Each employer knows that the secret to professional success is to put your employees first. If you don't make them feel valued, you run risks ranging from high employee turnover to decreased productivity and negative reviews of your business.
To avoid these dire consequences and curb burnout at work, it is important to keep track of each employee. Whether you're a small team of 10 or a large group of 3,000, skipping this activity is unwise.
Thanks to the advancement of digitalization, using pencil and paper to create employee schedules is a thing of the past.
Today, employers have the opportunity to empower their employees and ensure their business runs smoothly with the help of staffing scheduling software.
What Is Work Scheduling Software?
Work schedule software can be defined as a business software application that provides assistance in creating:
- staff work schedules
- tracking employee hours
- managing shift swaps
- controlling labor costs.
As a result, employee scheduling programs can help:
- increase employees' productivity
- re-allocate resources to non-scheduling activities that otherwise would require excessive money and time spending.
Based on the US Bureau of Labor Statistics information, nearly 16% of wage and salary employees follow shift work schedules. It accounts for approximately 25 million people across the US.
All things considered, it is no surprise employers are increasingly looking for the best employee scheduling app to manage staff effectively.
Most often, employee scheduling tools are used to improve the overall quality of services provided by the company and successfully serve the following tasks:
🌟Retaining good employees
🌟Finding employees to cover missed shifts
🌟Managing labor costs
🌟Planning weekly shift schedules
In the past, employers typically used physical mediums for tracking employee hours and work schedules.
However, manual timekeeping has always caused difficulties for employers—for instance, misplaced or lost timesheets, and insufficient use of work time that lead to costly errors.
Due to the digitalization and rapid development of innovative technologies, employers can now carry out a variety of tasks remotely. In particular, they can:
- Approve employee time off requests🌴
- Reduce unproductive workforce due to overscheduling ⌛⏱️
- Plan days off scheduling 🎉
- Allow employees to swap shifts 🔁
- Use interface to payroll and/or management accounting software 💵
- Identify unassigned shifts 📣
- Create reports for invoicing and payroll 🧾
- Do workplace analysis 👩🏽💻
Let's get started now that we have this preamble out of the way!
Below, we take a closer look at the main benefits associated with the use of shift scheduling software🗓️ in the workplace based on my professional experience.
How Staff Schedule Program is Beneficial for Employees
Thanks to 14 years of management experience in technology and consulting companies, I can help get you started in the world of automated employee scheduling.
Here are 8 sure ways staff planning software can make life easier for employees.
1. Shift management software is useful for creating a flexible work schedule
A flexible work schedule is no longer mainly about freelancers - numerous "traditional" employers also offer this type of schedule to their employees. Alternatives to the traditional nine-to-five working day have become extremely popular since the global pandemic at the beginning of 2020.
According to research study published by the American Sociological Association, employees with flexible work schedules exhibit greater job satisfaction and reduced burnout and psychological stress levels than employees working according to the traditional work schedule.
By offering your staff a flexible work option, you demonstrate that your employees are the heart of your business. In contrast, if employees do not feel valued at work, they intend to or are already looking for a new job, based on a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association.
With a scheduling system for employees, you can choose the degree of flexibility you want to give to your staff and help them maintain a positive work-life balance. Thus, employees can create schedules and choose shifts that meet their needs, whereas you will always have the most suitable employees on the clock.
Instead of constantly updating your excel spreadsheet, you can simply create templates to drag and drop shifts. For example, if you need to fill open shifts, you can send a notification to employees and allow them to pick up the extra hours.
Bottom Line: Timekeeping and scheduling software provides employers with a high level of control to customize their staff's working hours. To make it work, put flexibility into the core of your business. For enhancing the employee experience, apply templates for work shifts.
2. Simple employee scheduling software helps improve professional communication and collaboration
If you want to communicate with your subordinates, collaborate on work activities, and effectively manage your business from anywhere at any time, you should definitely consider team scheduling software.
According to EIU's study of 403 executives, managers, and staff in the US, poor quality of business communication:
- contributes to stress
- causes failure to complete projects
- provokes loss of sales.
Simply put, to run a business smoothly and meet the needs of employees, it is essential to keep the lines of communication open.
Besides, a survey conducted by TriNet demonstrates that around 85% of millennials would feel more confident if they had more frequent performance conversations with their boss.
In other words, many employees fail to serve their tasks to the fullest due to workplace communication problems.
With the help of employee scheduling software for business, you can enhance the quality of communication, as it contains all the necessary information about each employee.
