Why use tools and apps for managers?
Increase active supervision
Although active supervision is essential, especially in manufacturing, distribution, and construction industries, most managers simply don't have enough time to do it. We can attribute this to the numerous administrative and repetitive tasks that catch up with frontline management. Indeed, with management apps, frontline managers can get rid of these repetitive tasks.
Once they do, tools like UTrakk can help them spend more time in active supervision, coaching employees, collecting root cause analysis data, and spotting issues before they escalate.
Boost team communication
Part of the apps available to management are instant messaging apps, video conferencing, and brainstorming tools. Such tools enable managers to communicate to employees in real-time while proactively addressing issues.
Make collaboration easier
Thanks to project management tools and the aforementioned messaging and video conferencing tools, collaboration in an enterprise is made easy.
Keep track of everything
With the complex ecosystem that is Industry 4.0, managers need to keep track of everything. From SOPs to compliance to employee engagement, there's a lot of information and data to handle. Trying to handle all these documents and data manually would be cumbersome, but with technology, managers can keep an eye on everything with just a few clicks.
Implement, test, and improve your processes with apps for managers
Because of access to data, easy communication, best practices, and SOPs, implementing new projects or processes is streamlined. With management tools, managers can analyze data quickly, seek feedback, and ensure their teams' overall health and performance.
How to choose tools and apps for managers?
Choose for the user, not the decision-maker
Choosing an app should be based on the user's needs and not the decision-maker's. For instance, a frontline manager would lean more towards tools that enable real-time communication and tracking of daily activities. On the other hand, executive managers would prefer tools that give them quick overviews and forecasts.
Go for flexibility when choosing apps for managers
Most people, including managers, like to work in ways that are familiar to them. When introducing new management tools, they need to be flexible to adapt to your company's best practices and way of working. You also have to consider how to bridge your company's generation gap when introducing a new tool or app. This may mean providing documentation for support or adapting your vocabulary when coaching others.
Choose efficiency when choosing apps for managers
All apps that become part of your management tools should reduce technical and administrative inefficiencies. In the wave of Industry 4.0 (and Industry 5.0), the ecosystem is dynamic, employee preferences have shifted, and new management models are taking root. For this reason, tools should focus on prioritization and inspiring innovation.
12 best apps for managers in 2023
Now that we have that covered, which apps should you consider as a manager? Whether you manage an office or a production unit, here are 12 tools to boost your productivity in 2023. (In fact, we use most of them here at Proaction International.)
Apps specifically developed for managers
1) UTrakk — Centralized 360 management tool
With UTrakk, you get access to daily and strategic management capabilities. For instance, you can set recurring meetings (called rituals) with UTrakk Assistant, centralize activities, assign people responsible for delivery, and prioritize high-value tasks and projects.
In addition, you can use the Discussion Thread to review previous meetings, the Agenda to list out all subjects that need to be discussed, and the Action list for actionable items.
The Field Tour Checklist enables you to digitalize your Gemba Walks. You can audit workstations to catch issues in real-time and document them through video, photos and assign people to take corrective action.
Also, the KPI dashboard helps you understand areas for improvement and track the impact of your management efforts.
- Easy integration with your businesses processes and operations
- Best-in-class customer support
- Real-time collaboration with employees, stakeholders
- Expert implementation and support services through the creation of a team of superusers, to ensure sustainable adoption.
Beekeeper is a mobile communication and employee management platform for businesses. As one of the best team management apps, it brings together in a single application all the elements needed by frontline employees: internal chat, publishing management messages via different channels, managing work schedules and leave requests, assigning tasks, surveys, integrating new employees, managing documents and procedures, etc. This operating system helps retain talent, improve frontline employee engagement and productivity through better communication between teams, while improving the performance of the organization using it.
Beekeeper is an optimal solution for a variety of industries such as retail, manufacturing, hospitality, or healthcare for example.
- Enables clear and unified communication with frontline employees
- Automate answers to the most common HR and IT questions with a chatbot
- Enables integration with over 750 digital applications (OneDrive, ADP, UKG, Slack, EduMe, etc.), but also allows for custom integrations
- Ability to communicate instantly in each employee's preferred language thanks to the integrated translation tool
- High data protection (TLS 256 encryption, advanced firewall protection, regular security audits and ISO 27001 certified data vaults)
- No free version (only free trial version)
- Less intuitive interface than some other platforms according to some users.
Leapsome is an intelligent platform dedicated to improving people management processes, focusing on both performance management and employee engagement and development for small, medium and large companies. It offers an all-in-one formula for managing productivity while providing personalized learning. It also integrates with various productivity platforms such as Slack, Teams and many others.
