Friday, September 23, 2011

Nobody got your back? Read and see how we can help.

Human error: The reason why we’d rather let machines do the work.
We all come across human error in our day to day lives, whether they are caused by us, or affected us due to somebody else’s mistake.
Allow me to provide you with an example (or 3):
1.       Your manager sends you an email asking when you are going to fire that good-for-nothing employee who just busted the deal of a lifetime with his incompetence.
You click reply and inform him that you’re waiting for the end of the month since you don’t want to fire him just before a major holiday, only to find out you sent your reply to one of that employee’s coworkers.
2.       Your boss (after two workdays of trying to compile the weekly schedule for your team) assigned you to a double shift on the one day you absolutely could not work. Now, since he needs to make up for these two days of scheduling when he got no work done, he’s too busy to find you a replacement (even though it was his mistake), so you have to go beg to your coworkers and come up with a solution.
3.       It’s your 3 year anniversary with your spouse. You call in your favorite restaurant to reserve a table for two on that special evening. When you arrive at the restaurant you are told your table is reserved for the next evening.
Oh no.

The first and last example I gave are probably solution-less, at least at present time, and will just have to remain one of life’s quirky and eventually (many many years from now) amusing situations.

The 2nd example, however, is COMPLETELY avoidable!

Just imagine it: a world completely devoid of mess-ups, embarrassment, disappointments & heartaches, hunger, war and desease…….

Well maybe I’m taking this too far, but it’s actually pretty genius if you think about it: an error prevention system that informs you whenever you are about to make a mistake.
At the moment it only exist as part of the EZSHift staff scheduling software, but wouldn’t it be great if any email software, reservationist and boss would have it integrated in them?

This is what makes our Scheduling Software so cool – it’s got your back!
It allows you to be the flawless boss you are to your employees, always.

No more costly over-time, no more resentment, no more waste of time.

Give our shift scheduling software a chance, it’s as loyal as a puppy and doesn’t chew on your furniture so much. 

(Today's blog entry was brought to you by the all beautiful, all tallanted EZShift team)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Our benefits

