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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 October 18, 2018

                10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

                10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

                When it comes to starting your own business and pursuing your dream of becoming an entrepreneur, it can be advantageous to go all in and embrace the flexibility of finally quitting your day job.

                Keep in mind, though, that it takes a special kind of person to take the business world by storm: a person who has cultivated the key characteristics of entrepreneurial success.

                People with these characteristics are likely to succeed, whereas people without them have difficulty moving forward with even the most brilliant business ideas.

                These characteristics of an entrepreneur are so important that I’ve decided to cover all 10 of them in detail so that you can start your business with your best foot forward.

                1. Successful Entrepreneurs Practice Discipline

                Plenty of business experts claim that you can’t get anywhere as an entrepreneur without vision or creativity, but that’s simply not the truth. Instead, the one quality that no entrepreneur can be successful without is discipline.

                To build an idea into a business, you have to have the discipline to spend time slogging through the least fun parts of running a business (like the bookkeeping), rather than taking that time to do something fun.

                Andrew Carnegie, one of the most financially successful Americans of all time, grew up working dull and difficult jobs in factories. Despite going to bed hungry some nights, he continued doing his best work. He was eventually hired by a railroad company and continued to move up the ladder until starting his own successful businesses. Carnegie is a fine example of an entrepreneur dedicated to discipline and hard work. He truly earned his dreams of prosperity and success.

                When you’re the boss, there’s no one to keep you at work except yourself — and there’s no short-term consequences for skipping out early.

                Sure, if an entrepreneur plays hooky enough he knows that the business just won’t happen, but it’s very hard to convince someone that ‘just this once’ won’t hurt (and to keep ‘just this once’ from becoming a daily occurrence).

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                2. Successful Entrepreneurs Keep Calm

                Things go wrong when you run your own business.

                Most entrepreneurs go through crises with their businesses — and more than a few wind up with outright failures on their hands. But when you’re responsible for a business, you have to be able to keep calm in any situation. Any other reaction — whether you lose your temper or get flustered — compounds the problem.

                Instead, a good entrepreneur must have the ability to keep his cool in an emergency or crisis. It may not make the problem easier to solve, but it certainly won’t make it harder.

                Honestly, losing your calm is a quick path to becoming the kind of person who gives up in the face of adversity. Instead giving in to frustration, remember classic entrepreneur Benjamin Franklin.

                Franklin kept his calm as he experimented and tweaked his inventions again and again in pursuit of success. He didn’t give up during his many failures – he chose to innovate. You can choose innovation, too.

                If an entrepreneur can handle failure without frustration or anger, s/he can move past it to find success.

                3. Successful Entrepreneurs Pay Attention to Details

                Restricting your attention to the big picture can be even more problematic than ‘sweating the small stuff.’

                As an entrepreneur, unless venture capital has magically dropped out of the sky, a small expense can be a killer. It’s attention to detail that can make a small business successful when it has competition and it’s attention to detail that can keep costs down.

                Attention to detail can be difficult to maintain — going over ledgers can be tedious even when you aren’t trying to pay close attention — but keeping your eye on a long-term vision is just asking for a problem to sneak in under a radar.

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                After a business grows, an entrepreneur might be able to hire someone to worry about the details. In the beginning, though, only one person can take responsibility for the details.

                Skeptical about the importance of details? Look no further than Howard Schultz, who grew a small coffee shop called Starbucks into one of the most globally successful coffee businesses in the world through his extreme attention to detail.

                He is famous for taking all aspects of growing a business into account, paying attention not only to financially smart business decisions, but also focusing on socially responsible business decisions. Details can take you far.

                4. Successful Entrepreneurs Embrace Risks

                No entrepreneur has a sure thing, no matter how much money s/he stands to earn on a given product. Even if a product tests well, the market can change, the warehouse can burn down and a whole slew of other misfortune can befall a small business.

                It’s absolutely risky to run a business of your own and while you can get some insurance, it’s not like most investment options. Even worse, if something does go wrong, it’s the entrepreneur’s responsibility — no matter the actual cause. In order to deal with all of that without developing an ulcer, you have to have a good tolerance for risk.

                You don’t need to channel your inner frat boy and take on absolutely stupid risks, but you need to know just how much you can afford to risk — and get a good idea of how likely you are to lose it. If the numbers make you uncomfortable, the risk is too great.

