The Importance of Business Employee Scheduling
Irrespective of the domain an enterprise operates in, a fair and functional schedule forms the core of a company. It helps in keeping track of employees' time and utilizing it in the best way possible. Some of the important goals that best employee schedule meets, includes-
1. Automates the scheduling process
Many studies conducted over the years have addressed the fact how managers and human resources team spend as many as 12 hours chalking out a schedule each week. Implementing a scheduling software, automates the process, taking off the pressure from managers.
2. Assists with core HR tasks
Adding an employee scheduling solution is a valuable addition. It assists managers in recognising the time frame in which employees are available and helps in skill-based scheduling.
3. Tracks and manages employee information
Most new-age scheduling solutions integrate with other apps to track employee availability, their current status and skills. Overlooking any of these may lead to a scheduling crisis.
4. Maximizes workplace efficiency
An effective scheduling ensures that the workload has been evenly divided. That, in turn, minimizes employee burnout and creates to a more productive environment. Oftentimes, best employees either retract from giving their best, or resign because of non-conducive work environment. Scheduling apps optimize the process and increase productivity.
5. Decreases missing of shifts
Newer technological developments have ensured that scheduling solutions are cloud-based, or at least offer online access. Employees are able to access schedule time from anywhere. Even if a schedule is updated frequently, every user is aware of the changes. It reduces missing of shifts, replacements are easily found. It helps a lot of sectors with part-time employees, like the retail industry, hospitality industry, etc. It is beneficial for small businesses as well.
6. Improves employee engagement
When employees are happy and aware of the tasks they have to complete, it automatically ensures more engagement. With most scheduling apps, one can earmark schedule in a Google calendar, which is an easy process and leads to more engagement as well.
7. Increases profits
Apart from a lot of miscellaneous costs, efficient scheduling requires delegating one person from the HR team for the job. A scheduling app, however, allows HR managers to minimize the time and effort required for scheduling on excel sheets and lets them focus on other tasks. Most new schedule builders with recent technology, on the basis of analytics, can predict requirements in advance and accordingly create schedules. Auto-scheduling helps in creating a structure. And, a structured business is always a growing business.
8. Helps following compliance with legal obligations or labor laws
Most US states have regulatory guidelines in place. It restricts the number of working hours per user per month. It also takes into cognizance that employees aren't being forced to work in shifts that are not suitable for them. These guidelines also insist on employers notifying their staff with a stipulated notice period before scheduling time shifts. There are also guidelines for defining overtime and other issues.
The Impact of Poor Business Employee Scheduling
The main objective of any business is to be profitable. Poor employee scheduling can affect the financial performance of an enterprise. Quinyx, a workforce management solution, recently conducted a study, "The Cost of Poor Scheduling- Lessons from 300 operations executives".
300 global operations leaders participated to share their insights on the challenges and the priorities that are required in managing a workforce that's not working from an office desk. It found that companies with no scheduling management software faced major operational challenges during the pandemic.
Companies without AI-driven workforce management lost up to 15% revenue and overspent up to 25% on labor costs. Most manual schedules made an average of 3 to 8 labor law violations per week, resulting in hefty fines.
The consequence of poor employee scheduling is often chaos in operations. It leads to unnecessary workplace stress among team members, poor productivity and increased absenteeism. Employees dealing with poor scheduling frequently have to fill-in for other co-workers at short notice. It becomes one of the major reasons for staff conflicts, leading to high attrition rate in companies.
There may not be a definitive way to decide that a company incurs losses because of poor scheduling, but it certainly affects businesses in major ways. If per user overtime cost is taken into consideration, and other factors like saving money by not paying for tasks not performed, or even reducing the attrition rate, can help a company in turning around profitability in the long term.
You’re juggling too many projects and not enough time to do them.
You’ve tried to prioritize your workload and make sure you have enough time to do everything, but it just doesn’t work.
5 Ways to Improve Business Employee Scheduling
We live in the times of gig economy -- a phenomena that has seen a massive rise during the pandemic. A lot of skilled professionals have chosen to go solo instead of dealing with pressures of full-time jobs, managing office time, attendance, etc. Everyone wants to have a healthy work-life balance and avoid burnout. A schedule helps in eliminating these issues. Here, in five steps, we talk about how to build a schedule that's effective.
