While it’s understood that successful businesses are built upon an intricate fusion of various contributing factors, no one would argue that one of the most essential factors for the success of any company are its employees who put in their best efforts to keep the wheels turning. Therefore, employee management is a task that needs to be performed well in order to ensure that the full potential of your team is harnessed.
In this article we’ve compiled a list of the best tools currently available to make the process of employee management much easier for you. Keep reading to find out why it’s essential for businesses of any size to implement such software and what to focus on when choosing the right solution for your company.
Why employee management is essential for businesses
Let’s first get a basic understanding of what employee management is. Essentially, it’s made up of a number of intertwined processes that companies use to ensure that their employees keep performing well.
Traditionally, workforce management is driven by the senior executives through motivation, strong organizational culture, and timely rewards. And nowadays, with the emergence of a variety of specialized software, organizations can manage their employees even more efficiently by improving existing employee management processes.
Employee management really covers it all – form the workload of your team members, or the amount of time they spend on certain tasks and obligations to their overall performance or even the appropriate scheduling and matching the right employee with certain projects.
To put it simply, employee management software is the class of management information system (MIS) that caters to the data, automation, and reporting needs of employee management functions. These tools are designed to simplify the administrative tasks of the business.
What to look for in employee management software
Employee management software can take lots of pressure off your shoulders and even make your employees pretty happy, too. It includes such business processes as employee shift scheduling in a straightforward automated way, communicating with groups and in private conversations effortlessly, employee self-serve time tracking, and so on.
Depending on the type of software your company needs, you’ll be looking for different features. Any way, these are the basic features any nice employee monitoring software should have:
- Employee database.
Accurate information and records on your employees are essential for managing your team with maximal effectiveness. Good employee management software simultaneously works as a digital filing cabinet that contains employee confidential data such as their contacts, addresses, job titles, hiring dates, salaries, and other basic data.
- Employee attendance.
Proper employee time tracking and attendance management can significantly improve the payroll reporting. A nice employee management solution will even help employees plan their leave. It tracks the time they start work for the day, the time they finish the workday, all the breaks they take in-between and even the times they are absent from work altogether.
- Employee analytics.
With the surfacing of data analytics, employee management software ultimately harnesses various employee data to make forecasts, predict security risks or even boost team productivity. It might also develop models that chart proper paths and directions for high-value employees.
- Employee engagement.
Employee engagement is pretty much critical for productivity and building a loyal team. You need to make your team members feel valued by listening to their reasonable requests and encouraging their feedback on different company parameters, from management to culture.
- Team management.
Another important part to focus on is teamwork. Your employee management software should be flexible, adapting to the current agile managerial approach. It should allow for seamless assigning and reassigning of projects to different teams or specialists that are best suited for the task. It should also be able to allow supervisors to carry out administrative tasks and monitoring from any location and device at any time of the day.
- Employee feedback.
Reviews and feedback are essential to improve employee performance and enhance their motivation. A great employee management solution offers modern and intuitive assessment tools and techniques that take into account every available data point related to employees user behavior, their performance, motivation and productivity. The information gathered could then be used for analytics, which in turn will enable you to make the best-informed decisions based on the employee reviews and the feedback they provide.
Overall, great employee management software:
- is easy to implement and user-friendly;
- provides automatic notifications to supervisors and employees;
- offers comprehensive, visual-rich reports and insights;
- comes with an interface for employee self-monitoring;
- offers role-based access;
- connects effortlessly with other third-party tools.
Therefore, implementing employee management software that’s suitable to your specific business and people needs is crucial for your business, seeing how such solution will ensure the overall employee satisfaction at your company.
Top 10 employee management tools
While formulating and structuring our rating, we’ve relied on the following evaluation criteria:
- User Interface (UI): Is the software clean and attractive?
- Usability: Is the software easy to learn and master? Do the developers offer good tech support, user support, tutorials, and training?
- Employee engagement: Does the software include features designed to stimulate employee engagement and monitor their overall satisfaction and other moods?
- Employee productivity: Does the software have any productivity-stimulating tools?
- Employee record keeping: Is there a functional employee database for keeping track of the team? Are the employee records easily searchable? Is it possible to search with filters and keywords?
- Real-time reporting & analysis: Are the features of the software used for monitoring and reporting useful and intuitive? Does the solution offer multiple export and visualization options?
- Surveys & Feedback: Is it possible for employees to provide some sort of feedback? Are they encouraged and enabled to do it? Are work culture indicators such as mood, conflict, and satisfaction being somehow tracked or recorded?