Operating in the current business environment means increased scrutiny in day to day operations for companies. Publicly traded companies face stronger and more invasive regulations, while smaller privately held companies are relying on rotating credit lines and are facing similar scrutiny from their lenders. Financial institutions are now mandating their clients to submit full and complete financial statements regarding their financial health.
A key measure of a company’s “health” is keeping tabs on their profits versus their expenses. How does one bridge between the need to be frugal and the need to modernize the workplace so the continuation of the business will remain at the front rather than linger behind? One solution is renting software rather than buying it. If you imagine that the software is a rental car, the benefits become easier to understand. There’s no need for regular maintenance, you eliminate routine checkup costs, and the model you get will always be new.
An immediate benefit is the ability to save money. Lower upfront costs and tacit understanding that if the product is like a rental car and doesn’t run well, you can return it to the company. Few businesses today have no use for software in their workplace. Even an artisanal bell maker will find that computerizing their contact list and having easy access to email will be very helpful.
Businesses that are running on a shift schedule module are another type of business that is increasingly using software where it saw little use for it before. Even though such businesses benefit from the introduction of technology, as it allows for better and closer contact with employees, they are often faced with changing variants. This can turn a well-planned schedule into a confusing arrow chart filled with crossed out names and arrows leading nowhere.
If the ensuing phone calls, constant pleading, and continuous changes to the schedule sound familiar, you could benefit from learning about EZShift and its solution to employee scheduling. The combination of human factors along with the needs of a company and the external legal requirements, can make the seemingly simple task of planning a schedule for a three-shift workplace both taxing and daunting.
The ability to utilize employees based on their needed skills and qualifications has become an imperative factor when scheduling employees to work, resulting in an optimal schedule when specified in scheduling software such as EZShift.  Other factors taken into consideration by employee scheduling software such as legal requirements can include rest periods, breaks between shifts, and overtime work hours.
Another element that is taken into consideration in the calculations for assessing companies is the ability to retain employees over an extended period of time. Retaining a trained workforce extends to more than their contributions on the work floor. Expertise produces knowledge gained over time, knowledge that is very valuable and hard to measure. In addition, the cost of training new workers consists of more than spending money on a name tag, and often requires the time and goodwill of senior employees.
An additional important factor that is often overlooked is employee satisfaction. An article published by the Research Center for Group Dynamics University of Michigan in 2006, aptly titled “Need Satisfactions and Employee Turnover,” correlates between the needs of the employees and their satisfaction. A key point made in the article is that: “certain personal needs supplied by a person’s place of employment has a significant direct relationship to his continuing to work for that company.”
A common complaint made by employees performing shift work during exit interviews is the rigidity of the system to accommodate for greater flexibility. The inability to bridge between employee needs and employer’s demands can frequently create a momentum whereby at the end of the dialogue, the employee leaves or is fired. Such a finite solution serves neither side. Instead of finding shifts that better accommodate the employee to the best ability of the company, the company loses a trained employee and the worker is left feeling that the company was inflexible and unhelpful.
Better approaches bridge the gap by merging the company’s needs along with employee needs. With this exact idea in mind, EZShift software allows employees to input their preferences and availabilities, and at the same time automatically places employees into shifts. However, this is not performed without the close monitoring by the designated task person creating the schedules.
An example of this approach is allowing employees to block off times when they aren’t available under certain preset conditions such as a limit to days off, or mandating certain shits such as evenings or mornings. Similar benefits for employees can be the ability to swap shifts with other employees or benefit from shifts that are a better fit for that employee. While seemingly simple and easy, such moves create a dynamic system that doesn’t only feel fair to employees but also allows them to better manage their own schedules. When people feel that they are looked after and are rewarded for their work, results mean a higher morale and a better employee work performance.
The results of satisfied workers are almost immeasurable, yet strongly felt. Employees greeting customers with a genuine smile on their face or staying five minutes longer to finish a task are a treasure for employers. Any business attracting customers for their quality of goods and services can measure the benefits, but the actual advantages can be greater over time as word of mouth creates its own dynamics. Business analysts will often take note of a company that is able to maintain a well-trained set of employees over an extended period of time, equating employee stability with a well-run and secured company.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Things to do with a 7 minute break?

It takes 7 minutes to generate a complete schedule with EZShift.
30 Things to do with your 7 minute break:

1.       Reply to an email you were saving for tomorrow… for the past week.
2.       Tell one of your employees they’re doing a GOOD job (for a change).
3.       Call your spouse and ask what’s for dinner.
4.       Come up with a new and promotion worthy team efficiency idea.
5.       Tell your boss about your new and promotion worthy team efficiency idea.
6.       Floss.
7.       Go tell another manager that you got some free time because you’re using EZShift and he’s not. So HA!
8.       Apologize to said manager.
9.       Confirm attendance in a meeting, then realize it’s dinner with the in-laws night, refuse attendance in a meeting.
10.   Play a hidden object game at
11.   Call your grandma, you haven’t talked to her in ages!
12.   Smoke a cigarette.
13.   Look for rehab programs on-line.
14.   Run a survey around the office about the best way to quit smoking.
15.   Check on where you are on your monthly targets, and locate any bottlenecks.
16.   Find solution for said bottlenecks.
17.   Stretch.
18.   Find an awesome new online-radio station to make your favorite (the old one has too many commercial breaks anyway).
19.   Check hot ski locations for your upcoming birthday.
20.   Sort through clutter (though there shouldn’t be any with EZShift).
21.    HIT workout.
22.   Renew parking meter.
23.   Compile a new youtube playlist.
24.   Do your nails (yes, even if you’re a guy)!
25.   Do your boss’s nails.
26.   Prank-call the guy at the opposite cubicle.
27.   Draw a really bad painting and feature it as your child’s.
28.   Stare.
29.   Purchase cubicle warfare items at
30.   Deploy your cubicle warfare items!

