There are various reasons to do so, the main one being that Excel was never meant to manage your staff’s work schedules.
Notably, it doesn’t let you view all the information you need in one convenient place. Neither does it allow quick communication with your employees.
With a simple and user-friendly software, scheduling becomes a breeze. Besides, there are many perks with using a specialized tool for the job.
1. A Better Work-Life Balance
Using staff scheduling software lets you offer much more flexibility to your employees. They can use it to communicate their availabilities and the minimum and maximum number of hours they wish to work.
For instance, it lets students change their availabilities during exam periods; these changes will immediately appear in the scheduler. You can also allow your staff to trade shifts using the software, if you’d like.
Scheduling software can also help you separate work life from personal life, as it removes the necessity to communicate via Facebook.
2. Improved Communication
Most staff scheduling software let you chat privately with employees (like with Facebook Messenger). Gone are the days of contacting staff via text messages, calls, emails, or Facebook messages. Communication can now wholly happen in a professional setting.
Certain staff management software may let you post messages for your team, allowing you to relay vital information quickly and ensure that everyone has seen it by enabling read notification. ✅
3. Centralized Information
To create a proper work schedule, there are many variables to consider: staff availabilities, time-off requests, breaks, labor costs, levels of patronage, and so on.
It’s quite the puzzle.
It’s also where specialized software really shine. They allow you to access all of this information in one place.
4. A Clear Idea of Your Employees’ Work Time
Many work management schedules offer a punch clock system, allowing you to monitor your employees’ work time.
How does it work? Employees punch in online, and the software keeps track of all comings and goings.
The punch clock system being connected with the work planner, any gap between planned and worked hours will be plain to see, expediting anomaly identification and timesheet approval.
5. Reduced Lateness and Absenteeism
No employee should get their schedule the day prior, but this is still the case in many businesses. Notifying staff of their schedules at the last minute can cause many problems within an organization, among them lateness, absenteeism, and staff dissatisfaction.
With the right software, employees are notified instantly of any changes to their schedules. Never again will you have to make sure they’ve seen the latest version you sent them.
What’s more, by linking their schedule planner with a punch clock system, certain software even let you send alerts to employees who forget to check in at the start of their shifts.
6. No Scheduling Conflicts
The best software alert you of scheduling conflicts as they come up during your planning, ensuring employees are never scheduled when they’re on leave, for example.
If you manage a sizable team and/or several locations at once, staff scheduling software will make you save on aspirin.
For instance, you’ll be sent a notification if an employee has overlapping shifts or is scheduled to work at two different locations at once, enabling you to reassign one of the shifts in time.
7. Improved Staff Satisfaction
Employer flexibility, good communication, and modern tools are great ways to improve staff satisfaction.
Respecting constraints, however, is the main thing with employee satisfaction: availabilities, minimum and maximum work hours, time-off requests, and so on. Recurring mistakes on the manager’s part will often lead to frustration, and rightly so.
Staff scheduling software address this problem by centralizing all relevant information.
By addressing your employees’ needs appropriately, you can also minimize staff turnover.
8. An Easier Time Finding Replacements
Whenever an employee can’t make it, you have to find a replacement. How do you go about it? Chances are you’ll fall back on the old method: the phone. You’ll call any employee who might be available, one after the next, hoping somebody will extend a helping hand.
But isn’t it a pain?
With staff scheduling software, you can simply notify all available qualified employees, and assign the shift to whoever first volunteers—or whoever you choose. It’s simple and efficient.
9. No Oversights
The human brain is far from infallible. It’s normal to forget employee requests from time to time. Maybe they asked you while you were busy, scribbled it on a (now lost) piece of paper, or requested a shift switch over (now buried) text.
Hence the importance of digitalizing and centralizing such requests.
Some software also have features that limit oversights. For example, they might allow you to schedule reminders for your employees so they receive a notification a few hours or minutes before their shift begins. This is all the more useful in circumstances where schedules are prone to change.
10. Reduced Labor Costs
Scheduling software let you generate all kinds of reports to monitor labor costs, absenteeism, and other relevant variables.
This lets you easily view how your schedules impact labor costs (in legal tender), which is all the more important to keep track of in industries where profit margins are slim.
11. Time Savings
Most software help you automate some schedule management and work hour monitoring tasks.
Besides, using an online punch clock system allows you to closely monitor your team’s work time, saving you from having to do it manually ever again.
12. A More Equitable Distribution of Work Hours
Specialized software offer different views (e.g. weekly or monthly) to help you see at a glance how many hours everyone worked. This also allows you to generate reports indicating if the work is distributed well within your team.
You can choose whether to allocate leftover shifts based on seniority or on a first come, first served basis.
13. Cost Savings
Staff scheduling software pay for themselves quickly. Think of all the time you’ll save, all the mistakes you’ll avoid, and all the employees you’ll keep happy. See the testimonials for yourself.
What’s more, using an online punch clock makes your employees’ work hours easier to monitor, saving you a lot of busy work.
As we’ve seen, there are a ton of upsides to using scheduling software, both for you and your employees.
This kind of tool will be a precious ally to you as a manager. It will make you more efficient and let you focus on what’s most important. Not having to bend over backwards over your schedules will leave you free to spend more time with your team and your clients.
Frequently Asked Questions
Toward Whom Are Staff Scheduling Software Geared?
No matter your industry, the size of your team, or the diversity of your work shifts (days, nights, weekends), you will likely benefit from using staff scheduling software.
Are Staff Scheduling Software Easy to Use?
All modern scheduling software should be user-friendly so that all employees can exploit them, no matter how tech savvy they are.
How Do I Know What Scheduling Software Is Right for My Organization?
To pick the right software, begin by evaluating your needs and your budget. Once you have your priorities in order, you can start comparing your options.
Most businesses offer free trials. Take this opportunity to try some out.
If you’re still unsure, there are also free tools to help you with your scheduling.
What Kind of Features do Scheduling Software Offer?
Scheduling software typically offer the following features:
- Online schedule creation, management, and sharing;
- Automated timesheets;
- An online, mobile, and geolocalized punch clock managed via a computer or landline connection;
- Tools for managing leaves, availabilities, shift swaps, and replacements;
- A professional instant messaging system.
So Why Not Use Excel to Manage Schedules After All?
There are multiple reasons not to: Excel files are difficult to share with your team, changes aren’t automatically applied across copies, mistakes are much more likely, and so on.
For more details, we encourage you to read the following article: 5 Reasons Not to Use Excel to Manage Your Schedules.