For instance, it can keep a record of each person's:
- contact information
- leaves taken
- interests, hobbies, etc.
The thing to keep in mind: each person has specific preferences regarding how they would like to communicate.
Bottom Line: By choosing applications with scheduling options, your employees will be able to choose if they want to be notified on mobile, on the web, or through email. Now, you and your staff can remove all the blind spots in communication and forget about calls being ignored or emails being unread.
3. Staff assignment software reduces payroll errors
Most employees have experienced receiving incorrect checks. Usually, it happens because schedules are not updated correctly or extra hours are not recorded properly.
Plus, payroll errors can occur due to improper clocking in/out or manager oversight.
According to findings published by The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated, approximately 49% of American workers will start a new job search after two paycheck errors.
No matter if it is the lack of compensation for the correct number of work hours or miscalculating payroll taxes, employees are likely to consider new job offers after facing at least several payroll errors.
If you don't want to fail at this business function, you can use labor scheduling software. With the help of this application, you can ensure employees' paychecks are free of errors.
The thing is, if software directly integrates with payroll, all work hours will be instantly and accurately recorded. For instance, TMetric tracking system can:
It helps ensure that employees are paid quickly and accurately.
Bottom Line: Using the shift schedule tools with advanced functionality, employees will not have to waste time resolving the problems related to payroll errors with the HR department.
4. Staff schedule management applications provide necessary information about specific tasks for each shift
Since assigning tasks is an employee-oriented process that requires a lot of dedication and effort, it is a very time-consuming procedure.
Moreover, improperly assigned tasks negatively impact your employees, projects, and the company's overall development.
My professional experience demonstrates that employers often fail to determine what needs to be completed by their staff. Also, it is pretty common when employers are unsure about the exact deadlines for specific tasks.
For example, one of my recent clients has delivered several shipments to the wrong person because of improperly assigned tasks inside the company. The other client assigned the task to a random person, not the selected one, which led to the release of a low-quality product.
Bottom Line: If you want to keep track of business processes and procedures, department scheduling software can be a perfect solution. Thanks to this application, you will be able to create and assign tasks for a specific employee within a timeframe.
At the same time, a shift management app can be used to track project progress and get notified once tasks are completed.
5. Hourly scheduling software streamlines the scheduling process
As a person with over a decade of management experience in technology and consulting companies, I can say that there is no better way to streamline the scheduling process than using these applications.
From swapping shifts to informing the staff about upcoming ones, a workforce management platform can serve a variety of scheduling functions. It means that your employees will constantly get notifications regarding available shifts and if their requests have been approved.
Bottom Line: If you need to urgently replace a person on a shift, you can customize your settings to automatically send the request to other employees. So, both employer and employee will be satisfied. Employers will spend less time managing schedules, and employees will have the appropriate clearance to succeed in the workplace.
6. Manpower scheduling software ensures the safety of your employees
The job site brings different challenges and risks to employees no matter the circumstances.
For example, considering that germs spread onto commonly touched surfaces, it can result in the spread of viruses, including Covid-19.
According to a National Covid-19 Surveillance Report, most people diagnosed with Covid-19 were likely infected by this virus in the workplace.
It can be explained by person-to-person physical contact, inadequate ventilation, common eating areas, and shared work accommodations.
Bottom Line: To minimize this problem and ensure a safe working environment, you can use applications equipped with facial recognition software. Your employees can use this feature to clock in onsite hands-free. If your staff operates outdoors or on remote sites, they can use a mobile app with GPS validation to clock in.
In addition, customer and employee scheduling software can be successfully used to encourage employees to screen and report any suspicious symptoms, so they clock in COVID-19 free. It can be done with the help of a health check questionnaire that all employees should complete within a specified time frame.
7. Employee scheduling software allows easy access
With an efficient scheduling platform, each employee has an opportunity to access the system in one of the following ways:
- via mobile phones,
- via desktops
- via tablets.
For instance, based on a 2017 Google study, three-quarters of employees believe that smartphones make them more productive. So, by giving your staff the chance to access the system in a preferable way, you also improve the overall business efficiency.
Ideally, your employees will be able:
- to view their schedule 24/7
- to request a shift change
- to record change
- to leave requests remotely.
Also, it is important to mention that the employer will be notified about all the requests immediately, which can save a lot of time on communicating face to face regarding scheduling, absences, and so forth.
Bottom Line: Staff scheduling software is all about increasing productivity at work. With such tools, you get a scheduling solution that showcases and maximizes your most valuable resource (your time), all in one platform.
