If you are a business owner or member of senior management, it would be a surprise if you haven’t asked yourself whether you need to be using some software to help monitor your employee performance and if not, then you probably should do!
Now, more than ever there is a requirement to ensure that your business is firing on all cylinders and with more staff than ever previously also adopting a schedule which is more focused on working from home rather than the traditional office space, being on top of staff workload can make all the difference. This is especially the case if your company has a lot of data, timesheets, workload schedules and more to keep tabs on.
It is, of course, of paramount importance that you first have a team surrounding you which you are confident enough in trusting to independently handle the tasks which are required of them. However, there isn’t always the luxury of having a watertight team and working processes and, as such, keeping arbitrary track of various KPIs is key to combatting the pitfalls of undermanagement and inefficiency.
There are many different solutions out there you can use in your quest to maximize your business’s output, but here will cover five of the absolute best options and illustrate just why they are so beneficial to you and your business’s needs.
Meet: Time Doctor
One of the top pieces of software which stands out right now is Time Doctor. A surplus of management resources makes it a doddle for you to keep tabs on your business. Features include time tracking and the ability to monitor employee’s progress on projects, sorting out your payroll, web and app options. Additionally, you can employ the use of time alerts for idle employees and accounting tools that come as part of this package. Of all the software on our list, Time Doctor is, perhaps, the most expensive of the lot. As such, you’ve to weigh its advantages against the cost-effectiveness of this solution. The application has plenty of features but will certainly require a larger working budget than other options out there. Time Doctor is the choice of US network supplier Verizon and technology company Ericsson.
Get Control of Your Hours
My Hours has pushed its way into contention at many top businesses over the last year. The focus of this software differs slightly from Time Doctor in that the developers have put a lot of attention into the collaboration side of things. Real-time tracking allows monitoring of individual employee’s progress with a certain task and this to be factored into overall group progress. There is also work rate reporting, as well as scheduling and timeline features all part and parcel of what My Hours can offer your business. My Hours is a piece of software which is easy to customize, and features can be upgraded based on your business needs. As has been touched upon briefly, My Hours is one that will be most useful to those who are seeking to manage team projects more effectively due to its collaborative nature and the features which center around streamlining of time management.
Toggl Could Be for You
Toggl is perhaps most ideal for those people running small businesses with few employees. It is a mobile-based app and allows for quick tracking, as well as reminders. You can easily use Toggl to keep tabs on your profits vs expenses, and there is a general dashboard that is accessible for all employees, allowing you to stay in communication. Toggl can also be integrated with over 100 other online apps. This solution isn’t necessarily the most all-encompassing but does offer a good tailored range of features that will suit SMEs and certain industry types especially well. It also carries the benefit of being able to choose your plan type based upon individual tiered plans based upon the feature types you desire.
Monday.com is the only fully online solution which is considered within this piece. It is marketed as a single online platform for ‘better teamwork’. There are comprehensive enough planning and tracking modules which exist within one workspace for communication and workload monitoring. Also, there are useful automation tools that have been included to avoid ‘human error’ and streamline certain aspects such as emails. There also exists decent reporting which uses a simple graphic representation of spending, progress and revenue. One notable inclusion is the ability to utilize 24/7 customer support should you have any issues / want any clarification on features. Many large companies such as BBC and Adobe use Monday.com in some shape or form.
Clockify for Your Business?
For those who want something a touch different, there is Clockify. This funky-sounding piece of software is perfect for companies on a budget. It has a free basic package which features time trackers, dashboard options, and allows you to form schedules easily. In terms of timekeeping, you are able to track employee hours using a timer, log these into a timesheet and split work hours between different billable hours, thus feeding into payroll. Reporting allows visualization of the time breakdowns which can be exported and shared with others in traditional office formats such as PDF, CSV and Excel docs. There are also team activity features that allow live time activity tracking, scheduling and task breakdowns. Paying a little more can also see you obtain upgraded features, many of which are like the software packages listed above. Overall, Clockify is a well-reviewed and comprehensive piece of kit which offers a decent level of flexibility.
Using Deputy to Schedule Your Staff
Our final entry is Deputy, and this is a very much a modular style piece of software, making it ideal for all businesses due to your ability to key in and out of the various aspects of the tool. Deputy can provide you with all manner of scheduling options as well as extensive communication software. Alternatively, it can be used to track attendance and export your timesheets to payroll. It has the useful ability to be paired with many payroll and accounting software including Sage and Xero, as well as HR tools like BambooHR. There exists an attractive possibility to upgrade the software so that it consists of both modules. In addition, you can opt for a supreme package that offers a variety of complex solutions for businesses that need custom configurations. Deputy is the software used by Amazon and beauty brand Aesop for their scheduling and monitoring needs and ultimately, it is the piece of software that stands out on this list, as it caters to all. Of course, it comes down to the individual needs of a business and their complexity as to whether or not a fully modular and extensive system like Deputy is required, but in terms of being the most impressive, this one wasn’t hard to recommend.
Pricing Can Often Be the Key
Pricing can often play a part in which package you go with. It often ends up being the deciding factors between two or more similar pieces of software. Although, it is often recommended in life to consider other aspects in a decision-making process rather than just the price, as this is often how poor decisions can be made!
To summarise, both Clockify and Hours are free to use with their basic package. However, you do have the option to upgrade to more extensive features if you wish. They are a little limited for full-scale business use above anything other than a semi-informal SME basis if only used at this level. Toggle and Deputy come with 30 and 31-day free trials, respectively. Toggle then costs $10 a month.
Deputy can offer you scheduling and time/attendance packages for $2.50 per month apiece, raising to $4.50 a month if you want both modules. Optionally, the Enterprise Edition (for fully customizable solutions) comes with a custom price-plan. By contrast, Time Doctor has no free trial and has a set rate of $9.99 a month for the basic package.
It is not easy to recommend a single piece of software for all companies because of the huge range of factors covered throughout the individual product reviews. What it is safe to summarise, however, is that if customizable software and low costs are for you, Deputy is the stand-out piece of software on our list. It has a more diverse range of options than your standard piece of software and you are able to try these for a period of up to 31 days before you make any commitment and then the tiered system including a premium package which is only £3 per user per month including a wealth of features encompassing employee scheduling, timesheets, payroll and point of sale integration, leave management, a newsfeed, tasking, 24/7 support and a wealth of reporting options too. It must be said that Clockify, Monday.com and Time Doctor also have their positives and are worthy of an honorable mention.