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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

                Writer, editor

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                Last Updated on December 10, 2019

                7 Strategies to Keep Employee Motivation High

                7 Strategies to Keep Employee Motivation High

                Highly motivated employees are essential to the success of any business. Most people spend a third of their lives at work.[1] That’s a significant amount of time away from home, apart from the people who make us happy and the things we love to do. So keeping employee motivation high is essential for creating an office environment that gets the best out of our people.

                But do you know what motivates your people?

                It’s simple:

                • Is their work stimulating?
                • Does it challenge them?
                • Is there room to grow, a promotion perhaps?
                • Do you encourage creativity?
                • Can they speak openly and honestly with you?
                • Do you praise them?
                • Do you trust your staff to take ownership of their work?
                • Do they feel safe in their work environment?
                • And more importantly, do you pay them properly?

                Every one of these factors contributes to the general happiness of your employees. It’s what motivates them to come into the office each day and work hard, hit goals, and get results.

                In contrast, an unmotivated employee is typically unhappy. They take more sick days, they’re not invested in seeing your business succeed, and they’re always on the lookout for something better.

                Stats show that 81 percent of employees would consider leaving their jobs today if the right opportunity presented itself.[2] So it’s up to you to set aside time and energy to create a work environment that benefits every one of your employees.

                These seven strategies will help you motivate your people to consistently deliver quality work and, more importantly, to stick around for the long term.

                1. Be Someone They Can Rely On

                You rely on your people to turn up to work each day, to come to you when they have a problem they can’t solve, to be honest, and to always engage professionally with customers.

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                But this is not a one-way street. You, too, need to be someone your team can rely on. They trust you to have their backs when a client is unreasonable, to know that the decisions they make are in your best interest, and to make good on your promises.

                If you say you’ll attend an important meeting, be there. If your company makes a profit and you’ve said you’ll pay a bonus, pay it. The goodwill of your people is something you never want to test, let alone lose.

                Be reliable; it’s astounding how much this motivates your people.

                2. Create an Awesome Company Culture

                There’s no denying that company culture trickles down from the top. Your leadership and attitude massively influences the attitudes, work ethic, and happiness of your staff. If you’re always stressed-out, overly demanding, and unreasonable, it’ll create tension in your office which will adversely affect your employees’ motivation levels.

                In fact, the HAYS “US What People Want Survey” found that 47 percent of staff who are actively looking for a new job, pinpoint company culture as the driving force behind their reason to leave.

                So if you have high staff turnover, you need to determine whether your company culture might be the motivating factor behind your churn rate.

                Here are four ways to build a culture that keeps your employees highly motivated.

                • Be conscious of the image you present. Your body language and attitude can positively or negatively impact your employees. So come to work energized. Be optimistic, friendly, and engaging—this enthusiasm will spill over to your people and motivate them to be more productive and efficient.
                • Appreciate your people and be reasonable. Celebrate your team’s achievements. If they’re doing a good job, tell them. Encourage them to challenge themselves and try new things. And reward when deserved. If they’re struggling, help them. Work together to find solutions and be a sounding board for their ideas.
                • Be flexible. Give your people opportunities to work remotely—this is highly motivating to staff, particularly millennials. They don’t want to be battling traffic each day on their way to work. They don’t want to miss their kids’ baseball games or ballet rehearsals. Stats show that companies that offer flextime and the ability to work from home or a coffee shop have happier and more productive employees.
                • Create employee-friendly work environments. These are spaces that inspire and ignite the imagination. Have you ever been to Google’s offices? No headquarter is the same. From indoor slides and food trucks, to hammocks, and funky work pods on the wall, gaming rooms, and tranquil interior gardens, there’s something for everyone. It’s a space where people want to be, catering to their need for creativity, quiet, or team building; you name it.

                So take a look at your company culture and ask yourself, Is my business an attractive workplace for talented professionals? Does it inspire commitment and motivate my people? What could I do to improve my company culture?

