A scheduling system refers to the methods a business utilizes to schedule the time of its staff members. In today’s world, an efficient scheduling system refers to a software program or an app.
The modern workplace differs completely from a conventional office. It is fast-moving and dynamic and importantly; it is shift-based. Unless you have a proper, foolproof planning and scheduling system in place, you may not get a grip on the critical components of business management such as labor costs, productivity efficiency, and regulatory compliances.
Why Organizations Must Invest in Scheduling Software
Managers must get the scheduling right if they want to maximize employee output and streamline the various business processes to make the whole system perform like a well-oiled machine. However, it is not easy to create an effective schedule, especially in an organization with a large workforce and diverse areas of operations. With an increasing focus on work-life integration and compacted work weeks, the level of complexity only gets worse for managers.
The old method of using spreadsheets for scheduling is unlikely to help you achieve your goals. Using advanced software-based scheduling solutions will help you get the job done faster and more efficiently. There are various types of scheduling management systems available. It is important to choose one that is the best fit for your industry.
Undoubtedly, scheduling software development solutions are more expensive than conventional ones, but they can save you a lot more in terms of operational efficiency. In industries that are more workforce driven such as restaurants and retail, investing in the best scheduling management system is imperative as staff shortages and mismanagement can spell disaster.
If you are still unsure about investing in a workforce scheduling solution, take a look at these eight reasons for deploying the software at your workplace:
1. Easy to Adapt to Unexpected Changes in Employee Shifts
As a dynamic business, you must be always on your toes to deal with unexpected and developing situations often brought upon by circumstances beyond your control. Abrupt changes may have to be implemented in employee shifts at times to deal with unforeseen situations. With spreadsheets, you must make those changes manually, which is not only time-consuming but prone to errors as well. At times, such errors may prove costly.
- An advanced scheduling software eliminates all the hassling elements of rescheduling and allows the changes to be incorporated without long phone conversations or text messages.
- Modern software systems come with features that allow managers to be notified immediately about any changes.
- The system can also help managers find an available employee to fill a vacant shift seamlessly.
2. Simplify The Process of Requests for Time Offs
Are your employees still sending time off requests through email or notes? Using a scheduling system can simplify the process significantly. Your staff can send their time off requests via the web directly to the managers they are reporting. It is also an effective way of keeping track of:
- Vacation days
- Family and Medical Leave Related Absences
- Leave Takes on Sick Days
- Leave for Jury Duty
Allowing or declining such time-offs can also happen through the web instead of emails. With ready access to a list of unavailable employees for a specific period, managers can keep such names away from the scheduling process.
3. Maintain Adequate Shift Staffing Levels
It is vital for your business to have the right number of employees –even a cushion of an extra one – to address the changing demands of your customers and achieve your business objectives. A good scheduling system will help your managers make better staffing decisions by perusing past shift scheduling reports and taking into account the seasonal surge in demand for specific products/services. Scheduling software systems can help foster cost efficiency is by guiding managers in building more effective schedules. Analytics can be leveraged to predict future demand create appropriate schedules accordingly. The benefits? You will not run out of staff hands when business is booming, and you won’t have to schedule workers when business is running on predictable lines.
- Data reports can help managers make proactive scheduling decisions to deal with the challenges of busiest times.
- The software will allow them to make seamless adjustments to shifts and the number of employees to meet the changing demands as and when needed.
4. Empower Employees to Make Self-Scheduling Decisions
If you are an organization in sync with the changing business times, you will realize that most organizations deploy employee self-service systems. They have no issues allowing employees to make last-minute shift changes as long as it doesn’t affect the smooth day-to-day work processes. It is a simple and effective way of allowing employees the flexibility they sometimes need while ensuring that managers don’t have to scramble and find a replacement.
Web-based tools allow employees to connect with each other, make shift swaps, and submit the rescheduled list to managers in one smooth movement. It also helps shift the responsibility of changing schedules in the hands of employees.
- When your staff gets the power to schedule their shifts and make changes through responsible swaps, the level of employee satisfaction and motivation increases leading to enhanced productivity.
- It can also help address the problem of high turnover rates, as satisfied employees are unlikely to consider a job shift.
5. Deliver Mobility Demand with Access Anytime, Anywhere
Scheduling software combined with self-service options can do wonders for your business. Now take it even further with mobile apps web-based scheduling software. Employees can access schedule information from any place whenever they want.
If an employee who is holidaying wants to check their shift date and time they have to report to when they return, mobile app-based scheduling software allows them to do it easily. It can work on all types of smartphones and systems.
- Mobile scheduling apps can work as a notification device that managers can use to keep employees updated about changes in work schedules and other matters relevant to their working hours.
- Features such as daily and weekly shift reminders can be of good value to everyone involved in employee shift management.
6. Keep Errors to Bare Minimum
Manual spreadsheets used for employee work scheduling cannot be trusted for accuracy, as there is a high chance of human error and other forms of mistakes creeping in. This can create a messy situation, especially in industries like restaurants, retail, and others that are predominantly labor intensive. By shifting to scheduling software, you can automate your set schedules and check for any errors before the scheduled tasks come into play.
- The system is designed to track any minute requests and changes which means there is less confusion and more efficiency.
- Managers can remain in control of the scheduling process at all times as the data of all the employees remain in one central place.
7. Improve Visibility and Accountability
A good scheduling software can ensure perfect scheduling by taking into account skill sets and the availability of employees. It helps improve accountability by smooth integration of the self-service system into the process. Employees can view their schedules and remain updated with any changes through a secure web portal. It also allows them to update their personal information, thus instilling a sense of empowerment in them.
- Advanced scheduling systems allow the setting up of various security levels within the software
- This allows managers to have the last word and authorization in shift changes
- Employees cannot disturb or break the established chain of command by making unsanctioned changes between themselves
8. Ensure Regulatory Compliance
It is nearly impossible to use a manual scheduling system to address the needs of employees and businesses while ensuring complete compliance with all scheduling regulations. Scheduling software makes it easier for managers to track compliance with aspects such as
- Employee classification
- Insurance compliance
- Payroll-Based Journal compliance
Scheduling software also makes it easy for organizations to amend processes and comply with new labor laws as they are unrolled and come into effect. This is particularly true for a small business operating on a minimal budget and might not have the resources required to hire an experienced and dedicated manager.
- Scheduling software allows you to simplify the compliance process.
- It can alert you whenever there is a possibility of staff shortage or a potential rule violation.
The right scheduling management software can reduce the workload of business owners, executives, and managers significantly as it automates many of the tasks associated with employee scheduling. It is considered a vital tool for managing the business efficiently nowadays.
Managers can use the software for multiple tasks simultaneously, assign specific tasks to employees skilled to do that task, and deliver the desired outcome. They can also monitor the progress of the tasks. A custom software development solutions provider can help in the development of a scheduling software, which can provide to be a wonderful tool for decreasing the communication gap between employees and managers, which can result in increased efficiency and better management of time.
In today’s business environment, one of the biggest benefits of using workforce scheduling software is that it can help gain a lead over their competitors. While fully automating manual processes and saving the valued time of managers, the software can also record the shift preferences for future staffing schedules. Managers can use their time to focus their attention and efforts on activities that can help their business gain a competitive advantage.
Abhishek Jain is a seasoned leader with 25+ years of business transformation expertise, digital marketing, and technology solutions for the US and global marketplaces.