Why Allow Employee Self Scheduling

Employee Self Scheduling

Author: Ante Beslic

When it comes to shift scheduling, there are different ways to approach this complex problem – depending on perspective and techniques involved. The traditional (and old) way of doing this is to have a dedicated scheduler handling all employees’ shift assignments, based on a plethora of different factors – overtime rules, seniority level, hours restrictions, skills required, experience required, etc. Adding employee availability information helps with the decision-making, but you rely on the employees to enter information on time and accurately, adding another rule to be enforced and monitored. When we look at medium and large enterprises with a significant number of employees, including various position types and requirements, the scheduling tasks become a time-suck, and sometimes an even overwhelming challenge.

However, there is a newer, modern approach that resolves the hurdles mentioned above. The benefits of this alternative are two-fold: automation and distributed effort.

Everything today is getting automated to some extent, so why not do the same with scheduling? If the business rules and constraints in regards to shift scheduling are well known and defined, we should be able to incorporate this logic into a computer algorithm. The computer system with access to the entirety of previous/current shift data and employee profiles can quickly and easily determine if a given candidate fits the role, without compromising equality or fairness of shift distribution. But using computers to speed up work and go over tedious tasks, and eliminating human errors, is nothing new in today’s world. Distribution of effort in workforce management, however, is something more recent and is best observed in self-scheduling, where the onus in on employees to assign themselves to unfilled shifts.

As the name suggests, self-scheduling enables employees to apply for available, open shifts, as opposed to being assigned by the scheduler. Given the fact that the employee knows their own availability best, knows if the particular shift is attractive to them, and knows their commitments maybe not (yet) entered into the system at a given moment – they are the most competent to decide on scheduling themselves, without the need for back-and-forth communication and arrangements with the scheduler, effectively saving time and money. The scheduler has the responsibility to create the shifts, set the rules & restrictions and publish them for employees to pick; employees act on this, usually on a first-come-first-serve criteria. Fairness can be accomplished through shift grouping based on a number of properties, effectively masking a specific shift and/or preventing position cherry-picking – employee is assigned one shift from the group, on need-to-know basis, without knowing all the details.

The benefits of self-scheduling are obvious, as long as they fit and are allowed by your business model/processes.

Please contact us for a demo of our software and let us showcase self-scheduling capabilities to help you save time and money!