Thursday, September 1, 2011

Disadvantages of manual shift scheduling

“As usual, Stacy forgot to hand me her shift preference, Danny called up saying he came down with the flu  and my employee schedule looks like a war-zone. It’s so messy with all of these last minute changes – I don’t have time to deal with this!”
How often does your schedule manager have to cope with issues like these?
When they have to be managed manually these time consuming and inconvenient requests can become a daily nuisance.
What about YOU?
Firstly, let us take a moment to study the amount of time and effort you invest in the employee shift scheduling when you are the staff scheduler. Clearly, you have no choice but to deal with scheduling needs which are time consuming, tiresome, and which demand an extremely detailed understanding of the shifts.
As a staff scheduler, the routine begins by requesting the workers’ availability for their weekly shifts. Some workers give in their shift requests on time, others forget, and several suddenly recall they have other obligations once the staff schedule has already been set. Frustratingly, you MUST fix these last minute and unexpected changes in order for the employee shift schedule to run its course. In short, a never-ending headache!
What’s more, the employee shift scheduling eats away at time you could be investing in what really counts! Instead of dedicating your working hours to what you are actually skilled to do, you are forced to deal with petty shift schedules.
Your Workers are Suffering! Is This the Scheduler’s Fault?
Let’s take a look at the workers’ side of the table. After all, every good manager knows that a linear relationship correlates between an employee’s satisfaction in his/her work place and the ultimate success of the establishment.
Are your employees as satisfied as YOU can make them? A worker’s satisfaction with his/her schedule is a key element in overall job satisfaction.
Often, employees ask their schedulers to place them in specific shifts, to swap them on certain days, to take into consideration they must leave at a certain hour, to keep in mind that they have a one-time specific obligation outside of work.
But invariably, if you are in charge of scheduling you are bound to miss out on certain requests, whether due to oversight or to an inability to work around specific individual requests. As a result, your employees are dissatisfied, feel they have not been taken into consideration, and the efficiency of their work deteriorates. Everybody in the company suffers.
The organization could easily be cutting on costs, but instead incurs financial damage
The weekly organizing of shifts becomes a task dreaded by the employees, managers, schedulers and surprisingly even the head of the company himself. Why, you ask?
Well for an example, let’s take a look at one ordinary company. The scheduler reviews the weekly shifts he or she created for hours and decides to place the company’s most experienced employees on the Thursday eve’s “rush hour”. What if he or she makes a mistake and accidentally places the inexperienced employees on that shift? The company’s customers are disappointed and the establishment could face a future loss of clientele and a blow to its reputation – leading to a loss of revenue for the organization.
Is this the scheduler’s fault? Apparently it is, nevertheless, we are ONLY HUMAN.
Moreover, the organization cannot take advantage of its workers to the best of their abilities. In other words, the scheduler has so many organizational restrictions to keep in mind that he or she often does not place the employees in the most optimal shifts that suit both their skills and the company’s need. Such pitfalls occur due to an inability to view the broader picture. Handwritten shift schedules are the cause of this problem.
Clearly, handwritten shift planners damage the overall profit of the organization both directly or indirectly.

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