Good employee scheduling leads to smooth sailing. Maintaining a balanced schedule helps businesses keep the floor covered, customers happy, and goals in sight. Shift managers who have a lot to worry about rely on a shift scheduler to keep their employee calendar in tip-top shape.
A shift scheduler is a software that makes it easy to plan recurring shifts on a regular basis, visualize the schedule, and run custom reports. In today’s work from everywhere culture, scheduling is trickier than ever. Managers need to find the right shift planning software for 2020.
In this post, we’ll cover different shift schedules and the software that can help you streamline your planning process and run a tight ship.
- What is a Shift Scheduler?
- Types of Shift Work Schedules
- Shift Schedule Template
- How Shift Schedule Software Can Limit Scheduling Issues
- What to Look for in a Shift Scheduler App
- Take Your Shift Scheduler Online
Before we get into a shift scheduler, we’ll start with the question: what is a shift schedule? Shift work is work that takes place outside of the traditional 9-5. That might include night shifts, morning shifts, or rotating shifts (more on different types of schedules below!).
Many businesses implement shifts so that they can stay open longer, reach more clients, or optimize staff during the day’s busiest period. Efficient shift management is key for getting the most out of a shift work schedule.
An automatic shift scheduler is a software that creates the schedule faster. Managers can easily assign and alter employee shifts, run reports to see trends, and visualize important data. Employees can easily check up on their upcoming shifts and request changes through the employee portal. Furthermore, integration with time-tracking and payroll software means better compliance with laws.
A shift schedule maker will improve the business plan and the way your business plans.
Shift work schedules are common in industries such as restaurants and bars, hospitality, public service, manufacturing, supply chain, retail, medicine, and more. Each industry may require different shift work schedules. With shift schedules 24/7 coverage is possible. Find out which shift work schedule best fits your business.
Fixed Shift Schedules
With a fixed shift work schedule, the same crew always works the same shift. For example, a server may work the dinner shift four times a week, coming in at 4 to leave by 11. Many employees prefer fixed shift schedules because their regularity makes it easier to plan around.
Split Shift Schedules
In a split shift, a person’s workday is split into two or more parts. Importantly, this does not refer to a break for a worker to eat or rest. A shift is considered “split” if, for example, an employee works from 7 to 11, goes off the clock, and then returns to work from 3 to 6. As you might imagine, this shift type is no favorite of employees and should be avoided if you want to retain quality staff.
Overtime Shift Schedules
It is not ideal to have employees clocking overtime, but in certain situations, employees may end up working more hours than a typical shift. It’s important to carefully track hours to make sure overtime pay is compliant with the federal time-and-a-half policy as well as local regulations. Additionally, keep a close eye on employees to make sure they aren’t burning out.
Rotating Shift Schedules
With rotating shifts, employees change shifts. For example, a customer service representative may work the early morning shift for six weeks, and then the later evening shift for six weeks. Employers opt for a longer shift rotation schedule so that employees can have more stability, but employees prefer fixed schedules. Rotating shift schedules 12-hour shifts can be especially brutal.
With on-call shift work schedules, an employee is not scheduled to come into the workplace, but they need to be prepared to come in if someone should call out. This practice is more common in industries where being understaffed can have detrimental effects. Employees may take turns being “on-call.”
In this system, managers schedule shifts on an ad–hoc basis to fill in gaps as they go. There is little or no regularity in the scheduling, with an employee receiving certain shifts one week and totally different ones the next. This may be common in sectors with high turnover where it is difficult to plan for regular shifts.
Some employers use a shift schedule excel template to keep things organized. This can lead to irregularities and confusion that ultimately cost the business money and hurt employee morale. Using a shift schedule template works for a while, but doesn’t provide the organizational tools necessary for a growing business.
If your business suffers from scheduling issues such as insufficient coverage, high turnover, and disorganization, it may be time to try automation.
It’s time to switch to digital solutions
The best employee scheduling is considerate both of employee needs and the demands of an evolving business. A shift scheduler can help employers strike this balance, keeping the schedule up and running. Without it, businesses may be suffering from scheduling issues like the following:
No Call-No Shows
The bane of small businesses everywhere, a no call-no show is when an employee gives no advanced warning that they won’t make it to their shift. This may be because there is an emergency but employees miss shifts because the schedule changed suddenly, or was unclear. Scheduling software can help to increase accountability and make sure employees can touch base at any time.
Bad Customer Service
If one employee misses a shift, that has domino-style effects on everyone else working. The remaining employees have to pick up the slack. At a restaurant, this may mean servers taking over too many tables or a line cook working a station that is not their area of expertise. In retail, it may mean there are not enough cashiers or that restocks happen too slowly. Being understaffed spells disaster for customer service– and one bad experience may lose a customer forever.
Managers afraid of last-minute call-outs (or worse, no call-no shows!) may tend to overschedule employees. Bloated schedules eat into a small business’s profit margins. Too many cooks spoil the broth, as they say. A shift scheduler reduces absenteeism and allows managers to slim down the schedule.
It’s time to invest in shift management software. Here are our top tips for finding the best shift scheduler for your business.
- Look for software that has a free shift scheduler app, so that managers can update the schedule on the fly and employees can check their hours whenever they need to.
- Find a system that performs other key HR functions such as payroll and vacation management. Simplify your management by keeping everything in one place.
- Make sure that your shift scheduler utilizes data in custom reports, giving you insight into the business.
We know it might be a scary shift to take your shift management online. But automation simplifies the shift work schedule. Are you ready to increase profit margins, boost employee morale, and minimize absenteeism? Try Factorial’s shift scheduler free with a trial of its HR software.
Written by Valerie Slaughter