Automated Conflict Checks – Employee Scheduling With No Headaches

In companies where old fashioned ways of scheduling employees and tracking their availability and time off days is used, managers tend to spend a lot of time on these workforce management processes. Moreover, chances are high that they may miss a valuable piece of information and double book an employee for two different shifts, or schedule an employee that took a day off.

On the other hand, for those that jumped on the train of modern progress and decided to use software to handle the scheduling process, things look slightly better. With various inputs in place, most of employee scheduling tools can create a conflict free roster and minimize shift scheduling issues. Well, at least most of software tools can handle that, not all. With NimbleSchedule, conflict checks are done with multiple pieces of information and all available info is put in place when scheduling process is handled. Here are some areas and pieces of information that automatically affect the scheduling process.

Approved Time-Off Requests

Employee Time-Off Requests

In cases where employers wish to have an official time-off procedure for their employees, NimbleSchedule has a feature design to handle that part. It’s completely optional and employers can choose to disable it, if it is not needed. An employer/administrator can also configure the system to accept employees’ time off requests a certain number of days in advance. Such requests go to managers for an approval, and once approved, such employee calendar becomes grayed out on the schedule to clearly signal the scheduler that an employee has taken time off. If any manager or scheduler decides to schedule an unavailable employee, a warning will show up, preventing any kind of mistaken scheduling.

Weekly (repeating) unavailability

Weekly Repeating Un-Availability

If an employer chooses, an option for employees to set their weekly repeating un-availability will show up on their profiles allowing them to configure it (or managers can do that on their behalf). Once an employee blocks out certain days or certain parts of days, such date/time slots will be grayed out on the schedule, preventing any conflicting shift to be assigned. The manager or scheduler that tries to assign an employee with a shift that partially or fully occurs during the weekly unavailability will receive a warning from the system.

Future unavailability

Setting Future Un-Availability

Employees can also set their future availability through NimbleSchedule, which affects certain dates only. As opposed to weekly repeating un-availability, employees can navigate through the “My Schedule” page to a certain date and block out a specific date or time during a specific day to signal the manager or scheduler that they are not available at that time. Of course, an employee can repeat such unavailability for a certain number of days or weeks, but as opposed to the weekly repeating one, this type of unavailability will eventually end. Again, an employee’s future un-availability will be grayed out on the schedule, thus preventing any kind of mistake during the scheduling process.

Profile schedule limitations

Employee Scheduling Limitations

Aside from various un-availabilities and time off requests that employees can set or request through the system, there are also certain limitations that can be defined for each employee’s profile by either the administrator or the manager. Currently, the system covers four different limitations that can be customized for each individual profile:

Maximum hours per week – Allows the manager to limit an employee to a certain number of hours per week. If anyone tries to schedule that person for more, the warning will be displayed preventing any mistakes.
Maximum hours per day – Allows the manager to limit an employee to a certain number of hours per each day. If someone tries to schedule that employee for a certain day for more hours than allowed per profile setting, the system will display a warning.
Maximum days per week – Allows the manager or administrator to limit the number of work days per week for each employee. In cases when someone tries to schedule an employee for more days than allowed per profile setting, the system will display a warning.
Maximum shifts per day – Allows the manager to configure the maximum number of shifts per day an employee can work. Needless to say, if anyone tries to schedule an employee for more shifts than permitted per profile setting, the system will display a warning.

All these different inputs, along with previously mentioned un-availabilities and time off requests, are taken into consideration when auto-filling open shifts and automatically assigning the schedule. Also, if the manager or scheduler manually inputs all shifts, the system will display warnings or errors if cases a specific shift puts an employee over any of these limits.

No double booking or overlapping

Employee Scheduling With No Headaches

Finally, NimbleSchedule prevents any kind of double booking and/or shift overlapping for a single employee. This means that if an employee is already scheduled for a shift and another manager/scheduler tries to book him for a date/time slot that overlaps with the existing one, the system will show a warning. The scheduler will be prevented from moving forward, while the manager will be presented with an option to automatically move the old/conflicting shift into open shifts and assign a new shift to the employee.

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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