As of 2018, over sixty percent of the workforce in the US gets paid on an hourly wage. Essentially, the engine that runs the country is made up of hourly workers – from security guards to nurses, caregivers, chefs, servers, caterers, delivery people, and many more. In North America, the number of people working hourly jobs increases year by year, and consequently, so have discussions among business owners, politicians, and communities on how to reasonably deal with and manage those hourly workers. One of the most common discussions amongst those groups has to do with unfair scheduling methods being enacted by business owners and managers nationwide.
It’s essential for business owners or managers who are responsible for scheduling to understand the concerns involved in the topic of fair scheduling because they’re the ones who have to prepare for future changes in legislation at the local, state, and federal levels.
The Main Problems
1) Lack of Communication Tools
When you’re not using an automated scheduling system, managing schedules can become quite difficult. But creating a schedule is only half the battle. The back and forth communication between employees and managers can become quite convoluted. Without a proper system in place, managers and business owners have to manually keep track of employee time off request, shift confirmations, availability submissions, and preferences.
Quite commonly, employees and managers are faced with dealing with back and forth communication through emails, text messages, and written documents. By lacking a centralized system to consolidate all this communication, managers are continually prone to errors. As a result, it’s virtually impossible to avoid a scheduling problem; whether it is double booking an employee, scheduling someone on their day off, or scheduling people that lack the qualifications. What does this all lead to? It leads to staff overbooking, employee no shows, compliance issues and many more problems.
2) Poor Planning
Inequitable scheduling also occurs when managers set unrealistic schedules that make employees’ lives difficult. A common occurrence in scheduling is when a scheduler creates a shift where the employee “closes up shop,” then “opens up shop.” Although this practice may be effective in theory because you only may have a handful of employees that may responsible for those types of shifts, it can often lead to employee burnout, hurt employee morale, and create employee turnover.
One of the more discussed scheduling issues is around on-call scheduling. The practice was developed to supplement the need for employees during slow periods or busy times. The practice has a significant role in the movement around fair scheduling.
3) Employee accountability
It’s almost inevitable as a manager or business owner when you have had an hourly employee show up late or gone completely AWOL. More often than not, this is due to lack of mechanisms that keep employees accountable. This typically leads to ad-hoc replacements, which results in not being able to serve clients in a timely or safe manner. Organically, business owners adapt to this by creating unrealistic rules that employees have to comply with, such as on call scheduling or last minute call outs.
Is There a Solution on the Way?
Elizabeth Warren, current senator from Massachusetts, is proposing a bill at the federal level that will mitigate some of the problems discussed earlier. The bill is called the schedules that work act. It may benefit you as a business owner to review the bill as we know there are a more employee friendly movements cascading across the U.S.
How Can You Prepare?
As more and more communities and states are adopting the more employee friendly approach to scheduling, it can be beneficial for business owners and managers to search for solutions that will adhere to the said above.
If you would like to learn more about how Celayix can resolve many of these scheduling issues please contact us here.