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10 Exceptional Tools for Assessing Your Team’s Performance

10 Exceptional Tools for Assessing Your Team’s Performance
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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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        More by this author

        Vladimir Zivanovic

        CMO at MyCity-Web

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        Published on July 27, 2021

        15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

        15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
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        During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

        But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

        Put the Pro in Professional

        After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

        1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

        The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

        Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

        2. Dress the Part

        While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

        Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

        For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

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        Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

        3. Stage Your Workspace

        Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

        Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

        4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

        Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

        Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

        Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

        Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

        5. Arrive on Time

        In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

        Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

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        6. Turn on Your Video

        Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

        If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

        Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

        7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

        Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

        Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

        Attend to the Pesky Details

        8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

        With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

        Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

        9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

        Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

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        Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

        10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

        As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

        Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

        Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

        Talking Has a Time and a Place

        11. Chat Appropriately

        Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

        At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

        12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

        The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

        Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

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        13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

        In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

        Manage Yourself

        14. Minimize Distractions

        While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

        Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

        15. Save Snacking for Later

        Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

        However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

        Final Thoughts

        Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

        Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

        Reference

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