Team and department leaders know the familiar challenge of creating employee schedules, arranging everything with the team, getting approval, and filling out working time accounting sheets every time the new month approaches.
I probably won't be wrong in saying that this is one of the most disliked tasks, even for the most patient. We asked managers about their experience in creating schedules, and most of them said things like, "I distance myself from everyone to concentrate," "I need to wait for inspiration to create a schedule," "I have to wait until everyone leaves the office because otherwise I'm constantly interrupted, and the whole puzzle in my head falls apart."
Although it may sound funny, creating schedules for the whole team is difficult and requires a lot of responsibility because many business operations depend on staff attendance.
As more people start to work in your company, you have to spend more and more time creating and managing schedules. A 10-employee schedule can be done in 1 hour, a 20-employee schedule can be handled in 3 hours, but a 50-employee schedule already requires at least 15 hours. And let's not forget the companies with hundreds of staff members. On top of that, managers face the challenges of meeting everyone's requests and preferences to ensure smooth work and employee satisfaction.
And do you know what is the most commonly used tool to manage this challenging process? Whether your company has 20 or 300 employees, it's Excel! 😉
However, modern businesses understand that more suitable tools than Excel exist for solving such complex tasks. They seek specialized IT solutions that can address these business problems, with one example being employee shift scheduling software.
In this article, you will learn the benefits of employee scheduling software for managers, employees, and your company in general.
1. 70% Faster Scheduling
Excel can be useful for many tasks due to its flexibility and versatility, but it also has its drawbacks. Specialized systems like employee shift schedule software are developed for this specific purpose and can significantly improve the time you usually spend creating schedules.
If you have been making schedules manually or with Excel until now, an automatic schedule planning and management system could reduce the time spent on scheduling by 50%-80% each month.
But how does it achieve that? The system lets you automatically register employee preferences, create a schedule for several employees and departments instantly, and then transfer data to calculate salaries and analyze employee performance.
After implementing the OPTAS automated employee shift schedule software in their operations, many of our clients have noticed that the time spent on schedule administration dropped by about 70%.
We’re sure that those few extra hours will benefit you, your team, and the company and leave time for those tasks you normally have no time to finish.
2. Fully Automated Processes
For the company to grow and increase operation efficiency, it's important to refine processes as much as possible, have clear guidelines, and train employees accordingly. Business automation can ease this process and help you gain more control of your organization.
Specialized tools like OPTAS employee scheduling software can automate your schedule planning and management. You decide how scheduling should be done, and the program implements all your requirements, rules, and priorities in the blink of an eye.
Our employee shift schedule software:
- Collects employee preferences for future schedules, including their availability, vacation, days off, parental leave, etc., and submits them to you for approval when necessary;
- Automatically creates a schedule based on predefined rules and priorities;
- Informs responsible colleagues about pending approvals;
- When the scheduled day arrives, it sends new schedules to employees by email;
- Requests that employees confirm their agreement with the planned schedule;
- Collects information about employee shift swaps and submits them for approval;
- Allows employees to record their actual arrival and departure times;
- Creates timesheets according to predefined rules;
- Transfers necessary data to related company systems, for example, to payroll or personnel management software.
3. 80% Fewer Labor Law Violations
Creating a schedule for a month is a difficult task as it is, but it becomes even more complicated when several employees decide to go on vacation simultaneously or get sick unexpectedly. It's no secret that fulfilling the requirements of your local labor laws in such cases no longer becomes the priority.
Moreover, labor laws can be complicated to understand and implement in real life. Let's not forget the fact that labor laws are constantly changing, and as managers, we need to be always aware of these changes to apply them to our businesses.
When you have a staff scheduling system at hand, your local labor laws are already there in the system. You are instantly notified when the scheduled hours violate employee labor rights.
When you are clearly informed, you know why errors occur, and it becomes easier to correct them. And when the system creates the schedule automatically, you can be assured that there will be no violations of the labor laws at all.
4. Human Error Reduced By 95%
Most companies already use business management systems, such as personnel, payroll, document management, etc.
When schedules are created by hand or with the help of Excel, employee working hour information has to be manually transferred to other systems. Any action performed by humans increases the chance of error.
You may constantly have doubts: Did I send the schedule to the right person? Have I marked weekends and holidays correctly? Are the hours at the end of the month calculated correctly?
Employee scheduling software ensures accurate and organized data. Our system developers focus on creating the greatest value for your organization and making sure that the solutions they provide integrate with the IT systems used by your company.
For instance, OPTAS can seamlessly integrate with payroll systems like Rivilė, PayPremium, and SODRA to access unemployment information. Additionally, it is compatible with various other payroll, personnel management, and access control systems, gathering scattered data into a unified business infrastructure.
5. More Involved Employees
The approach to employee preferences varies a lot in different companies. Some have strict rotating schedules and aren't as flexible when it comes to accepting employee requests for work or rest time. Meanwhile, others try to create schedules flexibly, considering employee availability as much as possible.
Whether team preferences are taken into account mainly depends on the industry in which the company operates. Restaurants, for example, often employ many students who must align their work schedules with their class schedules. Without flexible schedules, they would struggle to balance work and study.