1. Use scheduling software
With scheduling software solutions, employers have the ability to be considerate towards the preferences of employees and at the same time have a reliable schedule that doesn't affect the work. Most solutions offer built-in templates and help in avoiding scheduling conflicts. A good employee scheduling app or scheduling software (most of them come with a free version for a trial) also creates schedules for multiple locations, teams, or projects. Scheduling software provides benefits including-
- GPS tracking
- Real-time updates
- Communication features
- Location-based scheduling
- Job regulation
- Invoicing options
2. Create schedules in advance
Traditionally, it may have worked to make schedules last minute. However, in anticipation of unplanned work, employees are often more stressed. It leads to a less productive environment. Advance schedules reduce unpredictability and a better and balanced work environment. It, however, makes sense to always have a pool of employees that understands that last-minute changes are always a possibility.
3. Be considerate towards employees
An efficient schedule is always the one that keeps everyone's needs in focus. Understanding an employee's priorities may work really well in the long run for a company. To understand an employee's needs, the best way is to understand their priorities and commitments before on-boarding them. Someone may still be studying and thus prefer an afternoon shift. Or, someone may like an early evening workout session and prefers to finish their work commitments early in the day. If you are an organization that doesn't mind working in shifts, it is always better to be considerate towards employees and make efforts to make their after work day free.
4. Be open to shift swapping
Most companies are not open to employees changing shifts with other employees because they fear confusion and chaos. But most scheduling software comes with an online trade board. Scheduling apps make swapping shifts an easier process while also ruling out any last minute confusion. Online trade boards are really good for businesses with part-time scheduling and short-shift workers.
5. Have a leave policy and absence management plan
To have a set of guidelines that lets employees pre-plan leave for vacation or other personal commitments, is always a good idea to avoid last-minute absenteeism. But there are emergency situations when an employee may go on an unplanned leave. For such times, it is always better to have a back-up plan ready, especially for the crucial tasks.
Why employee scheduling is important
Creating an effective work schedule isn't easy. One has to consider many variables. In a lot of businesses, like hospitality, retail, healthcare and IT, scheduling for hourly employees is an extensive as well as an exhaustive process. HR managers have to dedicate many hours on a weekly basis to come up with a schedule that is workable. It consumes time and resources. Optimizing the business schedule while also ensuring that the time spent on it is minimal is the key to building a successful business operation. Implementing time clocks and payroll software is helpful. Business Employee Scheduling can broadly be broken down to a 8-step process-
- Identifying resources
- Recognizing demand
- Listing shift requirement
- Understanding employee preferences
- Taking cognisance of past schedules
- Creating a back-up plan
- Compliance with labor laws
Adding a scheduling software in the functioning of an enterprise helps in automating and streamlining the process. A lot of these scheduling softwares are extremely easy-to-use, and have free plans and paid plans depending on your need.
How can you improve scheduling efficiency?
Irrespective of the size or scope of your business, if you are unable to manage your employees, it may be mostly because you aren't scheduling efficiently. Scheduling gives employees the flexibility to manage their time and give their best output. Some things that can better your scheduling efficiency includes-
1. Use an Employee Scheduling Software With Best Automation Features
The software you choose for your business makes a huge difference in the efficiency of your company. Best employee scheduling software lets you make reliable schedules per month, or better even per week basis and have in-built automation features. It increases the punctuality of your employees. With customizable features, choosing software over a manual application like excel sheets saves time and money. The good part is that most of the current offerings in the market come with additional benefits like like live chats and real-time customer service, which helps companies.
2. Free employee for better output
An efficient employee scheduling is all about avoiding bottleneck. Ensuring that employees are provided the resources in time of their planned work hours is one of the ways to avoid such possible work traffic. It lets a company relieve the employees in time and helps the next shift prepare the resources/equipments better for their use.
3. Schedule by Location
Scheduling software usually lets you track an employee's location. In profiles that require on-field jobs, like restaurants, location scheduling can help in cutting down on commuting time. In fact, there are customized restaurant scheduling software that helps the business tremendously with better planning and execution of shifts.
Managing employee schedules can be a challenge.
You need to keep up with your workload and manage your team’s schedules, but it seems like you never have enough time to do anything.