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    The Ultimate Guide to Online Employee Management Systems and Dashboards

    June 20, 2023

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    The Ultimate Guide to Online Employee Management Systems and Dashboards
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    Employee needs are changing in Singapore’s fast-paced economy. You need to improve your HR practices and policies by using an online employee management system. These next-gen, cloud-based systems give you actionable data, more control over HR tasks, and better business results. This guide takes you through everything you need to know about online employee management systems – how they work, what the advantages are, and how to get the most out of dashboards in employee management systems. 


    In today’s dynamic business environment, employee needs are also changing. In Singapore, for instance, 91% of employees want learning opportunities at work. Many are also disengaged and want to look for better opportunities. You need to strengthen your HR practices and policies through an online employee management system that can provide actionable data, enable greater control over HR tasks, and deliver better outcomes.  

    What is an Online Employee Management System? 

    Employee management is an approach by which companies ensure that employees perform their tasks with the highest efficiency, so as to achieve broader organizational goals. 

    It usually involves fostering and sustaining positive connections with employees, overseeing their daily work, and evaluating their progress. Employers are able to identify areas for development as well as recognize accomplishments. 

    A coaching-based strategy for employee management that motivates and builds confidence can unleash tremendous potential. However, 100% manual processes might prove inadequate in the face of multigenerational workforces, a growing number of contractual employees, complex regulations, and the rise of remote and hybrid workplaces. 

    Technology can help HR leaders sustain productivity in environments fraught with rapid transformation – by using online employee management systems. 

    Online employee management systems are designed to accelerate core HR services and boost workforce productivity. They do this primarily through automating labor-intensive administrative tasks and using analytics to guide business decisions.  

    The system's functions may include talent management, payroll administration, time management, performance management, and benefits handling, and dashboards for employee management systems among other features. 

    Learn More: Everything You Need to Know About Employee Vacation Monitoring [With Employee Vacation Tracker Excel Template]  

    How Does an Online Employee Management System Work? 

    A workforce dossier is like a digital cupboard. It will store employee data, including addresses, names, contact details, job titles, dates of appointments, and pay. Furthermore, one can store information like expertise, certifications, etc. The system will come with a built-in or add-on employee database management feature to make it easier to collect and maintain records.  

    An online employee management system is hosted on the cloud and can be accessed from any device in any location, as long as it is connected to the internet network. HR teams can use the system from a mobile or desktop application or from a web app that is available from any browser. 

    Darwinbox, for instance, administers a containerized multi-tenant system hosted on AWS as an array of microservices. The Darwinbox online employee management system's framework is extensible to accommodate both multi-cloud and hybrid-cloud operations. 

    A robust employee management system will offer the following functionalities: 

    1. Monitor time & attendance, including leave tracking

    Every organization needs a system that incorporates time and attendance monitoring. It will assist you in ensuring that employees stick to their scheduled work hours. In addition, it can be used to determine remunerations, which includes overtime, commissions, or incentives. Data from this feature is often visualized through an HR compensation dashboard, which is part of the system. 

    1. Track employee and company performance

    The monitoring of performance and productivity may offer valuable insights. It delivers a precise estimate of your organization's labor costs. This data can also be used for planning and forecasting. While not all online employee management systems may not have full-scale performance management features, you can get basic performance dashboards in an employee management system. 

    1. Schedule employee shifts and handle payroll

    A tool for employee shift scheduling can help you plan your staff's workload more effectively and reduce excessive workloads and scheduling conflicts. It is especially useful for organizations with round the clock shifts and frequently changing schedules. It facilitates smooth operations by allowing employees to keep track of their allocated and forthcoming schedules. Managers will be able to view all employee duties at once, enabling schedule adjustments. This feature may be accessible through separate employee and manager-facing dashboards in the employee management system. 

    An online employee management system also makes sure payroll is handled accurately and issues payslips on time for all countries wherein the business operates. It will include digitized payment documentation, reducing the possibility of human errors. Incorrect bonus payments or delayed expense reimbursements are common challenges for employees. The system will simplify these through the HR compensation dashboard, automated workflows, and reminders. 

    4. Partially automate the employee onboarding process 

    An online employee management system can assist you in efficiently collecting data from new hires and share with them all the materials necessary to jumpstart their tenures at your company.  

    1. Provide employee self-service tools and dashboards

    The self-service portal gives employees secure access to their personal data and incentives. Employees can readily monitor time off, costs incurred, and other details pertinent to the rules of their organization. It will also cut down on time-consuming HR responsibilities while simplifying the laborious task of employee database management. 

