What you should know about the latest employee management trends and tools
The year 2020 is finishing. The world has entered a new age of transformation and uncertainty “thanks’ to the deepening economic crisis and, most recently, neverending COVID 19 pandemics. This means businesses are facing tougher rules of the game. Many quit and those who are left afloat have to continue their operations in a much more competitive environment. Markets are saturated. Plenty of offers on everything but not as much demand. Under these new circumstances, business actors can’t afford to be inefficient.
The success of the company most frequently correlates with the efficiency and effectiveness of its employees, therefore, it is correct to assume that effective employee management is, currently, a lifesaver, in these difficult days and will most definitely help to stay on top.
In this article we are going to discuss:
1. What is employee management and why it is important?
2. Managing your staff effectively- what does the employee management process mean today?
Tips and best working practices.
3. Technology: modern tools to improve employee performance.
What is Employee Management and why it is so important now?
Employee management or HR employee management is defined by the Cambridge dictionary as “the activity of managing a company’s employees, for example, by employing new workers, training them, managing their employment records, and helping them with problems”.
As we see from the definition, three main aspects of employee management: employee acquisition, retention, and performance management.
According to Forbes research, employee turnover can cost a modern company about 33% of his/her annual earnings. Taking into consideration, that ⅔ of the employees spend, on average, 2 years in one company, inability to hire the right candidate, keep him/her engaged productively with the company’s activities or not paying attention to maintaining the positive atmosphere and environment at the workplace will most definitely result in significant monetary losses for businesses, which they might not be able to sustain in a long run.
So, how can a company ensure they keep their workforce happy, engaged and productive for a long time? Let us share our recommendations on what would be the best way to manage your employees.
Managing your staff effectively- what does the employee management process mean today? (tips and best working practices)
There are many recommendations and advice on how to manage your employees effectively. We decided to share a few which have proven to work for us and for many business partners and clients of ours.
1. Encourage Open Communication and Build a Sense of Trust
From many interviews, we have conducted and materials we have studied it is clear that the main difference between good and bad workplaces is the quality of communication between the employees and their leadership. As a business owner, you have to do your best to ensure your employees can share their concerns and suggestions freely and openly. Here is how you could achieve this:
Begin with applying transparency practices. Employees should always know that company has an open-door policy and their leadership is approachable. Showing yourself in the office and speaking with the employees should become day-to-day normality for the company’s middle and top managers. Employees must feel needed and looked after.
Leadership should frequently speak to their employees and keep them informed about the company’s plans and current activities- this will help your workers feel and think about themselves as important participants of the business processes. Just make sure, on the other hand, you are not sharing any confidential information and be careful with the bad news.
Encouraging feedback is important- allow your employees to share their thoughts on the existing and new company policies and procedures.
Work on this feedback and show you care- employees always appreciate this type of behaviour.
Create a sense of trust in your organisation! Avoid too much micromanagement and show your employees that you respect their privacy and trust their skills.
2. Promote your employees or help them grow professionally
Even the most loyal workers leave if their employers, eventually, fail to provide them with career development opportunities.
Giving your employees new challenges and roles will keep them motivated and help them grow. This will also help them do more for your business. Here are a few tips on how you can achieve this:
- Set up and maintain a learning culture within your company. Arrange necessary trainings and seminars which will build employees’ skillset and open new opportunities in their career development. This point is vital for the smaller companies where promotion can be awaited for much longer than within larger organisations and the opportunity to learn and progress professionally at no personal cost might help to keep many ambitious employees on board for much longer.
- Try to regularly promote the best performing workers and assign them to new positions with more responsibilities. Provide your people with career growth opportunities. They need to see that their hard work will be always appreciated.
- If possible, allow your employees to represent your company at exhibitions, conferences, and seminars. This will help them to feel more important as company representatives.
3. Setting up clear objectives and goals
In the vast majority of cases of underperformance, the main issue lies in either misunderstanding of the task or not knowing a reason why a particular activity needs to be done.
In other words, when your employees do not know what and why are they doing something there is a very big chance your business will fail to achieve its goals.
How do you, as a top manager or CEO, avoid this?
First, and most important: before setting any goals and objectives you need to be confident in what exactly needs to be done. Make sure they are realistic and achievable for people undertaking the task.
Then, communicate those objectives to the employees as clearly and precisely as possible trying to answer the following questions:
- Why does something need to be done?
- What’s the deadline?
- How will you evaluate the performance of the employees?
4. Reward your employees
Apart from the promotion and free professional training, the best way to keep your workers motivated would be to the reward-based management system. In the end, financial prosperity is what most of the people are working hard for.
End of the year performance-based bonus, higher commission for the best salesman, small regular pay rises tend to work very well.
However, incentives like free gym memberships for the employees of the month, cinema and theatre tickets, paid holidays make people see that their company cares and encourages them to work harder.
Technology: modern tools to improve employees’ performance
Apart from applying the practices described in the previous paragraph, it is clear that, in order to maintain their competitive advantages, businesses need to use modern technology. Thankfully, there are lots of types of software available on the market that makes the job of HR departments, Team Leaders, and CEOs in applying those practices a much easier task.
Pretty much everyone by now heard names such as employee management system application, HR employee management system, PMS HR tools, etc. Not everyone, unfortunately, is familiar with all of those. Allow us to help and clarify what are the types of modern staff management software your business needs the most and how exactly they can help. Here are some examples:
1. Employee productivity monitoring software
This type of software is at the core of employee management processes. They were designed specifically to improve employee’s performance and allowing management and employees themselves to know how much time is spent on their tasks, how many of those tasks are they busy with at the particular moment, and how productively they work. Essentially, this software allows business owners to effectively monitor all of their employees.
Let’s have a look at it closer using AtTrack as an example.
What AtTrack does?
It was designed to solve the issues such as control of remote workers, project and task valuation as well as to help employees and freelancers to increase their own productivity, enhance their time and task management skills.
With AtTrack time tracker, as an employer, manager, or business owner you will always know who are the best performers in your team and who is lagging behind. You will be able to calculate precise timeframes and costs for the projects and provide your customers with detailed and well-justified billing. Attrack will enable you to see what your workers are doing on their computers during the working hours and ensure they are spending time efficiently.
As an employee or a freelancer, you will see how much time you actually spend on various tasks and compare your performance with the others. Attrack will empower you to understand your working patterns and make necessary changes in order to become more efficient in what you do. At any time, you will be able to provide your employer with evidence of your working activities.
What features will ensure the deliverance of the above promised?
- Time tracker
As a user you would have to simply select the project and a task prior to working on it so, when you are finished, you know how much time was spent on this activity. By gathering the information on all the projects the tracker was applied to, it will become possible to work out the best working patterns for the company employees.
- Screenshots and activity monitoring feature (keystroke/mouse movement detectors)
Will ensure that employees are actually working and doing what they are supposed to. Confirms the data gathered by the time tracker.
- URL and Application tracking
Will gather the statistics on how much time workers spent on efficient and inefficient websites and applications. Workers can see if they spend too much time on the distractions and can act accordingly.
- Simplified reports
Straightforward and easy to understand reports for both the employees and business owners containing the information gathered by AtTrack and from which it is easy to see how employees are spending their working hours
2. Project Management/Task Management software
Project management tools like Asana, Jira and Trello were created to manage your projects and employees effectively. As a manager, you can create and shift the tasks, follow each project’s progress, and set the deadlines.
3. Communication Software
Slack and Telegram will be the best examples of those. These are the applications used to quickly exchange text messages and files between the team members. Some allow audio and video calling as well.
4. HR Management software
Please, have a look at the TriNet, BambooHR in order to get an understanding of these applications. HR software helps you to gather your employee data in one place and makes the decision-making process easier. In general, they help to manage payroll and benefits as well as to onboard a new hire.
We hope that this article has given you some brief insight into what modern employee management looks like. We have described the best practices and tools of us, our clients, and our partner companies which they are using to keep up good business performance. Now you can choose which ones are the best fit for you!