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 an automated scheduling method. It fills in a schedule based on qualifications set by the business and assigns staff automatically. In certain industries, typically hospitality, managers allocate work to employees based on fairness but subject to the employees’ availability. For instance, if all employees are equally available, then management should assign them an equal amount of work.
Equally, if an employee only makes themselves available two days a week, a manager should not schedule them 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. They maintain a strict sequence in which they schedule their employees. 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, schedulers assign a place in a sequence to each employee. Think of this as a list of employees typically arranged in seniority order. Let’s assume you’re scheduling with pen & paper. You’d start at the top of the list and allocate the ‘first shift’ to the first available employee. Then you’d continue to work your way down the list. If any employee is not available, the scheduler will skip them. The scheduler then assigns “their’ shift to the next employee on the list. There is a range of reasons that you might skip an employee. Most typically they would be skipped when a potential shift occurs 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.
Celayix Visual Scheduler
Working with our clients to understand their needs, we have added another tool to the existing suite of employee scheduling tools built into our Visual Scheduler. The autofill rotation tool. 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 favoritism involved in the schedule creation. This will lead to improved trust between employees and management and see fewer scheduling conflicts arise.
Faster Optimized Scheduling
The autofill rotation process also has the ability to be combined with Autofill. Together, they create a powerful scheduling tool that automatically assigns shifts 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 you can configure it 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, any business in any industry can benefit from Celayix autofill rotation. You create the rules that are followed, and when they can be overwritten.
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 workforce management process, get in touch with a Solution Advisor!