Best Practices
April 20, 2022
min read

Using automatic schedule to boost efficiency and productivity

Olaf Jacobson
Founder & Business Development, Soon

We know that scheduling your employee's working hours is essential in every business. You need to make sure that every shift is covered, that everyone gets their salaried hours, and that any requests for a holiday are accounted for.

We also know that this is incredibly time-consuming, and it can often feel like you never get it right.

There is always some gripe about allocated shifts, or someone needs to change at the last minute, which means you (and probably them) spend too much time trying to organize.  Other issues like some staff getting more hours than others, or shifts being understaffed is also fairly common.

We don’t often think of it in these terms, but scheduling your employee rotas can have a real impact on productivity and efficiency. Not only yours but for the whole company. 

Staff worrying about their shift patterns, or being unable to swap a shift draws their focus from their work and causes a massive decrease in productivity.

However, there are solutions to this. Through automatic scheduling, you can make the process of scheduling your staff rotas, organizing shift changes, and ensuring you have enough staff for key shifts significantly faster and more efficient.

In this article, we take you on a deeper dive into the world of automatic scheduling and tell you:

  • What is automatic scheduling
  • Why use automatic scheduling
  • The benefits of an automatic schedule
  •  How to create the perfect automatic schedule

Let’s dive straight in…

What Is Automatic Scheduling?

 Efficiency is at the heart of every successful company, and automating repetitive tasks like scheduling is a very easy way of boosting your efficiency.

Automatic scheduling is the process of using a scheduling or workforce management software to help streamline the shift scheduling and rotas of your team. Through this, you can boost your team’s efficiency and productivity, and allow your managers to spend less time manually organizing staff rotas.

Why Use Automatic Scheduling

As the employment landscape becomes more and more complicated through remote working, global employees, multiple departments and so on, your scheduling requirements should follow suit. 

This additional complication can cost time and resources. But when you automate your scheduling you eliminate these complications. You speed up the whole process, freeing up time, headspace, and saving on costs.

 Less of your time spent scheduling

Scheduling is time-consuming no matter what size your company is, but it only grows more complicated the larger your company gets. 

Soon, for example, has a smart person picker feature that automatically determines who is better suited for this shift based on their skills and availability. This can save managers a significant amount of time previously spent on assigning shifts.

If any last-minute changes are needed, then your scheduling software will also make suggestions on how to solve the issue helping you avoid any overtime.

All of this is geared towards freeing your manager's time, allowing them to focus on other aspects of their job, like delivering top service to your clients.

Accurate forecasting of your labor demands

With an automatic scheduling platform, you should get an overview of who’s doing what and what’s coming up. Soon allows you to see your team’s workload in a visual interface, including what’s the full capacity in hours for a specific event, how many hours have been scheduled, and how many are still available. 

At the same time, you can also see your overall capacity for various activities as a percentage.

Armed with this data, your automatic schedule platform takes the guesswork out of your shift staffing for any event, so you are never understaffed or overstaffed. This is great for payroll too!

Managing time-off requests simplified

Time off requests can be a real pain when you are trying to organize your schedule. You need to make sure you have each shift covered, but you also want to give your employee that time off. 

After all, a happy employee is far more productive and efficient than one that resents being in the office on the day they requested off.

Soon puts the power to approve or deny leave at your fingertips. With a clear view of the schedule, leave management can be as simple as a one-click approval.

The employee is instantly notified too, so you can quickly tick that off your list.

Schedule with better communication

Communication is key in any business, and there can often feel like there is a disconnect between managers and employees.

This disconnect is eliminated by your scheduling platform as everyone has access to the schedule and can have an open and instant dialogue about it within the application itself.

Transparency and quick communication both garner a far more fluid process for your scheduling and one that everyone can get on board with much quicker. 

How To Create Your Automatic Scheduling Setup

As you would imagine, automatic scheduling is designed to be as quick and streamline a process as possible to maximize efficiency. 

The process for creating the perfect automatic schedule couldn’t be easier either.

Invest in an automatic scheduling platform

Having a centralized platform like Soon to manage your schedules, your teams, and your workflow is your first step in creating the perfect automatic schedule.

A platform catering to your growing needs should give you access to all your employee's details, availability, shift requirements, and so on all in one place and at your fingertips.

Every member of staff will also have access to their personal schedules through the platform, make time-off requests, and manage shift changes. It is the one stop communication hub for managing your workforce’s time.

Managers will also have a clear picture of what the schedule is, who is working when on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.

Create your weekly events (or shifts) that need to be staffed

Next, create all the events that you need staffing that week, and your automatic scheduling platform will help you choose the right people quickly and efficiently.

Creating templates for your schedules also increases efficiency, helps reduce duplicate work, and lets you replicate days, weeks, or even months. This is easily done with Soon.

Employees then set their requested time off and availability

As we’ve said, putting the power to set availability and request time off at your employee's fingertips is incredibly empowering for them, and liberating for your business.

Soon’s personalized schedules are clear for every employer to see and understand. You can also create leave categories and easily approve leave requests in a few clicks. Employees can easily pick and swap shifts between themselves through self-scheduling.

Capture time and attendance

Capturing time and attendance enables the platform to better predict trends and requirements in the future, and output accurate data for payroll. A win-win.

Make any necessary adjustments

No schedule is perfect, and last minute adjustments are a frequent occurrence. These adjustments are very quick to do when you have all the data to hand, and your automatic scheduling platform does all the heavy lifting for you. 

Fully customizable events to match the needs of your schedule give you the flexibility to adjust and edit in seconds.

Employees can request a shift swap directly from their personal accounts, and Soon’s unique conversational change requests enable your team to handle shift changes more intuitively and autonomously.

Use Automatic Scheduling Today with Soon

Automatic schedule’s really do have a huge impact on your company’s efficiency and productivity. You save time, create scheduling clarity and transparency across the company, and make sure you have the right amount of staff with the right skills for every shift.

There are many more ways in which Soon helps manage your teams and you can find out all about Soon's many features.

Better yet, why not give Soon a try.  It’s free for your first 30 days.

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