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Maintaining a functional and fair schedule that keeps everyone in the company happy is a crucial yet frequently underappreciated task.

As trivial as it might seem to some, workforce scheduling plays a huge part in many businesses' success or failure.  

Let’s see how employee scheduling affects profits, workforce satisfaction and customer service and how you can improve it.

How bad workforce scheduling hurts your business

Employee scheduling is a dynamic task, yet too many staff managers take the set-and-forget approach. Sure, it might seem easier and it might take less time, but in the long run the consequences are usually devastating.

Lackluster scheduling usually happens when various circumstances are not taken into account - like an order fulfillment sprint or a change in peak service time.

If the schedule planner is slow to adapt the following usually happens:

Turn workforce scheduling into a business asset


Too few employees

There just aren’t enough employees on hand to finish the project on time or serve all the customers around.  

This results in bad customer experience as employees simply cannot provide quality service to everyone. It also results in overworked and frustrated employees.

It costs your company return customers and causes higher employee turnaround.

Too many employees

This one is simple - your business is paying employees you don’t need at that moment. Bad workforce scheduling can be a direct money waster.

Unfair scheduling

Some of the shifts are usually considered better than others and if the schedule stays rigid, some employees will get disgruntled. Especially if their scheduling wishes weren’t considered.  

This will result in a higher employee turnaround as well as lower service quality.

A consistently sub-standard employee scheduling will lead to drastic measures - cutting staff, reducing hours, raising prices and passing the additional cost over to the consumer. All this inhibits growth and makes your company vulnerable to its competitors.

That’s why you should strive for a dynamic, employee-friendly schedule. Let’s see why it’s worth having one.

Benefits of dynamic employee scheduling

Good employee scheduling is all about getting the right people for the job in the right place at the right time.  

Great scheduling also engages and takes into account employees’ wishes, which empowers them and consequently increases productivity.

A business that actively invest in workforce management are seeing significant benefits:

  • a 6% reduction in payroll errors
  • a 5% increase in productivity
  • freeing up 7 to 12 hours of manager’s time per week, resulting in a 20% increase in client-facing time

 Better workforce scheduling also results in increased employee satisfaction and fewer absentees. And happier employees affect almost every aspect of your business.

*Figures from  "TechNavio Global Research 2014"

How to enhance your scheduling

Nowadays there is no reason for any manager to be buried under piles of spreadsheets, calendars and leave forms.  

If you don’t already have one, you should absolutely get a user-friendly workforce management software. It will automate plenty of processes and save you a lot of time. There’s really no reason not to use one.

First, use it to help you answer the most important scheduling questions:

  • Do we have the right number of staff?
  • Are all our time slots and shifts covered?
  • Have we planned appropriately for our busiest periods?
  • Are we compliant with the law?
  • What happens if someone calls in sick?

Once you have this covered, it’s time to do some forecasting.

Forecast and profit

Accurate forecasting is essential for the best possible workforce scheduling.

The key two questions to answer are:

  • What are your busiest times?
  • When do your customers need the most hands-on assistance?

Understanding your business and your customers gives you the data you need to ensure you always have the right people in the right place at the right time.

However, the key to excellent scheduling is to proactively and regularly adjust your schedule to real needs.

This is where workforce management software shines. It can automatically take into account all the relevant factors - the number of customers, number of customer support calls, orders in a factory or legal restrictions.

The software then adjusts the schedule in a matter of seconds whenever you want to check if there are significant changes.

It saves you time and creates the most profitable schedule.

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Empower your workforce

Taking into account employees’ personal significantly increases their satisfaction.

The best software lets employees swap shifts from their phone by themselves, manages all leave applications and will transparently show optimal staffing levels for each day.  

Your employees can now actively participate in the scheduling process to create balanced schedules.  

This will make them feel empowered, motivate them and make your scheduling decisions much easier at the same time. As a result, you can expect less absenteeism and higher efficiency. 

Employee’s input doesn’t raise scheduling workload any longer, so there’s no reason not to engage your workforce.

These are the key elements and benefits of dynamic employee scheduling. You can learn more about scheduling improvements and discover a great scheduling solution here.

Maintaining a functional and fair schedule that keeps everyone in the company happy is a crucial yet frequently underappreciated task.