In the past few decades, the modern workplace has become incredibly flexible. More employers than ever allow their employees to work remotely or are flexible about the hours they work. While this flexibility grows employee loyalty and productivity, small business owners still need to keep an eye on their team members. Without clear employee time tracking, your team members might take advantage of your flexible hours, and you could end up with unfilled shifts or unplanned overtime costs.
Keep reading to learn about the benefits of an employee scheduling app to easily manage your operations.
What Is Scheduling Software?
Work schedule apps allow employers to record when employees will work. Instead of posting a printed schedule in the break room or emailing updates to employees, schedule apps can be accessed from a smartphone and update automatically with any changes.
These tools also help employers see how many hours each employee worked and which employees qualify for overtime. Some tools also allow managers to approve paid time off or allocate sick pay.
As you start exploring your employee scheduling app options, you might come across different terms for work scheduling. Some apps are made for specific types of businesses (such as a 24-hour manufacturing firm or a service-based company) while other tools are more generic.
The concept of employee scheduling software and shift planning software aren't too far off. You might work 9-to-5 Monday through Friday in an office, but that is still technically your shift.
When you are looking into a scheduling system, check to see if it can accommodate different types of workers. You may only run a small business now, but you could expand over the next few years as you hire additional employees and grow your brand. Your shift scheduling app needs to cover hourly employees, shift employees, and salaried employees. It is also a bonus if it can track the hours that contractors put into a project. These options will help you grow your business with whatever form of labor you need.
5 Benefits of Using an Employee Scheduling App
Even if you work with a great team that does its best to meet deadlines and put out a quality product, it's still important to use employee schedule apps. Your team members will be less stressed when they know their schedules and you can have a clear view of their total hours worked. A few key benefits of using software scheduling include:
- It is easier to coordinate time off requests. Your employees can request time off within the system and even block out days they aren't able to work. This means you will have fewer no-call/no-shows and happier employees who work when they want.
- You can track and approve overtime. With better scheduling, there will be fewer empty shifts and less employee overtime for those who pick them up. This helps you save money and prevent burnout.
- You can better train new employees. Put new team members on shifts with more experienced staff so they can learn from them. Additionally, you can schedule new people during the hours you will be at work so you can train them.
- Employees can swap and substitute shifts. If you let your staff members see who they will be working with, they can find people to swap shifts with them for a better schedule. This allows team members to keep working while enjoying nonwork events in their lives.
- You can better deal with emergencies. If you need team members to show up immediately, you can see which employees still have open hours before they hit overtime. This allows you to fill in any scheduling holes without overspending on overtime pay.
By opting for an employee scheduling app, you are providing a service to your employees while making it easier for you to track and manage your team. Both parties benefit from a simple but useful tool.
What Is the Best Software for Scheduling?
There is no singular best employee scheduling app on the market. Each of these online schedules has pros and cons. However, here are some of the best employee scheduling tools available.
- OnTheClock: This tool is a good option for small business owners who currently have small teams. You pay per employee, which means it only costs you a few dollars more per month each time you hire someone else. This tool offers time tracking and scheduling services.
- Shifty: This option markets itself specifically to small business owners. It uses an intuitive drag-and-drop layout so you can easily fill your calendar with team members. Shifty is a good place to start if you have never used a scheduling software tool before.
- When I Work: When I Work can accommodate up to 75 team members for free. Along with the online scheduler, this app comes with team messaging support and customer service. You can start by using some of the more basic features and then use the advanced options as you learn what this system can do.
- Humanity: This app boasts that it can optimize employee scheduling. It can automate scheduling and uses predictive analytics to learn when you will need to schedule more team members. This is an advanced tool you might want to consider if you are looking to save time.
Test out a few of these employee scheduling tools to see which ones you like best. There may be a learning curve for teaching your employees how the system works, but soon everyone will check their schedules and apply for PTO through the app as you expect them to.