Hiring hourly employees means you must have some type of process to keep track of their schedules. Some companies still use an Excel spreadsheet to calculate scheduled hours. Others are still wedded to the old pen and paper method.
Neither one is an efficient way to make sure your workforce is hitting labor targets. Sure, Excel is an electronic form of tracking attendance, but what will you do if the data is lost? How long will it take for you to reenter deleted calculations?
Pen and paper tracking should be as obsolete for organizations as the horse and buggy is for human transportation in the 21st century.
Now, your company is looking for a more cost-effective way to keep track of employee time. This has you trying to find the best employee scheduling software. Where should you start to improve the bottom line?
Here are a few tips that will help you have a productive search towards the final purchase.
Take Advantage of Current Resources
Finding the best employee scheduling software for small business often begins with using existing resources. Many devices exist on the market that will inform you on which direction is best for your company.
The size of your workforce could make a difference in the final decision. However, you want to look at systems that are scalable. You might have fewer than 100 employees today, but that does not mean you could hire 400 more somewhere in the future.
Look at your current employee time tracking system. Do you use a paper system to manage schedules, time off and shift availability? Well, you want to find the best employee software system that offers all three.
Your needs have not changed. The way you want to accomplish this important task is the change. Investing in a new system will streamline the process much sooner than updating the latest version of Excel.
Centralizing the process into one program gives your company one place for managers and employees. Essentially, this will help you achieve two goals.
- Build confidence. Paper systems lead to poorly managed and misinterpreted information.
- Employee accountability. Knowing their time is monitored closely can improve performance and eliminate time theft and buddy punching. Underperformers step up and all-stars do not feel overworked.
Efficiency is Enhanced with Electronic Scheduling Software
One primary benefit that you will soon recognize in the best employee scheduling software is keeping information in one place. Centralized information eliminates the need to check in with managers about who is available for what shift.
Instead, you can log into the system to get this information. Likewise, employees can also take advantage of self-service tools. You can create employee profiles and include details such as:
- Time-off requests
- Overtime preference
- Shift preference
This data is available at any time for review or feedback between HR, managers and employees. When conducting performance reviews, managers and employees can retrieve data to support their responses.
While moving from paper to software is not easy for everybody. Therefore, the best employee scheduling software for small business does not burden everyone with a learning curve.
Overcome Scheduling Problems That Interrupt Productivity
Software for scheduling employees’ work hours is much easier than what you could do with manual processes. You can generate schedules with considerations for employee availability.
Create recurring work schedules eliminates the need to start from scratch when managers know their employees are set to work 10 hour shifts every Thursday through Sunday.
Other advantages to consider:
- Work schedules are available 24/7 – using the web, an app or mobile device, employees know when they are scheduled to work.
- Employee access ends calls to managers and HR – the self-service feature allows employees to view their schedules and also know if they have available vacation time.
- Compliance with overtime rules – managers keep up with employees’ overtime hours to ensure all time was approved before payroll is processed. Hours beyond a full-time shift is approved or denied by managers to avoid excessive labor costs.
- Managers can use the program to communicate with employees – an email or group message can be sent through the scheduling software. Employees receive schedule change updates so they know when new shifts are posted.
Small Business Employee Scheduling Software Doesn’t Waste Your Time
Time is one of the most valuable commodities for your small business. The last thing you should do is continue to waste time with an inefficient time scheduling system.
Any concerns about making a purchases is allayed with the reality of how much a spreadsheet or manual process costs. Even the time it takes to train managers and employees on using a new scheduling system is less than what your company loses every day with current processes.
More time can be devoted to your company’s strategic goals. Less time is wasted on trying to find the error in calculations.
Additionally, count on putting an end to confusion when an employee misses a shift. In the past, some could claim that they had the wrong schedule – or never received one in the first place.
You need one system that publishes the schedule for everyone to see at the same time. Changes can also be published and distributed instantly. Individualized email notifications ensures employees never miss their shift. The business will reduce late starts and absenteeism.
One detail senior management wants to hear is whether a new scheduling software will help departments stay on budget. You can report that yes, because managers can use the tool to fill attendance gaps.
Managers can look at availability and future outs to prepare for the staff shortage. With the right people in place at the right time, productivity targets are continuously met.
Employee schedules are just as important as hiring the right people. Once they are part of the business, you want to keep them working. Doing this effectively means having the right tool that keeps everyone involved.
While there are plenty of affordable software options on the market, cost can be a reason to wait. However, waiting only exacerbates problems you might have with attendance and scheduling. Solve that problem with software that simple and complex schedules equally.
Time & Attendance Tools for Small Business