How to plan your staff schedules more effectively Posted on: 26-08-2015

Even in a small, family business, drawing up a staffing schedule can be a stressful, time-consuming affair. Balancing the needs of the business and those of the employees can be tricky, particularly when the two clash, while factoring in things like staffing budgets and even maternity cover can make drawing up a schedule a real HR nightmare.


Fortunately, recent advances in HR management software have made planning staff schedules easier than ever. Furthermore, when used well, a good scheduling software package offers a range of additional benefits on top of merely saving time.


Fast and efficient scheduling. Ensuring you are fully-staffed, all employees are happy with their shifts and you stick to your operational budgets are key to the smooth running of any business. However, staff schedules are just one very small part of the business itself, and so should not require much time and attention.


While in the past, drawing up a schedule with nothing but a diary, pen and paper and a calculator may have taken hours, embracing the latest breakthroughs in HR software means this task can be performed in no time at all. Needless to say, making scheduling more efficient frees up more time to spend on the actual running of the business, while also ensuring all staff members are happy and, therefore, productive.


Flexibility is the key


Perhaps the number one advantage of time and attendance solutions software is the flexibility is offers the employer. No matter what sector you're working in, business can be unpredictable. Employees can fall sick or simply come and go, the minimum wage may go up again, as can some other overheads, meaning budgets need to be adjusted. A good software system will be able to take these variables into account and alter a schedule, often with just the click of a button.


Moreover, modern scheduling will flag up any potential problems. An electronic schedule could, for instance, warn the HR department that one member of staff has been notably absent on several occasions and so could be missing again, with the schedule altered to account for this, or it could notify the accounts department if the planned budget is likely to be exceeded. Utilizing this specialist software means potential issues can be flagged up before they become a real issue, again allowing managers to focus their attention on running and growing the business instead of troubleshooting problems as they spring up.


Integration, integration, integration!


A good workforce management software package will do much more than simply take care of the staff scheduling.


Ongoing advances in this specialist technology means that a staff scheduling system can be integrated into any in-house payroll systems or even operational software systems. This way an employer can get a detailed overview of all their outgoings in the click of a single button rather than having to look in two or three different places. Once again, efficiency is the key here. Integrating different parts of the business reduces the amount of time that needs to be spent on admin, bringing costs down and meaning time can be spent on other tasks. Working directly with a scheduling software specialist can help ensure that the potential of such technology is harnessed to the maximum, while also identifying other ways in which it can be used to save your business time, money and stress.


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