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7 Online HR Tools to Improve Employee Management

7 Online HR Tools to Improve Employee Management

Every business has its own specific set of problems when it comes to managing employees, but not all businesses are using the right tools to deal with these problems. There are so many great tools online that HR managers can use to increase productivity, keep employees happy, and more. The best part is that these tools are either completely free for you to use, or they offer free trial periods to see if these are the tools for you. Let’s take a look at seven of the best online HR tools that you can use to manage your employees better.

1. MarktheJob.com

mark the job

    This is a great employee performance review tool for small and medium sized businesses, as well as for larger companies that have hundreds of employees. Managers are able to easily conduct an employee performance review without the challenges that have always seemed to go along with the process that get in the way of objectively reviewing your employees performance. This tool offers a set of performance rating scales that actually make sense, so managers can easily see where their employees are doing great and where they need improvement.

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    2. Zenefits

    zenefits

      This is one of the most popular free, online HR tools available. When you use this tool, you will enjoy employee self-service, administration of benefits, on and off-boarding payroll, PTO, tracking vacation time, and so much more. There is also a paid version, but there are so many features in the free one that there really is no need to spend any money.

      3. 15Five

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      15

        This is a great online survey tool that cuts down on the time it takes employees to write reports, and the time it takes for managers to read the reports. They can be written within 15 minutes, and the manager can read them in five minutes or less. This is a great way to speed things up and increase productivity. Because they aren’t spending a lot of unnecessary time on paperwork and reports, employees are getting more done, and they are happier. Management is happy, because they see the positive effects on the bottom line.

        4. Harvest

        harvest

          Here is a tool that lets you easily manage projects, as well as the employee hours that go into each project. This includes both regular staff and freelancer hours. You can use this tool on the go, because there is a mobile app, which also makes it easy for teams to be able to log time while they are working outside the office.

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          5. Smartsheet

          smart

            This tool lets you document tasks, log employee hours each month, and prioritize projects. You will receive alerts when employees update anything, so you get to keep a close eye on the progression of each project. You can also reprioritize employee tasks at any time, without slowing down any of their hard work. You will be increasing productivity without having to dump more work on employees who already have enough on their plates.

            6. Paychex

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            pay

              This is direct deposit for pay checks, and a whole lot more. This tool gives each employee a login identification. They are able to log in at any time to check their pay checks, commissions, taxes, how much vacation time they have, and more. They can even print off their W-2’s when it comes time to file their annual tax returns.

              7. Apptivo

              app

                Up to three users can take advantage of this tool for free. The biggest drawback is that there is a data storage cap for free accounts (500 MB), whereas a paid account has 3.5GB of data storage space. Another drawback is that there is little in the way of phone support or mobile apps if you are using the free version. But, trying out the free version will give you a chance to see if this is the right tool for your business, and you won’t have to spend any money to do it.

                Featured photo credit: Unsplash via pixabay.com

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                Jane Hurst

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                Last Updated on August 16, 2018

                10 Huge Differences Between A Boss And A Leader

                10 Huge Differences Between A Boss And A Leader

                When you try to think of a leader at your place of work, you might think of your boss – you know, the supervisor in the tasteful office down the hall.

                However, bosses are not the only leaders in the office, and not every boss has mastered the art of excellent leadership. Maybe the best leader you know is the co-worker sitting at the desk next to yours who is always willing to loan out her stapler and help you problem solve.

                You see, a boss’ main priority is to efficiently cross items off of the corporate to-do list, while a true leader both completes tasks and works to empower and motivate the people he or she interacts with on a daily basis.

                A leader is someone who works to improve things instead of focusing on the negatives. People acknowledge the authority of a boss, but people cherish a true leader.

                Puzzled about what it takes to be a great leader? Let’s take a look at the difference between a boss and a leader, and why cultivating quality leadership skills is essential for people who really want to make a positive impact.

                1. Leaders are compassionate human beings; bosses are cold.

                It can be easy to equate professionalism with robot-like impersonal behavior. Many bosses stay holed up in their offices and barely ever interact with staff.

                Even if your schedule is packed, you should always make time to reach out to the people around you. Remember that when you ask someone to share how they are feeling, you should be prepared to be vulnerable and open in your communication as well.

                Does acting human at the office sound silly? It’s not.

                A lack of compassion in the office leads to psychological turmoil, whereas positive connection leads to healthier staff.[1]

                If people feel that you are being open, honest and compassionate with them, they will feel able to approach your office with what is on their minds, leading to a more productive and stress-free work environment.

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                2. Leaders say “we”; bosses say “I”.

                Practice developing a team-first mentality when thinking and speaking. In meetings, talk about trying to meet deadlines as a team instead of using accusatory “you” phrases. This makes it clear that you are a part of the team, too, and that you are willing to work hard and support your team members.

                Let me explain:

                A “we” mentality shifts the office dynamic from “trying to make the boss happy” to a spirit of teamwork, goal-setting, and accomplishment.

                A “we” mentality allows for the accountability and community that is essential in the modern day workplace.