Cloud-based and combining 91 features, Leapsome centralizes many practical tools: goal management and OKRs, performance appraisals and 360-degree diagnostics, employee training and onboarding, employee motivation surveys, feedback and kudos, meeting management.
- Simple and intuitive design for all employees to use
- Sharp, flexible, all-in-one tool that adapts to individual needs
- Excellent integration with existing HR and communication tools
- 24/7 telephone support (direct response)
- Affordable cost
- Fully secure, ISO 27001 certified and GDPR compliant platform
- Leapsome is not available on mobile
Alternative to Leapsome: Lattice also offers a large number of functionalities for personnel management. Moreover, unlike Leapsome, this software offers mobile access, alerts/notifications, market data analysis and real-time analysis.
4) iObeya — Digital whiteboard for lean and agile teams
iObeya combines a virtual whiteboard with lean and agile features to create a powerful team collaboration tool. With the Agile capabilities, you can, indeed, make Agile Cards, Agile Boards, and ALM integrations.
The Lean Enterprise functionality enables you to manage portfolios, assign tasks, map existing flows to identify bottlenecks, and plan long- and short-term goals.
- Easy creation of dashboards to manage everyday operations
- Digitized rituals that reduce human errors and promote collaboration
- It's not a plug and play application as it needs some knowledge of APIs
5) Quickbooks — A budgeting app for managers
QuickBooks is an accounting tool that keeps all your financial statements and reports in a single place. Indeed, with QuickBooks, you can handle inventory management, pricing rules, job costing, time tracking, and payroll processing.
QuickBooks keeps track of your team's expenses and ensures that everyone is paid on time. You can create invoices on QuickBooks and set reminders for payments due. Finally, you can generate reports to understand how you spend and forecast growth.
- Unlimited free customer support and training for US-based businesses
- Specific features based on industry such as healthcare, construction, wholesale, manufacturing, etc.
- Easy data import and report generation, so you have a quick overview in seconds
- Option to host the Enterprise app on your servers for more control and added security over your organization's information
- Relatively slow if your company data file size is huge which can cause delays in generating financial reports
QuickBook alternative: NetSuite ERP if you are looking for a holistic financial management tool.
More general applications
6) Slack — Instant messaging
Slack is an instant messaging app for teams and can be used by small businesses and large enterprises alike. It surpasses the functionality of instant messaging to include video conferencing, task assignment, and Slack channels for different Workstation teams.
If you want a robust and intuitive communication tool with a modern feel to it, Slack might be your best option. In terms of security, Slack is, indeed, one of the best out there. It integrates with other data protection services to keep your organization's information safe when communicating with staff, teams, and vendors. Also, unlike email, you won't have to deal with constant spam messages and phishing attacks.
Slack integrates with more than 2000 apps and tools so you can collaborate on documents, plan projects, track time and keep up with your accounting. Even better, you can securely collaborate with outside partners through Slack Connect without exposing your data to breach.
- 99.9% guaranteed uptime (meaning you'll always access the Slack features when you need them)
- Designated customer support and account manager
- Top-level security functionality and support in their enterprise grid plan (to keep your company's information secure)
- The Shared Channels, Threads, and Apps can get out of hand if control measures are not in place
Slack alternative: Chanty is a more affordable alternative to Slack that is perfect for smaller teams that do not need the bells and whistles of an Enterprise plan.
7) Teams – Enterprise video conferencing
Teams is a product of Microsoft and a cloud-based application for enterprise communication. This app for managers is robust, full of productive features, and reliable. With Teams, you can chat with team members, share files and do video conferences. Further, the most impressive part of Teams is its video conferencing capability.
Video conferences on Teams allo
w for speed, security, and numerous integrations. For instance, if you collaborate on documents, you can automatically save them to One Drive for easy access. However, if you don't have Wi-Fi access, you can join conferences by dialing into audio. You can share screens and whiteboards, pin users to the main view, and suppress background noise with the noise suppression feature. Furthermore, Teams integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft products like Office 365 and other 100 non-Microsoft products.
- Advanced security functions to protect your data, like two-factor authentication and single sign-on (SSO)
- Fast support and training to make the most of teams which includes round-the-clock phone and web support
- Lastly, cost-effective pricing for large teams (can support 10,000 or more users)
- Complicated navigation
- The user interface can feel a little out-of-date
Teams alternative: Google Workspace which offers video conferencing, one-on-one chats, built-in calendar, and integrates with all Google apps.
