Before we dive into Autofill rotation, we recommend that you read up on our Rules-based engine and our autofill feature. These tools are the building blocks for our Autofill Rotation feature, so understanding how they work is important!
What is Autofill Rotation?
Autofill Rotation is a scheduling method that fills in a schedule based on qualifications set by the business, and assigns staff automatically. In certain industries, typically hospitality, work is allocated to employees based on fairness but subject to the employees’ availability. For instance, if all the employees are equally available, then they should be scheduled an equal amount of work.
On the other hand, if an employee only makes themselves available two days a week, they should not be scheduled as favorably as an employee who makes themselves available 5 days a week. In order to prevent accusations of scheduling favoritism, employers often schedule by rotation, and they maintain a strict sequence of employees who need to be scheduled in this way. One great way to ensure you’re following the rules while scheduling everyone fairly is through using autofill rotation.
How does Autofill Rotation Work?
At the most basic level, employees are assigned a place in a sequence. Think of this as a list of employees typically arranged in seniority order. If you’re scheduling with a piece of paper, you’d then start at the top of the list and allocate the ‘first shift’ to the first (available) employee and work your way down the list. If any employee is not available, they would be skipped and ‘their’ shift would be allocated to the next employee on the list. The reasons for skipping an employee are many, but most typically they would be skipped due to a potential shift occurring on a regular day off or a vacation/PTO day.
If you run out of shifts before the end of the list, you’d start your next batch of shifts from the employee who just missed out of getting the last shift. On the other hand, if you have more shifts than employees, once you got to the bottom of the employee list, you would then start off back at the top of the employee list. Hence, you rotate through the employee list.
Working with our clients to understand their needs, we have added another tool to the existing suite of scheduling tools built into our Visual Scheduler. This will allow you to create multiple employee rotations targeting different groups of employees and shifts. Furthermore, each type of shift can have their own allocation, or sort order.
The tool also offers other options such as applying or skipping your shift qualification or overtime rules, restricting (or not) employees to one shift per day, and either skipping the employee if they are not available (as outlined above) or, used less commonly, assigning them the next shift which they can do.
The Autofill Rotation is one of several tools & techniques available in the Visual Scheduler. You can choose to use other tools either before or after you have used the Autofill Rotation, or use one technique for one pool of employees and another technique for a different pool.
Benefits of Autofill Rotation in Scheduling
Although this feature was born out of a common issue within certain industries, there are benefits to using Autofill Rotation that make life easier for most organizations.
Transparency & Equality in Scheduling
Scheduling with Autofill rotation ensures that all employees in the rotation group are treated equally when it comes to assigning available shifts. Letting your employees know that you are assigning shifts in this way reassures them that there is no favouritism involved in the schedule creation. This will lead to improved trust between employees and management and see less scheduling conflict arise.
Faster Optimized Scheduling
The autofill rotation process also has the ability to be combined with Autofill. Together, they create a powerful scheduling tool where shifts are assigned automatically with little scheduler intervention. Not only will this save you time and effort while scheduling, but it will also ensure that all schedules are error-free. Pair this with Celayix Time & Attendance, and you truly never have to worry about scheduling issues again.
The beauty of autofill rotation, similar to autofill, is that it can be configured uniquely to suit your business needs. You can create as many rotations as you need, and also create different rotations for different types of shifts! Unlike other solutions that are industry-specific, Celayix autofill rotation can be tailored to suit any business in any industry.
Features like Autofill Rotation are what set shift scheduling software like Celayix apart from other, basic methods of scheduling. Easily achieve equality, efficiency and accuracy are in your shift scheduling. Celayix scheduling tools alongside our time and attendance capabilities make us the most comprehensive scheduling platform out there. If you’d like to see how we can help you improve your process, get in touch with a Solution Advisor!