- Value for money: How appropriate is the price of the software in terms of the features it offers and its capabilities? Is the pricing policy clear, transparent, and flexible?
- Integrations: Is it easy to connect the software with other tools? Are there any pre-built integrations? *This point is not essential for employee management software, yet it’s a big plus.
Like we’ve done with our previous ratings of various great solutions for data loss prevention and user activity monitoring, we’ve gone above and beyond in researching and diving deep into various available solutions for employee management. So let’s take a look at the outcome of our extensive research and get acquainted with our rating of solutions that’ll give you a helping hand in streamlining numerous facets of employee management.
1) Kickidler – overall best employee management software
While trying to be as unbiased as possible, we genuinely consider Kickidler to be a great workforce management solution that offers all the necessary employee management tools at a competitive price.
The software has various features that help simplify the process of managing your team. It offers pretty much everything under the sun, from time and productivity tracking to online screen monitoring and scheduling.
Kickidler actually gives you all the tools to manage the productivity of your employees, their attendance and assigned projects. In fact, the only thing missing from it is payroll administration.
As a nice added bonus, the solution provides detailed reporting on the habits of your employees and displays to both supervisors and supervisees themselves their work dynamics and patterns, task and time distribution, which essentially lets you measure the productivity of your employees and help them improve it if needed.
- Time tracking. The software automates the processes of tracking employee time, which in turn will improve internal discipline, increase employee productivity, ensure transparency of internal corporate processes and much more.
- Online screen monitoring. This feature helps supervisors immediately follow up when some sort of violation happens. Studies show that if employees receive feedback from their supervisors straight away, it will usually be taken in stride and help improve their performance.
- Analyzing and assessing employee productivity. The software’s set of analytical tools includes a report on applications, a time sheet report, a report on working hours, efficiency report, report on dynamics, and so on.
- Autokick. This set of tools enables in-depth behavior analysis. Its functionality includes automatic notifications on workplace violations, employee rating that helps employees monitor their own productivity metrics in relation to all the members of their team or even the whole company, and a self-monitoring interface that provides employees with a clear picture of their workday.
Kickidler offers a Freemium option with limited functionality. All of its features are provided in all its plans, and the cost of licenses varies depending on the chosen purchase period. 1 month per user per month costs $9.99, 1 year – $5.5 per user per month, 3 years – $3.67 per user per month. The pricing of the offline version is provided on request. Additionally, depending on the number of users that will be monitored, a discount of up to 30% may be applied.
“We’ve dipped our toes into the automated employee management pool a while back with a different solution. But it just wasn’t the right fit for the company. And that’s where Kickidler came in. We chose the software based on the great reviews it has, and let me tell you, they aren’t lying when they say it’s the best software on the market. I really enjoy and utilize all the advanced analytics that it provides on all the team members. By monitoring the performance of every specialist on my team, I can spot all the potential bottlenecks before they happen. And what’s more important, employee engagement and satisfaction have increased greatly.”
We’ve ranked Kickidler first, because it’s quite customizable solution that gets the job done. By identifying key features like employee burnout and their level of engagement, the software becomes immense help in addressing workload misbalances and improving internal work climate.
2) Connecteam – best for all-in-one remote employee management
Connecteam is quite easy to scale, customize and use. It basically offers you multiple employee monitoring features in one place, from employee scheduling, time checks, checklists and forms to employee task management and HR management.
The solution helps you simplify workforce communications and keep them on the same page. HR department can leverage many tools this software provides to keep employees motivated, compliant and engaged.
- Time tracking and geofencing. This feature provides one-touch clock in and out as well as real-time visibility with GPS. It also has payroll integrations. Supervisors gain real-time visibility into staff activity and get alerts when someone’s late clocking in for their shift.
- Daily operations and task management. It allows for easy delegation of tasks to employees and helps with task automation and task specific communication. It provides managers with complete overview of real-time task execution updates, sends team reminders and notifications.
- In-app chat. Secure chat groups or 1-on-1 chats help with keeping team members up-to-date and in sync with each other. It enables full manager control and admin moderation.
- Employee directory. It helps with easily finding the employee the supervisor’s looking for and contacting them directly from the app. It’s completely compliant with privacy regulations and has the lists of clients, vendors, suppliers, and more. Contacts and details are customizable.
Most of the features like job scheduling, unlimited checklists, forms, templates library, task management, real-time clock-in and out are included in the free version of the software that can be used for up to 50 users. More benefits come with more advanced plans, such as its Basic plan ($47/month for 50 users and $0.6/month for each additional user), Advanced plan ($95/month for 50 users and $1.8/month for each additional user) or Expert plan ($191/month for 50 users and $3.6/month for each additional user). The solution offers a 14-day free trial for each plan, which helps with testing the features and deciding whether they’ll suit your business needs. Plus, in case you decide to purchase a plan on a yearly subscription, it’ll save you 18%.