8) Loom — Video tutorial creation
Loom is a nifty video creation tool that managers can use in several ways. For instance, you can use Loom to create tutorials on a new system, onboard new employees, or answer recurrent employee questions.
One reason why Loom has risen to popularity is that the video covers both your webcam and screen. In addition to video tutorials, Loom comes equipped with transcription functionality, the ab
ility to add Call-to-Actions, and a Loom mobile app.
- User-friendly and easy to get started app for managers
- Superfast recording
- Control functionality through password-protected videos (lets you choose who can access your videos and who can't)
- Easy sharing (once you hit stop, a link is automatically created for sharing)
- The interface is not as intuitive as it can be
- Has limited video editing capabilities
Loom alternative: Snagit, a video recording and screen capture tool. Like Loom, Snagit allows you to capture your screen simultaneously with your webcam. Snagit also comes with a load of templates for faster video creation and the option to create videos from images.
9) ClickUp — Project management for complex projects
ClickUp is one of the most comprehensive projects management tools for dynamic teams on the market. It covers every
thing from project to-dos to knowledge documentation to assigning tasks and events. ClickUp can be incredibly handy for large teams with multiple projects at a go. On the issue of integration, ClickUp integrates with more than 1000+ tools as listed on its marketplace.
- Excellent reporting and dashboard view
- Excellent customer support and continuous product enhancement
- Lastly, cost-effective by providing numerous PM and remote team working software under a single application
- Too many customization options and features make the learning curve steep
- User Interface needs some improvements to make it more user-friendly
ClickUp alternative: Monday.com, for planning, tracking, and delivering projects.
10) SurveyMonkey — Collecting employee feedback
SurveyMonkey is a simple, intuitive survey tool for managers who want to get employee feedback fast. It comes with strongly built data and analysis features to assess the feedback you receive and compile it into reports.
With SurveyMonkey, you can quickly set up questions from their question banks and use one of the readily available templates to execute the survey. SurveyMonkey can also be used by single users or as a collaboration by multiple people.
In addition, one can easily set and share roles and designate access permission. The Smart Notifications feature lets you share, monitor, and distribute responses to your surveys.
- Hundreds of integrations that make surveying your team much easier
- Refined custom surveys with features like multilingual support, so you can survey people in the language most comfortable to them
- Easy to use interface with only 5 steps between creating and analyzing surveys
- Quite expensive
SurveyMonkey alternative: Qualtrics, for managers that want to dive deeper into feedback on employee experience.
11) Mural — Visual collaboration for teams
Mural is a digital whiteboard application that lets teams collaborate and brainstorm ideas. It is beneficial for smaller teams as it allows for creative brainstorming on various issues in your organization.
Since it's easy to use, Mural lowers the barrier for engagement, helping you gain input from each team member. Once you have the input, you can use Mural's inbuilt anonymous voting system to select ideas.
Mural comes with 200 pre-built templates incorporating agile, design sprints, retrospectives, etc.
- Intuitive drag and drop capabilities to easily add and delete files
- Quick set up to save time and get started on brainstorming immediately
- The whiteboard supports many file formats, including video embeds, pdfs, and images which makes team brainstorming easier
- Lastly, a varied template collection
- Does not support interactive charts and reports
- Templates are not customizable
12) Clockify — Time tracking for hybrid office teams
If you are looking for time management apps, you should definitely consider Clockify. Whether you manage a hospital floor or an upscale downtown office, time tracking software is a must-have for every manager. Clockify fits the bill for hybrid teams that want to track employee time, identify gaps in time management, and improve overall productivity.
With Clockify, you can understand which projects take the most time and get custom reports daily, weekly, or monthly. Approving team worksheets is also made easier, as is assigning shifts and team members to projects.
- Lock time and force-time features to prevent editing of past time logs or editing time entries
- Option to receive notifications when employees work overtime
- Integrated team calendar to realize time gaps in your staff's shifts
- Lastly, self-hosting options if you want more control and privacy
- Limited customization options for the auto-generated reports
- Costs extra to access comparison of budget vs. labor costs
Clockify alternative: Homebase, for service-heavy businesses.
Wrap up on the top apps for managers
All these management tools can increase productivity one way or the other. However, too many of them do injustice to productivity and automation. That said, a Daily Management System (DMS) like UTrakk combines various functionalities and features to create a robust, 360-degree approach to management.
Download the UTrakk brochure to learn more about the most comprehensive tool for managers in 2023.