    1. Enforce compliance

    An online employee management system can help you monitor compliance with numerous rules and regulations. This encompasses employee scheduling and labor laws, benefits, remuneration and paid time off, safety and health, and privacy and confidentiality. It may even have a risk management KPI dashboard, where you can monitor the metrics that are verging on non-compliance – such as, the number of hours worked by an employee or the number of accidents in a location. 

    1. Integrate with third-party applications for two-way data flow

    Integrations make it possible for your management systems to interact with each other, giving you all the necessary functionalities at maximum capacity. You will be able to integrate project management tools seamlessly. The cloud-based nature of an online employee management system means that you can freely integrate it with other cloud apps. Darwinbox, for example, offers a host of convenient integrations for its online system. 

    8. Ensure privacy and security  

    Data in online employee management systems are protected against unauthorized access by using security protocols. They typically have a data protection policy consistent with the system type. The security measures selected must hinge on the system's configuration, the sensitive nature of the data, and its intended applications. The cloud infrastructure will have security features of its own, in addition to role-based access and limitations on data dashboards in an employee management system. 

    Learn More: The Ultimate HR Checklist for Startups: Documents, Tools, Processes, and Strategy  

    The Advantages of an Online Employee Management System 

    The biggest advantage of an online employee management system is that it saves the HR team time and effort, and it reduces costs and errors for the organization. It allows you to: 

    1. Optimize HR processes and make them more efficient

    It is difficult and time-consuming to manage diverse HR processes; however, an online employee management system can help optimize this. A unified web-based system removes the necessity for multiple tools. Online HR and employee management tools can also boost the HR team's productivity by minimizing the need for them to transition between tools for tracking employee performance, maintaining documentation, viewing meeting schedules, etc. 

    1. Boost employee engagement levels

    The distinctive attributes of online employee management systems allow you to maintain strong and positive connections with your team. They let you design surveys that help foster a closer relationship with your employees, and some modern ones come with native social networking and internal collaboration platforms. They make vacation planning much easier, enable shift-swapping, and much more. You can also integrate your online employee management system with reward apps and wellbeing apps to further drive engagement. 

    1. Create a single source of truth

    The online employee management system is an easily accessible store of data for the entire organization, its workers, and HR departments. All contact details, salary information, positions of authority, work schedules, as well as educational details can be accessed at any time and from any location. Since most of the information is submitted via self-service, you can be sure the information is accurate. Role-based access to employee database management further increases the data’s reliability. 

    1. Improve employee productivity

    Performance management, training, and learning & development initiatives can be streamlined by online employee management systems. Employees can use learning modules to gain role-specific skills. After training is complete, managers can set targets for employees that can be monitored by staff members themselves for self-evaluation. Managers can provide performance feedback, consequently optimizing employees' potential. 

    1. Support remote and hybrid working

    The ability to empower individuals who work remotely is a major benefit of online human resource management systems. Specifically, the self-service portal assists remote employees with a range of organizational responsibilities. Using self-service, employees are able to finish induction protocols, log daily attendance, send in leave applications, file requests, and get access to all necessary records. With the dashboards in employee management systems, managers can run reviews even from a remote location. These online tools also help employees across countries communicate smoothly and collaborate efficiently.  

    1. Ensure business continuity during an emergency

    Cloud-based employee management systems will routinely back up all HR and employee data. It is unlikely that a server failure will end up resulting in significant data loss – and you are also protected against hardware malfunctions. In case of an emergency or an unexpected situation, an employee can switch to a different PC and start working immediately since all the data is stored on the cloud and can be accessed from anywhere on any device. 

    1. Stay up to date on employee management technology

    If you want to leverage the latest HR trends each year (such as artificial intelligence and automation, among others), an online employee management system is essential.  

    Generally, the frequency of getting updates for on-site systems varies according to the vendor’s capabilities. For web-based systems, the recurring fee includes access to the most recent upgrades as they are released. Additionally, online systems are automatically updated. You are not required to actually install or download updates manually. This increases dependability on the software and reduces your efforts in ensuring that your software is up to date.. 

    1. Ensure regulatory compliance

    Automatic updates allow you to comply with newly adopted labor regulations and any other regulations that govern business operations. An ideal, robust online employee management system stays abreast of changes to HR laws, rates of taxation, etc. Consequently, the system independently updates itself and offers the necessary documentation. This reduces the probability of human error in regulatory compliance and reduces risks of non-compliance and resulting penalties. 

    Learn More: Boosting Workforce Planning with Technology | Types, Trends, and Benefits  

    How Online Employee Management Systems Can Revolutionize the HR Function 

    In the fields such as shift scheduling, performance assessment, recruitment, and payroll, HR technology helps companies accomplish key tasks. If your business requires it, there are two options: install conventional IT apps locally or utilize online employee management systems –like a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) implementation via a web browser. 

