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10 Exceptional Tools for Assessing Your Team’s Performance

10 Exceptional Tools for Assessing Your Team’s Performance

In modern business, companies are in a constant race with themselves of trying to utilize the resources they have as best as they can. Simply put, all companies try to become as efficient as possible. When talking about efficiency a lot of things might pop into your mind, but one of the most important assets that needs to be efficient is the workforce of a certain company.

This is especially true for small business organizations. Small business organizations usually have their whole teams working on certain projects, meaning they cannot add more members if they need to speed up the process. No, instead they have to manage their teams as best as they can and know how to organize them to do a job faster, while accurately assessing the time needed to complete the project.

Working with a group of people is challenging, and it’s tough to track progress, performance and effectiveness, or organize tasks and manage projects, without an adequate set of tools. Modern tech solutions give even the smallest organizations the option to look into their performance and see whether there are any gaps in their teams.

This is because these tools are usually quite cheap and sometimes even free. So, here are some of the best tools you can use to track the performance of your team and use them to improve its effectiveness as well.

1. HRweb
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    This software focuses on automating all-human resource processes that happen within your business. With this web-based software, HR managers can easily track and manage activities and the performance level of their teams. It has a single dashboard which combines all of the most important HR management features.

    The dashboard includes, employee reviews, time tracking, time off, attendance, scheduling, behavior, goals, recruitment, and document management. It really excels at managing and tracking employee history, and the level of categorization that it allows.

    2. AssessTEAM

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      This is a great all-around continuous feedback suite built to incorporate various process that allow you to monitor your effectiveness as a business and improve your results. With this tool, you can evaluate employees, their engagement, give them directions when they seem lost and run reports that show whether your processes are profitable to your whole business.

      It’s a SAAS software solution directly focused on allowing managers and business owners to assess how well their team is performing. It has thousands of quantitative evaluations that focus on 360 degree peer reviews, project evaluations, annual appraisals and much more. There are so many methodologies for evaluation you can use in AssessTEAM meaning that any business can use it appropriately and customize it how it sees fit.

      It gives you everything you need, but you need to have adequate management knowledge to be able to actually utilize all the options this tool gives you.

      3. Performly

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        This tool streamlines ancient performance management processes using progress tracking, intuitive interface, goal setting, social media-like news feed, and an engaging platform. The whole platform is a capable talent management system that can record job descriptions, individual competency, and create development plans for employees.

        In the center of Performly is, of course, feedback. The reviews it offers go both ways, as employees can perform self-evaluation and, if they want, give feedback to their managers. Additionally, it also has the modern 360-degree review ability, where peers give their feedback, as well as the management.

        4. Asana

        Asana is one of the most popular project management solutions for small business organizations. Besides the fact that it has amazing features and great functionality, the reason for this tool’s popularity is also the fact that it’s completely free for up to 15 users.

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        It’s used for management in real-time and it has an exceptionally intuitive interface which adopts the aesthetics of everyone’s go-to social media platform, Facebook. This means that people can easily learn to use all of its features.

        By using Asana, you will be able to track time, assign adequate tasks to adequate people, get regular updates from the tool on how far your project has gone and visualize goals. The people behind Asana have also added a calendar feature that gives users the ability to graph tasks straight from the dashboard.

        Most people who have used Asana were satisfied, although there were some who said that it’s not always so intuitive and that they faced difficulties because of the fact that Asana doesn’t have an offline mode.

        5. TSheets

        If you are running a construction business, assessing your work simply revolves around doing field work, and TSheets is the perfect tool you need to track the employees that are currently in the field without too much work.

        This is a GPS based solution and when all of your employees install it on their phones, they just need to turn them on, check themselves in and start working, while you will have all the data needed to manage their work.

        The manager behind this tool can also use TSheets for scheduling work both from an office or when out in the field. All employees who have this tool on their devices can also see who else is in the field and where they can be found.

        This is a great option that allows people to collaborate in the field in real-time and switch their positions if needed.

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        6. Yodlee

        This tool is designed for efficient financial management. Yodlee is a versatile piece of software that can handle various tasks; no matter if your business is a small team or you have a large corporation, it can get the job done.

        This tool connects with all of your finance accounts and gathers them all in one place securely. You can see all balances and transactions in one window, with the option of running various reports on these numbers and analyzing them for the purpose of reducing all of your business expenses.

        Additionally, with Yodlee you will get an account that can be used to pay your company bills or transfer funds when needed. This is about everything you can do with this tool, but all of these things are quite reliable and efficient.

        Half of the financial organizations in the U.S. rely on Yodlee each day and this shows just how reliable and secure it is.

