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6 Min. Read

Top 6 Best Employee Management Software for Small Businesses

Top 6 Best Employee Management Software for Small Businesses

Take the confusion out of HR with these easy-to-use employee management apps! 

We talk about client management all the time. CRMs or Client Relationship Management software is a business owner’s best friend. But what about the internal stuff?

The grizzly HR we need to deal with? Payroll, benefits packages, time-tracking, training and project management. There’s an app for all of them. 

Today we’re breaking down the best of the best human resource management systems. The perfect one for you will depend on your business processes.

Here’s What We’ll Cover:

1. FreshBooks - Best for Time Tracking

2. Gusto - Best for Payroll Management

3. Connecteam - Best for Communicating Between Teams

4. Zenefits - Best for Hiring

5. 15Five - Best for Employee Performance Management

6. HubStaff - Best for Productivity

Key Takeaways

1. FreshBooks - Best for Time Tracking

Price: Free with all main plans which start at $6 per month 

Integrates with: Gusto

We have to give ourselves a little shout-out. FreshBooks is not an HR solution. But as intuitive accounting software, we are very proud of our time-tracking features. We provide unlimited time-tracking with all of our monthly plans. 

Time-tracking between teams allows you to see your employee’s performance. You can also easily invoice clients for the work your entire team has done on their specific project.

A FreshBooks subscription gives you access to all of our powerful accounting tools. We also have a partnership with Gusto to bring you the best of both worlds!

Pros:

  • Efficient time-tracking from anywhere
  • The entire team can track their hours easily
  • Automated time-tracking and payroll reports
  • Integration with Gusto for more complete accounting and employee management software

Cons:

  • None that we can see!

2. Gusto - Best for Payroll Management

Price: from $39 per month

Integrates with: FreshBooks, Quickbooks, Xero, Shopify, Hubstaff, and many more.

Gusto is one of the top employee management systems for small businesses. Formerly known as ZenPayroll, Gusto now has more skills than just payroll reports. It is certified by HR experts to be a more complete hiring solution. You can handle employee onboarding, wages, time-tracking and benefits in one fell swoop. You can even manage 401k plans with Gusto and pay wages directly into employee bank accounts. 

Because of its rapid growth in the market, Gusto connects to almost every work app you can think of (including FreshBooks!).

Best of all, Gusto isn’t too expensive. Aimed at small businesses, the price is set to be reasonable for the long term. Hundreds of businesses have signed up to Gusto and sing its praises. It’s a wonderful all-encompassing solution. 

But above all, we love Gusto because of its painless payroll experience.

Pros:

  • Cloud-based payroll solution
  • Powerful integrations with multiple employment software
  • Allows you to provide benefits like health insurance easily
  • Reasonable monthly cost
  • Reliable automation for employee earnings

Cons:

  • None that we can see!

3. Connecteam - Best for Communicating Between Teams

Price: from $47 per month

Integrates with: Quickbooks. Next Bee.

I guess no business operates in offices the way they used to. Connecteam is powerful employment software for mobile workforces. Which, let’s be honest, is most of us nowadays! 

You can streamline your processes more easily with this well-built interface. 

Features include onboarding, training, chat groups, time tracking tools and employee engagement tools. 

Employee engagement includes surveys, newsletters and virtual suggestion boxes to keep your employees in the know. 

Pros:

  • Good looking mobile app
  • Real-time communication with team members
  • GPS powered time tracking so employees can clock in from wherever they are
  • Processing expense reports on the go
  • Free for life plan is available for very basic features

Cons:

  • You may not prefer to have employee management on a mobile app
  • Doesn’t have many external app integrations 

4. Zenefits - Best for Hiring

Price: from $10 per month

Integrates with: Slack, Asana, Xero, Betterment

Zenefits is an intuitive platform that helps you manage all aspects of your HR. Where it particularly shines is with hiring and onboarding. 

Zenefits was originally built around (you guessed it) benefits. So they expertly manage your employee benefits packages. The enrollment process into your company’s healthcare plan is simple. You can onboard your employees in no time at all. 

We can completely understand why Zenefits has become so popular for small business teams.

Pros:

  • Provides robust employee data storage
  • Very reasonable pricing for small teams
  • A large number of third-party app integrations
  • Powerful benefits and HR tools
  • Easy-to-use platform

Cons:

  • Doesn’t integrate with FreshBooks (yet)!

5. 15Five - Best for Employee Performance Management

Price: from $4 per month

Integrates with: Slack, Workday, Microsoft Teams and more

15Five is a continuous performance management software. This means that it cleverly tracks your employee performance over time. 

With a complete suite of products, you can keep your employees engaged with your business. It's simple to request employee feedback to improve job satisfaction. 15Five is all built around nurturing company culture and incentivizing productivity. 

The platform is inexpensive and takes a multi-faceted approach to employee management. 

Performance reviews have never been so simple! 

Pros:

  • Inexpensive, flexible pricing depending on the features you use the most
  • Is based on the “Best-Self” Management philosophy
  • Automates performance reviews
  • Enables you to virtually high-five team members (which is a cool feature)!
  • Keeps your employee results in one place
  • Visually appealing platform
  • Helps to drive performance in a unique way

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have many third-party app integrations

6. HubStaff - Best for Productivity

Price: from $10 per user per month

Integrates with: Zapier, Gusto, FreshBooks, PayPal and many more

HubStaff is a time tracking and productivity tool for teams. It has payroll software and timesheets to accurately calculate employee wages. You can use the productivity tracker to track the progress of projects. HubStaff will host your team task lists and measure performance over time. 

As a project management tool, HubStaff is very intuitive. It will clear away redundant tasks. Prioritizing important to-dos is simple. Automated productivity reporting keeps you in the know of your team’s output. 

As a cherry on the cake, HubStaff integrates with FreshBooks! You can sync your accounting and team productivity in one go.

Pros: 

  • Integrates with FreshBooks and 30 other apps
  • Combines employee management with productivity
  • Automates payroll
  • Has GPS time tracking for distance work
  • Combines timesheets to create employee payroll reports

Cons: 

  • Can become expensive as your team grows

Key Takeaways

The best employee software for you all depends on what you need. For simple time tracking, our software works beautifully. For complex employee management from onboarding to benefits, Gusto is a prime choice. For optimizing employee communication, the winner has to be Connecteam. For a low-cost performance tracker, 15Five is excellent. You’ll never think about employee performance the same way again! 

Each of these platforms has different features that help your employee ecosystem thrive. With integrations, you can link up more than one to create a more seamless experience for your HR managers. 

For more tips and tricks on managing your employees as a business owner, our resource hub is worth checking out.


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