that employers build a transparent relationship with their workers.
Discuss Its Benefits
While introducing a GPS tracking policy to employees, discuss how such a system will benefit them directly. If utilized in a correct manner, employee GPS tracking can help the business grow by increasing job efficiency, serving more customers, and increasing customer retention.
This, in turn, will generate more revenue for your business and create more opportunities for incentive programs, increased salaries, and reward bonuses for employees based on their performance.
Address Their Concerns
Present your employees an opportunity to voice their concerns and doubts about the company GPS tracking policy. Answer their questions thoughtfully and honestly.
Increased productivity is essential for a business to flourish and an employee GPS tracking system can play an important role in achieving that. Make them realize it isn’t about the management doubting their work ethics at all. If they don’t have anything to hide, then there should be no reason to worry in the first place.
GPS Tracking Offers Protection
GPS tracking not only benefits employers but also protects employees in various ways. For instance, the tracking system can illustrate the exact location of a field worker, which can help resolve issues in case of a dispute or a client claiming that they did not receive the service.
Furthermore, GPS employee tracking is particularly beneficial in remote or unsafe areas, as it can ensure the on-field employees’ safety by allowing employers to monitor their location and dispatch help if necessary.
Dos when introducing GPS tracking:
Do Share the Positive Implications of a Tracking System
Host an information session in which you can explicitly outline the benefits that employee tracking can bring to your business. When employees understand the tangible benefits that field tracking offers to your daily operations, they are more willing to participate.
Do Seek Employee Consent
In order to create a transparent GPS tracking policy, employees need to understand its role and importance. Before implementation, the company should have an employee GPS tracking consent form.
For mobile tracking systems that operate from an app, employees must willingly download the app on their phones to use the platform. Under Connecticut and Delaware state laws, the use of electronic surveillance, including GPS, is prohibited without employee consent.
Do Use Efficient Tracking Practices through Advanced Privacy Controls
Your business should enlist a tracking platform that offers strong privacy controls. Ethical tracking should occur only during shift hours.
Do Create an Open Discussion for Employee Concerns
Participate in a question and answer session with managers, HR, and affected employees. Any questions that cannot be answered by your staff can be directed to your tracking service provider in order to best address employees’ concerns.
Don’ts When Introducing GPS Tracking:
Don’t Hide It from Employees
Do not track employees without their knowledge. Discuss the benefits and acknowledge their concerns. Don’t let employees figure out the answers for themselves. Explain that the purpose of GPS tracking is not to get employees in trouble but to make improvements to your daily operations.
Don’t Expect Your Staff To Accept It
Do not expect your staff to accept this change, at least not immediately. They might resist the change, but once the practical benefits start making sense to them and their fears of being “spied on” allayed, they will get on board.
Don’t Limit Yourself, Bust The Myths
“My employees won’t trust me if I track them”; “It’s too expensive”; “It’s difficult to use”; “I trust my employees so it’s not needed”; “My company is too small to need GPS tracking”. Don’t let the myths prevent you from outfitting your mobile workforce with GPS tracking. There is so much this technology can bring to your company at a low cost.
Implementing a GPS-based time-tracking policy for your company can be a smart move. It can help you improve efficiency, productivity, and accountability while minimizing errors and time theft.
However, it’s crucial to do it right and ethically. You must inform your employees about the policy, obtain their consent, and protect their privacy rights.
You should also establish clear guidelines and procedures for using GPS tracking data and handling any disputes or concerns. By following these best practices, you can ensure that your GPS tracking policy benefits both your company and your employees in a fair and transparent way.
allGeo is a cloud-hosted, carrier-grade location and messaging platform that helps SMB and Enterprise businesses better manage their mobile employees by improving productivity and accountability, while reducing payroll and operations costs with solutions such as GPS tracking & time clock, Lone worker safety, Automation of field activity monitoring, Mobile forms & data collection including signature, notes, pictures, barcode/QR code, etc. The allGeo platform enables these solutions across a wide range of industries such as field service management, trade services, emergency responders, sales reps, transportation & logistics, and home health care providers.