                3. Leaders develop and invest in people; bosses use people.

                Unfortunately, many office climates involve people using others to get what they want or to climb the corporate ladder. This is another example of the “me first” mentality that is so toxic in both office environments and personal relationships.

                Instead of using others or focusing on your needs, think about how you can help other people grow.

                Use your building blocks of compassion and team-mentality to stay attuned to the needs of others note the areas in which you can help them develop. A great leader wants to see his or her people flourish.

                Make a list of ways you can invest in your team members to help them develop personally and professionally, and then take action!

                4. Leaders respect people; bosses are fear-mongering.

                Earning respect from everyone on your team will take time and commitment, but the rewards are worth every ounce of effort.

                A boss who is a poor leader may try to control the office through fear and bully-like behavior. Employees who are petrified about their performance or who feel overwhelmed and stressed by unfair deadlines are probably working for a boss who uses a fear system instead of a respect system.

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                What’s the bottom line?

                Work to build respect among your team by treating everyone with fairness and kindness. Maintain a positive tone and stay reliable for those who approach you for help.

                5. Leaders give credit where it’s due; bosses only take credits.

                Looking for specific ways to gain respect from your colleagues and employees? There is no better place to start than with the simple act of giving credit where it is due.

                Don’t be tempted to take credit for things you didn’t do, and always go above and beyond to generously acknowledge those who worked on a project and performed well.

                You might be wondering how you can get started:

                • Begin by simply noticing which team member contributes what during your next project at work.
                • If possible, make mental notes. Remember that these notes should not be about ways in which team members are failing, but about ways in which they are excelling.
                • Depending on your leadership style, let people know how well they are doing either in private one-on-one meetings or in a group setting. Be honest and generous in your communication about a person’s performance.

                6. Leaders see delegation as their best friend; bosses see it as an enemy.

                If delegation is a leader’s best friend, then micromanagement is the enemy.

                Delegation equates to trust and micromanagement equates to distrust. Nothing is more frustrating for an employee than feeling that his or her every movement is being critically observed.

                Encourage trust in your office by delegating important tasks and acknowledging that your people are capable, smart individuals who can succeed!

                Delegation is a great way to cash in on the positive benefits of a psychological phenomenon called a self-fulfilling prophecy. In a self-fulfilling prophecy, a person’s expectations of another person can cause the expectations to be fulfilled.[2]

                In other words, if you truly believe that your team member can handle a project or task, he or she is more likely to deliver.

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                Learn how to delegate in my other article:

                How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

                7. Leaders work hard; bosses let others do the work.

                Delegation is not an excuse to get out of hard work. Instead of telling people to go accomplish the hardest work alone, make it clear that you are willing to pitch in and help with the hardest work of all when the need arises.

                Here’s the deal:

                Showing others that you work hard sets the tone for your whole team and will spur them on to greatness.

                The next time you catch yourself telling someone to “go”, a.k.a accomplish a difficult task alone, change your phrasing to “let’s go”, showing that you are totally willing to help and support.

                8. Leaders think long-term; bosses think short-term.

                A leader who only utilizes short-term thinking is someone who cannot be prepared or organized for the future. Your colleagues or staff members need to know that they can trust you to have a handle on things not just this week, but next month or even next year.

                Display your long-term thinking skills in group talks and meetings by sharing long-term hopes or concerns. Create plans for possible scenarios and be prepared for emergencies.

                For example, if you know that you are losing someone on your team in a few months, be prepared to share a clear plan of how you and the remaining team members can best handle the change and workload until someone new is hired.

                9. Leaders are like your colleagues; bosses are just bosses.

                Another word for colleague is collaborator. Make sure your team knows that you are “one of them” and that you want to collaborate or work side by side.

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                Not getting involved in the going ons of the office is a mistake because you will miss out on development and connection opportunities.

                As our regular readers know, I love to remind people of the importance of building routines into each day. Create a routine that encourages you to leave your isolated office and collaborate with others. Spark healthy habits that benefit both you and your co-workers.

                10. Leaders put people first; bosses put results first.

                Bosses without crucial leadership training may focus on process and results instead of people. They may stick to a pre-set systems playbook even when employees voice new ideas or concerns.

                Ignoring people’s opinions for the sake of company tradition like this is never truly beneficial to an organization.

                Here’s what I mean by process over people:

                Some organizations focus on proper structures or systems as their greatest assets instead of people. I believe that people lend real value to an organization, and that focusing on the development of people is a key ingredient for success in leadership.

                Learning to be a leader is an ongoing adventure.

                This list of differences makes it clear that, unlike an ordinary boss, a leader is able to be compassionate, inclusive, generous, and hard-working for the good of the team.

                Instead of being a stereotypical scary or micromanaging-obsessed boss, a quality leader is able to establish an atmosphere of respect and collaboration.

                Whether you are new to your work environment or a seasoned administrator, these leadership traits will help you get a jump start so that you can excel as a leader and positively impact the people around you.

                For more inspiration and guidance, you can even start keeping tabs on some of the world’s top leadership experts. With an adventurous and positive attitude, anyone can learn good leadership.

                Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                Reference

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