“It’s a good app for our non-profit. Our team uses this application for managing volunteers who are now able to easily add the hours they’ve contributed. The developers are also very thoughtful and have helped us work through the initial transition, and our staff have adapted to using the app with incredible ease. ConnectTeam has a functional scheduling feature, which is honestly better than some of the other apps out there. We also took advantage of the free trial and had a couple people on our team test it in the field before making the purchase.”
We’ve ranked Connecteam second, because it truly is an all-in-one employee management platform that lets you train your non-desk employees and communicate with them in an easy and customizable way. It helps with handling various employee management aspects, from scheduling and communication to time sheets and forms.
3) Zoho People – best for managing employee data
Zoho People provides a full lifecycle employee management solution to all types of businesses with. It’s a reliable and secure solution that helps make routine tasks easy and quick, maintaining balance among employees in your organization.
The software stores all the info on your employees in the cloud, so there’s no need to waste time on endless spreadsheets – you simply enter recent data and use it on any device from anywhere.
- Attendance tracking. Time and attendance system lets supervisors spend less time tracking time and days off and focus instead on employee productivity while accurately tracking working hours and providing error-free reporting.
- Performance management. It helps with getting insight on how each team is performing, every specialist’s skills and potential and the ways overall organizational performance can be improved. The solution offers flexible goal setting, continuous reviews and performance appraisals as well as employee feedback and analytics to identify performance gaps.
- Employee database & HR workflow. This feature helps to seamlessly visualize employee data and automate routine and taxing tasks with customizable workflows.
The software’s pricing plans vary in the multitude of features offered – the more advanced the plan is, the more features it offers. Each plan covers the minimum of five users. Essential HR plan costs $1.25 per user per month, Professional plan – $2 per user per month, Premium plan – $3 per user per month, Enterprise plan – $4.5 per user per month, People plus plan – $9 per user per month. While there’s no free version of the solution, it has a free 30-day trial to test out its features.
“Our HR department has loved using Zoho People. It has greatly reduced the manual labor required for onboarding a new employee. While it’s a rather expensive solution if your team is on the bigger side, all the features it offers make the product worth the money. It has a lot of HR-related resources pre-configured, offers features like time sheets and check-in/out. The user interface might use a little improvement, though.”
We’ve ranked Zoho People third, because this solution offers comprehensive HR services for organizations with such features as document management, time-off management, employee database management, payroll integration, employee self-service, etc. Once some minor bugs are fixed, it’ll become an even better choice.
4) Paychex – best for in-depth analysis
Paychex offers features that’ll streamline various processes, from HR to benefits and payroll. It helps confidently manage global employees and easily create a productive workplace, whether onsite, hybrid or remote. Whether you want to track the working hours of your employees, schedule their shifts, simplify payroll or offer benefits, the software can help you with all of that.
This solution enables employers to maintain a nice company policy and allows each employee to see the policy clearly while onboarding. What’s important, it provides all-in-one payroll solutions, compliance experts, knowledgeable support and other useful tools for businesses.
- Payroll services. The software acts as an online payroll services platform and automates payroll processing, while integrating the company’s employee data with HR and benefits for easier management. Payroll administration gets simplified with its mobile app, through which important payroll information – from upcoming check dates to amounts – can be accessed and processed from anywhere.
- Employee benefits package. Automated benefits administration technology helps with managing eligibility tracking, enrollment forms, benefits changes and much more. Its full integration means that all the relevant data is automatically shared with time and attendance and payroll systems. Plus all employees have 24/7 access to their benefit information, all in one location.
- Connecting to employees in real time. The software allows critical supervisor-supervisee communications to happen in real time. Employees can ask questions, submit requests, report incidents and so on from their desktop or mobile device.
- Automated HR efficiency. It helps automate essential document management activities all in one place. It’s possible to communicate with employees and request necessary information in a few clicks, track important dates to help ensure deadlines are met, organize documents in customizable categories and obtain electronic signatures.
Paychex has a high monthly base cost and a per-user cost, making it one of the most expensive employee management solutions on our list. Its solutions are based on the size of the business. It offers three plans – its Essentials plan for businesses with 1-9 employees that costs $39 per month and additional $5 per employee, its Select and Pro plans. No publicly accessible pricing options are available for the last two subscription plans, and sales are to be contacted for a quote.
“I’ve been really enjoying using Paychex. Besides all the payroll benefits and tax compliance it offers, it’s been terrific having a proper HR platform. I’m now able to take applicants all the way through onboarding to active employment positions in just a few steps. At times the comprehensiveness of the solution can make it a bit overwhelming and it might be a struggle to find some less used features I’ve noticed before, but the customer support makes it a breeze as I can actually talk to a responsive and helpful human being.”
We’ve ranked Paychex fourth, because it’s rather easy to use and it offers a great variety of helpful features. And while the software is rather expensive, considering all the employee monitoring tools it offers, it very well might be worth the money. Plus in this case, Paychex’s tech support really does make the product, seeing how helpful customer service agents are.
5) Hubstaff – best for improving productivity
Hubstaff has a bunch of tools and features that help supervisors simplify their workforce management. The software offers lots of options to manage employees’ productivity, attendance, projects and payment.
This is a nice tool to use when the need arises to check team performance, figure out the hours when your employees are most productive, check what apps they use the most, see their time of inactivity and make appropriate adjustments.
- Employee time tracking & reporting. Its functionality helps employers track every minute their employees spend on tasks and projects. It also generates timesheets automatically based on time entries, which makes it easy to see a detailed breakdown of employees’ hours spent on work by date, client or project. As a bonus, employees can add time entries manually to ensure everything is tracked correctly. Detailed time reports help understand work dynamics in your company and avoid any mishaps.
- Project time tracking. The feature enables tracking time directly in regards to Agile projects. It tracks and shows the hours spent on each specific sprint.
- Payroll tracking. The solution provides precise timesheets for accurate payroll management, automates employee payment process and doesn’t add any fees to your payments.
- Job management. It helps with creating and scheduling new work orders for each specific client, scheduling your team to the right jobs so that the downtime can be reduced. What’s more, with an automatic functionality to clock in and out on work requests, your team members can manage their time precisely from their own device through the mobile app.
Hubstaff offers a free version that monitors one user. The solution has a few versatile pricing plans. For businesses with simple needs, its Starter plan offers time and limited productivity tracking and costs $7 per user per month with a minimum of two users. For businesses that want more from their employee management software, Hubstaff’s higher-tier Pro plan offers invoicing, integrations, scheduling, project cost management and costs $10 per user per month with a minimum of two users. The software offers a 14-day free trial and a 60-day money back guarantee. It also provides a customizable Enterprise plan with VIP support, concierge set up and HIPAA compliance. Price for this option is available upon request.
“Hubstaff is a fine, straightforward solution. As a freelancer who simply needs to track the amount of time I spend on each project, that’s pretty much everything I needed from my management solution. As far as I'm concerned, my experience with the app has been good. It could use a bit of UX/UI enhancement, because at times the software looks and feels a bit outdated and not that appealing to users.”
We’ve ranked Hubstaff fifth, because while it offers many project and time tracking tools as well as a few of third-party integrations, some users might find this solution distracting and even fostering an unhealthy urgency mindset, seeing how it can be confusing to redistribute time between projects if you forget to switch it.
6) Gusto – best for payroll
Gusto is a popular cloud-based staff management software payroll solution that offers built-in benefits administration for small to medium-sized businesses. It also attracts with its surprisingly user-friendly interface and offers automation for many activities in the payroll process that can make payroll virtually painless for businesses.
At the same time, the solution offers more than payroll. It can also help with benefits administration and even employee onboarding with its interface that lets new employees enter all their information such as employee bank details directly into the system.
- Payroll and benefits management. The solution helps run payroll in minutes. It automatically files payroll taxes and has benefits and time tracking built-ins. All its features – health insurance, 401(k), workers’ comp, time tracking, PTO and more – work together seamlessly on one platform.
- Time tracking. Automated tools make it easy to manage the team’s hours, time off, holidays, workforce costs and more. A nice feature is the verification of hours with geolocation – specific office sites and locations for your employees to clock in and out can be designated.
- Hiring and onboarding. The software helps employers find great employees and make them feel welcome and supported from the start. Many applicant tracking solutions can be synced with the software. It also provides custom onboarding checklists for new hires.
- HR experts. The Concierge plan offers personal support from certified HR experts and essential HR tools, which might become handy in avoiding expensive compliance mistakes.
Gusto offers several plans – Core ($39 per month and additional $6 per user per month), Complete ($39 per month and additional $12 per user per month), Concierge ($149 per month and additional $12 per user per month), and Select (price is available upon request). There’s also an option for contractor-only businesses that haven’t hired W-2 employees yet ($6 per user per month). And it also offers an interactive demo version.