Got any additional ideas for a 7 minute break? Post them as a comment!
The possibilities are endless,
Contact us now!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Process Managment made easy

There are various techniques to evaluate the way a business runs and the overall productivity of its operations. Process management is a universal system compromised of various tools and methods that help evaluate and improve the overall efficiency of an organization. This process begins with analyzing the way each sect in an organization functions and examining every step of its process. Identifying these processes helps the management get a clear representation of their entire work flow, and also highlights any problematic areas.
In order to enhance efficiency, it’s crucial for any company to get a clear picture of how they run each aspect of their business, and manage the flow of information between different departments properly. Ordinarily, there’s a strong resistance from the manager and the labor force to this process, because of the changes in the organization that come along with it. Additionally, when an evaluation like this occurs in the workplace there is a fear that comes along with adjusting to something new, as well as a constant apprehension of getting laid off among the employees. To ease this process on everyone involved, companies often utilize a third party that assists with enhancing the flow of management and implements an effective strategy to reach their business goals.
A lot of times employees feel distressed around changes made in the workplace, because of their ability to comprehend the recent changes or the belief that something will easily replace them. EZShift’s automatic employee scheduling software makes sure the staff is an integral part of the process, which creates an encouraging atmosphere and a productive workforce as a result. This staff scheduler has been made easy to operate keeping these fears in mind, and accentuates the endless benefits for managers and personnel alike. Moreover, we understand the process that each person in the workforce must go through and ease this experience for everyone involved.
EZShift improves the quality of an institute by implementing the optimization of human resources and provides an open flow of communication between employees and management. Automatically scheduling the employees based on their preferences, it ensures that employees’ interests are at a high priority. Simultaneously EZShift increases management’s control over organizational activities and helps identify problematic areas such as recurring overtime hours worked or personnel that are consistently tardy.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Shift Happens

Scheduling employees into shifts can be quite a draining task. While scheduling my employees to work I have encountered a few recurring mistakes. As the person in charge of scheduling the staff, there is an imperative responsibility to keep things running smoothly. Although scheduling errors are unintentional, when such inaccuracies arise you can immediately sense the impact on your organization.
If remembering to check all the sticky notes with my employees’ availability is a hard enough task, distributing shifts in a fair way for all is a harder one. I found it hard to balance the amount of night shifts all my employees had worked, which made me schedule some employees to work the following morning and the service to suffer. Scheduling an employee to work more than the allotted amount is also common, sometimes even twice in one day, causing unnecessary overtime payments. On top of their availability, each employee has their own talents as well as restrictions that can’t go unnoticed. Every scheduling blunder creates a dent structurally, and hurts the overall operation of any business.
We have all been through this here at EZShift. Striving to manage employees the best we can, yet still falling victim to some of the hardships that come along with the job. We have built EZShift based on these experiences and our extensive knowledge of the matter so it won’t happen to you.
EZShift recognizes these conceivable situations and takes into consideration all imaginable complications that one endures during the demanding scheduling process. EZShift provides you with tools and assistance in finding solutions, and ensures that you will never make a scheduling mistake. Error elimination is one of the strongest attributes this software encompasses while allowing you to build a schedule with your criterion. Not only will you never make a mistake again, you will also save the headaches that come with this never-ending cycle.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Employee Scheduling Requests- Is there any such thing as perfect?

