Sometimes, being a manager is a thankless job. Your bosses lean on you to make sure the company runs properly, but your subordinates despise you for enforcing what your bosses want. Managers often find themselves in the middle of a tug-of-war between higher-ups and employees. If you are a manager, you might have been caught in this situation at least once.
But being a manager should not be this difficult, especially now that we are in the age of advanced technology. Many tools can help make managerial work more comfortable and more fluid when it comes to managing subordinates, converting performance reports from PDF to DOC, and keeping track of schedules and tasks. Below are seven of these tools that can make managerial work more bearable.
One of the many tasks of managers is to oversee their team’s tasks. They make sure that everyday tasks are accomplished and submitted on time. While managers with small teams can do this without the help of tools, many managers with numerous team members have a hard time keeping up with this obligation.
Project management tools like Asana help make this task easier. They help managers with big teams see where the team’s progress is and can help them forecast if deadlines will be met on time. With this tool, managers do not need to pressure the team into meeting deadlines, reducing the team’s dislike for their stickler managers.
2. Microsoft Excel
Managers not only manage tasks, but they also manage the team’s productivity and proficiency in their tasks. For many managers, this is difficult to track because some tasks are immeasurable by numbers or require some statistical knowledge to create an evidence-based report for the upper management.
That is where Microsoft Excel comes most handy. Microsoft Excel can help managers collect large amounts of data and turn it into a clean, concise report for upper management. This tool can help make statistical analyses, clean up and organize data, and turn qualitative data into numbers. Excel also helps managers forecast how much workload they can add to their team and see if they can still meet deadlines. Knowledge of how to use Excel is something many managers should invest in if they wish to be more efficient in their role.
3. Google Drive
For any business, having a well-organized file system is important. Files and documents are the lifeblood of businesses, both product-oriented and service-oriented. Because of this, managers are also required to ensure that documents are handled properly by their team members and are kept in a secure location that is easy to access when needed.
That is what Google drive offers to businesses. With google drive, managers can easily manage files used by their team and have access to these files even if they are not physically present. This is especially helpful for a manager that has team members across the globe which is a common trend now thanks to the advances in technology.
4. Focus Keeper
Even the best manager cannot monitor their team’s productivity without the help of technology. Team productivity is one of the most difficult metrics to monitor for a manager. Without the proper tools, managers will have to rely on what they see to evaluate a team member’s productivity and output.
But with tools like focus keeper, managers can track and monitor the productivity of their team members and offer guidance to members that are lagging from the rest of the team. When managers can monitor the team’s productivity properly, it is easier to get work done and improve the output of the team with accuracy and precision.
5. Microsoft Teams
Communication is key to a successful team. When members of a team can communicate, they can easily get work done without the need for a major rework. Teams that communicate often are also known to have a stronger bond and have better productivity.
Because of the importance of team communication, managers with teams in different parts of the globe use apps like Microsoft Word for better and more efficient communication. Microsoft teams make communication easier thanks to its numerous features that connect team members.
Managers are known to take down lots of notes. Whether it is a checklist of tasks given to them by their bosses or notes about their team’s progress in a project, managers take note of what seems to be the most unimportant things. But to managers, having these notes are important for them to do their jobs properly.
And when it comes to note-taking, Evernote is one of the best tools to use. Evernote is a tool that helps keep notes accessible from anywhere. So even when you are out of your workstation and in a meeting, you can keep your notes handy.
7. Time Doctor
Lastly, managers who manage remote teams should consider using Time Doctor to help them manage their team members. Since cross-cultural teams can be challenging to manage, this tool can help make managing people easy. A word of caution, though – this can be a bit invasive and can make team members anxious.
When using tools like time doctor, managers should come up with a framework on how much to use these kinds of apps. The need to be able to draw boundaries and ensure a healthy balance between managing performance and respecting their member’s privacy and ability to work. After all, micromanaging your team can be draining for your team and you as well.
When it comes to managing people and projects, doing it alone is a very difficult and even intimidating task. This is especially true for companies that have cross-cultural and globally diverse team members. To efficiently manage the team and strategize how to improve the team’s overall performance, it is good for managers to have handy tools to help them evaluate and monitor their team members. When a team performs at the peak of their performance, it helps boost team morale and gain recognition from the company.