Your company is growing. You’ve taken on new hires in the last few months and right now, you handle scheduling with a spreadsheet. But now, with more people in your company, it’s becoming more difficult to accommodate everyone’s schedule preferences while maintaining compliance with your business’ rules. Should you keep your current system or is it time to switch to a software solution?
Changing your scheduling system is a big decision. In this post, we will cover some of the key reasons why you may want to consider switching to a software-based scheduling system and whether it can enhance your scheduling process.
Manual spreadsheets tend to have a lower level of accuracy than software, which can negatively impact your business. A common problem with spreadsheets is that it is very easy to make small mistakes such as typographical errors or mis-clicks on a cell. With scheduling software, you can automate your scheduling such that once they are set and verified, all you have to do is manage any last minutes requests and changes.
Additionally, with scheduling software, you can easily track all changes made to your schedules. If the numbers don’t add up, you can determine what changes have been made and by whom, allowing you to pinpoint and correct mistakes much quicker than visually comparing each calculation and cell.
Another common issue with spreadsheets is that the data needed is dispersed across different folders, computers, departments or even geographical locations. This can make comparing, compiling, or determining the source of the data more difficult than it need to be. By centralizing data, a scheduling software solution can reduce the time and effort to locate all relevant information needed for scheduling.
Maintain compliance easily
Producing schedules by hand can be difficult enough, but creating a schedule that addresses business and employee needs while maintaining compliance with scheduling regulations can be a monumental task with a spreadsheet. Scheduling software can simplify this process by allowing you to set up scheduling rules such that you will be alerted when a rule violation occurs. You can then decide whether or not to override it.
A scheduling solution, like StaffRight Omni, can synchronize schedule data with your employee data in your existing HRMS, so it can verify that assigning an employee to a shift that requires a certain skill set will keep the company compliant.
With spreadsheets, it’s difficult to control who has proper access to the file when certain individuals can make changes to only specific parts of the schedule, and others may not even view parts of the schedule. For example, you may have managers in different departments who can only view the schedule of their own department. With a scheduling software solution, security management is built-in, meaning you are able to easily control who has access to what parts of the schedule depending on their role. This can be extremely useful if you plan to implement self-scheduling in your organization, as it allows your employees to have more say in the scheduling process without worrying about access rights.
If a mistake or purposeful change is made in your spreadsheet, how would you know who did it? With the low level of security on spreadsheets, they are open to changes that may not be discovered until too late or are difficult to trace back to the source.
For example, Emily is one of the assistant mangers at a local retail store and wants to go on a short trip this upcoming weekend. The schedule for that weekend was just finalized by the Store Manager, so she was unable to book the weekend off. Emily decides to log on to the main computer and change her schedule to show that another assistant manager is working that weekend. However, that assistant manager had already booked that weekend off to visit family and is now scheduled to work overtime for that schedule.
3. People Impact
Supporting collaboration using spreadsheets can be an impossible task. Every time a change is made, a copy is saved and then needs to be distributed to everyone else in the scheduling process. Using spreadsheets means that multiple users cannot access the same file at the same time. It can also get messy when trying to merge edits or keeping track of entering requests on the most-up-to-date copy.
Accountability and visibility
A scheduling software solution can help your company’s visibility by reducing scheduling favoritism with randomly generated and optimized schedules. You can also improve accountability by integrating employee self-scheduling and self-service into your scheduling process:
- Employee self-scheduling is when predetermined open shifts are created and employees take turns picking their shifts based scheduling rules, such as picking at least one weeknight and weekend shift.
- Employee self-service is allowing employees to log in to a secure web portal to view their schedules and update personal information and availability.
The complexity of your scheduling environment is a big determinant of whether a spreadsheet-based model or software-based model makes the most sense for your organization. The method you choose can have a big impact on costs, time and effort savings, and employee satisfaction, making it a discussion worth having in your organization.
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