Employee scheduling is a vexing task we must execute week-in week-out. Most industries such as healthcare, hospitals, food service, emergency services, factories, call centers, retail stores, and high-tech companies need to create an employee schedule in order to run the course of the week. Evidently, the nature of an individual industry is utterly unrelated to the common thread shared by all -creating an optimal employee schedule.
The building of such an agenda generally commences in the gathering of shift preferences handed over by employees. The form of gathering preferences fluctuates from scheduler to scheduler. Some request employees to leave notes with shift preferences, some leave it up to employees to decide amongst themselves, others ask each employee individually about availability. No matter what the approach, however, the handwritten method is bound to cause problems for an assortment of reasons.
Firstly, is the scheduler’s need to cope with a mass of post its left by employees. Such notes get lost easily, the amount of shifts handed over is often not satisfactory, some employees did not even bother giving in shift preferences. The overall outcome is unpleasant. The scheduler is forced to call up most employees either demanding more shifts, scolding those who forgot to leave preferences, and spending much more time than necessary, building, fixing, editing, crossing out, and fiddling with the insufficient schedule.
The undeniable solution for such a mess is an online portal which organizes all preferences correctly and allows for the creation of a smooth schedule. Yet, we must pause at this solution for a moment. Why so? Allowing a smooth organization of requests is wonderful yet does not yield for an optimal schedule. Like thriving civilizations throughout humanity who understood that an establishment with no rules is doomed for failure, so should we.
Picture this, a practically perfect world for the scheduler intertwining an online portal with a rule-engine:
• A pre-set rule engine which easily enables employees to request or deny shifts online
• A default which compels employees to leave available a certain number of shifts, otherwise, alerting the employee that requests will not be saved by the system unless followed by the specific guidelines
• A deadline known to all employees for availability submission which is preset by the schedule manager. Employees can give in requests up to a certain hour but will not be able to hand in requests after the time limit. In essence, this takes a huge burden off the scheduler’s back.
Clearly, the ability to work with an online portal that is structured around a rule-engine is no other than necessary for an organization that strives to reach perfection. Organization, employee satisfaction, and a company’s needs are components of a well-tailored garment sewed to fit those game players eager to excel.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Automatic scheduling - The good, the great and the better.

Imagine accomplishing your employee shift scheduling with a simple click of a button. In the past almost unimaginable – but now a reality with EZshift’s clever automatic scheduling software.
The Automatic Scheduler Improves Your Time at the Workplace
It is guaranteed that by working with the online shift scheduler you will be able to take advantage of your time more efficiently. No longer will you waste time mulling over employee requests, become frustrated with troublesome shift planning, or be on alert when an employee calls in sick. You can sit back and relax because we brought someone to fill in for you – EZShift.
The online shift scheduler will practically do all of your work for you. This software is so clever it will take all the limitations and rules you dictate to it and give you optimal results under specified conditions. Your employee requests will no longer be overlooked (whether accidentally or due to oversight). Suddenly shifts that seemed either empty or swamped will be filled efficiently. Most important, you will finally be able to focus on what really matters- managing your organization efficiently and profitably!
Communication with your employees is a key factor in running a successful organization. Statistics show that shift scheduling has a dramatic input in the intertwining of both game players. Happier employees mean a more dedicated and caring workforce. A dedicated and caring workforce equals a friendly working atmosphere and a winning staff. Your employees will want to do more for you and for your company.
The Biggest Winner of all- the Company Itself!
Money will be saved, company knowledge will be maintained, and shift scheduling will be regulated.
Who doesn’t want to save money? If you think about it, your current shift scheduling eats away at your cash like a hungry rodent. Depending on the amount of employees shift scheduling can take a substantial amount of time to build. Time equals money. Wouldn’t you like your team to invest their talents in developing your business rather than wasting it on the drudgery of shift scheduling?
On a different note, company ‘memory’ will be maintained. The manager who builds the schedule is the source of knowledge in the company. He/she knows which specific person is right in which specific shift, who is applicable for which position, and which limitations are most important when it comes to shift rules. What happens if the manager ends his/her time at your company? This information is lost forever. The EZShift scheduler, however, is perpetual, and your information is maintained no matter which managerial alterations occur.
Moreover, shift scheduling is closely regulated. Until now, you have had no choice but to rely on your shift scheduler that he/she was making the best working schedules possible. Now, the ability to monitor the work schedule is easy through EZShift. Often, as the head of the company you do not have time to look over the weekly schedule, let alone monitor it. It is impossible for you to know whether or not employee requests were answered, whether the workers most fitting for certain shifts were scheduled appropriately, or in the worst case scenario- whether the shift scheduler built the schedule based on personal preferences. But with EZShift, as the administrator, you have power to do anything you want on the software as well as the ability to SEE EVERYTHING. EZShift gives you another pair of eyes through which you can see the true nature of your staff’s working patterns.
More than an automatic scheduler, EZShift is a tool. Like a magic wand, EZShift allows you to instantly exert control over things you would have never expected to influence in the past. Wave your wand and your workplace will thrive!
What are you waiting for?

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.