Why You Need an Employee Scheduling System
With new FSLA changes happening, staying compliant and accurate with your employee time tracking is more important than ever. Wal-Mart just launched a new scheduling system that will eventually be rolled out to all 4,600 U.S. locations. Wal-Mart said the new software will better predict staffing needs during peak hours, as well as where and when to deploy workers. There are a variety of reasons why proper scheduling systems are beneficial to organizations. Let’s look at the main reasons.
The number of people you have on staff and the complexity of work shift patterns can add extensive time to managers’ schedules. They can easily spend eight hours or more each week simply putting schedules together when their tool is an old-fashioned spreadsheet.
With concern growing for more work/life balance options and employee engagement, initiatives such as flexible schedules and compressed work weeks will only add to the impossible juggling act for your managers.
Given this will add another complex layer, it may be the optimal time that you join the companies who have adopted different employee scheduling processes. There are smart web based staff scheduling software solutions that will help.
Tools are available to reduce the amount of time-consuming tasks involved with employee scheduling. Instead of a full day’s work, you can switch to an online scheduler to ease management’s workload.
Web Based Software Makes Scheduling Easy
Using online software to schedule employees’ work weeks gets the task done within minutes. With user-friendly features, managers have options to create standard and complex shifts.
It does not matter if your work days are:
Four day, 10-hour shifts
Even if like most companies your schedules do not change from week to week, all managers need is a template of the first schedule. They can duplicate it and create schedules several weeks or months in advance.
Here are five reasons why you should consider a web-based solution to move the task of preparing work shifts forward.
1. Easily Adapt to Sudden Changes in Employee Shifts
With spreadsheets, employees must call managers whenever they need to make one or two changes to their work schedule. Managers must make those changes manually. This time-consuming and error-prone task can lead to costly mistakes.
An effective solution allows those changes without phone calls or even text messages. Scheduling software with a feature that allows immediate notification for managers to approve and also find another employee to fill the shift.
2. Simplify Process for Time-off Requests
Writing down time off requests on Post-it notes or sending them through email is a recipe for something being overlooked. With scheduling software via the web, your staff can send their requests directly to managers.
Your managers can also keep track of:
- Vacation days
- FMLA related absences
- Sick days
- Jury duty
Approving or declining those requests can occur the same way. Managers will also have a report of unavailable employees so they do not mistakenly add them to the schedule.
3. Keep Accurate Staffing Levels on Shifts
Supporting customer needs and business objectives is not separate from ensuring you have the right amount of employees scheduled to work. In fact, your managers can make better staffing decisions with employee shift scheduling reports.
Using report data, managers can see the busiest times and seamless adjust shifts to ensure coverage is available to meet customer demand.
4. Decrease Turnover by Giving Employees More Power
Employee self-service systems are a must-have to move your company into the 21st century of scheduling. There’s no reason that your employees cannot enter their last-minute shift changes.
Rather than managers scrambling to find someone who can cover the shift, employees can make shift swaps among themselves.
Web-based tools allow employees to connect with each other. They agree on shift coverage and submit the information to their manager. Self-scheduling features put the responsibility of changing their schedules in your employees’ hands.
This level of autonomy gives your staff more power over their schedules. Managers have adequate coverage, employee satisfaction increases and you reduce turnover rates.
5. Meet Mobility Demand with Access Anytime, Anywhere
With streamlined scheduling and self-service options, the next level of web based staff scheduling software is mobile apps. This allows employees to access schedule information any time of the day and from any place on the globe, literally.
For instance, an employee who is on vacation may need to quickly check their shift date and time once they return. Mobile accessibility can work with different smartphone technologies.
Additionally, mobile apps can serve as an automatic notification portal so managers can update employees about schedule changes. Daily and weekly reminders of assigned shifts are also efficient features. This eliminates questions about upcoming scheduled shifts.
Running or managing a small business that employs an hourly staff requires using something for coordinating schedules. More often than not, the answer is either a spreadsheet or pen and paper. That said, you can find interesting ways to leverage scheduling software.
6. Error Reduction
Manual scheduling spreadsheets have the lowest level of accuracy which could lead to lost time, productivity, and missed shifts. Scheduling software allows you to automate your set schedules and see mistakes before they go live. Last minute requests and changes are easily tracked with software which leads to less calculation mistakes. By having all employee data in one central place, a scheduling solution can reduce time and effort for locating the correct information needed for scheduling.
7. Visibility & Accountability
A scheduling software system can optimize schedules based on availability and skill sets. Accountability can also be improved by integrating employee self-service into the process. Allowing employees to log into a secure web portal to view their schedules and update personal information empowers them and keeps them informed. Various security levels can be set up within the software to ensure that managers will need to authorize shift changes and employees won’t be able to switch amongst themselves without following the chain of command.
8. Maintain Compliance
Producing schedules that address business and employee needs, as well as maintaining compliance with all scheduling regulations may be extremely time consuming by hand. Scheduling software allows you to simplify the process by setting up alerts whenever there may be a rule violation or staff shortage about to happen. A scheduling system that that is linked to all your employee data allows you to easily schedule and assign employees with specific skills to each shift because you have that knowledge readily available within the system.
A scheduling system that is accessible to everyone in your company is an effective tool to keep the process smooth. It also serves as a communication platform where managers and employees stay abreast of requests and changes in real-time.