While there are dozens of innovative workforce management tools available to business owners today, the basic task of efficient and effective shiftplanning continues to be one of the most elemental aspects of a successful business. Hiring the right employees for your business is obviously an essential element for success.
However, recent statistics have shown that the average job opening attracts around 250 resumes. With this number of applicants, most business owners and managers should be able to find quality workforce talent for whatever opening they have. Managing those employees for maximum productivity is a much larger task. .
The Most Important Features of Quality Shift Planning
In the past, planning out your employees weekly or monthly work shifts was a time consuming practice that required a paper, pencil, and a heavy duty eraser. Trying to find the right balance of employees to cover the ups and downs of business flow is tricky enough in and of itself. Having to work that schedule around vacation time, personal requests for time off, overtime pay, and other elements can be exasperating, to say the least.
Many business owners and scheduling managers who continue to rely on hand written schedules or a simple Excel sheet have most likely made accidental scheduling errors. Being left with only two employees during a chaotic and frenzied day of business can lead to stress and loss of sales. On the other side of the coin, having too many employees on the clock without enough work to keep them busy is another classic way to eat into your business profit margins.
Today, however, shift planning is being transformed by the overarching digitalization of the workplace. According to recent statistics, around 44 percent all of businesses have some form of digital workplace programs in place, and 17 percent of those businesses are planning a formal digital workspace strategy in the coming years. While the digitalization of the workplace affects everything from hiring to severance packages, shift planning software is a unique tool that can help to save time and money, while also integrating with other aspects of your workforce management.
What are the Benefits of Efficient ShiftPlanning Software?
Instead of spending hours every Sunday evening meticulously planning out the work week and scheduling shifts, shift planning software allow managers and small business owners to quickly and efficiently create purposeful and well-designed schedules that will ensure that the right number of employees are on hand to attend your business needs.
1.Control Labor Costs
The best shift planning software options also incorporate labor-cost and overtime controls to ensure that your labor costs are in sync with your projected revenue earnings for a given week. For example, using shift planning software begins by setting an estimated labor cost for a given week. Depending on the type of business, labor cost percentages typically average between 20 to 35 percent of gross sales. Service businesses might have labor costs up to 50 percent while manufacturing will typically want to keep those costs below 30 percent.
With shift planning software, you can estimate your projected sales on daily or weekly basis, and set a maximum labor budget or number of labor hours to correspond to those projected sales. This will allow managers to ensure that they don’t accidentally overspend on labor costs.
2. Build Your Schedule around Your Best Employees
Traditional shift scheduling is usually a chronological exercise where you start on Monday and end of Sunday. With newer software options, however, owners and managers can schedule around their best employees. This guarantees that your best workforce talent will be present during critical and busy times when higher revenue streams are possible. If you have new hires, you can also use shift planning software to make sure that new employees are surrounded by veteran members of your workforce. If you believe in the benefits of a multigenerational workforce, you can also use this digital tool to integrate different age groups during certain times of the week.
3. Planning for Emergencies
Even the most meticulously planned weekly work schedule is prone to unexpected changes. Employees get sick, family emergencies happen, and unforeseen car troubles almost always seem to occur during the busiest time of the year. Digital shift planning software allow managers to create an availability chart of members of your workforce who are willing to take on extra hours or pick up another shift if an unanticipated event changes your schedule. If an employee doesn’t show up for work on a critically busy weekend work day, this availability chart allows managers to quickly resolve the situation without having to “cold call” dozens of employees, begging them to come in to work on their day off.
4. Improves Access
As any small business owner knows, taking even a short vacation from your business is close to impossible due to the seemingly endless string of tasks and responsibilities. Shift planning software connected to the cloud gives managers and owners access to their employee schedules even if they are relaxing on a beach in Thailand with their family. The cloud-based feature allows owners and managers to quickly tweak employee schedules while physically distant from the business. This important feature can also be shared with key senior employees who can co-create, modify, and share shift planning with you when you are not around.
5. Integrates with Other Elements of your Workforce Management
Lastly, digital shift planning software can also seamlessly integrate with other digital mechanisms that your business relies on. For example, shift planning tools can be linked to your employee time and attendance software. This connectivity between shift planning and time and attendance tracking will help you cut back on employee time fraud while also exercising more control over the number of overtime hours you pay on a weekly basis. The best shift planning software options can also effortlessly connect with your payroll and invoicing procedures.