5 Workforce Scheduling Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

Workforce scheduling is an essential task for any business managing a distributed workforce. While it can benefit businesses of any size, the more employees you manage across multiple locations and job sites increases your need for an efficient workforce scheduling process.

Learn what workforce scheduling is and how to use it to ensure the right employees are in the right place at the right time – every time. 

What is workforce scheduling? 

Workforce scheduling is defined as the process of creating and managing employee schedules. Efficient workforce scheduling occurs when these schedules are optimised in a way that ensures the needs of the business – and the SLAs of its contracts – are being met. 

Scheduling a distributed workforce

Creating an efficient scheduling process can be tricky even for the most straightforward of workforces. When your employees are dispersed, several variables can make scheduling even more complicated. 

Multiple locations

With a distributed workforce, it’s likely your employees are working from different sites, either in small teams or lone-worker instances. In some cases, your needs are less driven by shift-driven personnel scheduling than by needing to schedule whole teams to jump from site to site. This can make it more challenging to manage individual scheduling needs. 

Job requirements. 

Work, tasks and route requirements may vary based on the unique SLAs of each contract. To ensure those needs are met, your schedulers must match employees with the right qualifications and skills with the contracts that require them. 


Communication challenges. 

Without communication protocols in place, relaying scheduling changes and shift assignments is manual, often requiring managers to chase down employees at individual locations.


Different locations may require different compliance requirements for employees, such as labour laws or safety regulations, which can add more work into your scheduling process. 

Common workforce scheduling mistakes to avoid

The complex requirements of scheduling can often result in back-end inefficiencies, gaps in contract coverage and bottom line losses. Here are five common mistakes to avoid: 

  1. Over and understaffing labour. This occurs when managers overstaff or assign tasks to shifts where they aren’t needed (or qualified). Overstaffing can result in unnecessary labour costs and decreased productivity. Alternatively, under-scheduling can lead to poor service quality and performance if contracts don’t have the necessary staffing required.  
  2. Scheduling unqualified employees. With inefficient scheduling practices, managers run the risk of scheduling under qualified employees for certain tasks.
  3. Missing periodic tasks and contracted services. When work scheduling mistakes aren’t accurately planned, it can result in insufficient time for employees to perform their duties. This can lead to contractual obligations not being fulfilled. If a contract requires regular maintenance or inspections and those checkpoints are missed, your client could experience equipment failures, safety hazards or other issues, which could put you at a higher risk for liability and increases chances of customer churn. 
  4. Billing for completed work. Scheduling errors can lead to billing for uncompleted work or overbilling for completed work. This can lead to increased costs for your clients and low customer satisfaction. If scheduling errors are resulting in non-billable overtime, this can also have a direct impact on your profitability per contract. 
  5. Inability to determine profitability on projects. Similarly, inefficient scheduling can lead to inaccurate timekeeping records and the inability to track employee performance. This makes it difficult to track true labour costs when you’re measuring profitability per contract (and employee productivity). 

What are the benefits of a workforce schedule using smart employee scheduling software? 

Smart employee scheduling software is a tool used to ensure coverage based on the needs of a project or contract. It benefits companies through reduced overtime, increased efficiencies and improved customer relationships.

Smart scheduling software helps streamline the scheduling process and optimise service delivery, ensuring the right employees are scheduled for the right work or shift at the right time. It also reduces errors and scheduling conflicts, which improves data accuracy for your accounting and payroll teams, too. 

Why should I use a scheduling software? 

TEAM Software’s scheduling solutions offer key features to ensure accurate workforce scheduling. 

  1. Schedule creation and management. Create and manage employee schedules, assign shifts and make adjustments as needed.
  2. Automated workflows. Automatically generate schedules based on predefined rules, including criteria like employee availability, time-off requests, compliance regulations and qualifications.
  3. Flexible scheduling. Employees have the ability to swap shifts or request time off. This can happen with manager supervision. Or, free-up manager resources by configuring self-scheduling scheduling based on specific parameters. 
  4. Mobile access. Field-based employees can view their schedules, make requests and communicate with managers from the field using mobile devices. 
  5. Time and attendance tracking. Track employee time and attendance, with integration into payroll for accurate wage calculations. 
  6. Communication. Provide real-time updates and notifications and reminders about schedule changes, shifts or assigned work. 
  7. Reporting and analytics. Provide managers with data-driven insights into employee scheduling, including areas like overtime and productivity. 

Start improving your workforce scheduling with TEAM Software. 

The best part about TEAM Software solutions is that it doesn’t just improve workforce scheduling. Our integrated approach to software ensures all core functions of your business are operating smoothly and seamlessly for better productivity and measurable results. 

To learn more about how to improve your scheduling efforts with TEAM Software solutions, request a demo today. 

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