        7. Journyx

        As soon as you set up Journyx, it will automate all the time management data you have. This software can fill out all of your timesheets on its own, record time entirely on its own, or perform automatic mobile tracking; all of these things can be done with previous user validation.

        Users can track their time spent on a project individually and a manager can do this as well. Additionally, users can take notes while they record their time in order to have a better overview of their work and progress.

        Not only can you track how much work someone has done and in what time, but employees can also request time off through this platform and managers can review and approve or reject these requests. This software also has a Gantt chart that can be used by managers to monitor who is currently working.

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        8. Basecamp

        This is truly one of the most popular project management tools that have been able to stand out from the crowd. It’s a very simple project management tool that allows managers to have a clear and simple overview off all their employees. They can assign tasks, give deadlines, add comments and check off their assignments once they have been completed.

        The whole interface is very intuitive and all employees can get used to it quickly. Additionally, it has a great history bar where you can see all the activities, i.e. who made any major steps, when and which ones. It offers a simple overview for simple business processes and a manager can quickly see where the shortcomings of the team are and focus on improving them.

        9. TinyPulse

        If you are looking to learn how your employees feel at their jobs and how that affects their performance in a simple way, you should use TinyPulse. It’s straightforward and simple to the point where a kid will be able to easily understand how to give great input with this tool. The best thing of all is that an employee needs just a couple of minutes to feel everything out.

        After you get the valuable input from people, you can get a good sense of what your company might need and what its current condition is. After that, you can discuss these issues when you gather for a team meeting.

        10. Pipedrive

        This tool focuses on monitoring a salesperson’s performance. It’s a CRM tool that has robust reporting and a lot of customization options. It’s quite easy to use and it also allows users to transfer data to other CRM systems. It doesn’t have many advanced features or options, but the things that it has work flawlessly. It’s usually used by smaller businesses that don’t have a lot of employees or customers.

        These are different tools that focus on different aspects of business, but they can all be used for measuring how efficient your team is. It’s important to note that you should first analyze your business and see what your needs are before choosing a tool. There are thousands of similar tools out there and these are the ones that have proven to work well and that I’ve found intriguing. Do you have your favorites as well? What can they do? Feel free to provide your input.

        Featured photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/u/unsplash/ via pexels.com

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        Vladimir Zivanovic

        CMO at MyCity-Web

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        Last Updated on February 11, 2021

        10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

        10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

        Not a lot of people are good at public speaking. You could even say that virtually everyone needs to get some practice, and preferably good guidance, before they can learn to stay calm when facing a room full of people. Having all eyes on you is an uncomfortable experience and it takes time to get used to. However, even if you can manage to control your stage fright and stay focused, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your presentation won’t put people to sleep. This is usually the case with long presentations on a very dull subject, with the presenter speaking in a monotone voice and dimming the lights to play a PowerPoint presentation.

        You have to work hard to develop the right skills

        If you want to be remembered and actually get people engaged, you need to make your presentation fun and enjoyable, without coming off as corny or desperate to please. I know, it doesn’t sound that easy at all! A good presentation during a promotional event or given to an important client can be a game changer for your business, so it is easy to get stressed out and fail to perform all that well. Luckily, giving an interesting lecture is something that can be practiced and perfected. There is plenty of advice out there on the topic, but let’s look at the most important aspects of giving a memorable and fun presentation.

        1. Make your presentation short and sweet

        With very long, meandering speeches you tend to lose the audience pretty early on, and from then on out it’s just a test of endurance for the few bravest listeners. Not only will people’s attention start to drop rapidly after sitting and listening to you talk for 30 minutes, but you also risk watering down your core ideas and leaving your audience with little in the way of key phrases and important bits of information to take away from the whole ordeal. Famous speakers throughout history have known the importance of condensing the information by using well thought out sentences and short phrases loaded with meaning.

        JFK’s famous: ”It’s not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” expresses so much in very few words and gets the audience thinking. Ancient Spartans, for example were famous for their quick, dry wit, often demolishing their opponent’s argument with a single word or phrase. You’ll want to channel that ancient spirit and be as concise as possible when preparing your presentation.

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        2. Open up with a good ice breaker

        At the beginning, you are new to the audience. There is no rapport, no trust and the atmosphere is fairly neutral. Even if some of the people there know you personally, the concept of you as an authority on a particular matter giving a speech will be foreign to them. The best way to encourage a warm and friendly atmosphere is to get some kind of emotional response out of the audience right at the beginning. It doesn’t matter what emotion it is, you just need to connect with them on a more personal level. It can be shock, curiosity, laughter, knowing smirks, nervousness – whatever gets them out of that initial feeling of indifference. There are different kinds of effective ice-breakers, but generally speaking, the most successful ones utilize one of these tactics:

        • Joking
        • Tugging on their heart strings
        • Dropping a bombastic statement
        • Telling an interesting and relevant anecdote
        • Using a metaphor or drawing comparisons

        You can make a small, self-deprecating comment, stir the presentation one way and then suddenly surprise the audience, use sarcasm, open up with a short childhood story that taught you a lesson, quote a famous person and elaborate on it from personal experience, use an inspirational anecdote or hit them with a bit of nostalgia. Just remember to keep it short and move on once you’ve gotten a reaction.

