The Hiring Manager’s Guide to Workforce Scheduling and How to Make the Most of It

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Finding new ways to improve your company’s performance is crucial in today’s fast-changing global economy. HR directors and operations managers worldwide are turning to workforce management (WFM) solutions to get the most out of their staffing strategies.

Investment in workforce management systems has consistently increased over the last five years, with global market revenue from WFM applications estimated to reach $5.5 billion  by 2024. Business leaders are beginning to see the value in questioning how they manage their workforces.

There’s never been a better moment to reconsider your hiring methods in the labor market. On this page, you’ll learn everything you need about workforce management and how it can help your company succeed.

What Is the Significance of Workforce Scheduling?

Here are some of the advantages of employing excellent employee scheduling strategies, aside from ensuring that you will cover all shifts and work:

  • Saving time: By using efficient scheduling techniques, you can spend less time making adjustments and dealing with logistics, allowing you to concentrate on higher-level leadership activities.
  • Ensure legal compliance: Effective employee scheduling practices help you meet legal requirements for full-time vs. hourly employees by ensuring that each employee receives the required weekly hours.
  • Establishing consistency: Planning ahead of time allows you to have a solid concept of who will be working each week, allowing you to manage your personnel better. It also enables you to assign schedules to managers or other employees easily.
  • Calculating labor costs: Overscheduling personnel wastes wages, while under-scheduling employees may leave your organization short-staffed. Good scheduling can also help you save money on replacing an employee.
  • Increasing customer satisfaction: You can improve customer and client service by scheduling personnel based on their skill sets.

6 Ways To Do Workforce Scheduling Like a Pro

Many things involve defining schedules for employees, but making a schedule is a skill. As a result, you can improve your skills. Here are seven employee scheduling pointers to help you enhance your scheduling skills.

1. When It Comes to Employee Scheduling, Use Workforce Scheduling Software

Whatever business you run, you’ll need the correct tool for the job.

Employee profiles help you plan your schedule. Additionally, scheduling software will notify you of any scheduling conflicts. It will guarantee that you have an employee qualified for a particular shift. Good staff scheduling software enables a single manager to establish schedules for several locations, teams, or projects.

2. Make a Schedule a Few Weeks (or Months) Ahead of Time

Unless you’re a startup, you’re likely very aware of your staffing requirements. Coverage requirements for many enterprises change with the seasons and production’s current and future demands.

Despite this, some businesses contend that “just-in-time” scheduling is more efficient. Employees must be available at all times if needed at the last minute.

This approach, in actuality, causes more harm than good. Employees who are required to work on-call shifts are frustrated and worried.

Employee turnover  rises as a result of unpredictable schedules. As a result, hiring managers should plan their calendars as far ahead as feasible. Ensure that your employees are aware of the possibility of last-minute modifications.

A study  suggests work hours are directly related to pay for most employees: 65% of employees claim to be paid by the hour. Thirty percent say they work for a salary. Thirty-two percent of the remaining 6% of workers who are compensated in other ways say they are paid a commission.

You can create standard schedule templates and copy them forward with scheduling software. It merely takes a few minutes to make the necessary changes. Nonetheless, you should find them to be reasonably consistent.

3. Recognize the Wants and Needs of Your Employees

You may predict your future candidate needs based on historical performance.

  • Staffing Ratio: Your regular staffing ratio might help determine how many new hires you’ll need and where they’ll go. If you typically have ten workers per manager, variances can indicate whether you need more managers, fewer employees, or some other variation.
  • Statistical Regression: For businesses where revenue is closely tied to staffing, a statistical regression model allows you to track your most profitable periods and see what staff levels were for those periods, assisting you in determining the most efficient workforce size.
  • The Delphi Method: This strategy is used by larger firms to combine a panel of senior management and external consultants to combine their knowledge and provide a roadmap for future staffing needs.

However, you must first understand what schedules your employees want to build solid schedules. This should ideally begin with the first interview. Determine when an employee is available and how many hours they would like to work. In making employment decisions , you should consider employee availability and shift preferences. You should be able to hire people who want a variety of schedules unless there is a significant labor shortage in your area.

4. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

When it comes to shifting planning, the mindset of “it’s always been done this way” is no excuse for failing to innovate. Nontraditional timetables can assist a lot of businesses.

For example, some of your staff may prefer a “midday workout” plan if the busiest hours of the day are mornings and afternoons.

This is for those who prefer to exercise for longer periods than a typical lunch break or run errands before rush hour. Volunteers for a three-hour break around midday are needed. When it’s not busy, you’ll be able to satisfy staffing demands and avoid paying for unneeded labor.

