The longer you run a business and manage people, the more you come to realize that management is all about having an organized system in place. It makes very little difference what that system is: as long as it covers all the bases, and is applicable across the board. Employee management tools provide precisely such a system: they allow you to centralize all of your employee-related data, making it available to anyone who needs to access it they provide valuable insight into employee trends and patterns, allowing you to take action on time they save you time and other resources, as systematized employee management provides more clarity and insight than a personalized system where each HR manager has their own way of tracking different performance metrics. Let’s take a look at some of the employee management tools you can start using today – and you probably haven’t been using so far. #1) Establishing a centralized training system The first set of employee management tools you need to add to your arsenal and training tools, specific to your industry and company. When onboarding employees, or when expanding someone’s skill set, it’s of paramount importance to have a centralized training system in place. Otherwise, if each member of staff is trained in a different way, they will never be able to agree on what a job well done is, how certain things are executed, and why something needs to be done in a specific way. By outlining a standard set of training procedures and accompanying tools, you will effectively circumvent this issue, and ensure everyone is on the same page. There’s no better way to ensure a certain level of quality across the board. This also allows for a better way to track employee performance: after all, if person A believes that assembling one bicycle a day is a job well done, while person B believes 5 is the number to strive for, firing person A is harsh and unjust. It may ‘solve the problem’, but it makes you a very poor manager. Person A didn’t arrive at 1 a day on their own – they were encouraged to get there by the system you have implemented. Depending on your line of work and the industry you operate in, you will need to come up with a list of these tools and procedures for everyone to adhere to. #2) Performance tracking tools Performance tracking tools are among the most important ones you can add to your system. A good manager needs to have a way to know which teams are working on which tasks, how close they are to meeting deadlines, which employees are away from the office or working from home, who is on vacation or leave, and so on. If you use the data these tools provide correctly, you can also gain unparalleled insight into your employee’s skills and talents, enabling you to reassign future tasks and projects based on affinity and interest. The performance tracking tools you can use include: Basecamp: a straightforward project management tool that lets you keep track of tasks, deadlines, team members’ task lists and task progress. It’s easy to use and access across different platforms, which makes it a great basic choice. Asana: another project management tool that lets you track all the basics: tasks, milestones, people and projects. Its layout is perhaps a little less intuitive than Basecamp, but you can easily get used to it. Monday: the most visually appealing of the three, Monday also lets you track progress per task and project, helping you keep track of every team member and how they are doing at a given point in time. Salesforce: a CRM platform that is used by sales teams across the globe, Salesforce is only applicable if you have a team of salespeople on board. It lets you stay on top of all important metrics, and evaluate employee performance based on their actual numbers. Pipedrive: another CRM platform that provides access to sales numbers and figures, allowing you to make educated evaluations not only on how you approach sales, but which team member is performing how. Whichever tools you use to measure performance, make sure you know how to give proper feedback that will actually lead to performance improvements. #3) Time and attendance tracking tools Time and attendance tracking might at first glance sound superfluous: after all, if a task is completed on time, that’s the most important thing, no? Well, not exactly. If a certain employee is more efficient at performing certain tasks over others, or another employee is struggling to complete all of their tasks, you need to look into rearranging the way these projects are distributed. Ideally, each task will get assigned to the person who will complete it best: meaning they will need an optimal amount of time, paired with an above-average result. Only by tracking time per task can you hope to learn more about each employee’s performance. That being said, don’t forget that you also need to talk to them about what and how they do and to actually inspect the quality of their work, instead of trusting numbers blindly. Investing in a reliable time tracking software will allow you to re-optimize your workforce, ultimately improving your bottom line. #4) Employee satisfaction tracking tools Finally, we need to touch upon employee satisfaction tracking tools, and why they are so important. Talking to your employees is one thing, but enlisting the help of a mediator, an app that is faceless and nameless and that can gather data for you efficiently and in the same manner will eliminate the human factor from the equation, and prevent egos from taking over the driving seat. The info you gather through these apps will help you adapt your managerial styles, help you establish better communication with your employees, indicate if you need to work on reducing stress in the workplace, and allow you to set meaningful tasks to your HRs and team managers. A couple of tools worth investing in: 15Five: asks employees to answer questions for 15 minutes a week, whereas managers take 5 minutes per answer to respond. 15Five is excellent for facilitating feedback, helps it travel up the corporate ladder, and lets you provide praise where it is needed. Officevibe: another great way to boost employee engagement, the tool promotes communication through anonymity and bases its questions on scientific research. Final thoughts The modern workplace is blessed with being able to rely on intelligent software solutions to handle issues that would previously have required a team of people. With the help of some or all of the tools listed above, you can access reliable data at any given point in time, allowing you to tailor employee performance, resulting in a more positive and productive workplace.