The Importance of a Good Schedule

by | 21.04.2015
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Creating complex schedules across multiple locations that take into account different shift patterns is an art form. It requires logic, an analytical brain, the ability to multi-task and a clear understanding of business objectives.

Good schedules are like a good motor oil. When they work well they help the business achieve maximum performance. When they aren’t working effectively the business will grind to a halt. A good schedule is about getting people in the right place at the right time and, importantly, doing the right task. At the same time effective scheduling allows businesses to empower their employees, become more productive and ultimately deliver a better service to their customers.

The schedule and rota can vary dramatically across industries and through different times of the week, month or year. A good rota is more than about just having staff on hand, it’s about making sure you have the right staffing levels with the right experience to fit the businesses needs. You need to strike the right balance to make sure you have enough staff in place to deliver a quality service during busy times while ensuring staffing levels are kind to budgets during quieter times.

Getting it right is absolutely imperative. The implications of bad scheduling can be huge. In the worst case scenario it can cost the business money and staff members if scheduling is consistently sub-standard.

When you’re putting a rota together, you need to think about the following questions:

  • Do we have the right number of staff, supervisors and managers?
  • Are all our time slots and shifts covered?
  • Have we planned appropriately for our busiest periods?
  • Are we compliant with the law?
  • What happens if someone calls in sick?
  • Are we on budget for what we’re spending on staff overheads?

There’s plenty to think about and schedules have to be created on a regular basis. That’s why more and more businesses across different industries are adopting workforce management software as a solution to their scheduling problems.

Companies who invest in workforce management are seeing an uplift in productivity, significant savings in time and a reduction in costs that go straight to the bottom-line. Alongside this, WFM solutions are creating more efficient employees who feel more engaged with their job and are enjoying work.

Figures from TechNavio Global Research 2014 show that workforce management is freeing up 7-12 hours of managers’ time each week and creating a 20% increase in client facing time. It’s also creating a 6% reduction in payroll errors and a 5% increase in productivity.

And it’s not only scheduling that the best workforce management systems are helping with. The best software now lets employees swap shifts from their phone, will manage all annual leave applications and will show businesses optimal staffing levels for each day based on historical data.

Quinyx has recently been recognised in Gartner’s 2018 Market Guide for Retail Workforce Management Applications and the 2018 Market Guide for Workforce Management Applications.

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Tommy Tonkins

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