Similarly, some full-time workers may opt to work four ten-hour shifts. If you time them to coincide with your busiest days, your staff will have two extra days off.

5. Use an Online Trade Board to Make Shift Trading Easier

Many hiring managers are wary of easing shift trading procedures because they believe shifts may result in understaffed shifts. They’re also concerned about miscommunication leading to no-shows.

According to a survey , 56% of respondents answered that their boss or manager makes the decisions when asked how much authority they have over their work schedules. Thirty-two percent think they have some control over their schedules. And 12% say their clients or consumers dictate their schedules.

Many businesses have found that combining employee scheduling software with an online trade board has been beneficial. Using shift rules in your workforce scheduling technology, you can avoid the concerns.

An online trade board is ideal for organizations with many part-time employees and short shifts. Employees who encounter an unanticipated conflict might post a change on the board. Those who want additional hours can also work extra shifts. Employees like to work for organizations that allow them to be flexible.

6. Make an Absence Management Strategy

An absence management plan is a set of procedures for managing time off. Vacations and family leave are examples of planned time off.

It also handles unanticipated absences such as sick days. When staff follows the proper procedures, productivity and workflows are less affected. Prepare a policy for paid time off that is unambiguous.

By ensuring that your paid time off (PTO) policy is comprehensive, transparent, and up to date, you may avoid many work schedule planning concerns early on. Employees who know the time entitled to are better positioned to make essential schedule decisions.

You should include details on the following in your PTO policy:

  • Sick leave, vacations, personal/bereavement days, and national holidays are all covered.
  • PTO is calculated based on the number of hours worked and the number of days employees are eligible for.
  • PTO can be used in a variety of ways. Is it, for example, measured in hours or less, or in full or half days?
  • Is there a minimum amount of notice required to schedule employees’ time off, and are there any blackout times, such as peak shopping seasons, when they cannot take time off?

The specifics of a PTO policy will differ from one company to the next. However, according to the Society for Human Resource Management , most current policies provide between fifteen and twenty days of paid time off per year and any company-observed holidays.

Don’t assume that they will follow a policy just because you put a policy in place. Many workers were concerned about employment penalties if they took full advantage of flexible working hours, according to a 2018 study published in the Annual Review of Sociology . It’s not enough to have more balanced scheduling; you also need to encourage your employees that they should use it.

For your organization to be legally compliant, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)  applies to hourly workers, which means that pay for hours worked must tally up to the minimum wage. Always check your local state rules in this area, as 29 states  now have higher minimum pay than the federal minimum wage.

Return on Investment for Workforce Management Software

Your organization may be hesitant to deploy a workforce management platform because it is costly. HR is not a revenue-generating department, hence it is unquestionably an expense. On the other hand, workforce management solutions can help businesses save money by reducing labor costs.

  • Platforms for workforce management can help cut down on administrative expenditures. Manual time and employee attendance systems take a long time to manage, and managers must spend hours locating the cause when problems arise. Managers can quickly approve time cards and rectify issues with a cloud-based, automated workforce scheduling solution. Furthermore, with a workforce management platform, HR may be more efficient with fewer employees.
  • Time theft is a significant issue for firms with outdated time and attendance systems. Employees can use these systems to tamper with their timesheets by adding a few minutes to the beginning or conclusion of their shifts. Additionally, an employee might clock in for a late or absent coworker. This is known as buddy punching, and it can put a strain on your finances. The HR department can cut labor costs directly by employing a workforce management solution with a built-in time clock that limits or eliminates the likelihood of time theft.
  • Some businesses are unwittingly underpaying their employees for all hours worked. Not only will this raise turnover, but it will also expose the company to litigation, fines, and penalties. Workforce management solutions aid in the elimination of payroll errors, which can result in these costly issues.
  • Many organizations mismanage their employee schedules, resulting in costly overtime that strains their budget. Some workforce management platforms provide a scheduling element that warns managers when a schedule results in overtime, allowing them to make adjustments and save labor expenditures.
  • Absenteeism and turnover can be reduced by adequately utilizing a personnel management platform. Businesses with unsatisfied employees have a higher absence rate. Furthermore, absenteeism costs your company money.

To learn more about the employee scheduling process, how you can boost employee satisfaction with a few effective alterations, or tips on how to hire hourly workers or full-time employees, contact . We will do our best to provide recommendations you may explore and incorporate into your workforce scheduling and make the most of them.


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