As a business owner, you know that time is money. Every minute your employees spend on tasks that don't contribute to your bottom line is a missed opportunity. That's why effective shift planning is critical to your business's success. But manual shift planning can be daunting and error-prone, especially if you have a large team of hourly workers. That's where shift planning online comes in. Using digital tools, you can streamline the scheduling process, reduce errors, and ensure that your employees are always in the right place at the right time.
In this article, we'll explore the benefits of shift planning online and how it can help your business thrive by maximising your resources. Whether you're a small business owner or managing a large team, you'll find valuable insights and practical tips to help you make the most of your time and resources. So, let's dive in and discover how shift planning online can transform your business.
Benefits of Shift Planning Online
Shift planning is essential to running any business that relies on hourly employees. It ensures that you have the right staff at the right time to meet customer demand, complete necessary tasks, and keep your business running smoothly. With traditional shift planning methods, managers spend hours creating schedules, tracking employee availability, and updating shift changes. However, using a rota planner to schedule shifts online can automate many of these tasks, freeing up valuable time for managers to focus on other aspects of the business.
One of the most significant advantages of planning shifts online is that it allows managers to track employee availability and schedule changes easily. This means that managers can quickly find a replacement if an employee calls in sick or has an emergency without disrupting the entire schedule. Additionally, online shift planning allows managers to understand their labour costs better, ensuring they are not overspending on labour.
Another benefit of shift planning online is that it can help improve employee satisfaction and reduce turnover. By allowing employees to view their schedules and request time off quickly, managers can improve communication and provide a better work-life balance for their workers. This can increase job satisfaction and lower turnover, saving the business time and resources in the long run.
Traditional vs Online Shift Planning
Traditional shift planning often involves using spreadsheets or paper schedules to manage employee schedules. Managers must manually input employee availability and track shift changes, making it easy for errors to occur. Additionally, traditional shift planning can be time-consuming, especially if a business has a large team.
On the other hand, online shift planning allows managers to easily create schedules, track employee availability, and make changes in real time. With a digital shift planner, managers can quickly find replacements for shift changes or call-ins, reducing the risk of understaffing. Additionally, online shift planning can help reduce errors by automating many scheduling tasks previously done manually.
Features of a Good Shift Planning Tool
When choosing a shift planning tool, there are several features to consider.
First and foremost, staff members should benefit from a user-friendly self-service app accessible from mobile devices to receive notifications, update their availabilities, and submit time off requests.
Moreover, managers and employees should be able to edit schedules quickly. Relating to the staff members' aforementioned app, another essential feature is tracking employee availability and time off requests, helping managers ensure they are scheduling employees when available and preventing scheduling conflicts. Additionally, the tool should allow for real-time updates, so managers can quickly adjust schedules if needed.
A good shift planner should also offer two shift types: open shifts and assigned shifts. Open shifts allow managers to list eligible employees who can apply for the free shift. Managers can then decide to give the slots by manually selecting a list of the best free employees or automatically assigning the space using a first-come-first-served basis.
In today's fast pacing world, a feature that has become critical is giving the ability to employees to submit shift trade requests so employees can swap shifts if they have a last-minute problem.
Finally, the shift planner should be connected to employees' Google, Apple, or Microsoft calendars to avoid pitfalls and miscommunication if employees stick to their old habits of tracking their time through their calendars.
How to Choose the Right Shift Planning Software
With so many shift planning tools available, choosing the right one for your business can be challenging. When evaluating software options, consider the following:
1. Ease of use: Is the software offering an intuitive schedule creation?
2. Features: Does the software offer the features you need to manage employee schedules effectively?
3. Integrations: Does the software integrate with other tools like payroll or HR systems?
4. Customer support: Does the software provider offer reliable customer support?
5. Pricing: Is the software affordable and within your budget?
Considering these factors, you can choose a shift planning tool that meets your business's needs.