“Gusto is the best payroll software I’ve seen in a while. Essentially, it does exactly as it says and takes care of all tax liabilities on time, with no concern of being wrong or late. A nice addition is that it congratulates employees on overtime hours, which, in my opinion, is a sweet touch. ”
We’ve ranked Gusto sixth, because, yes, it’s a versatile payroll management software and yes, it does have a few nice additional employee monitoring features. However, these features are not as exhaustive as those offered by some other solutions available on the market. Plus, for the app to function well, all the team members need to be consistent with it.
7) BambooHR – best for human resource management
BambooHR is aimed at improving the hiring process in all teams by removing the complexities associated with recruitment with automated and simplified workflows.
It’s a one-stop HR shop that easily minimizes your company’s HR time spent each week on routine tasks with the features it contains and gives nice feedback through the reporting the system offers.
A single database helps employees improve their workflow by providing powerful analytics of employee performance, assisting with bringing on new staff members from hiring to onboarding, calculating if they’re being paid fairly and improving the overall company culture.
- Payroll and benefits management. It allows for keeping employee records, managing workflows and approvals, receiving various analytics.
- Hiring and onboarding. Applicant tracking system and its recruiting tools help you find and hire new talent. Other features include new hire onboarding, offboarding and electronic signature (e-signature) collection.
- Time & attendance tracking. It enables employees to punch in and out right on its home screen or on their phones, to edit their hours and to track the amount of time they’ve spent on certain projects or tasks. Managers approve timesheets with the click of a button, and the software keeps everyone in the loop with its automatic reminders.
BambooHR offers two plans to best suit the needs of your business. Its basic Essentials plan provides HR management and employee self-service features. Its Advantage plan additionally has hiring & onboarding features, a number of integrations and more advanced components, such as custom email alerts and company branding. The final pricing of the software is available upon request and depends on the size of your organization as well as whether you want any add-ons. There’s a free 7-day trial available.
“When I first did a trial run of BambooHR, I immediately noticed how customizable everything was. Yet there’s this feeling I got that the software seems to focus more on its flashy design rather than its actual content. Oh, and its customer service could be a pain sometimes.”
We’ve ranked BambooHR seventh, because even though most of the software’s framework is in place, each area of monitoring needs improvement, both in the functionality for administration and the ease of use for employees. The idea of onboarding a new employee electronically sounds great, yet it should be noted that there’ve been almost no updates to the UX/UI and the platform’s visuals, which might make the solution a bit hard to navigate, unintuitive and overall tiring.
8) Teramind – best for startups and small businesses
Teramind acts as an HR talent management service. Its user-centric approach is the focal point, and its advanced performance management tool is also worth managing. It offers various alerts and automations as well as analytics and reporting.
The software provides employee computer monitoring to track the behavior of employees and remote users. It can identify suspicious activity, detect possible threats, optimize productivity and ensure regulatory compliance.
- Workforce productivity optimization. Its data-centric approach helps businesses achieve greater ROI, higher output and better employee performance. The software enables creation and monitoring of custom KPIs for individual users or entire teams, provides data-driven productivity & performance insights and streamlines workflows by identifying process gaps.
- Compliance management. Compliance management solutions that account for the biggest variable in compliance – the human element – are important for businesses of any size. This software ensures compliance in user behavior-based activities across multiple regulatory bodies including GDPR, HIPAA, PCI DSS and more. Supervisors are able to monitor activities in real time to ensure compliance and policy enforcement.
- User & entity behavior analytics. Its UEBA feature exposes suspicious irregularities on any endpoint with an advanced analytical approach based on AI data analysis validated by machine learning. The solution provides business intelligence reports, automated alerts, optical character recognition, etc.
Teramind offers a few pricing plans with a minimum of five users. When billed annually, the pricing will be a bit more attractive. Its Starter plan costs $10 per user per month, when billed annually; its UAM plan – $21 per user per month, when billed annually; its DLP plan – $25 per user per month, when billed annually; the Enterprise plan has the biggest variety of features and its price is available upon request. Beside these cloud-based plans, the solution also offers the same options for on-premise installation. All cloud plans offer free 7-day trials; the on-premise offering is available for a free 14-day trial.
“Our experience with Teramind has been just fine so far. It does the things it’s been implemented for, accurately tracking working hours of our team. Since it provides both an app and a web-based version, we can use it wherever we go. As with any business, we do have a number of problematic users. And unfortunately, even with Teramind’s web and content filters, they tend to find a way to trick the software. Still, I’ve got to admit that we’ve noticed overall improvement in employee performance.”