                Embracing risks is essential for growth and additional success, as well. Walt Disney, for example, could have stayed comfortable with his advances in the film and animation industries, but decided to expand his brand with a new dream: a theme park that soared above the competition. Without taking this risk, the incredibly successful Disney theme park empire would never have come about.

                An entrepreneur has to be willing to accept pretty big risks, with some level of comfort.

                5. Successful Entrepreneurs are Balanced

                You can take any characteristic too far. There’s a point at which attention to detail can become obsession or calm can become unemotional response.

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                As an entrepreneur, you have to be able to balance your characteristics, getting the most of them without going over the edge. But balance for an entrepreneur goes far beyond keeping your characteristics in check, though.

                Just as an entrepreneur doesn’t have a boss to keep them at work when necessary, they don’t have one to send them home when they’re done. If you are working for yourself, you have to decide how to balance your work and home life — and if you have a day job to add into the equation, balance just gets more complicated.

                Oprah Winfrey, one of the most successful and influential entrepreneurs out there, understands the importance of balance. Winfrey has a lot going on; she runs her own media kingdom, acts, produces films, publishes print, and more. In an interview with Fast Company,[1] she talks about her efforts to balance priorities and self care, saying that she must ask herself what is truly important in each limited day.

                You may or may not have as much on your plate as Oprah, but learning how to balance whatever you have going on in life will certainly help you farther along down the road as you learn to be a great entrepreneur.

                6. Successful Entrepreneurs are Passionate and Motivated

                In order to develop any of the above characteristics, you must have a foundation of passion. Staying disciplined day after day during the building of your business takes unrivaled motivation.

                Before you start any business, ask yourself if you can sustain true excitement about your idea during even the darkest days ahead of you. If the answer is yes, then good for you! Nurture your natural motivation by taking these action steps throughout your business journey:

                • Commit to making short and long-term goals. Check in with them often to stay on task.
                • Have a plan in place for the inevitable days when you feel discouraged. Make a list of things that will help keep you motivated and focused.
                • Share your ideas with trusted individuals who are just as excited as you are. They will help keep your enthusiasm rolling even when you are feeling down.

                By being prepared for apathetic days and holding fast to your authentic passion, you can actually enjoy your journey to success.

                7. Successful Entrepreneurs Adapt

                Remember this one word: flexibility. Seasoned entrepreneurs know that change is not only a part of life, but also a part of the business world. Expect change and choose to adapt.

                As a new entrepreneur, it will be tempting to cling to your original business plan with no exceptions, even if you notice it isn’t working. Good entrepreneurs know that it’s okay to make smart, informed changes in order to ensure efficiency.

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                8. Successful Entrepreneurs are Marketing and Sales Experts

                No matter what kind of business you are starting, a knowledge of marketing and sales will save you many headaches. A passion for creating a beautiful handmade lifestyle product is not enough to run a successful lifestyle brand; it is critical that you understand key business principles in addition to your natural skills or great product line.

                Not sure how to start? Taking business courses is a great idea, but you can also easily brush up on sales and marketing through free online resources. Check out these 10 Sales Skills Everyone Should Master To Be Successful to begin now.

                9. Successful Entrepreneurs Have Strong Money Management

                Along with sales and marketing skills, money management is a very useful tool in the box of the entrepreneur. Understanding how to best manage your money can be the difference between early success and early failure in the business world.

                If money management isn’t your strongest skill, prepare to hire a financial expert to help you with any tricky business that comes up. Financial guidance and knowledge is never a bad idea.

                10. Successful Entrepreneurs Ask Questions and Continually Improve

                Pride is a natural human quality, but it’s important to humbly conduct some constructive criticism every now and again on both yourself as a leader and your new business as a whole.

                Assess how things are going and be willing to make positive changes if necessary. Here’re 15 ways to cultivate lifelong learning.

                If you are always improving, then how can you ultimately fail?

                The Bottom Line

                Let me remind you of one important fact: the qualities of an entrepreneur listed here are not exclusively available to some people and elusive to others.

                Although some people may have natural strengths and weaknesses, these qualities can be learned by anyone interested in taking up the entrepreneurial challenge. It might not be easy to change old habits, but it is absolutely possible to cultivate these characteristics in yourself.

                Whether you’re a business owner or an aspiring entrepreneur, with hard work, you can train yourself to develop the qualities that truly determine the entrepreneurial spirit and future success.

                Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                Reference

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