Four Ways Post-Hire Continuous Monitoring Supports Employees

Post-hire continuous monitoring does more than help protect the company’s reputation and guard against risk. It also has significant benefits for the health and safety of employees.

This story was originally published on July 5th, 2022.

Continuous monitoring is the process by which employers can proactively identify potential risks to their employees and within their organization and intervene if needed. Ongoing monitoring is critical, and studies have demonstrated the risk organizations face. A 2015 study we conducted, found that 12% of the U.S. workforce will be incarcerated once in the next 5 years. Most employers rely exclusively on pre-hire screening or role-specific periodic rescreens to manage risk, but these methods leave employers with significant gaps, which allow for the potential of unnecessary risk. Continuous monitoring is distinct from pre-hire or periodic re-screens – it is a solution that works throughout an employee’s time at the company to provide alerts immediately following related incarceration, court appearance, or conviction events. This allows HR teams to communicate with employees at the first sign of risk. 

Continuous monitoring can help account for inside risk

In order to help protect their reputation and keep their workplaces, employees, and customers safe, many organizations are implementing criminal continuous monitoring. This technology allows employers to cross-check their employee rosters information with timely booking information, allowing them to know as soon as possible when an employee may be incarcerated. This does more than help protect the company’s reputation and guard against risk – it also has significant benefits for the health and safety of employees. Monitoring supports workforce trends in employee advocacy and company transparency and allows for better employer-employee communication. Here are four specific benefits that employees and employers glean from post-hire monitoring:

1.  It helps you manage your remote workforce

Workforce trends have dramatically changed since 2020, and more employees are working remotely than ever before. Not only that, but individuals looking for work expect to have the option to work remote at least some of the time. Now employers have the added challenge to create a work culture that caters to in-office and remote employees – bridging the gap in communication, trust, and company culture challenges.

To help address these challenges, many employers are now implementing continuous monitoring programs within their organizations. It fosters an environment where leaders and employees exhibit trust and strong communication. For instance, it’s Monday morning and you may notice that one of your employees has not started their workday. In this case, your employee was arrested sometime over the weekend and has not had a chance to disclose this information to you. But with continuous monitoring, you will receive alerts that booking occurred that matched your provided employee roster information. And because not every incarceration leads to a conviction, when your employee comes back to work, you have an opportunity to speak with your employee and start a dialogue regarding their potential violation of company policy. If employers can view termination as a last resort as often as possible, there are benefits to gain from this change in mindset: 

  • Company cost savings. It costs a significant amount of money to replace employees. When you factor in recruiting, onboarding, and training a replacement, the cost of replacing an employee is at least 33% of a worker’s salary
  • Retain value skill sets. There are soft costs to replacing employees, too. Along with the financial loss, you also risk losing an employee’s years of knowledge and expertise in their role. It takes time for a new employee’s output and productivity to match the worker they are replacing.
  • Keep company culture intact. When an employee is terminated and the employer does not have an immediate replacement, more responsibilities fall on the rest of the team members. This may cause your employees to feel overworked, overwhelmed, and undervalued.

At the first sign of risk, continuous monitoring helps organizations intervene by starting conversations with their remote employees, improving the likelihood of a positive outcome. It can also give you more confidence to hire remote candidates that are highly skilled and qualified. 

2.  It encourages corporate transparency

According to experts, especially during the pandemic, transparency in the workplace helps keep employees happier and more engaged. Corporate transparency can look different for every organization, so here are some ways to keep open lines of communication when using continuous monitoring:

  • Put it in writing. Make sure resources such as employee handbooks, policies, and guidelines explain the “why” and the “how” of continuous monitoring, so there is no confusion and employees feel respected. 
  • Check in often. Make sure communication is open and honest from the top down and employees know that they are safe to voice their concerns, questions, and ideas. 
  • Be honest. Ensure that your company goals and values are consistent with the actions of leaders. Make sure your employees feel that their well-being is important to your organization.

When corporate transparency is present, employees feel safe, respected, and valued. By putting an emphasis on open and honest dialogue with their employees, employers may experience higher rates of retention.

3.  It supports employee mental health

Instances of mental health issues among employees have increased since the onset of the pandemic. With more people struggling with their mental health and not knowing where to go for help, it can leave people vulnerable. Behavioral health is linked to other risk factors, such as substance abuse, job loss, residential instability, and incarceration. With continuous monitoring, employers may have an opportunity to intervene and support the mental health of their employees in a number of ways when aligned to corporate policy:

  • Help connect employees to treatment. Many companies offer employee resource programs that help employees gain access to many services and programs, including mental health services.
  • Encourage mental fitness. Employers can offer mental health days to encourage employees to take time off in an effort to improve work-life balance and mental health.
  • Keep one criminal interaction from turning into several. Continuous monitoring helps employers to intervene at the earliest sign of crisis, allowing for an employee to get back on track more easily following an arrest.

With the reality that 12% of the U.S. workforce will be incarcerated once in the next 5 years, it is not a wise business move to leave employees who are struggling with mental health issues unsupported. Employers have a unique opportunity to help their employees rise above life circumstances that would otherwise lead to a cyclical pattern of behavior that increases risk for the employer and individual. 

4.  It promotes proactive fair chance hiring practices

When employers prioritize the well-being of their employees, they find that their employees perform better and stay longer. As numerous industries face their most extreme job shortages in years, formerly incarcerated individuals represent a solution to that problem. It may seem like an extreme option to some, but fair chance hiring can benefit both employers and employees. Fair chance hiring can help:

  • Fill open positions. It’s simple math — when you have too many open jobs and not enough candidates, you are going to be left with the same amount of work and fewer people to do it. But, when you add justice-involved individuals to the candidate pool, you have more qualified people to consider — many who are highly qualified individuals and are ready to get their lives back on track.
  • Tap into a more diverse talent pool. Many companies work to create better opportunities for marginalized groups, such as Black Americans. And since Black Americans make up over 38% of the incarcerated population, continuous monitoring gives companies the peace of mind to make hiring decisions that encourage diversity in the workforce.
  • Reduce turnover. Hiring formerly incarcerated individuals can be a smart business move, because retention rates are higher, turnover is lower, and employees with criminal records are more inclined to have loyalty to their employers. All of these factors can positively impact a company’s bottom line. 
  • Reduce recidivism. By hiring people with criminal records, companies can have a positive impact on reducing the likelihood of recidivism. When employers provide these individuals with job security, this can lead to more financial stability, which in turn leads to improved mental health, and many other benefits. 

Strong company culture is possible

By using continuous monitoring, employers set their company apart from other companies in a myriad of ways. Rather than creating a negative work environment where employees feel undervalued and micromanaged, continuous monitoring enriches your company. To learn more about how continuous monitoring encourages employers to manage effectively, communicate purposefully, and care for and empower your employees while mitigating risk, listen to this recent InfoMart webinar.