Altus Dynamics Blog

5 Features of an Amazing Staff Scheduling Tool

Posted by James Faw on Nov 7, 2014 11:30:00 AM

Scheduling_Planner_718Staff scheduling is a fundamental part of most social services organizations such as Community Living Organizations or Social Services Boards. You need to make sure that your staff are in the right place at the right time to serve those in your communities who rely on your services. With this in mind, having an Advanced Scheduling tool as part of a wider HR and even Payroll solution, will not only make running your organization more efficient, but will deliver better services to the people who need them.

But how do you know that the scheduling tool or system you have in place is doing all it could for you? Below are some standout features that, if your scheduling tool has them, will give you advanced scheduling capabilities that allow you to minimize the administrative burden and maximize staff resources.

1. Collaborative Scheduling

Staff feel valued when they are allowed some form of control about when they work. Your scheduling tool should offer staff the option to indicate their availability, ‘bid’ for open shifts and easily request/change shifts on the schedule. With this collaborative approach to scheduling, supervisors/schedulers save substantial time simply by approving change requests and then being able to view a list of available employees to take the open shift.

2. Schedule Templates

Having pre-built in schedule templates saves you time and would allow you to create schedules quickly and efficiently. Templates also allow you to easily set up many different rotations for multiple locations quickly. Another great feature for scheduling tools to have is warnings and alerts – ensuring that your schedule is conflict free before running the final version (these warnings can go off for anything as simple as an open shift, to something as complex as union regulations for rest time/over time).

3. Replacement Management

Wouldn’t it be great if your scheduling tool could have an automatic process that helps schedulers manage sick days and vacation days? A scheduling tool should automatically flag shifts that are taken by people who have requested the day off. Then, to make the process even more efficient – if you click on the flagged shift it will bring up a list of available, qualified employees. You’ll simply click on the employee you would like to fill the shift and approve the change!

4. Always Accessible

Schedules should be available to everyone, all the time. If everyone has access, from anywhere via the web, you can greatly reduce the number of staff who show up at the wrong place, at the wrong time, or don’t show up at all because the schedule hasn’t been updated! Alerts could even be sent via email when changes are made to schedules that the staff member is on.

The less scheduling mishaps you have with your staff means your staff have better quality time with the community members

5. Integrate

No man is an island! And your scheduling tool shouldn’t be either. It should integrate, or better yet be an integral part of, your ERP solution. When your scheduling tool integrates with your finance and payroll solutions – a lot of the payroll process can be automated. Hours can be calculated automatically per employee from the schedules and pushed to the payroll data for that employee within your ERP system. This eliminates the need for administration having to manually enter data from schedules into the payroll solution – this removed a huge (read costly) burden from your administration department.

If your organization’s scheduling tool doesn’t have these advanced features, it might be time to think about upgrading. Or, if your non-profit doesn’t have a scheduling tool at all and is still doing this process with a pen and paper or in Excel spread sheet – it might be time to talk to us today to see how we can help. Check out our Advanced Scheduling tool which can give you all of these features and more!

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This Post Was Written By James Faw
James Faw is a Founding Partner at Sparkrock. With a diverse background in Systems, