Do a search for employee scheduling software, and you’ll get a plethora of choice. Perhaps too much choice!
Having so many to choose from makes it difficult to understand which technology is the most suited for your business, hence this handy guide showing which features to look out for, especially if your core business centres around employee scheduling at multiple locations.
What features should you look for?
Not all employee scheduling software is the same. Each is built to serve different purposes, so right off the bat, the two most important qualities to narrow down your options, is that the software should be industry-focused instead of “one size fits all”, and allow for scheduling across multiple locations.
Let’s look at the features that are absolutely essential in your decision-making process:
Specific industry focused
There are many employee scheduling software tools available, but to make your choice easier, only choose those which cater to your specific industry.
This feature is very important as it will save time and provide industry-specific features you won’t find in the other tools.
Per location scheduling
When your core business revolves around scheduling employees in multiple locations, it’s going to be very difficult to use technology that does not facilitate this.
Per location scheduling allows you to view and manage the schedules of multiple staff members at different locations.
This functionality should allow managers to ensure that they schedule the correct number of personnel, of the correct grades, for the correct number of shifts, at the correct sites. They should furthermore ensure that they limit overtime and non-productive time as much as possible, and that they are scheduled to make an acceptable profit at each site.
Location time & attendance
The software should allow you to capture time and attendance per location and make changes manually, or this may present problems.
Employees should be able to clock in and out from any location, allowing for optimal time and attendance management, and activity across all locations can be viewed by management to ensure smooth operations. Because the tool works with multiple locations, you can also view labour data and insights per location, and check insights across locations for comparison.
This functionality should allow managers to ensure that they post the correct number of personnel, of the correct grades, for the correct number of shifts, at the correct sites. They should furthermore ensure that overtime and non-productive time have been minimized, and that they have made an acceptable profit at each site.
Personnel detail management
Your company should aim to have one system to keep track of contract requirements, personnel, schedules, time and attendance and all the information that is needed to ensure maximum labour- and cost efficiency.
Ideally, the relevant information should be accessible to the Finance, HR and Operations departments
To really make the tool your own, it should be built for flexibility so that your company can customise it for maximum optimisation.
For example, it should allow users to set up customised business rules like wage rules, grades, allowances and so on.
Employee scheduling software must integrate with other software that the business is already using, as well as clocking technologies if necessary. For example, EasyRoster Deployment Manager uses biometric technology to circumvent “buddy clocking”, and this module slips right into the primary software, so the two become one.
Other vital integrations include time clock, and payroll technologies.
Automation like this is important from a reporting and efficiency point of view, and to avoid paying for additional functionality that may come with other employee scheduling software.
Feed other departments
The best employee scheduling software technologies can be used across departments for optimised productivity.
There should be no need to deal with paper, or for this department to wait on that department.
For instance, Operations uses the tool for shift scheduling, while Payroll accesses pay details from the hours that employees work because everything is automated.
It is vital that the tool provides the ability to extract meaningful insights into issues that create inefficiencies so that those may be identified and resolved before they happen.
Management must be enabled to have an intimate understanding of the business’ most important assets, especially if the core business revolves around employee shift work.
Labour costs are usually the greatest expense to a company and when not managed efficiently, have the potential to increase expenses greatly.
Monitoring shifts can decrease costs and increase productivity and allows management to make better business decisions.
Forecasting with employee scheduling software provides an in-depth understanding of future demand, which produces more efficient scheduling, which is critical to ensuring that activities take less time and are more productive.
Forecasting allows companies to provide good service at the lowest cost possible. Being able to forecast means scheduling the right number of employees for the right shifts, so the process runs as smoothly as possible.
Lack of proper forecasting creates a poor experience for the business, it’s clients and it’s employees. The best workforce management technology takes into account various data points so future planning is as accurate as possible.
There you have it: feature recommendations from the pros for selecting the most suited employee scheduling app for your business.
The right technology cuts out wasted time and allows for smart planning that boosts productivity dramatically.
Albert co-founded EasyRoster Software in 1995 and helped grow the business to where it is today. Albert has over 25 years of experience in Workforce Management and Software development which has helped the EasyRoster team build one of the best WFM systems on the market today.