With the advancement of technology, many organizations have decided to begin utilizing modern scheduling software that is now available.
While some organizations are still set on the older way of doing things, like solely using Microsoft programs, like Excel, for employee schedule creation, it would be important to consider if the old way of doing things is actually paying off or actually costing your business in the long-run.
Let’s explore the pros and cons of using Microsoft scheduling software in our employee schedule creation process.
1. Conventional Use
Many organizations stick to the conventional scheduling method simply because they’ve become comfortable in keeping to the old way of doing things - you know the saying, “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.”
Many continue to use the software because they have grown accustomed to it, making it by their standards conventional.
Microsoft software, like Excel, is highly and easily adaptable, making it a favorite for many managers.
In addition, it’s easily customizable. You can select the fonts, colors, and overall appearance. Easy to use features and customizability make Microsoft scheduling software a fan favorite.
3. Easily Accessible
Easy accessibility is another key factor in making this Microsoft product the selection of choice.
Although automated scheduling methods can be beneficial in the long run, some organizations still prefer the short-term fix.
Many organizations are concerned that some of their employees may not be able to adapt to the new technology of what they believe to be overly sophisticated software, so instead, they continue to use the same method of scheduling.
We already know the benefits of using Microsoft scheduling software. Now, let’s take a look at the cons that can be experienced when using Excel for employee scheduling.
1. Management Difficulties
- In order to assure the quality of your service, you need to distribute all of your available resources accordingly. For example, if you have 2 experienced waiters and 4 trainees staffed, then you have to make sure that at least one experienced waiter is always on duty to share their knowledge with the newer employees. Without automated scheduling software, it is almost impossible to develop a fault-proof and customizable schedule every time, giving way to error and conflict.
- Excel scheduling method does not automatically track currently employees and former employees, making it difficult to keep track of all of your employees. So whenever there is a change in the staff headcount, you will have to manually make these changes.
- Any last-minute adjustments to your existing schedule may result in confusion, due to employee “no shows” and “schedule gaps.” These are some common consequences, which can be avoided by using automated software.
- With the growth of your business, it will be difficult to manage new branches, employees, locations, etc. without the help of automated scheduling software.
- Using Excel for your employee scheduling may seem alright in your current situation, but in times of emergency, management difficulties will arise more frequently. For example, if you have decided to hire some part-time waiters for the upcoming peak season, then it may seem more difficult to manage so many employees without automated scheduling.
3. Errors and Conflicts
- Scheduling using an Excel spreadsheet is not an error-free method. With this scheduling processes, you don’t have a wide range of tools to guide you in avoiding scheduling conflicts.
- Tracking errors and conflicts of your schedule are not easy in Excel. For instance, if all the experienced waiters are aligned in the morning shift while all the newcomers are crowded in the evening shift, then it may result in poor quality service to the customers. But you cannot identify or resolve this type of issue easily using the Excel scheduling method.
- When neglecting an employee’s personal schedule preference or availability, you run the risk of employee dissatisfaction, which could result in high turnover. Research shows that employees tend to switch jobs more frequently due to inconvenient scheduling, in comparison to any other reason for leaving a job.
5. Distribution and Communication Problems
- If you are using Excel for employee scheduling, then you have to distribute the printed copies or send them via email. You will need to spend more time, energy and money on the distribution process.
- The process of creating a weekly employee schedule can be quite taxing and can consume valuable work time. Unfortunately, there is no way to expedite the process, as it’s a manual step-by-step process. With automated scheduling software, you can use customizable built-in templates from week-to-week, saving you lots of time and energy.