FAQ - 12 Best Apps for Managers in 2023
What are common management App features?+
Common management app features include task and project management, team collaboration tools, file sharing and storage, time tracking, calendar integration, customizable dashboards and workflows, integration with other apps, progress and performance tracking, reporting and analytics, budget tracking and resource management, and communication tools like chat or messaging. Additionally, some management apps may offer specific features for industries, such as inventory management or sales pipeline tracking for business management apps, or clinical documentation management for healthcare management apps. The features offered by management apps may vary depending on the app, and some may offer more advanced features or automation tools to help streamline workflows.
How to choose effectively a management application?+
When choosing a management application, it's important to consider the specific needs of your team and company. Look for an app that provides the necessary features and tools for your team's workflow and collaboration needs. Consider the app's compatibility with your current software and hardware, pricing plans, and customer support options.
What features does a time management app offer?+
A time management app may offer features such as task tracking, scheduling, time tracking, and reporting. Some time management apps may also integrate with productivity tools to help users stay focused and organized.
What features does a team management app offer?+
A team management app may offer features such as project and task tracking, progress monitoring, team collaboration tools, file sharing, and communication tools. Some team management apps may also offer customization options for dashboards and workflows.
What is the difference between Daily Management System (DMS) and a Management App?+
A Daily Management System (DMS) is a comprehensive approach to managing daily operations that involves the use of digital or physical tools to document and track tasks, projects, and goals. A DMS may include the use of management apps, but it also involves processes for tracking progress, identifying and addressing problems, and making continuous improvements.
On the other hand, a management app is a software application that provides specific features and tools for managing tasks, teams, projects, and workflows. Unlike a DMS, a management app has a more narrow focus and offers a more specific set of tools and features.
Overall, while a management app can be a part of a DMS, a DMS like UTrakk encompasses a broader range of operations and involves the use of multiple tools and processes to ensure effective management.
What are the main obstacles when setting up an application for managers?+
There are several obstacles that organizations may encounter when setting up an application for managers. Here are some of the common ones:
Resistance to change: Employees may resist adopting a new app, especially if they are used to using a specific tool or process. Failure to gain buy-in from end-users can result in underutilization of the app or complete resistance in the organization.
Integration issues: Integrating the app with existing software or systems can be a challenge, especially if there are compatibility issues or if the app does not have the required APIs.
User training and education: Employees need to be familiar with how to use the app effectively. Lack of training or inadequate training can undermine the effectiveness of the app.
Data management and security: Organizations need to be mindful of data security and privacy when using management apps. Apps that do not comply with data protection regulations or access controls can expose sensitive information, which may lead to legal and reputational issues.
Cost: Cost can be a significant obstacle, especially if the app requires ongoing licensing fees or subscription fees. Some organizations may not have the budget to support an app for management, and cost can emerge as a bottleneck.
Organizations need to assess these obstacles and develop effective strategies to mitigate them. Attention should be given to user adoption and training, IT support, and data protection. A successful implementation will provide an organization with more streamlined processes, better data analysis, and improved management capabilities.
How to accelerate team adoption when setting up apps for managers?+
Accelerating team adoption of an app for managers is crucial to ensure effective implementation and successful outcomes. Here are some tips to help accelerate team adoption:
Get buy-in from leadership: Leadership support is critical in driving adoption from within teams. When managers and executives support the app, teams are more likely to adopt and use it.
Provide training and education: Teams need to be trained on how to effectively use the app. Training should be tailored to team needs and accompanied by support documentation and tutorials that help users get started and troubleshoot issues. Proaction Internation experts can bring strong support in implementing an app for management
Create champions: Identify team members who are early adopters or who are most enthusiastic about the app, and empower them to be app champions. These champions can help to drive adoption across teams by providing support, answering questions, and sharing success stories.
Set clear expectations: Communicate why the app is being adopted, how it will be used, and what outcomes are expected. Teams need to know what is expected from them and why it is important.
Incentivize use: Encourage adoption by setting up incentives, such as rewards or recognition programs, for teams that effectively use the app. The incentives should be tied to specific outcomes, such as improved productivity or process efficiency.
Continuously gather feedback: Encourage team feedback on the app's functionality and usability. Feedback can be used to improve the app and to encourage team members to use it.
By following these tips, teams are more likely to adopt and successfully use an app for managers, resulting in streamlined processes and improved outcomes.
UTrakk helps managers multiply the impact they create in their role to improve both their company's performance and their employees' work experience. UTrakk encapsulates Proaction International's 17 years of continuous improvement consulting experience into a digital tool to take the managerial orchestration of organizations to another level.