AI, or Artificial Intelligence, has become a central topic of conversations and debate around the world. Businesses are very keen on implementing it in some way or another. Its prominence over the past few years is promising, helping companies become more efficient and remain competitive. AI brings to the conference table an additional employee that can assist in handling repetitive tasks across the organization. AI-powered chatbots, for instance, make customer interactions dramatically easier and faster for the company. One area where AI is particularly useful is employee scheduling. AI can eliminate some of the most common scheduling issues, and lighten the load for managers. The development of AI has also allowed companies to use AI for data analysis, which can be later used for making financial decisions. At this rate, AI will soon be making or recommending most of our business decisions!
Common Employee Scheduling Issues
If you were to ask employers which task is the most repetitive or monotonous, most of them would say employee scheduling. Employee scheduling is a critical task for any company, without which there would be chaos in the workplace. This high importance and monotony mixture can cause issues for businesses because employers can find it extremely difficult to endure such tasks daily. As a result, having manual schedulers without employing AI in scheduling can bring up common scheduling issues. Some of them are:
Manual scheduling is time-consuming and inefficient:
The assignments provided to a scheduler are often tricky and complicated. Each employee itself is an assignment. Creating a schedule for a mobile workforce requires high levels of communication and coordination. It’s unlikely that a company sees no hiccups in their schedule, often because schedulers cannot create a schedule that perfectly fits every employee. Such a task for any employer is not just challenging but time-consuming and inefficient too. The number of people that require coordination to make manual schedules makes scheduling problematic. A lot of time and energy is wasted on an operation that businesses hope to complete immediately.
Manual scheduling is prone to error:
It’s a common understanding that any task as tedious as manual scheduling is prone to errors. After all, our flaws are what make us human. Nevertheless, these errors are still very costly for any business. Poor scheduling is often a result of such errors, and they often add to various labor costs such as overtime costs. Such errors are often the reason behind overstaffed and understaffed workplaces. As mentioned before, it’s unlikely that schedulers have no hiccups; they’re often filled with double bookings & missed shifts. As a result, manual scheduling has a greater chance of having more no-shows and overtime than an AI-based scheduling platform.
Creating biased, unfair schedules:
This might not be the most common scheduling issue, but it has significant consequences. As per a study by the University of Washington, there is a managerial bias towards flexible scheduling. Managers prefer or prioritize employees that work early hours over employees that work later hours. This bias is worse in companies where flexible scheduling still isn’t an option. Consequently, manual scheduling might lead to certain biases where some employees are preferred and judged higher than others based on something other than performance.
Now you might be wondering, how does AI help combat and mitigate these issues? Let’s get right into it!
Benefits of AI in Scheduling
Time & Resource Management:
As mentioned earlier, scheduling is a component of efficient management, but it should not be the main focus of the management team. Every company has some more productive tasks and goals that require the company’s time and resources. AI, which thrives on complexity, discovers new rules from historical data using machine learning and recommends the best shift assignments. The best part of AI-powered scheduling is that it doesn’t replace the schedulers but makes them better decision-makers. As a result, managers can now spend time on other tasks within the business and spend less time finding a replacement for any shifts.
Remove errors & Improve schedule quality:
AI scheduling systems have scheduling and workforce management capabilities that even the best human experts might not be able to compete with. The scope for AI is limitless. Not only can AI review the schedules for any errors, but it can further improve scheduling quality by suggesting best-fit employees for any shift. All it requires is the historical scheduling data of the company. AI feeds on this data to factor out availability, qualifications, and client’s needs to develop the best-recommended and most efficient schedule.
Manage and utilize scheduling data:
You must wonder how large a dataset an AI scheduling system works with! Well, typical data points include availability, paid time off, vacation, contracted hours, overtime, qualifications, regular shift patterns, and many more. AI utilizes this dataset to create an optimized schedule that will simultaneously meet the needs of your business and its staff. As a result, the track of qualifications, certifications, overtime, and typical shift patterns for any employee would be at the tip of your fingers at all times. Managers can use this data to improve the scheduling process as we advance effortlessly.
AI is fair and unbiased:
Last but not least, AI only focuses on the metrics that matter. The sole job of AI in scheduling is to save time and money and boost performance in the company. AI won’t suffer from frustration and burnout, unlike humans. With the help of predictive analytics, AI extracts information from existing datasets in order to determine patterns and predict future outcomes and trends. It makes outcomes based on concrete data rather than intuition. The most exciting part about AI in scheduling is its proactive approach. Employers have the ability to make their AI scheduling system follow labor union rules (if that’s a requirement for your business), such as scheduling on the basis of seniority, as well as scheduling breaks for the employees. Subsequently, the employers still have control over the company’s scheduling; however, the AI then recommends the fairest and unbiased scheduling for your company!
Of course, AI is complicated and unsettling, but it’s inevitable! AI systems like Celayix’s AI scheduling are the best-of-breed and have helped companies save the three primary resources: time, money and employees. With Celayix’s AI, your data is always secured and will only be used for the benefit of your company. Moreover, these systems aren’t built to take over the world or our jobs but to facilitate businesses in becoming more competitive. Indeed, AI is here to stay!