Labor Forecasting: Scheduling Shifts

Scheduling Shifts

Author: Geoffrey McLennan

In previous blog posts, we have detailed our progress in our Labor Forecasting tool, which is currently in its Beta phase. This tool has features that allow users to create events that will create batches of shifts depending on the type of event and the number of guests attending. So far, the tool only goes as far as creating open shifts that then need to be assigned to employees manually; however, we are currently developing new features that will assign these shifts automatically based on a variation on our Autofill Rotation tool.

In some industries, particularly ones where employees are in unions, the priority in which employees are assigned shifts is very important. To handle this, we will introduce user-defined “rotations” that employees can belong to. These custom rotations have criteria such as shift service, shift tasks, and event type. When a shift that meets these criteria is assigned to an employee in the rotation their rotation count is incremented by one.

When autofill is used to assign a batch of shifts (such as the shifts created by an event), the tool will order the employees in the rotation based on who has the lowest rotation count and starts assigning shifts. If the employee with the lowest rotation count when the shift is assigned is unable to work that shift, such as if they are already scheduled to work a shift at that time, the employee with the next lowest count will be assigned. This means that over time, all employees will work the same number of that type of shift.

Multiple rotations can also work together using priority levels. If there is one rotation that looks for a certain service for a shift, and another that looks for a certain event type, a single shift could fit both of these rotations. The priority of the rotations determines which one is used first to find the most eligible employee. If multiple employees are tied for most eligible in the first rotation, the second rotation is then used to select one of those employees. Again, this results in equal numbers of shifts being worked by each employee for all rotations over time.

This tool integrates excellently with our event-based scheduling features as it allows users to automate that final step of assigning all shifts that were created from their events. It also allows for the scheduler to ensure that shifts of all types are distributed evenly across all employees.

To learn more about labor forecasting, reach out to us today!