With managers and department heads trying to balance running their unit and management duties with the responsibility of scheduling their employees, the best solution can be to move towards a centralized scheduling model. This way mangers can spend more time taking care of their other departmental duties.
What is Centralized Scheduling?
Centralized scheduling is a model in which one person is in charge of the scheduling for all employees in the organization or worksite. The task of scheduling no longer falls on the shoulders of many individuals, who are usually department managers, but on one person whose main responsibility is scheduling. In general, moving to a centralized scheduling operation presents a number of benefits and challenges:
- Schedulers have a better view of the ‘big picture’ and can manage staffing levels easily across several departments
- Centralization allows for a more consistent interpretation of scheduling rules and collective agreements
- Training (and re-training) of schedulers is faster and more efficient
- There is a convenient single point of contact for employees and managers alike
- Robert works for the city is able to work shifts as either a lifeguard or an ice rink attendant for the city’s Community Centre. On Tuesday, he is scheduled to work at both the pool and the ice rink at the same time. Instead of having to go to talk to the pool scheduler then the ice rink scheduler and back again to confirm the overlap is gone, Robert can go to one person to have the scheduling conflict resolved quickly.
- Managers, clerks and assistants throughout the organization are freed from scheduling duties and can focus on their professional work
Many of the challenges faced occur as result of the transition from decentralized to centralized scheduling. One of these challenges is an increase in the amount of data errors made due to a lack of familiarity with each unit. This unfamiliarity makes detecting these errors difficult. Once the scheduler becomes more familiar with the units, the amount of errors should decrease. Schedulers must also understand the requirements of the different bargaining agreements in place in the organization, and know which agreements apply to which employees in different situations.
These challenges can be minimized by implementing an automated scheduling program. With a staffing solution like StaffRight Omni, collective agreement rules and pay groups can all be configured within the software to generate alerts if scheduling rules are violated. Another challenge is that some units might also have nuances or special circumstances that could be overlooked by centralized schedulers:
- Jane does not want to work with Bob so she makes a request to work Thursday nights, a night that Bob does not work. The centralized scheduler does not understand how big an impact working with Bob has on Jane because he does not interact with her directly so he does not accept her request. Jane’s productivity on Tuesdays when she works with Bob decreases dramatically.
This challenge can be alleviated in a system where employees participate in self-scheduling, where employees can sign-in into a workforce management solution and make a change to their availability themselves online. However, the biggest challenge can be manager buy-in. Some managers will be reluctant at first to hand over scheduling duties to the central scheduling office because they might feel that they must give up some control of their units. As this was a major responsibility of theirs, it may be hard to transfer initially even though it is a very time consuming task. Additionally, some unit managers may have concerns that their individual preferences will not be accommodated. It is important that these concerns are addressed and managers are reassured that they will not be losing any control, just delegating a task to free up more time.
Special care needs to be taken in gathering requirements and designing rules to ensure their preferences are incorporated. After seeing what they can do now with the time they have, it could also help them no longer feel that they lost control anymore, but simplified a complex process instead. For centralized scheduling to be successful, the scheduling offices must be appropriately staffed to handle inquiries and requests from employees and managers throughout the organization, especially early on during the transition to centralized scheduling. Not having enough people can lead to a slower process and more errors, which could erase the benefits of moving to a centralized scheduling environment.
Is Centralized scheduling Right For My Organization?
Moving to centralized scheduling is beneficial for most organizations, especially if you have employees working 24/7 or close to 24/7, and on weekends. If your organization has multiple rules and constraints around building the schedule such as union regulations, multiple worksites, seniority, and certain qualification to work in specific areas, a centralized staffing system can help manage these all at the same time.
This year, Microsoft is changing it up with the introduction of Envision, a new conference tailored for business leaders in operations, finance, sales, marketing and IT. Envision will replace Convergence as the go-to conference for business leaders and will provide emphasis on 8 industries: Manufacturing and resources Retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG) Financial services…
Compensation can be challenging and time-consuming to administer. There are so many different ways to calculate a person’s compensation whether it’s fixed, variable, a mix of both, involves pay grids, salary bands, or involves stock options. That’s still before taxes, benefits, deductions, allowances and overtime are applied. There is so much that goes into coming…
Using position management to manage your workforce is not just for organizations with employees working multiple positions, but can be applicable and beneficial to any organization. Position management is a type of relationship between positions, jobs, employees and the organizational structure. A position is seen as an empty chair that inherits and maintains job information…