February 01, 2020
How to Automate Employee Scheduling Processes
Plus, by automating tasks that don’t contribute to your bottom line, you can focus on tasks that do. Therefore, not only does your business’s overhead go down, its efficiency goes up with automation. Given how significantly automating employee scheduling can affect your business, we wrote this post to help you get started.
Employee Scheduling Is Time-Consuming When Manually DoneEven for a relatively small organization, manual employee scheduling is extremely time-consuming. To create shift schedules effectively, at a minimum, you need to:
- Identify and understand resource needs, including skills needed for various tasks.
- Schedule workers based on availability and skill.
- Account for and adjust to unexpected schedule changes quickly. This includes when an employee calls out sick or has another time off request.
- Improve your scheduling process over time.
Using Automation Tools Frees Up TimeAt a high-level, automation essentially takes your knowledge and expertise and turns it into software rules. For example, you can configure employee scheduling software to only schedule employees with a certain title for specific tasks. That way, when you have a certain task to do, the system automatically knows which team members it can choose from. From there, it can check their schedules and assign whoever’s open to a shift. In addition, if your organization allows employees to pick shifts, the tool could provide a scheduling interface. With that scheduling interface, employees could pick their shifts without your involvement. Similarly, automation tools help ensure issues are addressed early, which always saves time in the long run. For example, scheduling tools alert you when a shift is uncovered. With manual processes, it’s easy to miss that sort of thing. All that said, there are far more ways — unique to your business — that automation will free up time.
The Benefits of Employee Scheduling Automation ToolsFrom delegating tasks to improving the customer experience, employee scheduling apps provide many advantages. In the following section, we’ll describe these advantages in more detail. We’ll also highlight what these benefits might mean in the context of your unique business.
1. Assists In Delegating TasksAs we mentioned earlier, employee scheduling requires knowledge that makes it difficult to delegate. This makes it hard for you, as the business owner, to extricate yourself from the scheduling process. Fortunately, one of the great advantages of scheduling automation tools is that they enable you to delegate certain scheduling tasks. For example, you can set overall resource allocation goals using your automation tools. From there, an assistant (or further automation) can work on communicating with workers to fill shifts. In this way, automation tools allow you to layer in strategic goals. So, when it comes time to do the more tedious tasks, that work is informed by your strategic direction. This is a powerful advantage that can manifest in all sorts of ways. Depending on the tool you use, you can also delegate data collection. That way, you can focus on analyzing areas of potential improvement.
2. Is A Massive Time-SaverTime is one of the few things you can’t get more of once you’ve lost it. That’s what makes scheduling automation tools’ capability to save you time such an important advantage. To understand the amount of time we’re talking about, add up how much time you spend scheduling each week. Even if you spend two hours per day on scheduling, that equates to about two and a half weeks per year. Essentially, at a minimum, you’re getting two and a half more weeks out of every year with scheduling automation. In reality, you’re likely getting more time than that because you’ll be making fewer errors caused by manual processes. Yet, that’s just time. You’re also saving the brainpower you usually use on scheduling for other, more important things. So, automation tools don’t just make it easier to properly allocate your staffing resources. They also enable you to allocate yourself to higher-value tasks.
3. Helps Bolster Employee RetentionIn general, having a flexible schedule is extremely important to employees. This makes them more likely to stay at your company. Consider the following:
- 90 percent of workers say more flexible work arrangements and schedules will boost morale.
- 73 percent of employees said flexible work arrangements increase their satisfaction at work.
- 42 percent of American workers would leave one job for another with a more flexible working environment.