It is time. You are finally sick and tired of the many headaches of manually managing your workforce. From managing multiple shift conflicts to hearing about employee's scheduling frustrations, you have made the decision to purchase employee scheduling software. After browsing through the many options available, your head is spinning. Each platform seems to offer different functions and features. What are the main items that you should prioritize in your search? We are here to help!
Find an expert in the market, not just a piece of software
Most organizations have team members that are responsible for scheduling, but how many people in this position have studied the best practices of scheduling? For example, the effects it has on employee engagement, customer service, and on-the-job accidents? Very few. A solid workforce management solution can impact so many areas of your business. Make sure the provider you choose has experienced team members that can back up what they are saying with data, research, and real-life examples.
Evaluate the team behind the product
Is the team made up of scheduling experts in your field? When assessing a solution, make sure your potential partner has deep insight and experience. Find out how robust their onboarding and support program is. Do they understand both the platform and how to manage staff? Can they clearly understand your problem set and how to leverage the technology to meet your needs? If so, this is a huge value and will be very helpful in making sure you achieve your operational and financial goals.
Understand your liabilities
Scheduling can negatively influence your business liabilities if not managed properly. Issues like scheduling a minor for too many hours or scheduling someone who has a certification expired can cause massive headaches, paperwork and sometimes even fines. Finding the right employee scheduling software that address these issues may be a huge help in reducing your workload and also your stress level.
In addition, as states and government continue to evolve their requirements to ensure the safety of your customers or patrons, you too need to evolve to track certifications and trainings (CPR, First Aid, AED, etc.). This will add a significant amount of complexity to your scheduling process as certifications and trainings expire. Today's employee scheduling software should be able to meet these needs.
If the solution is great, existing clients will brag about it
Any provider of any service who is reputable will be able to put you in contact with someone who feels confident in their abilities. If they can't do this, it is a major red flag. Please note that some companies may not provide you a list until after they confirm that you are a good fit, and some may need to schedule the call for you, due to the number of requests they receive. Regardless, all should be able to provide a reference to aid in your decision-making process.
Understand the benefits, not just the features
Features are good, but benefits are even better. During your engagements with a potential provider, ensure you clearly state what you need to solve and gather details on how the solution can solve it. A great partner may even push to define the problem in greater detail in order verify how their tool can or cannot meet your needs. Also, find out historical updates that have been made to the platform, how often they occur, and if the provider is open to receiving ongoing client feedback for continuous improvement.
Your organization may require extremely specialized features that an out-of-the-box product may not be able to provide. Ask specifically about features that you need and don't be afraid to bring up customization options. The best providers will work with you and to develop a solution that meets your needs.
Always ask for upfront all-inclusive pricing. Some solutions may give you the price per seat but tack on implementation and service charges after you have made your decision. Ask for an all-inclusive quote and be sure the price quoted is what you will end up paying.