The Challenges of Employee Management and Scheduling
Organizations are making a shift. Be it small business, construction companies, restaurants, hotels, hospitals – they all need employee scheduling software. A HR life changing change initiative that was originally called manpower loading or forecasting is now encompassed in scheduling. The greatest move that was made previously was a cloud-based time and attendance system. While this was and still is a game changer for many organizations sometimes its just not enough. The is an additional issue where employees were waiting until the last day of a payroll cycle to enter in all the time for the last 13 days. Punching in/out does not work for all labor forces based on location and ability to have access to internet. The next logical push is to make the employees enter their time daily so that management will always have reporting on what is happening now. This also can fall short.
For companies that work in multiple locations, states, or departments its difficult for managers to see the big picture. Front line managers get caught up with uncovered shifts or missed deadlines and the first instinct is to hire more people. Rarely is management in a position to see specific departments hiring like crazy but others with employees sitting on overhead or being underutilized. Having to constantly hire and fire employees due to lack of accurate scheduling has impacts outside of cost.
How about your industry reputation and what happens next year when you really need that qualified employee that has heard about the revolving door that is your organization? So, the Human Resources next idea should be manpower loading. Build a spreadsheet hoping that the managers will fill in the anticipated workload and hours assigned to each employee each week. Now instead of a workforce management and scheduling issue its snowballing into extra work for our managers to mitigate a reputation problem. The managers are frustrated enough with creating a schedule, filling the holes and now the responsibility to forecasting is falling on them. Please expect a tremendous amount of pushback. So now what?
Go back to your HR roots that stress the Importance of Technology and Automation
Push a new change initiative from a basic electronic timecard to a scheduling software. Imagine starting by building the project in the system. This houses all the details of the project such as; estimated duration, budget, supervisors, departments, location, etc. Then we or the manager assign employees. Based on how the project was set up we now have automatic scheduling and a roster. How about the automatic manpower loading that now exists from just this small piece of information? We can now forecast labor! We can see when people can be reassigned, and projects are coming to an end. The forecasting aspect is extremely valuable but prepare to be surprised at what the live information is bringing to the table. We are now able to see who is assigned at any given time, where and what shift. Let’s take that a step further to your Project Mangers being able to see the budget vs actuals instantly. No more waiting on another department to compile margins.
With scheduling comes the dark cloud of attendance. How much time are you spending managing your labor force? The time it takes to create the weekly schedule of multiple shifts accommodating time off requests is enough of a task without adding in missed shifts and no shows. From reporting and data trends its easy to see that managers take the easy way out of asking a reliable employee to work more overtime to bridge the gap. The consequences of this are not just monetary, you risk burning out your key workforce.
- What if you had a system that accommodated employees requesting time off and trading shifts? You may say, yeah that would be okay. Just let that sink in.
- What if your system put the responsibility on the employee to fill their shifts but it was done in a trackable, professional setting where you could see it and approve each instance?
- Now, there will always be circumstances that the employee is not trading a shift, and as a manager you just need to get it covered. How about open shift notifications? You might be saying we have a company wide email that goes out when we have an open shift, so we already have that. You do not have THIS.
- This is customizable. You can filter out everyone who has exceeded the overtime margins or filter by skillset.
- What if you had a ranking system based on skills and it only went out to the top levels automatically?
Both managers and employees have the ability to see schedules, important communication, time off and potential shift trades on their mobile device from anywhere!
Yes, this can all save an organization time, which saves money, but how else is it helpful? There are so many alerts that were previously manual. How about customized warnings that ping managers about overtime, just in case they got busy with something else. Employees can also get reminder alerts before a shit begins in addition to open shifts.
There is also value associated with employees getting instant notifications about their schedule and available shifts. They are able to participate in the creation of their schedule which is empowering and increases interaction. With the data being live there is no longer the issue of employees waiting on the schedule to be released in order to plan their lives.
There are so many out there that will make the HR nerd in you giddy. Coverage reports, vacation reports, approval reports, location scheduling reports, overtime reports, budgets and margins, etc. There are tons of reports that just take a second to give you the historical data needed to make your future bright, profitable and efficient.