Take a moment and think back to when you had a great manager 🤔
Were they great communicators, good problem solvers, and skilled decision-makers? Most likely yes. Great managers also possess strong leadership qualities, keep up with industry trends, and embrace new advancements to stay ahead of the game.
But let’s be real - managers can’t do everything by themselves! In many cases, they need to delegate tasks or at least find the right management tools to help them get things done efficiently and effectively.
If you’re here because you’re a manager who needs a helping hand, then we’ve got you covered.
Here’s a list of the most important tools you need to be a great manager. We’ve divided them by Communication, Project Management, Time Management, Performance Management, and Training & Development.
Effective communication is essential to the success of any workplace, and there are tons of tools out there that really help facilitate this.
With the right communication tools, employees can easily collaborate, share information and ideas, and coordinate tasks, regardless of their physical location.
Communication tools for client emailing, instant messaging, and video conferencing enable employees to stay connected and informed, which can lead to improved productivity, better decision-making, and stronger relationships among team members.
Also, everyone is on the same page and working toward the same goals when using communication tools, something that is critical for achieving organizational success.
Here are some essential communication tools:
- Emailing clients & teammates (e.g., Gmail, Outlook)
- Instant messaging apps (e.g., Slack)
- Video conferencing tools (e.g., Zoom, Google Meet)
- Spell checking and content idea creating (e.g., Grammarly, Ludwig, ChatGPT).
Project Management Tools
Managing projects is not easy. But using project management tools could certainly lighten the load. How? By helping teams stay organized, track progress, and collaborate more effectively.
With project management tools, team members can easily assign tasks, set deadlines, and monitor progress in real-time. Managers could then quickly identify potential issues early on and make tweaks to keep projects on track.
Additionally, project management tools enable teams to communicate and collaborate more efficiently, which can improve productivity and minimize the risk of miscommunication or misunderstandings.
There’s also accountability - by using project management tools, teams can deliver better results while being answerable for whatever outcome. If you know who’s responsible for a specific part of a project, then you know who to go to if things go astray.
Here are some essential project management tools:
- Agile project management software (e.g., Jira, Trello)
- Gantt chart tools (e.g., Asana, Monday.com)
- Kanban boards (e.g., Planview, KanbanFlow)
Time Management Tools
Effective and efficient use of time literally makes or breaks companies, and time management tools could help get you closer to the ‘making it’ part.
With time management tools, employees can meet deadlines and achieve organizational goals, as well as make it easier to manage workloads.
By providing employees with the tools they need to manage their time effectively, organizations can improve productivity, minimize wasted time, and ensure that employees are working on the most important tasks at any given time.
Here are some essential time management tools:
- Calendar apps (e.g., Google Calendar, Apple Calendar)
- To-do list apps (e.g., Todoist, Microsoft To Do)
- Time tracking apps (e.g., Toggl, RescueTime, Harvest)
Performance Management Tools
Performance in the workplace refers to how well an employee is meeting or exceeding the expectations and standards set for their role within an organization.
Many high performers I’ve known in the past make use of performance management tools because - no surprise here! - they want to perform even better!
Such tools ensure that employees are meeting the expectations and requirements of their roles, and providing them with the support and feedback they need to succeed.
For managers, these tools can help set clear goals and expectations for their direct reports, track their progress over time, and provide regular feedback and coaching.
By providing employees with ongoing feedback and support, performance management tools can improve job satisfaction, employee engagement, and ultimately, the success of the organization.
Additionally, performance management tools can help managers identify high-performing employees and recognize their contributions, which can help to build a company culture of excellence and improve retention rates.
Here are some essential performance management tools:
- Performance review software (e.g., Reflektive, Small Improvements)
- 360 feedback tools (e.g., Qualtrics, SurveyMonkey, hay)
- OKR (Objectives and Key Results) software (e.g., Quantive, 15Five)
Training and Development Tools
As a manager, you need to make sure your direct reports are happy and empowered. One way to do this is by offering training and development. There are many platforms and tools on the market that help your direct reports gain the knowledge, skills, and abilities they need to perform their jobs effectively.
These tools can include on-the-job training, workshops, webinars, e-learning courses, and other resources that are designed to help employees develop new skills and knowledge.
Investing in training and development can improve job satisfaction, employee engagement, and retention rates, as well as help employees feel more valued and invested in the organization. By investing in employee training and development, organizations can position themselves for long-term success and growth.
Here are some essential training and development tools:
- Learning management systems (e.g., Moodle, Blackboard)
- Skill development platforms (e.g., Udemy, Coursera)
- Knowledge sharing tools (e.g., Confluence, Notion)
Things have really changed these last few years. People are working more and even playing catch up to make up for lost profits during lockdown.
Whether you’re working remotely, in-office, or a combination of both, the above apps and software programs will definitely help you get a lot done in less time.
But remember, just as we have choice overload in things like selecting a restaurant or deciding on what to watch on Netflix, we’re also sometimes undecided about what tools we could use to help us be better at our jobs.
Though you might want to make use of all those trial options, be sure keep the right tools at the end of the day 👻