In manufacturing companies, managers typically follow predefined templates, such as working for 2/3/4 days in a row and then having 2/3/4 days off. If you need a day off, you must request it in advance, but there is no guarantee it will be approved.
We all want to have ownership of our working and rest time. Strict schedules limit employees' flexibility to plan their time, leading to dissatisfaction with the employer or even a search for another workplace with more flexibility.
In a study of 10,000 people across 5 European countries, 77% of participants mentioned flexible working hours as a desirable perk.
If you're already considering your staff's preferences or decide to do so, the challenge is to collect and fulfill them when creating a schedule.
The work scheduling system helps managers collect employee preferences in a structured way based on availability and business capacity. As a manager, you can assess and decide whether the company will have enough capacity to operate as normal when you fulfill your staff's preferences, allowing you to manage business operations and staff more effectively.
6. Fair Schedules For Everyone
"Why did I get to work on the weekend again?" Why does Joan work fewer nights than I do? Why did you ignore my preferences and prioritize all of Peter's? Am I working again on Mother's Day??”
You've likely heard similar complaints after completing a month's schedule. Those responsible for scheduling are constantly under pressure from employees. Despite putting in significant effort to create a schedule, there’s always someone who doesn’t like it, causing you to feel demotivated and your team to become dissatisfied.
You can forget the pressure of juggling everyone's requests because the staff scheduling system can do it for you. When creating a schedule automatically, the system organizes work as fairly as possible for all employees. This means night, weekend, and holiday shifts will be distributed equally, considering all employees' preferences.
And if something isn't entirely fulfilled in the schedule, you know that it didn’t happen because of you, but for rational and justified reasons. The next time an employee complains about the schedule, you can say that there was no other option.
7. All Information In One Place
Usually, each department has one or more employees who always create employee work schedules. Often, besides them, no one else wants to do this job or knows how to do it right. If the manager overseeing the schedules falls ill or goes on vacation, the company may experience disruptions.
To create a suitable work schedule for employees, it's necessary to know the labor law requirements, the rules of time accounting, and your business's unique needs. For example, how many people of what competence are needed every day of the week? Who works with whom or should not work together? Who works only in the morning, and who only works in the night shifts?
Instead of training a new person every time, the system can automate every step of the way. As a result, learning how to make an automated schedule is quick and easy. So you can safely entrust this work to your assistants or colleagues.
8. Employee Salary Calculated According To Worked Hours
Do you have to pay the same to consistently late employees as to those who are always on time? Do all employees finish work on time?
Auto-scheduler can significantly reduce your labor costs. You are informed in real time if there are differences from the planned schedule, for example, if someone didn't come to work or left early.
Knowing actually worked hours allows you to quickly identify who is always late or tends to finish work early. It enables you to calculate wages precisely and prevent workplace misconduct. In the end, when someone is always 15 minutes late, this time adds up to several hours at the end of each month. The more such employees you have, the higher these numbers and the labor costs are.
9. Keeps Everyone Up To Date
Creating a schedule isn't enough. It's important to inform employees so that they arrive at work on time and don’t miss any days. Creating a schedule manually requires finding ways to share it with employees. Some managers hang a paper schedule in the break room, others send it by email, and others inform by phone.
What a hassle when someone's schedule changes over the course of a month. Each employee whose schedule have changed must be personally informed so that no-shows and misunderstandings do not appear later.
When using employee schedule management system, you can send information about schedules to employees in several convenient ways:
- Through a special application;
- Through integrations with personal calendars;
- Text messages.
With so many different notification options available, you can be assured that employees will be notified of new schedules on time. And if there are changes during the month, only those employees whose schedule has changed will be informed.
Informed employees are less likely to come late or not show up, allowing your company's activities to be carried out smoothly without unexpected downtime.
10. Quick Way To Go Paperless
No matter how popular the paper is in business operations, it creates chaos and lowers your process efficiency.
Digitizing your company's processes not only enhances your image as a sustainable and responsible organization but also offers several other advantages:
- Centralized data accessible from any computer;
- Improved GDPR compliance;
- Reputation as a modern company.
By creating schedules in one centralized system, you, as a manager, can see how work is organized in the entire organization and different departments in real-time. Questions like – "Is my department working at full capacity? How many employees were late today? Do I have unfinished tasks?" are answered immediately with just a glance at the specialized reports.
11. Data Analysis Done For You
Analyzing the data of past periods and looking for areas that could be improved is very important for your organization. Information about employees' work can provide important insights: "Which month do employees exceed their working hours? In which ones take the longest vacations? Who is sick the most? Late for work? Could I make a better schedule?" These are just a few questions you can forget once you start using automated staff scheduling software.
When creating schedules in specialized systems, the data is immediately processed, and relevant reports and summaries can be created based on this data. Clear statistics allow you to make smarter decisions that increase the company's efficiency and lead to business growth.
Searching for ways to increase the company's efficiency in terms of work organization becomes super easy with a specialized employee scheduling system.
Is your company ready to transform scheduling?
Find out how these and more benefits can be implemented in your company.