    The advantages of using an online alternative are clear; it also reduces the costs of purchasing, maintaining, and upgrading your own servers. 

    In recent years, several companies switched to online systems for this reason in particular. These solutions are used by major organizations like Zee Media, L&T Metro, Kotak Life, or Quick Heal, but several smaller businesses are also eager to implement these systems. 

    Online employee management systems have revolutionized the field of human resource management in the following ways: 

    1. Enabling borderless hiring

    In this era of contract-based or gig economies, and flexible, remote employment, HR systems must be ready to keep up.  Online employee management systems are the best option for large, global companies. They’re built for collaboration across countries, across devices, and are available on mobile and on the desktop app. When interacting with overseas employees, you can choose from a variety of languages and transcribe documents into an alternate language. Additionally, these systems centralize your employee details so that it is readily accessible from any location in the world. In addition, automatic updates guarantee the system is universally compatible, as it takes both international laws and local regulations into consideration. 

    1. Making the HR function more data-driven

    In order to more effectively understand and tackle business problems like revenue, overtime, or headcount, modern HR departments base a lot of their action, strategy, and decision-making on data. And accurate data can facilitate more informed decisions. For instance, you may discover that a certain department has an exceptionally high turnover rate. What's the reason for this? Is there a leadership problem? Is employee engagement inadequate and unsatisfactory? Through HR analytics dashboards, you can investigate such issues, design solutions, and then assess the outcomes. In a nutshell, online employee management systems equip the HR function with genuine business intelligence (BI). 

    1. Achieving paperless HR

    It may surprise you, but even in the age of AI, many HR departments continue to depend on paper-based forms, procedures, and workflows to complete their tasks. 

    An online employee management system can be customized according to the specific needs of your business, and help reduce the extent of documentation. HR teams and staff members can complete most tasks online. This eliminates the paperwork associated with employee induction, expense reimbursements, vacation requests, health-related leaves, bills, and employee severance forms.  

    1. Improving the organization’s culture and working environment

    Online employee management systems can help in fostering a more satisfied and content workforce and also a positive work environment.  It revolutionizes the HR function by linking technology with organizational culture. 

    Consider the following: chaotic and messy induction processes, tardy payroll management, or delayed reimbursements – they will all have a negative impact on your employees and ultimately lead to poor engagement levels and high attrition. 

    In contrast, a well-organized, structured induction approach followed by prompt payroll administration, incentives, and expenses leads to happy and satisfied employees. Workers can access their personal data through the system, resulting in greater transparency and building connections based on trust and accountability. Overall, this contributes to creating a positive working environment, whether physical or virtual.  

    What is a Dashboard for Employee Management Systems? 

    A dashboard in an employee management systems is a data visualization tool that enables HR professionals to view, monitor, and analyze numerous short- and long-term key performance indicators. They rely on the employee management system's accumulated data and its many integrations. 

    These HR dashboards should ideally be cutting-edge, dynamic, and highly responsive, showcasing HR analytics and statistics. The data should be presented on a single screen, making them simple to read and interpret. 

    You can find dashboards in the different modules of an employee management system, from an HR compensation dashboard to a real-time shift scheduling dashboard to a performance dashboard. Depending on the vendor, some systems will offer a separate analytics module where you can access overarching, 360-degree data analytics on employee management. 

    Companies can modify the metric displayed on an HR dashboard to correspond with the goals they have set. These metrics will assist you in improving employee performance, hiring techniques, and workforce scheduling.  

    Optimizing Employee Management with a Dashboard System 

    As we have explained earlier, dashboards in employee management systems play a vital role in employee management. 

    Every organization should implement an employee dashboard that provides employees, managers, and the HR teams with easy access to staff productivity metrics. This is easy to accomplish with any online employee management system, wherein every process is monitored and is easily available with minimal effort.  

    HR dashboards provide employee performance data, but their benefits extend far beyond only performance reviews. It is simple for organizations to lose sight of a company's weaknesses until their adverse effects become evident. Using the dashboards that are part of employee management systems, one can monitor key metrics on a monthly, weekly, and even daily basis. Therefore, companiescan identify and address process inefficiencies and pain points as soon as they develop. 

    Here are some best practices you should follow:  

    • Centralize all your data: You must first centralize your data before you can display meaningful information from multiple systems, like payroll, cost reporting, or applicant monitoring, on a dashboard. This can be achieved through with an online employee management system that facilitates data integration and unification. 
    • Do not ignore “the bad stuff:” You must also have access to unfavorable and negative numbers on the dashboard of an employee management system so you get a true picture of what’s happening at the company.   Employee data can help you bring about a lot of meaningful changes in the company. For instance, you can highlight the diversity, or absence thereof, of your employees and can help you determine where the talent acquisition team might take on responsibility and make necessary changes. 
    • Personalize dashboard views: Ensure that the dashboard view has been tailored such that each user receives data pertinent to them. Every organization and every position within the business is unique and distinctive, so HR dashboards should be adaptable and reflect these differences. The data displayed for HR should differ from those displayed for operations managers, tech staff, etc. 