We’ve ranked Teramind eighth, because it does accurately track employee working time as long as they stay active. However, some of its robust monitoring features can seem daunting. And the pricing is definitely geared more toward smaller teams.
9) Time Doctor – best for productivity monitoring
Time Doctor lets you track working hours of your employees and increase their productivity. It helps employers streamline the processes of tracking attendance, schedule adherence and workday activity. Real-time reports and powerful dashboards enable monitoring of start and end times, hours worked, late or absent employees and time spent on projects, clients and tasks.
The software can be synced up with the tools already used by businesses such as JIRA, Asana, Trello, Todoist, Slack, Google Apps and more.
- Time tracking. The solution simplifies time tracking and employee monitoring, helping supervisors easily track time their office and remote employees as well as outsourced teams spend on projects. It can be used on computers, tablets and mobiles and comes with the option to manually edit tracked time.
- Project management. Its features include comprising summaries of time spent on each client, task and project, viewing web, app and chat histories, seeing which tasks take up the most time and eliminating time-wasters, maintaining focus with distraction alerts and idle computer reminders.
- Online timesheets & payroll. Verified timesheets and customizable payroll options make it easier to ensure your employees get paid justly and timely. Payroll can be customized with optional pay periods and currencies.
- Productivity measurement & summary reports. It helps check employee attendance and engagement as well as company workflow, see employee web and app use summaries as well as website history reports, set optional screenshots to see what your employees are working on in real time. Signs of burnout and work-life balance issues can be instantly spotted, so that employees can be more productive, engaged and happier. The software’s real-time dashboards give insights into the employees who have the most potential work-life balance issues by analyzing when they work too many hours, work late hours or engage in work activities on the weekends.
Time Doctor has three pricing options – its Basic (1 group or department, 1 month of data storage; $7 per user per month, when billed monthly), Standard (up to 3 groups or departments, 6 months of data storage; $10 per user per month, when billed monthly) and Premium (unlimited groups and data storage; $20 per user per month, when billed monthly) plans. When paying annually, you get 2 months for free. There’s no free version available, but a 14-day free trial is available.
“Time Doctor is a nice solution for tracking productivity and time as well as project management. I actually enjoyed its screen-capturing feature that was especially useful when all the specialists on my team were remote. Now, there are some bugs. For example, sometimes the software automatically logs out of the networks or it may cause minor errors if permissions aren’t set properly. They might also need to fix the redundant notifications – for example, it keeps checking up to see if you’re still working, which could be annoying for, let’s say, video editors rendering a video for 5 hours.”
We’ve ranked Time Doctor ninth, because it does offer a nice variety of useful features, but this functionality could definitely be improved to be more intuitive. The desktop app isn’t always working properly, and sometimes time syncing can be incorrect when switching between multiple computers.
10) 15five – best for employee engagement
15five is a human-centered performance management platform that stimulates both employee engagement and manager efficiency. From engagement surveys and 1-on-1 tools to performance reviews and OKRs, this solution combines software, education and community to develop successful managers and unlock peak employee performance.
The software’s been designed to build an engaging work culture. Its plethora of mood and wellbeing tests makes it stand out as an HR tool with a purpose.
- Self-managed goal setting. Employees can enlist their own goals and track performance as they achieve them, which essentially helps create a positive autonomous environment in the office.
- Multiple feedback variations. Managers can reach out to their subordinates for feedback sessions, 1-on-1 sessions, or they can simply passively monitor engagement with weekly check-ins.
- Objective and key results management. The solution offers OKR management functionality that enables employees to tag their objectives as “on-track” or “behind” so that managers can take actions wherever necessary. OKR-based road mapping keeps employees on track with organizational goals. Managers can generate reports on employee performance and compare engagement levels so that productivity issues can be addressed positively.
15five has a multi-dimensional approach to its pricing policy. It offers several pricing plans, namely Engage ($4 per user per month, billed annually), Perform ($8 per user per month, billed annually), Focus (also $8 per user per month, billed annually) and Total platform ($14 per user per month, billed annually). It also includes two Transform platforms specifically designed for managers – Online ($99 per manager per month, billed annually) and Live ($300 per manager per month, billed annually). While there’s no free version, the developers offer a 14-day free trial and a demo version of the solution.
“From an employer’s standpoint, 15five looks like an amazing tool. It’s helping me make managing the team a lot easier and more efficient. I also enjoy how it helps keep everyone engaged and on the same page. At the same time, some of its features aren’t as intuitive as I’d prefer, for example, I’ve struggled with displaying the correct percentage of my completed tasks.”
