Resources > Blog > Streamline Your Business With Shift Schedule Generating Tools
Keeping a large team working at full efficiency is a challenge that is faced by businesses in a huge variety of industries. Employee scheduling is fraught with potential issues from a practical standpoint and a human one. It's possible for small companies to manage shifts and scheduling by hand, but as your team grows the problem becomes tougher to tackle. Schedule generating tools can help you manage your workforce more effectively, freeing up time and energy for the work itself.
Use Your Human Resources Effectively
Staff management means more than just having your employees present at work. Some businesses do have a stable workload that can be performed at any time of day. This is not true of all businesses, however. Often, there are peaks and troughs in demand. Companies that deal with members of the public need to have staff available to see clients as they arrive, and may need fewer workers on-site during quieter times of day.
You may be thinking that the above sounds obvious, but it's often something that gets overlooked during shift scheduling. Have you ever been to a restaurant or bar and seen waitstaff stood idle? Have you ever called a contact center and been on hold for a long time because call volumes are too high for the contact center staff to deal with? Those occurrences are both examples of things that can go wrong when a schedule is not well thought out.
Scheduling That Makes Sense
There are many challenges to building schedules:
- Some staff may be contracted for specific times of day or to have alternating weekends off
- Labor laws may require breaks after staff work a specific number of hours
- Your company may need to always have staff with a specific qualification on site
- Budgeting constraints may limit overtime options
- Holiday requests can throw carefully crafted schedules into disarray
Companies have been wrestling with the issue of shift scheduling and timetable generation for many years, with mixed results. There are a lot of software solutions that allow you to create timetables and schedules, and a simple "brute force algorithm" can create a schedule that will work on aper, ensuring that employees are never double-booked and that you are meeting your legal and contractual obligations as an employer.
A good manager understands that there's more to workforce management than ticking boxes. It's important to keep your employees happy, ensure that they are always informed of what is going on and that they feel they have some control of their schedules. The aim of SubItUp is to empower managers to create staff schedules that work for everyone, boosting productivity in the workplace and boosting employee morale too.
Fair Scheduling That Saves Time and Stress
In many companies, the Human Resources department spends a lot of time juggling staff schedules. They are constantly dealing with sick days and time-off requests, handling complaints about how schedules are unfair or struggling to find staff to cope with demand during peak times. The dreaded staff timetable can become a constant source of headaches. When this happens it detracts from the other jobs that are more important for the long-term health of the business.
SubItUp offers automated scheduling with extra features to make life easier for everyone involved in the business:
- Set parameters based on skillset, contractual hours, seniority and availability
- Automatically generate timetables and publish them when you're happy with them
- Allow staff to set their own availability and request hours
- Set priorities for staff members so scheduling can be done based on priority, or on a first-come basis
- Allow employees to drop shifts or pick up available shifts via an online control panel
- Set break periods to ensure that employees don't work more hours than they are legally allowed to
- View historic shift data to see the worked hours for every employee
- Allow holiday bookings to be made via the scheduling app
These features can be used individually, or collectively, based on the type of business you run and the amount of control you want to give to your employees.
If your business is currently using a paper schedule that is posted on the wall at the office, moving to an online calendar that can be checked from a phone or laptop could greatly improve employee attendance and morale.
Scheduling complaints are one of the most common issues reported by hourly employees. When your income depends on how many shifts you get, it's natural to feel that each change to the schedule is a personal slight, even if it is not. Schedule instability can be a huge problem for workers in lower-paid positions.
As an employer, offering transparency about how scheduling works can make a meaningful difference to how your employees feel. Workers who have some control over their schedules and some input into shift patterns are more likely to report feeling valued by their bosses, and this shows in their work ethic, company loyalty, and performance.
Scalable Scheduling for Growing Teams
As a business grows it can be hard for the leadership to retain the family feeling and personal investment that it may have prided itself on when it was smaller. There will always be challenges for growing teams, but workforce management doesn't have to be a headache. If you get your multiple employee management systems working early on in your business' growth, you'll be well-positioned to take on more staff without headaches.
Saving the shift data from your scheduling set-up can be useful from a legal perspective, too. It reduces the record-keeping burden and means that if an employee ever complains about shifts or reports an incident, there's clear documentation of who was supposed to work that day.
If you'd like to know more about shift scheduling, contact the SubItUp team today to discuss your options and find out about the personalized packages that we have available.