    The Benefits of a Dashboard in an Employee Management System 

    An HR KPI dashboard in Excel is susceptible to errors, challenging to update, and easily misplaced. You require a trustworthy system that keeps your data secure, up-to-date, and centralized. That is why dashboards in employee management systems are so beneficial. They can: 

    • Automate reporting: You don't need to manually compile data from different sources, reports, and spreadsheets. The interface willcreate real-time reports with up-to-date data and share the reports with relevant members of the team. This function increases HR productivity and minimizes the time required for reporting processes. 
    • Help leaders work on the go: Thanks to online employee management systems, dashboards are accessible on all devices with a working internet connection. This enables HR executives to use data and insights while on-the-go, even when they are not in the office. 
    • Simplify HR monitoring: Another of the HR dashboard’s benefit is that it enables HR teams to keep a close eye on the business's most vital aspects. They can  track emerging trends, opportunities, and potential problem areas. You can also get employee-specific trends on performance, engagement, and learning progress. 

    Learn More: How To Automate Travel Expense Reporting in Enterprises  


    In Q4 2022, less than half (43%) of employees surveyed in Singapore were committed to staying with their current employer. This is a clear indication of the need to update HR policies and practices and organizations’ approach to employee management.  An online employee management system can help you unify HR, streamline processes, andmost importantly, unlock hidden data into disengagement and attrition. Darwinbox is a leading cloud-based HR technology provider in Singapore that can help with anything to do with employee and human resources management. Schedule a demo today to learn more!  

    Frequently asked questions (FAQs) 

    1. What is an HR compensation dashboard?

    An HR compensation dashboard is a data visualization system that lets you track, analyze, and report on compensation components like payroll, benefits, and bonuses. HR compensation dashboards are typically part of an employee management system so you do not have to enter data manually.  

    1. What is an HR analytics dashboard?

    An HR analytics dashboard refers to a single-screen interactive system with which you can view and drill down into various HR metrics such as recruitment data, performance data, and workforce data. HR analytics dashboards are typically descriptive and non-real-time in nature.  

    1. What is an HR KPI dashboard in Excel?

    An HR KPI dashboard in Excel is is a spreadsheet on Microsoft Excel that is used to manage key performance indicators (KPIs) in HR by entering raw data, using formulae for calculations, applying Excel functions to filter the data, and visualizing HR KPIs via charts and pivot tables.  

    1. How to make an HR dashboard in Excel?

    The basic steps to make an HR KPI dashboard in Excel are to set up data tables, enter the formulae for different computations, and then visualize the data in charts. When you modify the data in tables, the chart will be updated automatically. However, HR KPI dashboards in Excel can be labor-intensive.  

    1. What are the best HR dashboards in Excel?

    The best HR dashboards in Excel will cover KPIs like the headcount for different teams, trends in performance ratings, attendance/absenteeism records, and turnover rates per team. However, even the best HR dashboards in Excel are not as powerful as web-based HR analytics tools.  

    1. How to create an interactive HR dashboard?

    To create an interactive HR dashboard in Excel, you need to be proficient in using advanced Excel. Online employee management systems come with built-in interactive HR dashboards that take only a few minutes to configure.  

    1. Can I use a free HR dashboard template?

    Free HR dashboard templates are empty Excel sheets with some data and formulae filled in. They are generic in nature and will require significant modification before you can use the dashboards for your company. Instead of free HR dashboard templates, which are interactive, it is better to use free templates to generate static documents, such as templates for virtual onboarding or templates for travel & expense policies 

    1. What is an employee performance management system PDF?

    An employee performance management system PDF is a policy document that explains in detail the rules and guidelines governing employee reviews, feedback, and appraisal. Employee performance management system PDFs are widely circulated across the company so that everyone is on the same page, and the document will vary significantly between organizations.  

    1. How do performance management systems influence employee motivation?

    Performance management systems influence employee motivation in three ways. First, it sets clear goals and targets so that employees know what is expected of them. Second, it rewards good performance through pay hikes and/or recognition. Third, it ensures constructive feedback in the case of poor performance, which also motivates employees.  

    1. How to simplify employee database management?

    To simplify employee database management, you need to install an online employee management system with a built-in HRIS. HRIS stands for human resource information systems, and it is a new-age way to map and manage employee data across their employment lifecycles.    

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