Resources > Blog > Social Scheduling™: What it is and Why You Need it!
You do your best to create the perfect schedule every time, but your employees are human beings with changing needs and life circumstances. When a team member has a personal emergency, adjustment of plans, or any other requirement that takes them away from work, it's easy for their problem to become your problem.
Last-minute shift changes mean you have to drop what you're doing to adjust schedules. After all, an uncovered shift isn't an option. What if, instead, it were up to the employee to find their shift coverage? This feature makes our platform the best employee scheduling software on the market today: Social Scheduling™.
What is Social Scheduling?
Social Scheduling™ transforms tedious, time consuming tasks into simple manager approval workflows.
Imagine a scenario. Brooke is scheduled to work a shift at the campus rec center on Monday morning. In the meantime, her friends invite her on a long weekend trip to the beach. She wants to drop her shift and pick up a different one for her return.
If you're using standard scheduling solutions, this means Brooke contacts you about the change, and suddenly your day is consumed with finding a replacement. As Brooke prepares for the beach, you pull the schedule offline, remove her shift, contact other team members for availability, and try to make it work. And while you search for coverage and update the schedule, your other staff can't see it.
Picture the same scenario for a manager that uses modern employee scheduling software – SubItUp with Social Scheduling™. Thanks to this feature, Brooke can see which of her coworkers said they were available to work at that time, and can contact them directly to swap shifts. She can also "drop" her shift - in this case, a notification is sent to her peers saying she has a shift that someone else can pick up. As she's in the process of dropping it, the shift remains assigned to Brooke until she finds coverage. In a few minutes, Kate agrees to work the shift in exchange for her Wednesday morning slot. All of this happens while you focus on other, higher-value tasks. Once both parties agree on the swap, the change is sent to you for approval.
Why You Should Add Social Scheduling™ to Your Plan
If you're still handling last-minute shift changes manually, you're missing out on the benefits that Social Scheduling™ is able to bring to your work life. The three main benefits of adding this feature to your plan include:
#1 Empower Your Team to Self Manage
We've built tools that allow employees to easily swap and pick up shifts. A team member seeking coverage simply has to advertise the available shift to their peers on our platform. The fail safe mechanism restricts employees from dropping a shift before finding coverage, leaving the problem shift on their plate, not yours.
Let's pause for a moment to again compare our software to a manual scheduling process. If you're accustomed to using traditional methods, you may use a trade board. Brooke would post her needs here and hope someone goes there to check things out. In Social Scheduling™, we let her directly understand and view which peers are able to work during that time so she can reach out directly to them. This results in faster, better shift coverage; a schedule that is automatically updated once the manager approves that change. You don't have to go in and change everything around! Using technology for this shift switch also removes payroll issues from the picture since the schedule is accurate. You can expect the new employee to be working, removing hours of effort from the manager.
Time off requests also require employees to find coverage for their existing shifts during that time. Our RTO dashboard will pause the request process and push the employee to Social Scheduling™ features. Just like that, you no longer have to coordinate coverage.
The bottom line is that Social Scheduling™ ensures employees know their commitments and manage their own scheduling needs. This gives your team the ability to self-manage adds, drops, and swaps amongst themselves.
#2 Save Manager Time and Stress
Social Scheduling™ lets employees solve the problem instead of passing it on to managers. This results in immediate time savings and efficiencies for leadership teams. With less time spent on back-and-forths, you can focus your time on other tasks that truly need your attention.
Managers using SubItUp save 80% of the time it takes to build a schedule and, in most cases, much more. One of the reasons for this is that shift coverage is no longer a daily seesaw requiring your attention.
#3 Keep the Final Say on Shift Changes
Sometimes, employees may agree to swap shifts, but the change isn't the best move for your organization. As a solution, our software includes a shift cost analysis with peer-to-peer swaps to minimize labor costs and ensure managers have the final say over changes.
For example, Brooke makes $40 per shift and agrees to swap it with Kate, whose rate is $65 per shift. You will get a notification on the discrepancy, including a breakdown of the budget impact if the swap occurs, and be able to approve or deny the change based on this context.
Overtime costs also come into play if the worker picking up the shift has reached their max hours for the week. Our software delivers real-time insights into employee hours, giving you full visibility into who's reached their limit and who hasn't. Employees handle the main lift themselves, and your involvement in the transaction is limited to simple approval or denial.
It's important to point out that you may opt out of this feature. If you simply want the shift covered and don't care by who, these changes can be done without your involvement whatsoever. Manager approval requirements are also fully customizable. The choice is yours!
With Social Scheduling™, employees can find coverage in minutes before requesting time off. The only thing left to do is to book a demo to see for yourself how our tool can transform your scheduling efforts.
For many scheduling managers, Social Scheduling™ transforms our product from something great to the best employee scheduling software on the market. Are you ready to see it in action?