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7 Reasons to Invest in a Shift Planning App for Your Small Business

7 reasons to invest in a shift planning app for your small business
Caroline Sams

By Caroline Sams

Employees are among the most important components of a business, and when managed well, they can turn any business into a success. After all, it would be difficult to get work done without help from employees. Treating employees professionally and putting much thought into the shift planning process is therefore very important if a business hopes to achieve its goals.

Proper shift planning has a lot of benefits for employers and employees. To begin with, successful schedules keep employees happy and motivated; they free up a lot of hours too, especially with the help of a shift planning app. All this results in one thing - a business being able to improve its bottom line.

Outlined below are some powerful shift planning app secrets every manager should know.

Improve Communication With a Mobile Scheduling App

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Communication is key to a successful shift planning app strategy. Communication should always be the starting point for everything related to employee management. Many scheduling mishaps are actually as a result of poor communication skills.

Poor communication hampers the ability of employees to communicate their availability, which creates tension, confusion and endless dialogues that consume a lot of hours - hours that can be directed towards other more productive tasks.

Good communication is a two-way process that both employers and employees should engage in. As a manager, it is your job to teach good communication skills to your employees. Greeting your employees personally, and listening to their concerns, encourages them to open up to you. When employees are able to table their concerns, most scheduling conflicts disappear and scheduling headaches are kept at a minimum.

Unfortunately, with manual shift planning processes, keeping communication lines open is not easy. The solution lies in a shift planning app which allows staff members to view their schedules through their mobile phones, desktop computer, tablet, or laptop. Through these platforms, employees are able to receive schedule change alerts, indicate their availability, swap shifts, and more.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

Forethought Is Essential to Shift Planning and Scheduling

Forethought or foresight is also among the various secrets to effective shift planning. Many businesses have a flexible demand for employees. Restaurants, for instance, require more staff members during meal times. Staff demand doesn't depend on peak hours alone, it also depends on the work station. For example, bar staff are less likely to be needed during lunch hours but will definitely be required during the dinner shift. Managing such demands is not easy since understaffing compromises service while overstaffing creates idle employees and produces unnecessary costs.

The solution to managing complex scheduling situations lies in shift planning programs as they provide a lot of insight into staffing levels. With these programs, managers are able to identify the shifts and departments that need more assistance and those that can do with a smaller number of employees. With a shift planning app. users are also able to view assignment reasons and the skill levels/certifications of their staff members.

Responsiveness Is an Important Aspect of a Shift Planning App

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Even with the best communication skills and great foresight, unexpected circumstances will occur. Last-minute no-shows and late employees are just a couple of consequences of unexpected circumstances or emergencies. As a result, even the most carefully planned schedules can turn into a total mess which only creates confusion and misunderstandings that can be detrimental to the normal operations of a business.

Once again, a shift planning app comes to the rescue as it empowers managers to fill in abandoned shifts quickly by making it possible for them to single out ideal substitutes by criteria and availability.

Timeframes for Planning and Posting Shifts in Advance

Planning and posting schedules in advance will help eliminate most scheduling mishaps. The ideal time to create an employee schedule is at least one month in advance and the best time to post one is one week before they are put to use.

Employees too should be trained to provide their availabilities and requests sooner. When employees are able to adapt to this consistency, managers will be able to avoid misunderstandings and last minute changes.

Posting schedules early also give employees ample time to find replacements when their assigned shifts don't work well for them. Early planning limits excuses for missing work or arriving late too.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

A Shift Planning App Provides Backup Scheduling Plans

Without a backup plan, any shift planning strategy, be it manual or automated, is on a sure path to destruction. Managers who intend to schedule their staff members seamlessly need to account for unexpected circumstances, such as illnesses and other emergencies. While posting schedules weeks in advance will get rid of most scheduling conflicts, it will not stop employees from falling sick or facing different types of emergencies. Having a backup plan and a couple of trusted employees who will not mind being summoned unexpectedly is a critical part of a successful shift planning app procedure.

Acknowledge Tardiness and Missed Shifts With a Shift Planning App

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When an employee fails to show up for his or her shift, someone else definitely has to carry an extra workload. The manager, particularly, is forced to do extra work trying to find an ideal replacement, rearranging the schedule, and making sure that all affected parties have been notified of the changes.

Managers who tolerate tardiness and missed shifts experience their well-thought-out schedules going awry. The more a manager allows tardiness and missed shifts, the worse it gets. If an employee's sick time goes above average, its time to talk before the behavior spreads to other employees.

Embrace Technology and Implement a Shift Planning App

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Through employee scheduling software, technology has provided a seamless way to schedule employees across all industries. Not only does a shift planning app offer an effective way to schedule employees, but it also takes communication to another level. Not only are managers able to reach out to their employees at any time and from any part of the world, but employees too are able to reach out to one another if need be.

Furthermore, a shift planning app generates payroll data and other important reports that contribute to the well being of a business.

For more information on how shift planning apps, like Zip Schedules, can benefit your business, check out our Work Schedule Apps | A Complete Guide article, which is also on the Hubworks Blog.

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