Managing employee resources can be a time-consuming task, and if you’re not supported by the right technical solutions, it can be a thankless task filled with frustration on both sides of the schedule. Employees might want to provide the best possible performance but find themselves challenged by a schedule that doesn’t take their skill sets and preferences — or even the realities of transportation and work time — into account.
Collaborative solutions can impact scheduling by reducing some of these frictions. Here are four ways the right employee scheduling software can make a big difference for everyone.
1. You’re Not Scheduling in a Vacuum
Trying to lay out a schedule based on knowledge in your head and a series of sticky notes about who needs Friday afternoon off makes your job almost impossible. It’s definitely impossible to do it well on a consistent basis, because there are simply too many data points that go into creating a schedule. Those can include, but aren’t limited to:
- Laws, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act, which you must follow in managing worker schedules
- Labor budgets, which you have to keep in mind when relying on overtime to cover necessary work
- Employee skill sets, which are integral in ensuring the right person is on tap for each job
- Aligning human and nonhuman resources, which keeps you from making mistakes like scheduling a tech to install a new electrical panel when the new panel hasn’t arrived yet
- Other business priorities and obligations, such as training or team meetings
- Employee work-life balance needs, such as requests for time off, sick time, and vacations
Collaborative solutions take the late-night sticky-note sessions out of your scheduling process. Instead, everything you need to create a viable schedule can be incorporated into the software. That includes data from other supervisors or decision-makers as well as requests from employees.
2. Smart Scheduling Technology Reduces Errors
Collaborative solutions let you create rule sets to make scheduling even easier. As long as everyone is entering the right data, it’s not possible for you to schedule someone while they’re on vacation or send a certified electrician to handle a job that actually calls for a plumber.
Smart scheduling offers out-of-the-box rule sets and lets you tailor them to make your own. Some examples of how this might save you time and reduce errors and hassle include:
- You can create rules that take employees with approved time off out of the mix for those days or hours. It won’t be possible to accidentally schedule them because they don’t show up as an option.
- You can create filters to find the right qualified staff for each job. A tutoring company, for example, could attach subject and grade filters to each tutor. That way, if you need to schedule someone to teach 5th grade math, you can drill down to who is available and qualified in a couple of clicks.
- Smart schedules notify you if you’re approaching limits, such as a certain employee’s max hours per week or an overall labor budget. That makes it easier to manage resources within requirements.
3. More Stable Schedules Can Be Supported
All of that information and capability makes it easier to create stable schedules for your employees. You can better accommodate requests for a certain number of hours or manage someone’s schedule, so they always work daytime hours Monday through Wednesday.
Stability can be a huge benefit for your employees and your company. A study conducted with retail workers indicated that supporting stable schedules drove up both productivity and sales. Those benefits are due in part to better morale among employees.
When you’re able to create better schedules, you also reduce work-life balance issues for your employees. According to the Economic Policy Institute, mandatory overtime and other tactics used to make up for potentially poor resource management creates friction between work and personal lives that can leave employees unhappy. Appropriate scheduling can help reduce these frictions.
4. Collaborative Scheduling Solutions Keep Everyone in the Know
Finally, collaborative scheduling solutions ensure everyone knows what they’re expected to do and when — even if the schedule needs to be modified mid-week or even mid-day. In some cases, collaborative solutions might make it easier for supervisors to publish changing needs and have employees respond immediately to volunteer or offer solutions for shifting resources. When the entire team can come together to meet such challenges, it takes the burden off one or two people and increases performance and overall morale.
Collaborative solutions impact scheduling in a variety of ways, from reducing the time it takes to schedule each week to providing for better employee morale and engagement. Schedule a demo to find out how your team can benefit from Visual Planning’s scheduling solutions.