Aside from the obvious reasons, technology is used to gather, report and track employee metrics to determine how each employee is performing compared to other employees within the organization. Companies with less than ten employees can visually see the performance of each employee, however large companies with thousands of employees have a much harder time and need technology to help them gather and report information. Sales offices with hundreds of employees use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems to track and compare performance metrics. Production lines used technology to determine how long it takes to make each part, but also which employee is the fastest and why.
CRM's (Customer Relationship Management) are used to help employees interact with customers more often and more efficiently. But just because the software tells you to call your customer, doesn’t mean your employee actually picks up the phone and does it. The technology will gather the amount of call-backs you have on your calendar, report how many of them you actually called and track the performance of each call by way of sales. Management can use the gathered information to compare the results of each employee per month. Some employees stand out as over-performers and some are the opposite. Either way, the technology has gathered and reported information to management automatically. It doesn't matter if the manager is in the office 70 hours that week or they were on vacation, the results will still be waiting in his/her email.
Production software measures employee metrics each day because they sign in to each job and sign out. The system automatically calculates the difference in time to show that it took 3 hours to complete a job. Then that metric can be compared to other employees to see who is doing the more work. Of course, management will need to weight quality compared to quantity, but as long as the product is made without errors, the fastest is the best. Typically, employees that excel over others will be looked at for promotions while slow employees are put under evaluation.
Overall, I believe the data processed through information systems are reliable and usable towards employee metrics. Managers know to do their due diligence before terminating someone over a single report generated from the system. They should give the employee a chance the share their side of the story, but ultimately, it's held on their record and used against them later. Even if there's a calculation issues with the programming, the same mistake would happen across the board, not to a single employee. If there's a glitch it can be fixed, but I don't think there are any companies that feel they can't rely on the data from their system.
Brown, C. (et al) (2012). Managing Information Technology. 7th ed. Pearson. Saddle River, N.J.
Using Technology to Increase Your Business Productivity. Retrieved from: