Employees are the backbone of your company, making it vital for your business to have the proper employee management software tools to manage them. That’s where HR software comes in.
In our technology-flooded world, solutions exist for every need under the sun. Security software to keep our data safe. Analytics tools to make processing all that data easier. Software for project management, healthcare, ERP functions … the list never ends.
But when it comes to managing your employees, software might not rank as one of your top concerns outside handling the basics like payroll, benefits and employee info.
The truth is, your HR needs — and software to meet those needs — extends far beyond that. A solution for managing your employees lets you do tasks that are central in cultivating a healthy work environment, such as conducting performance evaluations, providing necessary orientation and training and promoting employee engagement.
Employee management tools aren’t just neat features. They’re the difference between being the gold medal winner at the Olympics and the fourth-place finisher that no one remembers. Use them well and it’ll make it easier for your company to rise to the top. Neglect them and you’ll be on your way to irrelevance.
Let’s jump in and see not only what they are, but more importantly, how they come with a world of advantages for your organization.
Six Types of Employee Management Software Tools
1. Employee Training Tools
From an employee and company perspective, this may be the most critical asset in your management “toolbelt.”
When it comes to their job roles, employees may have gifts akin to Usain Bolt or Tom Brady (keeping with the sports theme). But raw talent is only the first rung on the ladder to achievement.
How do world-class athletes reach the point where they can perform at the highest level consistently? Spending hours in the gym. Running the same drills thousands of times. Learning the team’s offensive system inside and out. In other words, lots of training.
To continue the sports analogy, if nine-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt gets disqualified for a false start, it doesn’t matter that he can blow the competition away — he’s out of the race.
Employees aren’t any different. They need top-notch training to ensure they can exercise their gifts to the fullest and not break the rules or run around the track in the wrong direction.
What does that look like?
Depending on your industry, there may be rules and regulations employees need to have a thorough understanding of. And at the company level, you can point them in the right direction from the get-go by making sure they have adequate training on processes, policies and procedures.
This starts with onboarding, where your company brings in new hires in a systematic way, helping them orient to the new culture, job and environment. Every company is unique, so onboarding helps your new team members adjust to all the details they’ll need to know to thrive.
With the support of employee training software, onboarding and ongoing education can happen a lot more effectively and more consistently. In fact, the core value of training tools, for many firms, is that they allow for centrally planned training. They give you a consistent place to direct and update orientation and training efforts.
You can also automate some of the analysis and checking required in digital training. For example, you may have to assess the results of quizzes or other content that proves a new hire has mastered particular skills or received information about various issues involving the job. Automation features are there to help.
The main takeaway? Employees need to know you’ll give them what they need to succeed. Otherwise, they’ll look elsewhere. A 2018 report by Udemy showed that a lack of necessary training would cause more than half of respondents to quit their jobs.
In an already competitive landscape, you’ll go a long way in positioning your business for success by giving employees the training they need.
2. Employee Performance Tools
Who are your top performers? Which employees need to up their game? What results has each team member contributed over the past month, quarter or year?
Answering these questions is easy when you have ways to monitor performance. Such tools give you a clear view of every individual’s results — a handy feature when it’s time to give a performance review.
One of the key features of employee management is the ability to drill down and find granular data about how employees contributed to the company. Things like:
- Deals closed
- Leads generated
- Blog posts published
- Contracts processed
- Projects successfully completed
By tracking anything that happened in a particular time frame, these tools make it much easier for managers to build personalized reviews that are more than just verbal window dressing. Not only does the C-Suite have insight into employee productivity, but it also gives each employee a transparent view of their successes or failures.
Getting that specific is important. It gives your employees exact knowledge of what they did well so they can continue to perform at a high level. It also makes it clear what they need to improve and how to do that. One approach you can use to provide valuable feedback with specific examples is the STAR method.
On top of that, a deeper level of insight that you can share with employees encourages retention. A 2017 study by Qualtrics found that employees who had managers that regularly acknowledged their positive performance were five times more likely to stay with that company. You can’t do that without first being able to track how your employees are doing.
3. Shift Planning and Scheduling Tools
You have a bunch of workers. Great. Without proper planning and scheduling, though, you’ll also have enough chaos to rival two football teams playing without any coaches to guide them.
That’s why a standard feature of employee management software is a calendar or schedule.
Not exciting, true, but vital to running an effective business. If you have a mobile workforce that works in shifts, for example, everyone needs to know when to show up and when to leave. Without proper tracking, it’s easy to overlap or suffer gaps between shifts.
To illustrate, let’s imagine a restaurant that doesn’t have proper scheduling. It’s a breakfast joint, so the main rush happens before 11 a.m. Customers arrive and the tables fill — but three of the six waiters didn’t clock in on time because the restaurant uses a poorly organized, analog paper schedule. Details are easy to miss, and it takes unnecessary extra work to make sure there’s enough staff to cover each shift.
It’s only a matter of time before this kind of system fails. And once it does, not only is the restaurant down half its waiters, management now needs to deal with upset customers who are waiting twice as long for their food to arrive.
A well-maintained digital schedule supported by shift planning tools gives everyone confidence that your company’s scheduling is efficient, consistent and fair. Workers get automatic updates and everyone stays on the same page.
Another advantage is better planning for the future. Quality staff management software lets employees plan ahead, so managers don’t end up needing to juggle last-minute changes due to schedules that only come out a few days in advance. More lead time makes both your employees’ lives and your management tasks easier.
4. Employee Access Tools
Staff management tools also ensure everyone has access to critical company data, and with the prevalence of cloud solutions, viewing that info at any time, from anywhere, has never been easier.
Some of these tools present background HR information, such as retirement data, scheduling data and more. Employees can also log in to view personal information like their PTO, payroll summary, benefits and schedule.
Others help individual employees tap into the business intelligence platforms that the company uses to deliver products and services — an essential ability for a company with a mobile workforce.
Either way, access tools are a core part of what employee management solutions do for businesses. They ensure any workers in the field or away from the office can still see all the data they need to do their jobs and manage their career efforts.
5. Employee Engagement Tools
Unless you want to run a business full of zombie lookalikes where people go through a mindless routine every day, you should look for an employee management tool that encourages workforce engagement.
We live a modern, dynamic world where companies need to do everything in their power to attract and retain top talent. Keeping them engaged is a great way to do that.
A philosophy is emerging that rather than simply displaying company information in a dry, boring way, it can be helpful to create digital spaces and forums that challenge and encourage employees to be creative or grow within the company. The goal is to promote personal investment on the part of your employees.
Some of these tools are called “gamification” strategies , because they use company data in a way that treats job performance as a competitive game — for example, comparing sales numbers as a way to ignite an employee’s competitive spirit.
Gamification is also a common feature in LMS software (learning management systems). It encourages healthy competition for employees as they move through different training modules and incentivizes active participation through the use of forums, awards and points leaderboards.
Another way software supports employee engagement is through personal development. With access to online resources, employees can expand their skills and grow in ways beyond what their job requires.
6. Employee Health and Wellness Programs
A close cousin of employee engagement, health and wellness features are something you shouldn’t ignore when looking at software for employee management.
Work-life balance (or work-life harmony, as Jeff Bezos puts it) is a hot topic, and rightly so. Loyalty is a two-way street nowadays. If companies want committed employees who don’t run off after the next opportunity at the first chance, they need to make it worthwhile to stick around.
One good way to do that is investing in programs that make employees feel cared about. Today that means looking beyond the traditional offerings and taking into account what modern employees are interested in.
An Aflac study from 2018 found that employees value nontraditional benefits, with discounts for health and wellness ranking among the most desired benefits.
By including employee health and wellness in the roster of functionality for a staff management tool, vendors are recognizing that part of management’s job is to go beyond overseeing tasks. A holistic approach that meets all employee needs is a critical part of maintaining a productive workforce.
Want to bring in the best workers? Offer them incentives that show you understand their importance to your company. They’re the most valuable resource you can find, so you need to treat them that way.
Start the Journey of Empowering Your Employees
Having employees is like being in a relationship. If you want them to have a personal stake and show commitment, you need to do the same. For that workplace “relationship” to flourish, you can’t afford to skimp on your employee management. That means providing sufficient training, encouraging engagement and equipping employees to succeed in their jobs.
The first step to creating a powerhouse workforce is to find the best employee management software. It shows your current and future employees that you care enough to invest in tools that will empower them. In turn, they’ll be more motivated, dedicated and productive.
And that’s what every company needs to be successful.
Before that happens, you have to pick the solution that offers the tools and capabilities you need. That’s where our HR requirements template comes in. Use it to personalize your vendor list and then compare all the top vendors that fit your requirements. You’ll be in control of the entire process and end up with a system that fits your company’s needs as perfectly as Cinderella’s glass slipper.
Which of the tools we listed would benefit your employees the most? Drop your thoughts in the comments!