Whether you’re running a restaurant, a 24/7 grocery store, or any business in between, one of the most surprisingly difficult tasks is shift scheduling. Even a small team of fewer than ten people can be challenging to schedule, regardless of what a great shift manager you are.
So, if you’ve been struggling with organizing shifts fairly for a while now, your best course of action is investing in an online schedule maker. It’s a simple yet powerful piece of software that can automate the repetitive task of shift scheduling and free up your hands, allowing you to focus on the core of your business.
Take a look at just some of the benefits of automated schedule creation, and see what a difference it can make for you and your team.
1. Time and Cost Efficiency
On average, managers spend about two hours a week building employee schedules. Depending on the size of a business and the number of full- and part-time workers, many waste even more time on this tedious task, with some reporting up to 12 hours of work on building a single weekly schedule. That’s a massive waste of time and resources that costs your business some real money.
With a shift scheduling app, managers wouldn’t have to waste a single minute on this task. The program takes care of it all within seconds, and you’re left to focus on more important matters.
The most advanced scheduling apps work on a system of recommendations. If your goal is to cut costs, the app will work to create schedules that use the most affordable staff member combinations. It will also ensure that no expensive overtime is scheduled by accident, decreasing your labor costs and ensuring the utmost efficiency.
Additionally, many shift scheduling apps can be integrated with leading POS solutions. This integration considers your business’s historical sales data and calculates your staffing needs on any given day. That will prevent over- and under-staffing issues and help you cut costs down the line.
2. Risk Mitigation and Consistency
When building a shift schedule, you need to consider any legal regulations and labor union agreements that you need to meet. That usually involves keeping an eye on individual worker hours to ensure they’re within the required limits – with no excess overtime and at least the minimum amount of working hours.
Unfortunately, keeping track of employee hours, legal and union requirements is often easier said than done. Mistakes and accidents happen more often than not when manually building a schedule.
To avoid headaches and legal repercussions, you need to use an automated scheduling app. You can include any necessary rules that the software needs to follow, and it will ensure the utmost compliance and consistency with scheduling.
3. Improved Flexibility
One of the main reasons why shift scheduling is such a difficult task is that shifts are prone to unexpected changes. An employee might have a medical or family emergency that prevents them from coming to work. Someone might request a day off to take a college exam. You might experience a busier day than expected and need more staff. Taking care of these unexpected changes on your own requires an excessive amount of time.
However, with a piece of shift scheduling software, shift flexibility becomes a breeze. Just like these apps can create a new schedule within seconds, they can alter and modify existing schedules at a moment’s notice.
The apps are also readily available to your entire team, so your employees can request changes without causing any business issues.
4. Better Employee Satisfaction
The most significant benefit of automating shift scheduling might just be better employee satisfaction. With limited overtime, fair shifts, and adequate time between shifts, your employees will get a morale boost, enjoy greater flexibility, and reward you with improved productivity.
Additionally, automated scheduling will ensure that all employees are notified about their shifts well in advance. They no longer have to wait by their phone every single day to see whether they’ll need to come to work within the hour. This last-minute-notice practice increases stress and prevents your employees from having a proper work-life balance since they won’t be able to make any personal plans outside of work.
But, when they’re notified about their shifts promptly through shift scheduling automation, they’ll stay well organized, and they’ll be able to focus better at work.
5. Better Customer Satisfaction
Finally, automating shift scheduling can improve customer satisfaction, especially when the software is integrated with your POS. The scheduling app will rely on historical data from your POS to create the best teams for your busiest periods.
It will ensure that you have enough staff to handle the increased foot traffic around the busy holiday season. It will also ensure that your least experienced staff members are scheduled with the most skilled ones – providing them with excellent learning opportunities that ultimately improve the customer experience.
The Bottom Line
Automating shift scheduling saves time, money, and stress. It boosts employee morale and keeps your customers happy. It provides too many benefits to be disregarded, so it’s in your business’s best interest to update your scheduling practices and make use of sophisticated technological solutions.