It’s puzzling, really. While 90% of employers use time and attendance software to capture the worktime of their hourly workforce, only half of them—45%--use scheduling software to ensure their workforce is deployed to its best advantage, according to the Sierra Cedar 2018-2019 HR Systems Survey.
Furthermore, while workforce management solutions continue to gain ground with employers, scheduling software is among the least-used workforce management applications. Despite the available technology, many managers continue to spend several hours per week—or more—creating manual schedules or basic spreadsheets.
Why is this, when scheduling systems can help companies achieve some of their most pressing business goals, from saving money and improving productivity to pleasing employees and improving wage and hour compliance? Because change is hard? Or they don’t fully understand the benefits?
The bottom line is, if your company has resisted adopting scheduling software, it’s time to reconsider. Find out what you’re missing.
Employee Scheduling Software Saves Managers Time
However many hours your managers spend creating employee schedules each week, using an online employee scheduling system will take a fraction of that time, freeing them up for more important tasks, such as face time with their reports.
Robust scheduling software allows managers to quickly build, copy, and update weekly schedules. It can automatically split job schedules for employees who work multiple tasks and flag inadvertent conflicts, so they can be corrected.
It also allows managers to make quick, on-the-fly changes. For example, workers can be categorized by training and certifications. Should any particular worker call in unexpectedly or resign on short notice, it’s much easier to identify a qualified sub and rework the schedule electronically than with paper and pencil.
Online Scheduling Systems Please Hourly Workers
Keeping ahead of a shifting schedule isn’t easy for hourly workers. Another benefit of online scheduling software is that workers can refer to it at anytime, from anywhere. It improves communication between employees and managers, resulting in fewer misunderstandings about who is working and when.
Furthermore, most scheduling systems allow workers to confirm their proposed schedules, sign up for an open shift, or even request a change of hours. End result: employees are more empowered.
Employee Scheduling Systems Reduce Labor Costs
Improved employee communication regarding work schedules translates to lower rates of tardiness and absenteeism—and the higher labor costs associated with them. In addition, because scheduling software allows managers to view the big picture in ways manual schedules can’t, it helps prevent the expense of over and understaffing.
Some scheduling software will even flag the system when a proposed schedule will lead to inadvertent overtime hours. Considering that more workers are about to become eligible for overtime—a result of the Department of Labor’s pending update to FLSA overtime rules—this may be a workforce management tool you’ll want in your toolbox.
Scheduling Software Improve Compliance with Fair Workweek Laws
A growing number of cities and states have passed, or are considering, fair workweek laws, also known as predictive scheduling laws. If you operate in Chicago, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, or Oregon, you’re already familiar with these.
These laws provide low-wage hourly workers with more stable, predictable work hours. Many of them are limited to specific industries, including retail, hospitality and food. While they vary, most laws require employers to provide workers with advance work schedules up to 14 days in advance.
They also require that workers be paid for last-minute schedule changes and are offered available shifts. Workers also have the right to request scheduling accommodations and decline added work hours without penalty.
Scheduling software makes it easier to comply with predictive scheduling laws as required, by simplifying planning and facilitating communication. Because such laws are growing in popularity—some have even been floated at the federal level—employers should be prepared.
How Do You Shop for Scheduling Software?
If you’re ready to look into scheduling software, start by looking at advanced workforce management systems. It’s part of the package. For employers managing an hourly, distributed workforce, EPAY’s workforce management solution is the leading solution of choice.
EPAY’s scheduling system is easy to use and offers many hard-to-find features, such as built-in budget calculators that instantly tally actual labor costs for a proposed schedule.
In addition, our workforce management solution includes a powerful time and labor application that can track any employee anywhere, unique real-time alerts that keep managers apprised of activity in the field, invaluable labor analytics, and labor budgeting software that provides cost-controls at the worksite level.
If your company isn’t yet using a workforce management solution that includes scheduling software, you’re not operating as efficiently and cost-effectively as you could be. See what you could be accomplishing—watch our two-minute overview.