Hiring, firing, delegating, supervising – these are challenges faced by every business owner as a business expands. People are a company’s most important asset. But managing and motivating people are not easy. The good news is that there are a few great cloud-based technologies that are helping to make this less difficult. I’ve seen a few of these in action at our clients’ businesses and have recommendations. Ever heard of these?

BambooHR

For human resources management, try BambooHR. It’s a low-cost, full-featured platform that provides everything a controller or human resources manager would need to hire, manage, and terminate employees, no matter how small or large your organization. BambooHR pulls everything together—such as job and salary history, onboarding, vacation and sick day management, evaluations, benefits, training, termination processes, and other documentation—into one centralized location.

AnyPerk

To “perk” your employees, try AnyPerk. This service has partnered with hundreds of retailers (including Amazon, Starbucks and other big brands) as well as other businesses, both nationally and in your local area, to provide a goodie bag of discounts – from gym memberships to child care – to your new and current employees. You just pay a flat monthly fee per employee and your people can choose the perks they want and you can also “award” those employees who meet goals.

Workplace Aware

To monitor safety issues, have your employees download Workplace Aware. Once installed, your people can send instant communications to you and each other about possible safety issues or other problems at your facility. The app allows for real-time safety observations and near misses reporting, alerting the right people to facilities and operations issues and providing anonymous reporting options. Companies using the application say that it helps reduce workers’ compensation costs and helps them better track and prevent issues before they occur.

Checkr

For quality background checks, use Checkr. This service makes it easier for your applicants to submit information wherever they are, using their preferred device. The service matches identities against 20 identifiers, captures and validates ID documentation with “fewer than 0.1% of reports disputed” according to its website.

Asana

To keep your people productive and collaborative, get Asana. It’s a popular project management application that can be used for both internal and external jobs. With Asana, you can easily create tasks for yourself or assign one to a teammate and then organize your tasks into shared projects for your initiatives, meetings, and programs. You can assign due dates, get alerts, upload attachments, have conversations, share information on a ‘team page’ and even “like” comments. I have many clients who use Asana and believe that the application has significantly increased productivity.

WhenIWork

Finally, WhenIWork is an awesome cloud-based application for managing schedules. If your business relies on full- and part-time staffers doing various shifts at multiple locations, you’re going to love the ease with which they can check open times, post their availability and schedule themselves for open hours. The application comes with great reporting features and will alert you if there are any potential gaps or other problems. The app will do more than just save you time on scheduling. It will also help you improve communication, eliminate excuses, boost accountability among your staff and even track time and attendance.

Join writer and small business owner Gene Marks each Wednesday on the Small Biz Ahead podcast. You can also submit a question for Gene to answer on the podcast.

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