Having the optimal combination of employees working at the right times is essential to effective business operations. But workforce scheduling can be challenging when you’re dealing with increases in demand during peak times and variations in work schedules across different job types. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need to adjust employee schedules to account for absences and illness. A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine revealed that more than 2 million people called in sick during the April 2020 coronavirus peak, the highest monthly count of work absences on record.
To effectively match employee hours with business needs, you need a workforce scheduling solution that provides both flexibility and transparency. Whether employees are working full time, part time, or on a variable schedule, you can manage your workforce more effectively with the aid of best-in-class tools for managing and communicating employee schedules.
Read on to learn the top ways workforce management (WFM) software helps you address common scheduling challenges.
Communicate Schedule and Shift Changes
Manual scheduling methods using paper or spreadsheets might be sufficient when everyone sees the same piece of paper or document at the same time, but they don’t work so well when you need to make scheduling adjustments. For example, if you made a schedule change on a Friday for the following week and the schedule was posted at the work site, the employees who were out sick or not scheduled to work that day might not see the schedule change until it’s too late. If you have to track down employees by email or phone, you not only waste time, but you also risk not having the right people working at the right time. In an industry such as healthcare, not having sufficient coverage of doctors, nurses, and other staff can have life-or-death implications for patients.
Workforce management software allows you to set schedules and communicate changes to employees immediately. Employees can access their schedules from any device and get real-time notifications when there are changes or opportunities for overtime or extra hours. In addition to providing employees with scheduling updates, you can also use workforce scheduling software to empower employees to take the following actions:
Manage Workforce Scheduling Exceptions
Workforce scheduling isn’t a “set it and forget it” exercise. At any given time, scheduling exceptions such as late arrivals, missed shifts, or extra overtime can happen, and you need to be able to take immediate action. Without insight into unplanned variations in employee work hours, you can experience underscheduling, overscheduling, or overtime that stretches your labor costs beyond budget. Excessive overtime can also cause workforce productivity to fall. Research out of Stanford University found that when employees exceed a 50-hour workweek, they can experience a drop in productivity.
If employees are approaching the overtime limit, you don’t want to find they exceeded the limit after the pay period has ended. You want immediate notification so you have the option of adjusting their overtime hours in real time. Thankfully, TCP’s workforce scheduling software allows you to define the types of schedule exceptions you want to track and set up notifications based on each occurrence. With this added visibility into employee working hours, managers can follow up immediately with employees and address issues before they get out of control
Manage Schedules Across Job Types and Locations
Today’s complex organizations have employees performing a range of roles, and therefore, employee schedules are likely to vary across job types and locations. For example, a food service organization may have full-time managers working standard weekly shifts, but cooks and servers may work part-time schedules that change from week to week. In such a case, using a manual workforce scheduling solution won’t provide the flexibility needed to manage multiple schedule types in line with daily and weekly changes in customer demand.
For effective workforce management, it’s essential to have a scheduling solution that easily expands to fit multiple schedule types. Available software gives you the flexibility to manage your diverse workforce and accomplish the following:
Efficient workforce scheduling allows you to put the right people in the right place at the right time. When you have the technology and tools to elevate your scheduling capability, you can easily create schedules, gain more control over labor costs, and access data for better decision-making. For more helpful insights, read our free eBook, Everything You Need to Know About Workforce Management