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                3. Touch Base with Your Team Weekly

                Make time for your people, whether you run a remote business or work in an office, set aside time each week to talk to your people one-on-one. It’s non-negotiable.

                When there’s an open line of communication between staff members, work gets done. Don’t believe me? A study by Gallup found that 26 percent of employees said feedback from their leaders helps them to do a better job.[3]

                Your people want to feel trusted. They want to take ownership of their work, but they also need to know that when they have a question, they can reach out and get answers. If you’re unwilling to make yourself available, your team will quickly become unmotivated, work will stagnate, and your business will stop growing.

                So block off time on your calendar each week to touch base with your people, even if only to let them know that what they’re working on matters.

                4. Give Them the Tools They Need to Do Their Jobs Well

                Imagine trying to run your business without electricity. How would you contact your clients? What would happen when your phone or computer battery died?

                Technology is super critical to the success of your businesses. It allows you to work more efficiently, to be more productive, and to handle matters on-the-go. That’s why you need to give your people tools that will make their jobs easier.

                Make sure their equipment is in good working condition. There’s nothing more frustrating than a laptop that takes ages to boot up. It’s got to go. Replace outdated software with new software. Don’t make your designer work in Coreldraw; give them access to the most up-to-date version of Adobe Creative Suite. Take it a step further and buy them a subscription to Shutterstock or Getty Images.

                Make working for you a pleasure, not a pain; and watch your employees’ motivation levels rise.

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                5. Provide Opportunities to Learn and Upskill

                Would you believe me if I told you that 33 percent of people cite boredom and a need for new challenges as the top reason for leaving their job?[4] If you want to retain your talent, you need to upskill.

                Thanks to technology, we live in a rapidly evolving world that demands we change with it. A copywriter is no longer just a writer; they now need to be experts in SEO, Google Adwords, CRMs, and so much more.

                A pastry chef needs to be a food stylist, photographer, and social media manager. An entrepreneur needs to be a marketer—or at least take ownership of the marketing message for their business—if they hope to scale.

                Technology makes all of this possible. No matter your location, your people can continuously expand their knowledge and gain new skill sets—something that’s highly motivating to employees. They want to know that there are opportunities to grow and develop themselves.

                If you won’t invest in your people, then your business becomes just another job to tide them over until they find where they truly belong. So be the company that sees value in developing its people.

                6. Monitor Their Workload

                Overworked employees tend to be unproductive and unhappy. Your people cannot be at full capacity every day, month to month. Something’s got to give. They’ll become deflated and their work will eventually suffer, which will negatively impact your business.

                What I like to do is implement a traffic light system. It helps me to keep a finger on the pulse of my business. So there’s red, yellow, and green:

                • Red means they’re fully loaded.
                • Yellow means they’re busy, but they can potentially take on more.
                • Green means they haven’t got enough to do.

                I use this traffic light system because I don’t want my team members to be stressed out of their brains all the time. If they are, they won’t make good decisions and they won’t do good work.

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                If my people are regularly overloaded, I have things to think about. Perhaps I need to hire a new person to help ease the load or take a closer look at what projects are good to go, and which can take a back seat.

                And this is why #3 is essential. If I’m regularly engaging with my people, I’ll know that while they’re coping with their workload, it is impacting their performance and health, and I’ll take action.

                7. Don’t Mess Around with Your Employees’ Pay

                Never mess around with your people’s salary. As a business owner or high-level manager, it’s easy to forget that most people live from paycheck to paycheck. Delayed compensation can mean a missed bill payment, which could result in costly penalties they can’t afford or hits to their credit score.

                So it’s your job to ensure that you pay your people on time.

                The Bottom Line

                A motivated team is an asset to any business. These people never give up. They get excited about coming to work each day and can’t wait to test a new theory or tackle a particularly tricky challenge. They’re proud of the work they do. And more importantly, they have no reason to leave.

                Wouldn’t you rather be part of their success story than the business that drove them away?

                More to Motivate Your Team

                Featured photo credit: Emma Dau via unsplash.com

                Reference

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