8. Employee scheduling apps help avoid availability conflicts
Probably, most employees have been in a situation where they run into conflicts in terms of shift availability.
For example, an employer's failure to set up a well-planned schedule could result in approving two people for the same shift. How do employees act in this case? Most likely, they feel confusion, anger, and frustration.
Information from CPP suggests that around 85% of employees have experienced at least one episode of inevitable conflict at work. Finally, workplace conflicts can cause:
- work disruptions
- decreased productivity
- project failure
Bottom Line: Employers aiming to avoid these problems should consider the benefits of scheduling software first and foremost. Initially scheduled employees can be alerted of upcoming shift changes beforehand using these applications.
In the end, considering that each person is assigned to a certain task on a specific shift, the number of potential conflicts will be minimized.
How to Implement a Scheduling App in Your Business?
At this point, you already understand what scheduling work software is, how it works, and how it can help you in your everyday work routine. So, the next step you might consider is implementing this software in your business and transforming it into a successful solution.
First of all, before implementing an app or software, you should determine the functionalities it should offer.
For example, the main features that you could choose to implement for your business are as follows:
- Book Meetings
- Different Time Zones
- Edit Meeting Details
- Automate Work Schedules
- Scheduling Tools
- Available Time Slots
- Mark Time-Off
- Push Notifications
- Prevent Double Booking
- Easy Integrations
- Payment Gateways
Second, ensure that current and upcoming schedules are readily available to you to make things easier. Plus, don't forget to add information about every employee included in the scheduling process. It will further ensure their free access to the app. When there are changes in the schedule, employees will receive appropriate notifications immediately.
When you know what the best staff scheduling app looks like, implementing it is easy. All you need is a few minutes to get everything up and running.
To get started, you need to download the app and create an account. Next, you will be required to enter necessary information and connect your calendars to manage the whole work schedule.
Usually, a scheduling program appears as an interactive calendar that shows available days and time slots to choose from.
Choosing the Right Scheduling App for Your Business
With hundreds of free scheduling apps for employees, it might be challenging to choose the right one that fits your business to the fullest. If you make a wrong decision, you might lose a lot of time and money.
So, how do you choose the best scheduling software?
When making a choice in favor of the perfect scheduling tool, consider several factors.
1. Value for money🪙
Employers' budgets might differ based on the stage of business they're in. While some managers are ready to spend a vast amount of money on first-class scheduling software, others will be looking for ways to use a shift scheduling app for free.
In any case, even if you don't have enough budget to spare, you can always find an online scheduler that offers the best set of features.
2. No-show protection💂🏽♂️
One of the main benefits a scheduling software can offer is no-show protection. For example, if no one is assigned to a certain shift, the app sends notifications to all available employees until the shift is filled.
When selecting the scheduling app, make sure it includes this feature to minimize no-shows and increase overall business productivity.
3. Necessary integrations🤝
Each employer uses a list of apps at work to make things easier and ensure smooth functioning. So, before implementing a particular scheduling program, check if it integrates with calendar apps, payment software, video conferencing apps, and so on.
Otherwise, you will be required to shift from the existing software, thereby losing a lot of time and money.
4. Ease of use🤩
Ultimately, no matter how many features the app offers, it should be easy to use. Considering that this tool is typically used daily by both employers and employees, both parties need to be able to cover any type of scheduling situation.
If not, they'll spend more time trying to understand how to use the software instead of actually using it. Even the best rostering software will not be beneficial for users in this case.
Nowadays, all employers presently have the opportunity to roster staff, track attendance, budget labor costs, and streamline staff payroll with the help of innovative technologies.
This is what daily and yearly scheduling software is designed for. With these applications, both employers and employees can considerably increase their productivity and enhance the quality of provided services.
On the one hand, employers can successfully keep staff updated, delegate resources, reduce availability conflicts, and keep track of time and attendance. On the other hand, employees can plan personal time following professional commitments, maintain work-life balance, and express greater job satisfaction.
Although manual tools, such as spreadsheets and whiteboards, can be helpful, most employers consider them highly inefficient. Additionally, they cannot be used on a larger scale and at the required speed.
So, if you want to keep up with clients' deadlines, ensure proper communication, maximize returns, and improve employee experience, there is no better option than using software for employee scheduling.
Andriy Bogdanov, CEO and Founder, has 14 years of management experience in technology and consulting companies and has overseen more than 100 successful and unique projects.
He believes that customer satisfaction is the top priority for any business. That is why Andriy built Online Divorce entirely around the idea of fulfilling the needs of divorcees through the best services possible.