Running a “one-man-band” business can leave you spinning a lot of plates simultaneously, and this only becomes more intense once you start taking on staff. Suddenly you’re not just responsible for managing your own workload, but also those of the people working under you.
Thankfully, this is 2018, which means there are a ton of great digital tools available to help you out. Whereas before you’d have had to make do with a calendar or diary – and a spreadsheet or ten! – to keep those plates off the floor, now you can download fantastic software to help with everything from project management, training, and even time management.
So, whether you need help with managing shifts, annual leave, absences, employee time and attendance, task tracking and logging, or HR self-service, there’s something out there to sooth your timekeeping woes.
When it comes to managing shift work, it’s crucial your employees have access to the most up-to-date information available. Shift work-based industries are fluid, changeable beasts, so you need to be able to communicate with staff and update schedules in real-time.
This is what can be achieved with a platform such as When I Work. With this powerful piece of kit in your toolbox, you can quickly create and edit schedules, accounting for numerous variables such as time-off requests and variable shifts.
With two-way text messaging and email alerts, you can be sure everyone stays up-to-date. This means requests to cover shifts can be sent out and responded to quickly and painlessly. Push notifications ensure nothing is missed. Employees can even submit time off requests via the service, at which point a message is sent to the manager for approval. When approving time off, the manager can then register it as paid or unpaid.
When I Work is free for up to 75 users if you’re just looking for simple scheduling tools for your team. There are also a range of paid plans available that unlock advanced features and the ability to add more users. There’s no fixed contract, so you can rescale When I Work as your workforce and scheduling requirements change.
Managing employee time off can be a full-time job all by itself. After all, it’s not just about the staff member taking time off – all your employees need to be considered, as being a person down affects everyone.
With Bamboo HR, employees each receive their own login, so they can manage their schedules and request time off from any location with an internet connection with ease. They can see what their remaining entitlement is, as well as view the staff calendar to assess their chances of being approved.
Managers can approve or deny requests, and fully manage their team. Custom reports can be generated for when assessment time rolls around, as well as the ability to set policies and accrual levels.
Once the free trial has expired, you can request a quote for the Essentials or Advantage paid plans, based on your requirements and company size. BambooHR also offers a range of add-on features to choose from, including advanced tools for performance management and time tracking.
When it comes to employee absence, you need to be able to react quickly and with agility to any unplanned-for staff shortages which come up. Sickness and other absences are a fact of life, so it’s best to be prepared.
actiPLANS helps you streamline your absence management. Whether for scheduled or unplanned absence, this great piece of software lets you effectively manage your workforce to plug any gaps and roll with the punches. Employees can request time off through the system, with instant email notifications handing over to their manager to approve or deny.
Sickness and compassionate leave allowances can be tracked separately and allow managers to see at a glance who is available to potentially cover a shift in such an emergency.
actiPLANS is free for teams of five or fewer, and then priced per employee. The more employees you have and the longer payment period you select, the bigger the discount you receive.
Time and Attendance
Platforms such as Lanteria HR let you completely manage you HR needs, including tracking and managing employee time and attendance. You can visualise you company’s organisational structure, as well as centralising and analysing all HR data.
When it comes to time and attendance, you can set up companywide absence policies, and track and approve leave requests. On top of this, you can register and track time spent on various tasks, helping you make sure individual projects are managed and billed appropriately.
You can also use Lanteria HR for recruitment, onboarding, and ongoing training.
You can try Lanteria HR for free, after which you can contact the company directly for a bespoke quote for a minimum of 50 employees.
Task Tracking and Logging
When it comes to the management of individual projects, there are loads of options out there to help you stay on top of things.
Platforms such as monday.com, asana, and Project Insight and more allow you to set up individual boards for projects and track everything from progress on various aspects to logging the number of hours put into it.
This allows managers to make sure that all projects are progressing as expected and hitting deadlines, while simultaneously ensuring billing for hourly rates is both accurate and completely transparent.
Freelancing is on the up, with many workers carrying out jobs for several different employers. The rise in working from home and mobile workforce jobs have also helped facilitate the need for effective self-serve solutions.
If your company uses offsite staff, you need a self-service platform such as Zoho People to help you manage them. Freelancers can access and update their timesheets and other information based on rules set by the company. Mobile functionality helps your freelancers stay up-to-date no matter their location.
You can trial Zoho People for free for 15 days and continue to use it for free for teams of fewer than five. For larger business, and to unlock advanced time management features, you can choose from four paid plans to suit your specific requirements.
HR software can help you to save time on tracking your employees time, no matter what the size and needs of your business are.
From simple time and attendance tracking, to complex shift scheduling and managing skill availability, there is a piece of HR software for you.
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