Tesco’s Employee-Tracking Digital Armbands via Bloomberg Businessweek
There’s a fine line between micromanaging and house arrest, and British grocery store chain Tesco seems determined to cross it. According to the Irish Independent, employees at the company’s Dublin distribution center are forced to wear armbands that measure their productivity so closely that the company even knows when they take a bathroom break.
First off I can see the rational behind this. Why wouldn’t a multinational employer want to monitor how efficient their staff are. After all if you were paying someones wages you would rightly expect a certain level of return from each one. However, I do feel that having staff wear digital armbands so they can be monitored for productivity is verging on a Big Brother scenario.
If the system was used to benchmark employees against each other for specific tasks like stacking products or unloading pallets then I can see the advantage. Less productive staff can be helped to improve, learn techniques or operations to increase their efficiency and make them feel more productive. However, where does it stop? Can you start to review the time it takes people to use the facilities, or come back from lunch….the list goes on.
I cannot see any employee being overly enamoured with the idea of being monitored 24/7 and not just monitored, but everything they do recorded for later review or scrutiny.