Have you ever spent hours creating a work schedule, only to have it fall apart at the first sign of trouble? If so, you’re not alone. Scheduling is a pain for businesses of all sizes. It’s time-consuming, frustrating, and often inaccurate.
But it’s not just a tedious, headache-inducing process. It can also hit you in your pocketbook.
According to a survey by staffing firm Robert Half, small business owners spend an average of 10 hours per month creating work schedules. That’s over 3 full paid workweeks a year just spent on making the schedule!
Why Scheduling is So Difficult and Problematic
Businesses often spend hours creating schedules, only to have to make changes at the last minute. This can lead to employee dissatisfaction, customer frustration, and lost productivity.
Here are some of the most common scheduling issues for small and medium-sized businesses:
- Not enough staff: This can lead to employees being overworked and stressed, which can impact their performance and morale. It can also lead to customer dissatisfaction if there is not enough staff to provide adequate service.
- Too many staff: This can lead to unnecessary costs, as well as a lack of productivity if employees are not busy. It can also lead to conflict between employees if they are competing for the same hours.
- Unpredictable demand: This can make it difficult to create a schedule that is both efficient and effective. If demand is too high, employees may be overworked, while if demand is too low, employees may be underutilized.
- Scheduling conflicts: This can occur when employees have overlapping shifts or when they are scheduled for work at the same time as other commitments, such as school or childcare. Scheduling conflicts can lead to employee dissatisfaction and absenteeism.
- Poor communication: This can lead to misunderstandings about work schedules, which can then lead to problems such as employees showing up for work when they are not scheduled or not showing up for work when they are scheduled.
How Much Time Do You Spend on Making the Schedule Every Month?
A study by the Aberdeen Group found that businesses that use scheduling software save an average of 6 hours per week on scheduling tasks. This translates to a savings of 312 hours per year, or $5,280 per year for a business with 10 employees.
Scheduling software can help business owners create and manage schedules more efficiently by automating many of the tasks involved in scheduling, such as:
- Calculating employee availability
- Generating schedules
- Communicating schedules to employees
- Tracking employee hours
- Managing shift swaps and requests
Additional Scheduling Software Benefits for Business Owners
- Ensure that there is enough staff to meet demand
- Avoid scheduling conflicts
- Comply with labor laws
- Improve employee satisfaction
Indeed, the cost of not automating recurring tasks is substantial.
Making Schedules That Work, Eliminate Conflict, and Save Money
Fortunately, there are effective things we can do to reduce the likelihood of scheduling issues at work:
- Be proactive: Don’t wait until the last minute to create a schedule. Start planning at least a week in advance, and be sure to factor in any upcoming holidays or events.
- Get input from employees: Ask employees for their input on their preferred work hours and days. This will help you create a schedule that is more likely to be accepted by employees.
- Use a scheduling software: A scheduling software can help you create and manage schedules more efficiently. There are many different scheduling software programs available, so be sure to choose one that is right for your business.
- Be flexible: Things don’t always go according to plan, so be prepared to make changes to the schedule as needed. This could mean adjusting hours, swapping shifts, or covering for employees who are absent.
- Communicate effectively: Communicate the schedule to employees in a timely manner. This could be done through email, text messages, or a company intranet. Be sure to include all the important details, such as start and end times, breaks, and any special instructions.
By following these tips, you can help to avoid common scheduling issues and ensure that your employees are happy and productive.
Example: Connecteam Staff Scheduling App
If you are a small business owner, using scheduling software can save you time and money. There are many different scheduling software programs available, so be sure to choose one that is right for your business.
Some of the most popular scheduling software programs
- Shiftboard: Shiftboard is a cloud-based scheduling software that is easy to use and affordable. It offers a variety of features, including employee availability tracking, shift scheduling, and time tracking.
- Connecteam: Connecteam is a cloud-based time tracking and scheduling app that is intuitive and user-friendly. It is a great choice for businesses that are looking for a way to improve communication, collaboration, and efficiency.
- Workiz: Workiz is a mobile-first scheduling software that is designed for businesses with remote or mobile employees. It offers features such as shift scheduling, time tracking, and geolocation.
- Deputy: Deputy is a cloud-based scheduling software that is designed for businesses with multiple locations. It offers features such as shift scheduling, time tracking, and communication tools.
When choosing a scheduling software program, be sure to consider the following factors:
- The size of your business
- The types of employees you have
- Your budget
- The features you need
By choosing the right scheduling software program, you can save time and money, improve employee satisfaction, and ensure that your business is running smoothly. Look for ways to solve your scheduling problem along with any other outstanding issues costing your business to avoid the most common headaches associated with making the schedule.
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