This can be dangerous, because it starts to cross into micromanagement, which is something we always want to avoid.
If we are referring to physical monitoring (i.e. not stealing things), most small businesses are using a mixture of security cameras and inventory tracking software. However, if you frequently have employees that are stealing, it might make sense to re-think the hiring process to better screen those types of people out.
Assuming that we’re more focused on monitoring employee’s progress on achieving the small business’ goals (i.e. productivity), consider:
1. Documenting what you want done
It all starts with clearly articulating what each employee is responsible for. If this is not made abundantly clear, we can’t expect employees to achieve what we hope. Everyone should have defined roles, responsibilities and a description of what success looks like. This can start simple:
- Sell X orders per week
- Ensure inventory never gets below Y level
- Respond to all customer support inquiries within Z minutes
2. Reporting status updates regularly
Once everyone is clear on WHAT is expected of them, you need to build systems for employees to easily share progress on what has been completed so far, and anything blocking them from being successful. I recommend having every employee write a quick summary at the end of each week recapping their top objectives, concerns and plan for the following week, using a simple online tool like.