The digital revolution in shiftwork scheduling and time tracking
How do you currently schedule your employees?
According to a Payroll Association study, over sixteen percent of you will shrug and respond “using a pen and paper”.
Unfortunately, this approach can reduce both your agency’s ability to properly manage labour costs and the accuracy of your employee time tracking. Additionally, managers are wasting time manually creating employee schedules while employees are inconvenienced by having to drive to their work location to see their shifts.
If your community living agency still conducts scheduling and time tracking manually, I’m sure the following situation will sound pretty familiar.
After spending several hours painstakingly scheduling your staff to meet employee requests, minimize overtime, and honour seniority, you post the schedule. An hour later, you receive an email from an employee letting you know that he is unable to work a shift you assigned him at a group home because he has already been assigned to supported independent living. You now have to find another worker (no small feat) who is available to fill the shift (possibly paying overtime), manually update your payment records, and correct the schedule at the home location.
The good news is that with new digital scheduling technology, all this time and frustration can easily be avoided.
Applications like Schedule Anywhere allow employees to submit their availability or time-off requests online from their computers. The information is then automatically sent to the manager, who can use the application to create a schedule quickly and efficiently. The software is fairly inexpensive and significantly more efficient then the “pen and paper” method, but lacks time tracking abilities, and integration with other software.
At Inclusion we take digital scheduling a step further by not only tracking scheduled hours, but also the actual number of hours worked. In addition to tracking scheduling, employees can also enter their actual start and end times after their shifts. The information is then automatically sent to their manager to confirm. Since it was designed specifically for the community living and disability services sector, the software was created to handle even the most irregular of schedules and can even automate the allocation of hours to eliminate time sheet calculations.
These days, community living agencies are switching to digital systems at an incredible rate because of their ability save the agency time and money while reducing errors.
Is it time for yours to switch as well? As Jon Kabat-Zinn said, “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf”.
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