Time to Shift Away from Employee Scheduling Nightmares
One of the greatest points of contention for employers and employees alike in industries with multi-shift workdays like retail, hospitality, healthcare and manufacturing is the weekly work schedule. It requires a fine act of balancing staff skills and availability with sales, production and/or service peaks and lulls to ensure sufficient staffing to meet customer or patient needs with excellent service while staying under a defined threshold for labor costs. Unless you are a master mathematician who enjoys continually running algorithms in your head, producing the most cost-effective and compliant shift day after day, week after week remains a bit of an enigma. Is it little wonder that many managers leave this dreaded task until the very last minute, often posting a schedule just one day before it goes into effect and quickly walking away to avoid hearing the perpetual whines and groans from employees of too many or too few hours or having to work on a Friday night? As skilled labor shortages continue to plague many employers with a shrinking workforce and lack of incoming talent, recruiting and tracking applicants as part of your ongoing talent acquisition strategy and quickly onboarding new hires particularly during seasonal influxes like holidays to get them trained and ready for the scheduling queue only further complicates the already complex dynamics of employee scheduling.
Rather than continue down the same downward spiral, what if you could automate this process and implement a program that showed you the most productive, profitable and lawful shifts using current and historical labor data and job costing? And what if the process of gathering the needed data was automatically completed for you in real-time so that you could measure and manage each shift with ease and make informed decisions on when to send employees home, call for extra help and authorize necessary overtime? Welcome to the world of CheckmateHCM’s Workforce Scheduler employee scheduling software.
Implementing automated scheduling software delivers a number of tangible and intangible benefits:
For Your Employees
- Build Employee Morale and Satisfaction – Employees are the backbone of your business and their direct and indirect contact with customers is a reflection of your company brand. Have an unhappy employee? Then you very likely have unhappy customers. For employees, having an employer that takes care of them by being respectful of their reasonable scheduling requirements (classes, family obligations, regulatory or other hourly work limitations, etc.) goes a long way in creating happy, satisfied workers who then take greater care of your customers and/or recipients of your facility’s care.
- Make it Easier to Cover Shifts – When employees utilize the mobile app, you can provide a better means for them to easily cover a shift due to illness, family emergency or for other permitted reasons without having to make countless phone calls to your entire roster. With manager approval, a request can sent to other employees based on availability, whether or not that employee will hit overtime and other user-defined criteria, creating an easier process for your employees and an auditable trail for management.
- Allowing You to Offer Some Competitive Perks to Attract New Hires – When you utilize the mobile feature of the Workforce Scheduler software and have your employees download the app to their phones so they can view schedules, make and receive scheduling requests, download pay stubs and access other Employee Self-Service (ESS) features, you could potentially offer a non-taxable cellphone stipend as part of your employee benefit package. This is something other employers in your industry and area that rely on paper scheduling or limited scheduling software may not be able to provide.
- Avoid Employee Burn Out – Whether working in a high-stress industry, in a workplace that utilizes shifts longer than the traditional 8 hours, or being a key employee that management frequently leans on, employees who work too many hours and/or who are often called upon to be involved in numerous project are at risk for burn out. Making certain you are making the best use of all employee time and ensuring more level workloads for everyone creates a more balanced workplace and lessens employee fatigue, which can also help to reduce your key employee quit rates, increase overall retention rates and make you more attractive as an employer of choice for new recruits.
- Schedule Adequate Training for New Hires and/or Contract and Temp Workers – The initial training for new employees, contractors and/or temps requires the time of one or more existing employees to make certain the new hire has a positive experience and also acclimates more quickly to assuming responsibility for sharing in the workload. This can be even more critical during periods of high demand. Workforce Scheduler helps managers to schedule training shifts in addition to ensure that existing employees have sufficient time to complete their own work.
For Your Customers, Clients, and/or Care Recipients
- The Right People at the Right Time to Serve Your Customers – In today’s instant-gratification atmosphere created by one-click, online buying and/or data access, people have become accustomed to quickly getting the answers and assistance they need when they need it. When customers visit brick-and-mortar stores in the retail or other service industries, they often have these same expedited service expectations, but also recognize that human interaction and the ability to directly use and evaluate your products / services in-person are what set the direct buying experience apart. In the healthcare and senior care industries, having sufficient staffing levels to deliver exceptional service and care can mean the difference between patient satisfaction, injury and/or in some cases a preventable death. Ensuring that you always have the right employees scheduled for each shift is the best way to deliver top-level service to your customers. It not only requires combining the right skill sets, but also scheduling sufficient staff levels to meet projected demands and have someone ready to assist and serve those your business serves.
For Your Bottom Line
- Saving Time, Saves Money – When your managers are not wasting countless hours locked away in an office trying to manually create the next schedule or export, import and merge data into a more basic scheduling program, they can dedicate that valuable time to more productive ways to run the business.
- Increasing Manager Satisfaction, Leads to Greater Retention – By providing managers with an easy to use solution for what has traditionally been a challenging task, you increase their job satisfaction. This is achieved both by reducing their own frustrations and by helping to create greater manager-employee relations with a more balanced schedule that is tailored to better meet everyone’s needs. Operating with real-time data helps management to quickly assess and act on business needs by covering shifts, limiting overtime and having better insights to monitoring and managing business metrics help them meet corporate objectives and their own performance metrics.
- Keep Your Labor Costs Inline – Operating in real-time with accurate data helps everyone better manage the bottom line. With labor cost being one of the greatest costs of doing business as a employer, the ability to have a true snapshot of labor costs is key. Automating scheduling and receiving alerts when employees approach overtime, an employee has not clocked in for a scheduled shift and requires coverage and the ability to quickly offer available shifts to eligible employees makes for a more seamless and successful operation for everyone.
- Avoid Compliance Mishaps and Penalities – From overtime violations to staffing-ratio compliance problems and other potential regulatory risks including ACA Compliance penalties, utilizing Workforce Scheduler in conjunction with CheckmateHCM’s complete solution including our ACA Compliance Manager software module can help you and your management team make certain that your workforce schedules are in line with federal, state and local laws pertaining to employee time. And if you are an employer that benefits from having retirees and/or minors as part of your part-time workforce, you can help yourself and your employees stay compliant with hourly work limitations based on laws, social-security and/or retirement income stipulations as well. Workforce Scheduler can trigger alerts to managers and escalate any alerts that are not acknowledged within an acceptable time frame to help you stay apprised of and inline with state, local and federal labor laws or other restrictions related to employee time and scheduling. This helps to avoid employee grievances, costly legal battles, diminished workplace morale, PR nightmares that tarnish your corporate brand and, not to mention, the potential for steep fines and penalties.