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What is employee scheduling software?
Employee scheduling software helps small businesses organize and manage personnel work schedules. These solutions provide users with side-by-side schedule viewing options to facilitate task and shift assignment based on employee availability.
In addition, these solutions let employees view their schedules, as well as an overall team schedule, in real time, and make changes via a scheduling interface.
The benefits of employee scheduling program
- Faster employee scheduling: Manual employee scheduling is a time consuming process, requiring manual availability inquiries and significant data entry. Employee scheduling tool includes features that eliminate these manual efforts, and help managers schedule employees efficiently. As an example, these solutions store leave information and ensure that employees aren't scheduled to work while they're on vacation, and include customizable scheduling templates so users don't have to start from scratch every time they create a new schedule.
- Efficient shift change management: Employee scheduling software also helps users efficiently manage shift changes. In instances of unexpected absences, these systems notify managers about required staffing changes and provide a list of available team members to help find a substitute employee. Some employee scheduling tool also offers mobile functionality that lets managers manage this process on the go.
- Labor law compliance: Employee scheduling tool gives users real-time reports on scheduled hours, accurately calculate overtime, and help ensure that overtime pay is in compliance with law standards.
Typical features of employee scheduling software
- Calendar Management: Populate employee calendars based on their schedules. Calendars are updated in real-time to reflect schedule changes.
- Employee Database: Record employee information such as demographics, availability, and role within an organizational hierarchy.
- Shift Swapping: Manage shift swapping requests based on employee availability. Some employee scheduling program also provides a portal for submitting shift swapping requests.
- Time Clock: Record employee in-time and out-time. This information is used to calculate wages based on the number of hours worked and overtime.
- Vacation/Leave Tracking: Track employee leave requests and vacation periods.
Considerations when purchasing employee scheduling software
- Reporting and analytics: Employee scheduling program helps managers optimize their scheduling process. These systems provide reports that can help small businesses frame their employee management strategies. As an example, reports on shift durations can help reduce overtime by letting managers efficiently track employee workload in real time. Workload reports also help management make hiring decisions. Small businesses should evaluate products' reporting functionality before making a final purchase.
- Mobile access: Due to an increasing workforce mobilization trend among small businesses, mobile apps are becoming an essential part of business operations. This trend is driving demand for mobile applications in employee scheduling software. Both employees and managers benefit from the use of such apps. As an example, employees can notify managers if they are unavailable, letting managers make schedule adjustments as soon as possible. Apps also let employees view their schedules while working remotely. Businesses with a mobile workforce or plans to develop one should look for products that offer mobile app functionality.
Relevant employee scheduling software trends
- Artificial intelligence is the next big thing in the employee scheduling software space: AI is up-and-coming technology for small businesses, helping improve efficiency across all different business areas. Optimized scheduling is one such area where AI can help. Small businesses know that overstaffing leads to reduced employee productivity, while understaffing leads to high costs. AI-based algorithms enable employee scheduling program to work out optimal scheduling arrangements based on criteria such as shift timing, leave, and project priority.
- Chatbots to take on basic employee scheduling requests: Chatbots are gaining popularity among small businesses. According to Capterra research, 68% of small businesses either use or plan to implement chatbots in 2020. Chatbots have already entered the employee scheduling program space; Businesses have begun developing chatbots that can address basic employee schedule requests. One example is chatbots that manage sick leave requests by asking employees a set of questions and forwarding the information to managers for approval.