        3. Keep things simple and to the point

        Once you’re done warming up the crowd you can ease them into the core concepts and important ideas that you will be presenting. Keep the same presentation style thoughout. If you’ve started off a bit ironic, using dry wit, you can’t just jump into a boring monologue. If you’ve started off with a bang, telling a couple of great little jokes and getting the crowd riled up, you have to keep them happy by throwing in little jokes here and there and being generally positive and energetic during the presentation. You need a certain structure that you won’t deviate too far from at any point. A good game plan consists of several important points that need to be addressed efficiently. This means moving on from one point to another in a logical manner, coming to a sound conclusion and making sure to accentuate the key information.

        4. Use a healthy dose of humor

        Some of the best speeches and presentations in the world, which have been heard and viewed by millions, all feature plenty of humor. No matter the subject, a great speaker will use natural charisma, humor and beautiful language to convey their points and get the crowd excited about what they are saying. A great example of building rapport with the audience through the use of humor is Barrack Obama talking about the government building Iron Man.

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        It is silly and fun, and absolutely not something that you would expect from a man in a position of power speaking in such a serious setting – and it’s exactly why it works. The more serious the situation and the bigger the accent on proper social behavior, the harder your jokes will hit.

        5. Try to tell a story instead of ranting

        Some people can do all of the above things right and still manage to turn their short and fun little presentation into a chaotic mess of information. You don’t want your speech to look like you just threw a bunch of information in a blender in no particular order. To avoid rambling, create a strong structure. Start with the ice breaker, introduce the core concepts and your goals briefly, elaborate on the various points in a bit more detail, draw logical conclusions and leave your audience with a clear takeaway message. You want to flow naturally from one part to the next like you are telling a big story chapter by chapter.

        6. Practice your delivery

        Standing in front of the mirror and practicing a speech or presentation is a technique as old as mirrors – well, come to think of it, as old as human speech, since you can see yourself reflected in any clear and calm body of water – and that means that it is tried and true. The theory is incredibly simple, yet the real problem is actually putting in the effort day in and day out. Work on your posture, your tone of voice, accent, pauses between sentences and facial expressions. The most important thing is to talk slowly and loudly enough to be heard and understood clearly. Many famous speakers, such as Demosthenes and King George VI, overcame speech impediments through hard work.

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        7. Move around and use your hands

        Although you won’t instill confidence in your project if you are very jittery, moving around erratically, not knowing what to do with your hands and making fast movements, standing dead still can be just as bad. You shouldn’t be afraid to use your arms and hands when talking as it makes you seem more passionate and confident. The same goes for moving around and taking up some space. However, try to make slower, calculated and deliberate movements. You want your movements to seem powerful, yet effortless. You can achieve this through practice.

        8. Engage the audience by making them relate

        Sometimes you will lose the audience somewhat in techno-babble, numbers, graphs and abstract ideas. At that point it is important to reel them back in using some good, old-fashioned storytelling. Make comparisons to events from everyday life that most people are more than familiar with. By making things look simple, not only will you help your audience get a better understanding of the subject by enabling them to visualize the information more clearly, you will also draw a connection between you. After all, you are all just regular people with similar experience, you just happen to be performing different roles at the moment.

        9. Use funny images in your slides

        Although slides are not really necessary at all times, if you do need them to make your point and present your information more effectively, it’s best to liven them up. They say that facts aren’t always black and white, and your presentation should reflect this. Add a bit of color, make the information stand out and use an interesting animation to switch from slide to slide. You can use the slides to add some more humor, both in terms of the text and the images. An image that is used to elicit a positive response needs to be funny within the context of what you are discussing. For example, if you are discussing the topic of authority, an image of Eric Cartman from South Park in a police uniform, demanding that you respect his “authoritah,” is a nice way to have a bit of fun and lighten things up.

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        10. End on a more serious note

        When all is said and done you will want the audience to remember the core concepts and keep thinking about what you have said after the presentation is over. This is why you should let things naturally calm down and end with an important idea, quote or even a question. Plant a seed in their mind and make them think. Let us turn to Patrick Henry for a great way to end a speech: “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”

        As you can see, there is quite a bit to learn when it comes to giving a good presentation, one that is both memorable and fun. Be sure to work on your skills tirelessly and follow in the footsteps of great orators.

        Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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