How to Get the Most Out of Workforce Scheduling Software

Efficiency and growth start with better scheduling.

Effective (and accurate) scheduling is crucial to maintaining a productive (and profitable) workforce. It is important to find the process that works best for your specific business, but we have some recommendations that can help you start getting the most out of your workforce scheduling software.

What are the benefits of accurate scheduling?

The first and easiest step to maintaining your schedules is setting them up properly. Schedules require attention and daily review to ensure they accurately reflect the current situation playing out at a job site. We’ve found companies that maintain their schedules have:

  • Fewer payroll issues
  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • Improved operations efficiency
  • Timely financial updates

How to set up your scheduling software for security guards or cleaning businesses.

The first step to setting up your scheduling is to evaluate the capabilities of your scheduling solution. What integrations are possible? Are there areas you can streamline in the setup phase that will prevent you from needing to manually enter additional (or duplicative) information down the road?

Next, consider individual factors, like the size of your company, location and office staff. The answers to these questions can help inform what scheduling tasks you are completing on a day-to-day, and what tasks you can tackle less frequently.

Daily procedure tips for better scheduling.

TEAM offers easy reporting to improve daily scheduling tasks. We recommend completing these tasks on a daily basis:

  1. Proactively monitor exceptions needing attention. Solutions like Timegate do this for you, by showing you which events need attention from your home screen view. Using this instant access tool, you can see a list of user duties which have not ‘gone to plan’ (based on your own personal criteria). From there, you can carry out any action required to resolve the exception.
  2. Efficiently manage posts. Fill open shifts manually or let your software solution suggest the most suitable employees to fill open posts. In Timegate, this is an instant-access view on your home screen, so you may ensure post coverage for contracts.
  3. Reconciliation of schedules: This is important to ensure paying and billing are accurate and timely. Some software solutions have enhanced reconciliation tools, which immediately reconcile punches, removing the manual, delayed action that can occur as happenstance of scheduling variances. Enhanced reconciliation can also evaluate an entire shift’s detail record against timekeeping records, even if a record is split by a holiday or other reasons.
  4. Monitor overtime warning reports. As you fill shifts, keep overtime top of mind. Don’t add an employee to the schedule if it will put them into an overtime status. Use your system tools to filter and query for only those employees who are under the total hours for the week. An overtime warning report is extremely helpful if you want to arrange your schedule to prevent overtime, or at the very least, avoid increasing the overtime total. Pro tip: If you can’t avoid overtime, it’s a good practice to record the steps taken to avoid it and the reason why, so you have documentation to back up and support your decision. For more helpful tips to reduce your overtime, check out our quick guide.
  5. Run a daily scheduling activity report: This type of report provides a clear, concise picture of the daily schedules and ensures timely scheduling changes are made. The sooner you’re able to identify discrepancies in the schedules, the sooner you’ll be able to resolve issues like overtime.

Weekly procedure tips for better scheduling

  1. Run an hourly billing comparison report each week so you understand how the schedule information is passed along to payroll and billing. With this type of report, review the total labor hours, labor hours paid and hours billed, plus the ratio of the labor cost to the hours billed.
  2. Run a scheduling activity report on a weekly basis to review the detailed scheduled information for all jobs, along with the employee information. Add a billing recap section to the report to see the total amount per job that’s tied back to the invoiced amount. Running a report like this before sending to billing and payroll is an excellent way to identify issues (such as an employee with a zero-pay rate) and address them before billing and payroll processing. Pro tip: Run this type of report monthly against the master schedule to get approval for any embedded overtime in the schedule proactively. That way you don’t have upper management knocking on your door looking for answers when overtime happens.
  3. Look at all recurring open positions monthly, so you can update the master schedule as needed. The master schedule is the guide to the weekly schedule, so when it’s current and accurate, you have fewer changes to make each week. You can reassign employees to keep overtime minimized, as well as request additional staffing when necessary.
  4. Send notifications to your distributed workforce through your employee portal and SMS text messages with open shifts for employees to fill, ensuring no gaps in coverage.

Introducing flexible scheduling.

Self-scheduling works by enabling employees to offer their shifts to other employees without needing to involve a scheduler or supervisor. Other employees can then pick up the open work, keeping shifts filled and closing any gaps without time-consuming back-and-forth messaging and approvals from supervisors.

Another tactic could be leveraging your employee portal as a flexible scheduling tool, where employees can search for open shifts.

Improve Your Workforce Scheduling Software.

There’s no one-size-fits-all way to manage scheduling but incorporating these simple steps into daily and weekly processes can help ensure proper maintenance of schedules. Solid practices and accurate schedules pave the way for streamlined billing and payroll processes as well, all factors in boosting employee morale and the bottom line.

Are you looking to improve your scheduling processes? Let’s look at it together.