It doesn’t matter what industry you operate in; scheduling is no doubt a core function in your human capital management (HCM) system. Therefore, it’s fair to say, staff scheduling is a significantly important aspect of the running of your business. As simple as it sounds to outsiders, scheduling can be mindbogglingly complex. Fear not schedulers, because below you can find 5 ways to improve your employee scheduling process.
In the following points, we assume you are using staff scheduling software. However, even if you don’t use software right now it’s still relevant to anyone in charge of setting a schedule. Whether it’s facilitated by software or executed using pen-and-paper, this article should make a difference; even it’s just to change your perspective of scheduling.
1 – Look at the Big Picture
Look at efficient scheduling as a strategic tool that you can use to improve your organization. Take a strategic approach to scheduling. Meaning, look at your process in terms of where you could be increasing efficiencies or reducing costs. This could be examining the amount of overtime granted and then trying to spread these hours among more employees.
For example, let’s say you have 3 security guards working 135 hours a week on site A. They are working 5 hours of overtime each. Through analysis of your schedule, you see a guard on site B, with the same expertise as the other guards. He is only working 25 hours a week. This represents an opportunity to maximize the potential of your human resources. Scheduling software has the potential to improve the strategy of an organization overall. It can reduce overtime, fill the schedule of a previously underemployed staff member, and decrease the chance of employee turnover due to burnout.
2 – Empower Employees
The implementation of self-scheduling can act as a powerful way to empower your employees. When employees can set their own schedules via shift bidding, they can achieve a better work life balance, and be happier in work. Showing trust and autonomy to employees most certainly increases happiness and satisfaction, thus reducing turnover and in turn, recruitment & training costs. In this way, employee scheduling software not only improves the morale and productivity of your staff, as a knock-on effect, it tends to increase the level of service you can provide too!
3 – Avoid Schedule Mishaps
Another way to use employee scheduling software to improve your scheduling process is to ensure you set your schedule in advance. This allows management to run the business safe in the knowledge that there are no scheduling nightmares on the horizon. By setting a schedule in advance, many difficulties are avoided. These include lateness, no-shows, under staffing and last minute scheduling. All of which tend to slow down productivity, demotivate employees and lead to higher costs. Using software to easily and accurately set schedules not only improves the scheduling process by making management’s life easier, it improves employee morale and avoids any regulatory faux pas.
4 – Communicate
It has been said that the ability to communicate information is one of the most powerful evolutionary advantages that humans have. Isn’t it strange then, that so many organisations neglect it? Employee scheduling software allows management and staff to communicate directly with one another, all on the same platform as the scheduling is carried out. A great way to improve your scheduling process is to communicate effectively and clearly with employees. This truly applies for all businesses, whether or not they use software. An employee shouldn’t be plagued by management with vague, unclear communication, and vice versa, of course. Although equally important with the pen-and-paper method of scheduling, software can greatly improve communication in your organisation. In fact, bad communication in the workplace can decrease employee productivity, motivation and increase mistakes. This makes it all the more imperative then to ensure free-flowing, accurate communication within your organisation.
5 – Play by the rules
In order to maximize the efficiency of your scheduling process, it helps to be able to set down specific rules and criteria pertaining to staff, for each shift. For businesses with employee scheduling software, it’s hugely useful to be able to choose from eligible staff when setting a schedule. Meaning, only employees that have the relevant skill-set, certifications or attributes can be selected for a certain shift. The software will screen out employees without these characteristics, making it easy for management to set their schedule at the right time, with the right people. It could be a security firm ensuring a security guard with a firearms license attend a certain job site.
Celayix – A little bit about us
Since 2000, Celayix has been delivering the best-of-breed employee scheduling software and workforce management solutions to a broad range of organizations. If you currently use scheduling software and you’re not happy with your offering, or you’re ready to take the plunge from manual scheduling, we may be able to help. We’d love to help out with your scheduling headache. For us, the more complex the better! Get in touch today or check out some of our case studies, to see how we’ve helped organisations in the past.