Attitude Matters When You Manage Your Schedules

Why your approach to managing schedules for distributed workforces can make all the difference.

“I’m doing payroll.” That’s what many people think when updating weekly schedules. “I’m just entering data for payroll.”

Why is that not the right attitude? Because managing the schedule offers us so many benefits beyond just paying an officer or cleaner. We short change our business — and our profitability — when we don’t use sound management practices and tools that integrate the needs of the entire organization. This is especially true for industries with distributed workforces such a janitorial or security contractors. Properly managing the schedule of your workers can help you reduce organizational risk, increase efficiency and improve relationships with your clients.

If the goal is simply to enter time worked, then the simpler solution would be to have people clock in and out and pay them for those hours. Why go to the trouble of creating the schedule, reviewing clock ins or timesheets, and entering all the data? Seems like a lot of extra work to just “do payroll.” Managing a schedule, on the other hand, puts you in the driver’s seat and is integral to successfully managing your business.

When you begin to look at optimizing your distributed workforce by managing the schedule, the other requirements logically flow from that. Employees are paid accurately which means they’re happy and provide better service to your clients. Labor and other complaints are reduced, saving you money and time in legal fees and headaches. Clients know the work is being done, increasing your competitive edge. Bills are accurate and are then paid in full and within the terms. Training is provided on time and on budget, reducing any risk of fines or worse.

Sound too good to be true? It’s not. One company I’ve previously consulted employed tools and processes to effectively manage its schedule. This company’s program manager was responsible for more than 300 employees and roughly 7,500 hours per week and saw these benefits:

  • Reduced overtime from almost six percent to just under three percent.
  • Leveraged part-time employees to fill open positions caused by vacation and other leave.
  • Increased training compliance to 100 percent with only a few officers having overtime for training.
  • Developed the “Call Off Corp” to cover call offs, vacation and leave. By gathering data from scheduling changes and leave needs, managers determined how many extra officers were needed and how to best use this group to avoid overtime and open posts.
  • Increased client satisfaction by eliminating open posts and providing accurate billing on a consistent basis.
  • Reduced employee complaints and fair labor practice claims.
  • Reduced attrition by 22 percent and increased employee performance.

How do you get these results? Attitude matters. Manage your schedules by leveraging your scheduling tools to their fullest potential. Your reward is efficient and effective sites, an improved bottom line, reduced organizational risk, happier employees and satisfied customers.

And, you thought you were just “doing payroll.”