How to Overcome Challenges in Employee Scheduling
Challenges-in-Employees-Scheduling

Organizations that are “open beyond regular working hours” face multiple challenges in schedule management of their employees. Efficient shift management has become an absolute necessity for such businesses.

Whether it is a customer support process for a manufacturing unit or a mid-sized healthcare facility – each requires a round-the-clock availability of personnel.

Floor managers are primarily responsible to allocate shifts to employees ensuring that productivity levels are maintained, work-life-balance requirements are met and morale is not affected. Managers need to take care of shift schedules, resource utilization, risk management, roster allocation, absenteeism, rescheduling, skill balance, relieving bottlenecks and improving productivity.

Our sales team recently came across a customer support desk organization where the floor managers were facing challenges in allocating shifts manually.

Pain Points of a Floor Manager in a Customer Support Desk

A mid-sized customer support desk managed support across multiple time zones for its large customers. Its employees were scheduled in 3 shifts – starting at 10 am, 6 pm and 2 am. Each shift was 8 hours long, and required 200 seats to manage all the operations.

Cost control was a constant concern for the management. Over staffing was causing financial losses whereas under staffing was resulting into missed calls lost up sell opportunities – one of the key goal. Inefficient shift scheduling lead to high operating costs, low productivity, increased employee turnover and soaring grievances – as also an unhappy customer.

It was the responsibility of the Chief Operating Officer to assure that the facility runs 24×7 and the operation was adequately staffed, even during night and wee hours.

Floor Managers spent long hours on shift allocation, to get employee shifts and work schedules just right. While preparing schedules, managers considered time-off requests, labor rules, and availability and preferences of the workers. They needed to stay compliant to laws by carefully managing overtime (without paying unnecessary overtime bonus).

Last minute reschedule requests was a huge issue as well. Managers were looking for a way to give flexibility to the employees without causing serious disruption.

Manual processing of shifts and employee scheduling is time-consuming.

21% of managers consider this a top challenge.

Managers use spreadsheets, calendars, and paper to manage multiple shifts and schedule employees. This may be a familiar approach, but brings many challenges in employee shift scheduling. Manually managing shift allocation leads to challenges in efficiency, increased performance, lower costs and work-life balance.

Is your organization struck in the nightmare of shift management? Do managers in your organization create time consuming, inefficient employee schedules manually?

Designing shift patterns mapping to employee needs with clearly defined work schedules has become a common challenge in many industries, including healthcare, hospitality, educational institutions, restaurants, customer support centers, customer support, manufacturing companies, not-for-profits, and more.

Creating an effective schedule, communicating schedule changes to employees, and ensuring adherence is important. Let’s look at a solution that will help an organization achieve these goals and more.

Capabilities of a Web-Based Shift Management Solution

Empxtrack Shift Management software helps companies meet these challenges. It offers powerful employee scheduling features, enabling shift managers to make informed decisions on staffing requirements, overtime and on-call hours, labor costs, and more. The software can help in managing shift schedules for the week in less than 15 minutes. It provides control on shift scheduling at a granular level, while allowing managers to perform the following actions mentioned below, with minimum manual processing and supervision:

  • » Automatically generate work schedules using industry-specific shift patterns or user-definable schedule plans.
  • » Capture details of the new employees
  • » Schedule adequate number of employees with the right skills to staff a shift successfully; each shift must have perfect balance of skill and manpower
  • » Define non-working days, start and end shift times, and applicable week days for each shift
  • » Capture employee in-and-out time accurately
  • » Allocate shift patterns for a group of employees with start and end dates
  • » Monitor over/ under staffing conditions based on skills, position and assignment
  • » Publish work schedules and calendars easily in multiple formats, or even email work schedules to the employees
  • » Define employee preferences, including availability, desired work hours, daily work hour constraints, and time off requests
  • » Get alerts on availability conflicts, overlapped shift assignments, duplicate shift assignments, and conflicts with scheduled time off, as per company rules
  • » Assign relivers in case of emergencies or when fixing last minute reschedules
  • » Set overtime policies where employees look over manufacturing, production, and plant maintenance
  • » Get reports on tasks for cost control and payroll purposes
  • » Ensure all employees follow a set of basic rules (For instance, a worker can’t leave the manufacturing unit, until he the person from the next shift takes over his job)

Effective Employee Scheduling Can Help an Organization Grow. How?

Decrease in quality of work and productivity, low employee morale and workforce turnover, are the results of ineffective employee scheduling.

With capabilities to manage shift schedules effectively, managers can save on time and effort, track attendance and time accurately, improve employee communication and boost accountability among staff. Employee work life balance can be enhanced. Thus, a reduction in employee turnover and an increase in overall profitability of the company.

Impact

An effective shift scheduling process:

» Increases employee’s job satisfaction

» Decreases absenteeism and employee turnover

» Improves business returns

Scheduling needs in a 24/7/365 global economy is never going to change. But, is your workforce ready to meet customer requirements and increase profits? All you need is to – have a well-structured shift management process in your organization to embark on the new journey.