We’ve ranked 15five last, but keep in mind that it’s simply a matter of preference. It should be noted that its UX is colorful, easy to use, and many of its functions are gamified, which makes it great for user adoption. This software could, however, use stronger features and reporting analytics.
|Name / website
||Reasons To Buy
||Reasons To Avoid
|+ Cost-effective comprehensive solution with a multitude of employee analytics & reports
+ Real-time monitoring
+ Employee self-monitoring interface
+ Intuitive user interface that offers great customization
+ Clear pricing policies and discount system
+ Easy-to-comprehend installation process (stealth mode option)
+ Responsive tech support team
|– No cloud service at the moment (in development)
||The software offers a single plan with all of its features. The price of its licenses varies depending on the time period you choose:
1 month – $9.99 (user/month);
1 year – $5.5 (user/month);
3 years – $3.67 (user/month);
offline version – price upon request
* Offers a fermium version with limited functionality.
** Discount of up to 30% is available depending on the number of users that will be monitored
|+ Easy-to-use solution (user-end is designed for mobile use)
+ Nice free version
+ Time-saving features take advantage of the tools the business already has and make an impact on its daily operations
|– Free plan is limited to 50 users
– No in-person training
|Free plan – monitoring up to 50 users. Its main features include real-time clock in & out, job scheduling, checklists & forms with templates library, and task management & delegation
Basic plan – monitoring up to 50 users (with $0.6 per month for each additional user) minimum of five users) – $47 per month;
Advanced plan – monitoring up to 50 users (with $1.8 per month for each additional user) minimum of five users) – $95 per month;
Expert plan – monitoring up to 50 users (with $3.6 per month for each additional user) minimum of five users) – $191 per month. Additional features include Multi-branch & location management, live GPS tracking (breadcrumbs), conflicts & custom limitations, and new device login alert.
* Offers a 14-day free trial for each plan.
** When purchasing a plan on a yearly subscription, monthly cost is reduced so that users can save 18%.
|+ Transparent pricing policies
+ Offers nice HR workflow optimization
|– Has room for UI/UX development
– Some minor glitches in web-version
|Essential HR plan – offers employee onboarding & database management, employee self-service, time off management, module-based reports, workflow management, etc. – $1.25 (user/month);
Professional plan – additionally offers biometric integration, shift scheduling & rotation, time tracking, billing & invoicing integration, etc. – $2 (user/month);
Premium plan – additionally offers performance appraisals, KRA and goals tracking, advanced HR analytics, etc. – $3 (user/month);
Enterprise plan – additionally offers self and blended learning, course management & feedback, discussion forum, etc. – $4.5 (user/month);
People plus plan – additionally offers integrations with other Zoho products – $9 (user/month)
* Each plan presupposes the minimum of 5 users.
** No free version is available. However, a 30-day free trial is available.
|+ Scalable plans for growing businesses
+ Expansive HR library and forms with each plan
+ Great mobile app for both employers and employees
+ Responsive customer service
|– High base costs plus additional per-user cost
– Doesn’t provide pricing information for higher-tier plans
– Limited reporting and analytics
|Essentials plan – includes payroll and tax filing for businesses with 1-9 employees – $39/month + additional $5 per employee;
Select plan – includes enhanced payroll and HR support for businesses of every size;
Pro plan – includes full-service payroll and HR, hiring, and onboarding services.
* Seeing how both Select and Pro plans are customized based on unique needs of each company, pricing for them is available upon request.
** There’s no free version.
|+ Stores data locally without Internet connection that will later be uploaded to the server once the connection is established
+ Offers integrations with 30+ platforms
+ Has productivity tracking features for remote employees
|– Provides only basic reporting with no advanced tracking
– No benefits administration
|Desk Free plan – monitoring only one user; its main features include time tracking, timesheets and limited screenshots, reports & payments;
Desk Starter plan – monitoring an unlimited number of users (with a minimum of two users); its additional useful features include unlimited screenshots, reports and 1 integration – $7 (user/month);
Desk Pro plan – monitoring an unlimited number of users (with a minimum of two users); its additional features include limited public API, invoices, payroll, client & project budget, app & URL tracking – $10 (user/month);
Enterprise plan – a customized employee management option with VIP support, concierge set up, higher limits on public API, HIPAA compliance. Price is available upon request.
