If there is something a manager has to deal with on a daily basis, its paperwork. From performance evaluations to government-mandated reporting, interview formalities to new hire documentations, most managers are submerged in a sea of papers, forms and reports.
While its true that manual paperwork has been the backbone of most managerial tasks since time immemorial, in today’s world where everything is going digital, most businesses and companies don’t have the time nor the space to put up with paper-based management systems. Modern managers want to access all types of reports instantly, and they want to be able to access them on their mobile devices such as mobile phones and tablets. It is therefore not a big wonder why most modern managers have already implemented a scheduler app. Modern employees, too, are accustomed to touch screens where they can swipe right and left, not pencils and pens or other antiquated devices that run out of batteries every 2 seconds.
A scheduler app allows managers to digitize virtually all of the paperwork in their organizations. Work schedules can be created or edited remotely. Employees, too, can access their schedules and submit their requests and preferences remotely.
Other than elimination or cutback of paperwork, other benefits of implementing a scheduler app, or employee scheduling software, include the following:
- Gathering time off request, which is one of the most important steps towards creating workable employee schedules, becomes as simple as having them submitted directly to the scheduler app where they get stored.
- The process of creating a new schedule involves dragging and dropping employees into open shifts, no more manual typing or writing.
- Posting a new or updated schedule gets simplified too. All new schedules and shift changes get sent directly to employees’ via their desktops and mobile devices.
- Updating employee information becomes the obligation of employees, which they can easily do from the comfort of their homes.
- The responsibility of finding replacements now falls directly on the employee trying to give up their shift. Reduces confusion surrounding poor communication.
These are just a few ways business are benefiting from putting a scheduler app into practice, but generally, a scheduler app should be easy to use, should distribute schedules effectively, and should be accessible to all parties involved. When an edit or change is made, the entire staff must be able to view it instantly.
In addition to this, an effective scheduler app should be able to accommodate all types of shifts necessary. Some businesses maintain consistent shifts, while others prefer to keep staggered shifts. The right scheduling app should also be able to adapt to scheduling changes and other changing needs.
So, how do you go about choosing a scheduler app for your business?
Different types of industries and businesses have different needs, especially when it comes to scheduling. When choosing a scheduler; your industry-specific needs should guide you.
If you are a union-based operation, you will obviously need an app that will support rule-based scheduling. If your business embraces mobile or remote workers, a scheduler that accommodates such workers would be of great help.
Here are some important things you need to think about when looking for the most effective scheduler:
- What are your needs, or rather, what are the scheduling needs of your business? Once you are sure about your scheduling needs, list them down on paper.
- Next, start shopping by combing the web for a program with your listed needs or features. It is easy to find numerous vendors that provide all the features you are looking for once you get started.
- After you have identified a few programs you believe would be right for your business, the next thing you should do is to look at the pricing. This might call for extra time but it is important to find at least 3 products that agree with your budget.
- Most vendors offer free trial versions that are meant to get you accustomed to their efficiency. Take advantage of 3 products or more and have different employees in the business test them out to help you identify the one that needs your scheduling needs best. While it is true that this process will take some time too, it can save you future headaches that can arise as a result of overlooking a few factors that might appear trivial at first.
- During the free trail periods, make sure the scheduler app you are testing out can integrate with existing systems such as payroll and other managerial systems. This is one of the most important features you should insist on. How a scheduling system “talks” to related systems is essential to making sure you will be getting the best value out of your money. For instance, if it entails manual input of payroll information, it probably shouldn’t be the best choice as it won’t be saving much time anyway. High quality scheduling systems should be flexible enough to allow the importation and exportation of data from existing systems thus saving you or your scheduling team lots of time and effort.
- Another thing to look at during free trial periods is how wiling the vendors are when it comes to offering help and support whenever you and your team members require assistance. In case they offer support, don’t make the mistake of assuming that the service is included in the pricing system; ask if there are additional costs for support.
In conclusion, make sure to put all these points in consideration when you start the journey of acquiring a scheduler app that suits your scheduling needs best. If, after choosing a provider you are still not 100% sure of how well the product will meet your scheduling needs, avoid getting trapped in a long-term contact and instead choose a month to month if you can help it.