How Employee Scheduling Software Can Help

If you’re managing a company where everybody clocks in at 8 and leaves at 5, you should have little cause for worry where scheduling employees is concerned. Since everyone works the same hours, staffing levels can be easily monitored, and it’s highly unlikely that a staff member would be a no-show because he or she forgot about or wasn’t aware of the schedule.

For most staffing managers and shift supervisors of multi-shift, multiple-location businesses however, employee scheduling can be a nightmare. Yup, you read that right – a nightmare. Why? Because you not only have to consider the needs of the business (how many people are needed when, and what skills and skill level should they possess) and how these needs impact on profitability. You also have to deal with issues that concern the employees themselves.

Here are 6 of the most common scheduling issues a manager has to contend with where shift scheduling software may come in handy:

1. Unusual Shift Rotations

Some businesses operate at odd hours and there are also those that are running round the clock. Making sure that shifts are properly manned takes a lot of effort because work hours per employee may change from day to day. Any misstep in the scheduling and you can be left with a shift that has too many or too few workers. Without employee scheduling software that automates the entire process, scheduling would be a taxing and time consuming task, and even then, the final product could be fraught with errors.

2. Last Minute Changes

Even the most well-planned and organized employee schedule can be thrown into shambles if there are unexpected absences that crop up. But people falling ill or running into emergencies are a reality and hence, should be dealt with in the best manner possible. First and foremost, a replacement has to be found. Then, you also need be certain that the person picking up the shift isn’t already doing overtime and/or isn’t scheduled for work himself right before or after the “extra” duty hours. Staff scheduling software can be trusted to take care of these details based on employee data and availability, and with some input from you.

3. Employee Turnover

It happens. Just when you’ve already gotten a workable schedule in place, one of your employees ups and quits, bringing you back to the drawing board with your scheduling efforts. Such a situation is not uncommon in many fast-paced businesses. The larger the workforce, the higher the turnover rate. This makes it virtually impossible to manually schedule employees without the right organizational tools.

4. Split Schedules

A split schedule is one where the employee doesn’t fulfill his 8 hours of work in one sitting. For instance, he may be required to do the first half of his shift from 8 am to 12 noon, and then do the rest from 6 to 10 pm. As with uncommon shift rotations, split schedules can be a pain to organize because there are more details to consider and because the employees themselves may not be amenable to such arrangement. It’s difficult to plan activities when they work such hours and they would need to commute more. However, with the aid of an employee scheduling software, it’s easier to keep track of split schedules. Further, you can also ensure that such shifts are fairly distributed among the employees.

5. Varying Employee Rates

The labor cost per shift is a crucial factor that needs to be included in the planning of staff schedules. Some personnel may have higher rates than others due to experience and ranking, and there are also staff supervisors to include in the calculations. An automated employee scheduler does the costing for you – promptly and accurately at that – so you can make the necessary adjustments and keep expenses within budget.

6. Seniority

While most organizations don’t have an official policy regarding seniority, staff members who have been around the longest, often feel some entitlement to getting the most ideal work hours. If the scheduling were done manually, it would be difficult to say no to the more senior employees every time they request for certain shifts. But by using a work schedule builder tool, you can better balance the “rights” of your senior staff while also giving heed to the needs of the newer employees of the company.

Streamlining your organization’s workforce does not have to be overly burdensome. Just find the right employee scheduling software for your business and you’ll be well on your way to an stress-free, problem-free staff scheduling.

Karin Jakovljevic

About the author

Karin Jakovljevic

Karin Jakovljevic is the head of marketing at Ximble, a powerful, cloud-based workforce management system, simplifying employee scheduling and time tracking for retailers, restaurants and small businesses.

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