* 14-day free trial is available. ** There’s a 60-day money back guarantee.
||+ Offers comprehensive set of tools for payroll & benefits management
+ Quick and easy to set up
+ Greatly-suited for small businesses
|– Can be expensive for larger teams
– No mobile or desktop versions
– Dealing with customer support might feel frustrating
|Core plan – offers full-service payroll, employee profiles & self-service, employee health & financial benefits, integrations for accounting & time tracking – $39/month + additional $6 user/month;
Complete plan – additionally offers hiring & onboarding tools, project tracking, team management, performance review – $39/ month + additional $12 user/month;
Concierge plan – additionally offers HR resource center, compliance alerts – $149/month + additional $12 user/month;
Select plan – additionally offers full-service payroll mitigation, health insurance broker integration, direct access to a dedicated customer success manager – price is available upon request.
* No free version is available.
** An interactive demo version is available.
*** An option for contractor-only businesses that haven’t hired W-2 employees yet is available – $6 user/month.
|+ Customizable dashboard & reports
+ Global settings for multi-national businesses
|– Integrations with other platforms can be improved
– No clear pricing policy
– Doesn’t offer an on-premise version
|Essentials plan – HR management, employee self-service features;
Advantage plan – additional hiring & onboarding features, a number of integrations and more advanced components, such as custom email alerts and company branding.
* Pricing of each plan is available upon request.
** No free version is available. However, there’s a 7-day free trial.
* limited functionality
|+ Highly scalable
+ Focused on user activity profiling to spot changes in behavior
+ Good value for money
|– Could be improved by fixing minor bugs
– No time per project reporting
– Overcomplicated advanced features
|Starter plan – minimum 5 users; includes screen recording, live view, and website & app tracking – $10 (user/month), billed annually;
UAM plan – minimum 5 users; additionally includes email tracking, file transfer tracking, pre-packaged productivity rules, OCR engine – $21 (user/month), billed annually;
DLP plan – minimum 5 users; additionally includes content-based data exfiltration rules and data loss prevention features – $25 (user/month), billed annually;
Enterprise plan – minimum 5 users; additionally includes enhanced security with enterprise key management, multi-region large-scale deployments, premium support, professional services & customizations – price upon request.
* Monthly payments are slightly more expensive.
** Same options are offered for on-premise installation.
*** All cloud plans offer free 7-day trials; the on-premise offering is available for a free 14-day trial.
**** Scaled, per-user pricing, with volume discounts may be offered for the cloud-hosted solution.
|+ Helps with non-intrusive, effective employee management
+ Easy-to-use dashboard configuration
+ Daily overview emails
|– Needs better synchronization between PC and mobile app
– Tech support may be a little hard to reach sometimes
|Basic plan – 1 group/department, 1 month of data storage; includes time & activity tracking, unlimited screenshot capturing – $7 (user/month);
Standard plan – up to 3 groups/departments, 6 months of data storage; additional features include app & website tracking, payroll, daily email notifications, various integrations – $10 (user/month);
Premium plan – unlimited groups and data storage; additional features include client login access, VIP support, concierge account setup, video screen captures and Internet connectivity reporting – $20 (user/month).
* No free version is available. However, there’s a 14-day free trial.
** When paying annually, you get 2 months for free.
|+ Quite easy to use
+ Enables mobile access
+ Clear pricing policies
|– Not as feature-rich as some of the above-mentioned solutions
– Reporting is a bit under-developed
|Engage plan – offers employee engagement insights and outcomes – $4 (user/month), billed annually;
Perform plan – performance management – $8 (user/month), billed annually;
Focus plan – OKR management, people development – $8 (user/month), billed annually;
Total platform plan – a full suite that offers everything mentioned in the previous plans as well as DPAs and security questionnaires – $14 (user/month), billed annually.
It also includes two Transform platforms specifically designed for managers:
Transform Online – offers Manager Accelerator delivered via on-demand courses, live monthly Manager Mastermind sessions6 tutorials and resources for internal trainers – $99 (manager/month), billed annually;
Transform Live – additionally offers private group coaching sessions with a performance coach and tailored content to meet your organizational needs and values – $300 (manager/month), billed annually.
* No free version is available. However, there’s a 14-day free trial and a demo version.
As you could’ve gathered by now, employee management is all about supporting employees in achieving the highest results and, in turn, achieving the company’s goals. Solid employee management software can give you back countless hours of time and energy and even save you a fair bit of money if you choose it wisely and use it properly.
Having your needs and demands properly defined, you should have an easier time navigating the myriad of solutions to choose the one for your business. By choosing the solution that’s right for you (like the options we presented above), it becomes easier to get things done, predict most of the risks associated with your business and even improve overall team efficiency.