Scheduling employees for shift work can leave an unprepared manager in a state of frustration. Every employee has their own ideal work preferences and producing a schedule to suit all of their needs can be time-consuming and challenging at the same time. Scheduling without automation leaves businesses susceptible to error and prone to poor decision-making. This is where automated employee scheduling can make a huge difference.
One of the main reasons why managers look to switch to automated employee scheduling is because manual processes are not competent enough. Before looking at why that is, let’s discuss automated employee scheduling.
Automated employee scheduling
Automated Shift Scheduling is a digital way of managing a company’s workforce. It’s a powerful tool that decreases your reliance on manual scheduling using basic templates such as Excel. Managers and executives have limited real-time visibility into scheduling and reporting and this makes it difficult to mitigate potential issues and make proactive changes and informed decisions. But what kind of change should they be prepared for?
The workforce landscape continues to evolve, which is causing managers to come under additional pressure. During the recent pandemic, fluctuating demand and increased absenteeism have made scheduling unpredictable. Amongst all of the chaos, the growth of automated employee scheduling has given businesses a platform to continuously schedule with competence. Manual processes don’t carry that kind of reliability anymore. Let’s look at why.
Why manual processes are bad for business
There once was a time when manual processes were an efficient enough process for your scheduling. But managers are slowly realizing that the time they’re spending and the costly errors more than compensate for that. Let’s explore the ways it can be bad for business.
The most significant reason why businesses lean towards employee scheduling software is that manual processes are susceptible to human error. Nobody wants inaccurate data leading to an incompetent schedule. It can result in low employee morale and increase the likelihood of a high employee turnover. It can also have a huge impact on the trust and reliability your clients have in your business.
Manually processing data is no fun. And reading manually processed data is not much fun either. It can be boring and tedious for the creator. And can be difficult to access for those needing to read the schedule. It can lead to an overcomplicated schedule process that leaves employees feeling disengaged with their job. A new and exciting automated employee scheduling software can relight their fire. Most of us know by now that employee engagement is directly linked to productivity.
Keeping up with the latest industry compliance is a much trickier task if you’re using manual data entry. In order to comply you must evidence that your data is accurate, or face being left vulnerable to the authorities. An automated employee scheduling system will keep your data error-free and in the correct format.
5 Benefits of Automated Employee Scheduling
So now that we’ve discovered why manual processing can be bad for business, let’s dive into automated employee scheduling and the 5 benefits that can help your business.
Save time and money
As the saying goes, “time is money”. So, put down the pen and paper.
Manually creating your schedule is probably taking up a ton of your time. By integrating the best automated employee scheduling, you can cut the time it takes to create your schedule by 95%. Reproducing a schedule every week or month can take a matter of minutes using a shift template. The additional time you save can be used on other business priorities.
Dealing with schedule changes is part and parcel of the business process. But using the best methods to deal with change is what separates the best from the rest. Let’s look at how you can do that.
Increase your efficiency
Many businesses cut corners to save time and it often comes to the detriment of their efficiency.
Whether your schedule is running daily, weekly or monthly, you need to ensure that it’s providing efficiency. This first comes with finding the right people for the right roles. But just as importantly, understanding that you’ll be dealing with a multitude of changes. When data is processed in real-time, it gives businesses the knowledge they need to be proactive. Maybe there’s a bout of good weather that leaves you with a haul of time off requests. Or there’s an illness that’s floating around the office, causing a spike in sick leave. If your business has the tools to be flexible with change, there’s no doubting that it will operate more efficiently.
Taking advantage of automated employee scheduling tools will ensure that you’re utilizing your resources in the best way. One tool that helps managers to achieve this is autofill. Because autofill can be customized by a set of rules, it allows them to find the most suitable employees to fill each shift. For some managers, they prefer to offer shifts for self-scheduling which takes the pressure off them to select employees for shifts. And in turn, it can actually give the employee more control over their work-life balance.
Stay on alert
Receiving alerts in real-time is invaluable to managers becoming aware of change. If someone doesn’t show up to a shift, your alerts will notify you. But instead of texting all your employees and choosing the fastest responder to fill the void, you can then take this as an opportunity to utilize the find replacement tool. This will provide a list of the most qualified and available employees to fill the void.
Now it’s great for managers to understand any change in their schedule. But it’s only fair that employees are aware of changes that affects them, too. Let’s look at how that can be achieved.
Employees remain informed
Once there was a time employees would have to hunt down a printed piece of paper or check a chart on the wall. Today’s scheduling landscape allows them to view the most current version of their schedule online. This design gives employees the autonomy they need to feel in control of their schedule. This gives them the flexibility they need for a healthy work-life balance and can help to prevent them from burning out.
Whenever an employee is scheduled, the shifts will present in real-time inside of their employee scheduling apps. For shift workers, they’re often inclined to confirm the shift a set period of time before so that managers can plan to replace them if they’re not available. But to make it even easier, employees can use an availability tool to show that they’re available to work on a certain day. Harvard Business Review’s research found that 83% of employees said if they had more control over their schedule, they’d be more likely to stay in their job. Employees having control over their schedule helps to boost their morale and makes them feel more engaged with a business. There should be great emphasis put on how scheduling can make a huge difference to how an employee feels. Unfortunately, some managers remain oblivious to this.
Let’s look at how automated employee scheduling can lower employee turnover.
Lower employee turnover
The major advantage to businesses is that automated employee scheduling can actually help to lower employee turnover. Many businesses have struggled to retain employees due to the inconvenience of their scheduling and the lack of flexibility. Poor scheduling has long resulted in workplace conflict, lower productivity and an increase in absenteeism. An unpredictable schedule is directly linked to unhappy employees, reported MarketWatch. Last minute text messages to inform an employee that their shift starts in 30 minutes is not going to be received well. Changes at short notice can become difficult to manage for anyone. Especially those who have many responsibilities outside of their workplace.
Integrating automated employee scheduling will give an additional layer of control and make their employees feel more engaged. And it’s important for any manager to realize that an engaged workforce will reflect on their customers.
So how does automated employee scheduling lead to happier customers? If you spend less time dealing with scheduling issues you’ll have more time to focus on customers and the best ways to keep them happy. But also, if your employees are happy, they’ll be more productive. This will reflect in the way they interact and handle work for any of your customers.
A reduction in errors and utilization of your best resources will ensure that your schedule is coherent as can be. So if you’re scheduling shift work for site, your clients can be sure they’re getting the most capable employees to do the job. And if any changes are required, you can simply enter your employee scheduling software and edit your schedule on the spot. Scheduling has never been so easy.
Automated employee scheduling and its importance
Automated employee scheduling has paved the way for businesses to schedule in the most efficient way possible. It’s created an intent focus on keeping both the manager and the employee happy. The manager’s scheduling becomes far more reliable and efficient, while making it more streamlined with other business processes such as payroll.
Employees can now use their employee scheduling app to gain more autonomy over their schedule, while taking advantage of the real-time data which discloses the details of their shifts. Providing your employees with a fair and transparent scheduling environment will go a long way toward improving morale, mental health, and, as a result, engagement and retention.
By leveraging intelligent automation in scheduling, a business is empowering their managers and employees to operate at their highest possible capability. If you’d like to see how Celayix employee scheduling software can help you achieve the benefits above, contact us today!