Imagine you are a supervisor. You need to create and communicate a schedule for a group of part-time employees week over week. Each employee has their own availability, work preferences, and time-off requests. In addition, you also need to account for any last-minute changes. Creating a schedule to fit all employees can be a time-consuming and daunting task. Enter automated scheduling.
When this process is manual, it is very easy to make mistakes in the scheduling process. This results in more time needed to solve the issue. In an attempt to avoid errors, increase efficiency and accuracy, many businesses lean toward a one-sided scheduling process. Schedules are created by supervisors without the influence of employee preferences. While this decreases the complexity of the scheduling process, this is unideal for the employee. Schedules are less flexible, employees have less autonomy in the schedule, and it can lead to a decrease in employee satisfaction.
Fortunately, employee scheduling software is an easy fix to complex scheduling processes. Not only does it make life easier for schedulers or supervisors, it brings a range of other benefits. For many businesses, moving from manual processes to automated scheduling results in major efficiency increases. It also increases satisfaction for both supervisors and employees. Overall, automated scheduling helps save time and improve accuracy for supervisors.
Benefits of Automated Scheduling
Fortunately, employee scheduling software is an easy fix to complex scheduling processes. Not only does it make life easier for schedulers or supervisors, but it also brings a range of other benefits.
Depending on your current method of shift scheduling, automated scheduling can save you up to 95% of the time spent scheduling. We’ve had clients see these huge time savings;
“Now, it takes me just one day to create schedules compared to nearly two weeks before. It’s like a dream.”Bill Looker, Admissions Staffing Manager, Portland’5 Centers for Arts
With automated scheduling, supervisors can see exactly who is available, who is on paid leave, and which employees have the right qualifications for the shift. To further save time, Celayix software has tools like autofill and Celayix AI which can fill an entire schedule for you based on your own business rules. With time savings like this, schedulers can spend time elsewhere, growing the business or improving other operations!
Obviously, automating the process of employee scheduling makes life easier for the scheduler. However, automated scheduling also improves the lives of the employees being scheduled. Depending on how the company chooses to automate the process, they might turn to self-scheduling or shift bidding to provide autonomy for employees. The right scheduling software should provide the right tools to make these options easy to manage for both employees and schedulers.
Celayix has helped clients move over to flexible scheduling solutions and provide autonomy to employees for over 20 years. With our tools, managers can find a balance of autonomous scheduling combined with their own preferences to suit their needs. They can choose which employees get notified of available shifts, how long shifts are open for bidding, and lots more. Giving employees this freedom and flexibility will likely result in lower absenteeism, higher employee retention, and improved talent attraction.
Fewer Schedule Conflicts
Mistakes happen, particularly where human error is a possibility. With manual scheduling, these errors can result in staff being double-booked, shifts being under/overstaffed, and of course, shifts being missed altogether. However, with automated scheduling, these errors are far less likely to occur. Generally, the software will alert you of any errors like double booking a staff member. The visual element of the scheduling software also allows you to quickly spot any shifts that have been missed. Celayix also allows you to use templates and labor forecasting to ensure you assign the optimum number of staff to certain shifts. Our mobile app also enables employees to view their schedule anywhere, anytime, resulting in fewer missed shifts.
Along with errors directly related to the schedule that can impact customers/clients, automated scheduling also reduces errors in billing and payroll. Automated software integrates with your other existing software such as billing and payroll, which reduces the likelihood of human error in these areas. Data can be seamlessly transferred between the providers, making the entire process much smoother.
Reduced Overtime spend
Manual schedulers often turn to overtime as a solution to fill gaps in their schedule. This can be an effective short-term solution, but excessive overtime can be a killer. It results in burnt-out employees, budgets being over-spent, and unfair shift distribution. Automated scheduling can be used to eliminate all unnecessary overtime from your schedule.
Celayix uses a rules-based engine to create schedules, which is driven by business rules created by the scheduler. The most common application of these rules is to avoid scheduling overtime. These rules have helped some of our clients save up to $100,000 in overtime;
“Within the year, we were able to eliminate about $100,000 in overtime, essentially all of the avoidable overtime within our organization.”HR Manager, Company name confidential
How Automated Scheduling Works
Tools with automated scheduling tools incorporate a holistic analysis of various factors. Time-off requests, availabilities, historical scheduling data, employee preferences, and qualifications are just a handful of them. Celayix clients have access to a variety of tools to automate schedule creation, time collection, and communication.
First, supervisors create business rules by which shift assignments follow. For example, an employee must be available and ready to work. Or, they can choose specific qualifications for a particular shift. Then, the software auto-fills shifts with assigned employees. Supervisors just need to confirm these choices, and the schedule is good to go! If a supervisor prefers a more hands-on approach to scheduling, they can easily see the availability of all employees.
Second, supervisors have the ability to handle complex availabilities and time-off requests. This means schedules are more flexible for employees and help promote work-life balance. Employees can simply log in to view shift details, update their availability, and check the status of time-off requests. Supervisors can see employees’ shift confirmations, availabilities, and time-off requests on their end too. All of this eliminates any miscommunications that could take place. Most importantly, supervisors save hours in their scheduling process.
By creating better communication between supervisors and employees, supervisors will spend less time planning accurate schedules and employees can have more flexible work time. As a result, a better working environment can be provided – a win-win!