Staff Scheduling: A Critical Organizational Function in 2021

With an average of 70% of a company’s costs relating to the workforce in one way or another, managers come to realize that scheduling is more than a cost center: it is the most critical investment area of all.

What is Staff Scheduling?

In its simplest form, staff scheduling is the process of selecting and assigning employees to shifts within an organization and specifying when and for how long that shift should take place. It can be taken many steps beyond the basics, including things like qualification, hour thresholds, assignment of specific tasks, and much more.

It is a fundamental function of all organizations that involves a range of complex issues such as union rules, overtime & absenteeism – to name a few. Without the right resources, staff scheduling can be time-consuming and overwhelming. Inefficient staff scheduling can also be costly; although it differs by industry, employee labor costs most businesses 35% of their gross sales. That’s just labor. Factor in avoidable overtime, absenteeism, and scheduling errors, and it could be a lot higher. Today, managers have realized that scheduling is more than just an HR function, it’s a critical organizational function.

The Staff Scheduling Process

Most people would assume that creating a staff schedule is a simple task. However, once you set about actually creating a schedule, you will quickly find out that there is a lot to consider;

  • What staff members are available/unavailable?
  • Which staff members are qualified for the tasks I need done?
  • Am I creating avoidable overtime?
  • How many shifts do I need to meet demand?
  • What will demand be for this time period?
  • Am I following union guidelines and labor laws?

The list goes on. With all of these considerations, the best way to be successful is by automation. With manual processes, human error will likely occur and create flaws within your staff schedule that can be easily avoided.

The Ramifications of Flaws in Your Schedule

In order to fully understand the affects of schedule errors, we asked our customers which problems occurred for them as a result of inefficient scheduling. There were 4 main areas of concern; Customer Satisfaction, Regulation Compliance, Cost of Operations, and Employee Retention.

Problem AreaPotential Issue from Inefficient SchedulingPossible Outcomes
Customer SatisfactionUnfilled, Understaffed shifts, or Unqualified employees
Dissatisfied customers or clients
Loss of future business from those customers
Damage to reputation from word of mouth

Regulation Compliance

Lack of Compliance with Union, or Government Regulations

Strikes from workers resulting in disruption to work
Receiving fines/penalties from Unions or Government

Cost of Operations
Avoidable Overtime
Increased, unnecessary payroll costs
Employee RetentionLack of schedule flexibility and communication resulting in high turnoverUnnecessary time and money spent seeking, hiring, and training a new workforce
Lack of available employees to fulfill current demand & loss of potential profitability

This list helps paint a picture of how important it is to have a solid staff scheduling process in place in just a few of the very important parts of running a business.

Staff Scheduling Solutions

As we’ve already mentioned, staff scheduling issues impact you no matter what industry you are in. As a result of this globally recognised struggle, Staff Scheduling Software is more popular than ever. Organizations all over the world are turning to more sophisticated tools and resources to help them improve their staff scheduling practices. With developments in technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other automation, it’s becoming more and more difficult to ignore their potential.

For most organizations, the bottom line is what matters, right? In the past, the idea of shift scheduling software was seen as an extra cost, that isn’t crucial to business operations. However, when you dig deeper into the issues that staff scheduling software can solve, you might be surprised at how it can actually help your bottom line and put extra money into your business.

How can Staff Scheduling Software save you money?

Automation

With staff scheduling software, you can cut the time it takes create a staff schedule by up to 95%. That can clear up time for your managing staff to focus on growing and operating the business and give them back valuable time in the day. You can generate a weekly or monthly employee shift schedule with any length or even rotating shifts – in minutes and automatically communicate schedules with staff. All of this means you can redirect the time and effort that used to go into staff scheduling elsewhere without worrying.

Easily Handle No-Shows

How much time & money do you think has been spent trying to handle sick-calls or last minute schedule changes? It can cost you thousands. Absenteeism can cost you over $2,600 per employee per year. However, this fear is now becoming something of the past with automation tools available. With most staff scheduling software today, replacements can be found, contacted and confirmed in minutes, without a single phone call. That potential savings alone can mean thousands back into your business.

Control Overtime

With staff scheduling software, you can create your own rules and limits around overtime scheduling. Telling your system how to handle overtime helps you stay on budget and prevent all avoidable over time. This makes you more profitable, all while making sure shifts are filled and clients are happy.

Eliminate Time Theft

Although not all staff scheduling solutions have time and attendance features, you should definitely opt for one that does. Timesheet or timecard fraud can cost you as much as 7% of your total payroll, and an astounding 43% of workers admit to padding timesheets. To add to that, 74% of employers experience payroll loses related to buddy punching, which is when one employee checks in for another. Having staff scheduling software that also tracks time and attendance is vital to avoid falling victim to these costly pitfalls. Have staff members clock-in/out and have real time alerts to make sure all payroll and billing is accurate and locations are covered.

100% Accurate Payroll & Billing

Payroll and billing are vital business functions. Not only that, but time & attendance and payroll errors can cost you as much as 8% of your payroll value. Comprehensive staff scheduling software allows you to automate the exchange of time and attendance information into your payroll system. This will combat two costly and common payroll issues by only paying workers for the time the actually worked, and avoiding paycheck errors. The money you could save from just one of these areas, could be enough to cover the costs of staff scheduling software. Here at Celayix, we’ve helped companies save over $22,000 a year by improving their employee scheduling, check-in/out, time-sheet validation, invoicing, and payroll processes. If you’re interested in seeing how much we could save you, take a look at our ROI Calculator here, or get in touch with one of our Solutions Advisors!

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