Employee Tracking: Uses, Legality, Benefits, and More

Employees play a central role in achieving business goals. In fact, employee performance is a significant part of everyday operations, affecting results and client feedback. Business owners are aware that underperforming staff can be detrimental to the company’s success. That’s why many companies today provide GPS trackers to employees for reports on productivity, schedules, and even payroll.

The use of GPS technology for this particular purpose is effective as company owners who are using the same method report an increase in their business profitability due to the implementation of the system.

Because we want to help you achieve your business goals, here are ways that employee tracking using GPS trackers helps you with your needs as a business owner.

What is a GPS tracker, and what information will it provide for my business?

A GPS tracker is a tracking device that utilizes the GPS (global positioning system) to locate anyone or anything and monitor movement. Aside from location, the GPS tracker can also provide other data such as time, routes, downtime, and productivity. Most devices can also be hardwired to a vehicle, and some models allow you to program the device to remotely control it, like locking and unlocking doors, disabling a vehicle’s starter, starting or stopping ignition, and monitoring downtime. You can also set parameters to activate alerts. For example, if you establish a virtual fence or speed limit and your parameters are breached, you will receive a notification.

Is employee tracking even legal?

It's entirely legal to use a GPS tracking device on any vehicle or asset you own. On the other hand, before you use a GPS tracking device on someone else's person, vehicle, or property, you should do a little research on current federal, state, and local laws. GPS devices are a relatively new technology, and the legality of their use may vary by state. Even federal courts are split on how to handle the technology. Laws are continually being readdressed as new cases are popping up in the legal world, so it’s important to stay up-to-date on these changes. If you have any legal issues involving a GPS tracking device, you should consult with a criminal lawyer for advice. 

For starters, it's generally legal to use a GPS tracking device if

  • you or your organization own the vehicle or asset to be tracked;
  • you own the asset that might be taken without your permission;
  • your children (under 18) are the focus of the tracking; or
  • you are tracking a car or asset for the purpose of legal repossession in the event of a default on a loan.

On the contrary, it’s only illegal if you are not the owner of the car and do not have consent to track it. So it’s always a good idea to get your employees’ consent beforehand. Few states have passed laws specifically concerning employee location tracking, so obtaining consent can go a long way in protecting both the employer and the employee in this legal gray area.

Whether you run a construction business, landscaping or cleaning company, a delivery service, or any other business with field staff, you need to know where your people are so you can properly dispatch team members and get work done. Here are the advantages of using a GPS tracker to help you track employees.

Enhance vehicle route planning.

The use of a GPS vehicle locator will give you better route options for your drivers. This reduces the time your driver has to spend on the road, resulting in faster delivery arrival and lesser fuel expenses.

Improve dispatching method.

With a GPS tracker, you will be able to accommodate late customer orders and requests by finding the closest available employee in the area of your client.

Improve employee productivity.

Various studies show that when field employees are aware that their performance is being tracked, including their driving behavior, they are most likely to follow rules and therefore improve their productivity.

Keep employees safe.

One of the simplest and most effective ways of keeping your workforce safe is through the use of a GPS tracker. A tracker with an SOS button can send an alarm message to the administrator, informing them of emergencies.

Secure assets.

The GPS tracker sends out an alert the moment your vehicle is moved out of its position without your permission, brought to suspicious routes, or driven beyond working hours, ensuring quicker recovery in case of theft, inside jobs, or moonlighting

Track employee efficiency and work time.

You will also be able to monitor which of your employees are efficient and which are not. The system can record the number and duration of downtimes, as well as unauthorized usage of company assets as proofs. All you have to do is either have a GPS tracking app installed on your employee’s mobile device or have your employees carry stand-alone GPS devices. Just geofence the building where your business is, and once an employee arrives at the building, the app or the GPS tracker will activate and start tracking their work time.

Set up areas of coverage.

If you run any business that deals with fieldwork, you can easily set up areas of coverage for different teams and workers. Simply use your GPS map, divide your town, geofence each area, and assign teams and workers to each one. This way, your teams will be more efficient and there won’t be any mix-ups. Each task will be assigned to an employee in a specific area of coverage, and all information can be easily checked and kept track of.

Coordinate with your workforce.

GPS tracking guarantees the easier coordination of your workforce. All your employees can be visible on a map, and by knowing where each of them is, you can create delivery routes or use their location to arrange for a better service. For example, if you own a plumbing business, track your workers and maximize their efficiency by sending them appointments nearest to their location.

Assign clients/tasks to specific employees.

With a GPS tracker, you can identify specific tasks or clients most suited to your employees. For instance, if you own a taxi company and notice that one of your employees has the greatest number of fares when assigned to a specific part of town, you can help keep certain drivers assigned to that specific part of town, helping them earn more while also increasing your profits.

Manage your fleet.

GPS trackers are not only used to optimize routes but can be used to manage your whole fleet. See which employee is on the move or what driver is waiting for their next assignment at the base. With GPS tracking, you can check out all routes, see departure and arrival times, and assign new deliveries through its communication capabilities in order to optimize your fleets’ deliveries.

Set up customized shift hours.

Some employees are more efficient in the morning, others at night. In order to maximize performance, you can suggest to certain employees that they can work in shifts in order to achieve the greatest level of productivity.

Simplify communication with employees.

Get a GPS tracking app with a messaging feature. This way, all employees who have the app can communicate among themselves. Administrators can also look at the map and find agents who are closest to the next assignment and send them on this assignment, instead of calling out all drivers and waiting for someone to answer. In the event that someone needs help with their task, they can just open the app, select the coworker closest to their location, and message them in order to get the help required.

Optimize asset productivity.

Your company’s assets include your employees, your equipment, and your money, and you have to make sure that all these assets are used in the best way possible. If you own a shipping business, use GPS trackers to find out the most efficient way and day to ship goods. Through tracking your shipments, you may discover that Tuesdays are the slowest day of the week for everyone and that sacrificing one day by moving all Tuesday shipments to Wednesday may save you a lot more money.

Are GPS trackers difficult to install in company vehicles?

While there are GPS trackers that are complicated and need additional configuration before using, there are some GPS vehicle locators like Tracki that are out-of-the-box, ready-to-use tracking units. Installing tracking devices on vehicles is easier than you think, given that you have all the equipment needed. In general, there are two ways to install a tracking device: hardwiring it to the vehicle or using a plug-and-play device.

If you need help installing it, here’s an in-depth guide to help you out.

Do I have to maintain the software that is used by the GPS tracker?

If you’re using Tracki, no, it's not your responsibility anymore. Tracki has the system that supports your GPS tracker, so there's no need to download it. You can access it online anytime using your internet-connected computer for free!