Shift planning has come a long way in recent years. Modern shift scheduling software has matured, and new management strategies have emerged.
The “wait and see” timeframe is over. The time to upgrade your company’s scheduling software has arrived.
What’s So Modern About Shift Planning?
Shift planning has been around for a long time. A noted pioneer in shift management, even McDonald’s restaurant was late to the game. McDonald’s restaurant started in 1955.
Even at this early stage in modern management, shift work had been around for ages. Managers at Ford Motor Company pioneered shift planning in 1903.
Managers at Ford used paper charts, a steam whistle, and the good honor of their employees. We’ve come a long way since then.
So what could be new to shift planning that we haven’t already worked out? Plenty.
Today’s shift planning software takes advantage of the latest technology. Technology that Ford and McDonald’s could only dream of. Modern shift planning takes advantage of cloud-based computing, for starters.
Cloud-based shift planning makes possible many advanced features. Employee self-service, mobile access and full integration with other systems are a start. Designed to save you time and money, modern shift planning software does it all.
Ten Things To Look For In Modern Shift Scheduling Software
Among others, there are ten important things your modern shift scheduling software includes. Look for these features to make sure you are upgrading to modern shift planning:
1. Shift scheduling by a variety of options.
You should be able to organize shifts in a variety of ways to fit your custom circumstance. Common time-based options include daily, weekly and monthly. Resource-based options include employee, position, or job role.
Time-based options allow you to create shift schedules based on a period of time. Organize daily schedules each day for quick turn projects such as construction. Weekly schedules are good for restaurants where turnover and seasonality are concerns. Monthly schedules work for hotels or healthcare where groups are stable and regular.
Resource-based schedule planning allows you to look at the people for the job. You may schedule a specific person to perform a task, or you might work by position. Job role-based scheduling allows you to meet compliance standards like Payroll-Based Journal recording.
2. Mobile Access
Today’s workforce is on the go, and so should be your shift schedule software.
Mobile access to your schedule allows employees to clock in from anywhere on the road. Remote or telecommuter staff, off-site contractors, and floating job sites need mobile access.
You are a more effective manager when you provide mobile access to your employees. Managers gain access to real-time reports on employee locations with GPS tracking. You can see who has checked in to which job site. And you have a clear picture of where you stand with part-time and overtime.
The ability to oversee your remote staff is critical in today’s dynamic workplace. Mobile access provides your employees the ability to remain in touch and up to date in real time.
3. Automated Schedule Templates
There’s no need to re-invent the wheel every scheduling period. Ford had to do it back in the day, but you don’t have to in these modern times.
Schedule templates allow you to create once and replicate. This works particularly well for companies with regular routines. Hospitals, hotels, and retail can take advantage of repeating templates.
Create your schedule and store it as a template. When a new period arrives, load the template for an instant schedule layout.
Minor adjustments are not a problem. Modern shift scheduling software allows you to drag-and-drop resources to new times.
The time savings in this single feature alone will justify any upgrade expense.
4. Time Clock Options
When it comes to clock in and clock out, you need options.
Modern shift planning requires employee engagement. Employees engage the system at the clock. Modern shift planning software must integrate with a variety of clocks.
Your system should accommodate the needs of a dynamic workforce.
Time clock options include hardware clocks such as biometric or card scan types. You also need web-based access for remote employees. We’ve already discussed mobile, but it’s worth mentioning again as a critical consideration.
Modern shift scheduling software integrates with a wide variety of clocks. Your company should be free to choose a clock solution that works best for the workforce.
5. Employee Self-Service (ESS)
A more innovative addition to our modern shift scheduling software is self-service. Modern scheduling includes an employee self-service portal for personal access.
Employees are able to log in to the system and perform self-service functions. Tasks your employees should be doing for themselves such as updating their profile. But don’t let this simplicity fool you; self-service is a manager’s dream…
The Employee Self-Service hub also allows employees to make shift change requests. This is a direct line of communication to managers specific to scheduling. Managers receive alerts and have the ability to approve or deny with a click.
Employees can also post shift swap requests to other employees. Called Virtual Swap Board in SwipeClock WorkforceHUB software, this is a valuable feature.
Employees post shifts they are unable to fill. Other employees are able to volunteer to take extra shifts or to swap. No need to worry; automatic alerts warn managers of unplanned overtime. Managers are always in control and have ultimate approval ability.
6. Paid Time Off (PTO) Tracking
PTO tracking is essential for modern shift planning. PTO includes paid time off, vacation time, and sick leave.
Paid Time Off is an employee benefit that usually accumulates over time. The more an employee works, the more PTO they accumulate. Accurate tracking is critical to meet employee guarantees without breaking the budget.
In the past, it was easy to make mistakes when calculating PTO. Today’s modern shift scheduling software performs automatic calculations for you. And keeps a running tally of time available, and time used.
No more guesswork, pencil mistakes, or upset employees.
7. Group Scheduling
Group shift planning is when a group of employees works together on a project. Managers assign employees to a group and then schedule the group to work at a specific time.
Group schedule planning is common in manufacturing where groups include necessary job roles.
Modern shift scheduling software allows you to assign job roles to individuals. Managers add individuals to groups by job role and then assign groups to a schedule.
Group scheduling makes it easier to manage production shifts. Managers can work with team modules instead of individuals. Team modules fill a variety of roles that operate as a group.
Managers can assign groups to shifts with confidence that job roles match the task.
8. Automated Communications
Modern shift scheduling software must do more than its namesake. Its central to the employee experience, and makes sense to incorporate communications, too.
Modern shift planning includes automated employee communications. Communications include email updates, text reminders, and mobile alerts.
Automated communications include managers alerts, too.
Overtime alerts, in particular, are invaluable for managers. Approval notifications allow managers to focus knowing they won’t miss important items.
Modern shift scheduling software will automate alerts, warnings, and reminders. Automatic communications keep your workforce humming without constant manager involvement.
9. Manual Communications
Modern shift scheduling software will allow managers to send manual notifications to employees.
Manual communications include everything from news about the company party to press releases. Policy updates, enrollment notices, benefits changes and general info.
It’s all important, and your modern shift scheduling software will allow company-wide communications.
Modern shift scheduling software integrates with other systems.
Shift scheduling, time and attendance are central to other critical systems including payroll. Integration with payroll is not only a time-saver, it can help you avoid costly mistakes, too.
In the early days of Ford Motor Company, employees would complete time cards by hand. Managers transferred time card data to payroll tables, and payroll would make payments.
In our modern age, the process used by Ford in its early days offers too many opportunities for error. A single mistake in a transfer from scheduling to timecard to payroll can cost thousands.
Modern shift scheduling software helps you avoid costly errors with integration. A single export from time and attendance produces a file ready to import to payroll. No human transfer, and no room for mistakes.
The result is a clean, error-free payroll.
Shift scheduling software integrates with other systems as well. SwipeClock WorkforceHUB provides a central hub for all systems. Employee self-service provides a single point of sign-on, and managers have centralized control.
The Modern Advantage
Modern shift scheduling software makes shift planning a breeze.
Check out SwipeClock WorkforceHUB for the ultimate in modern shift scheduling software.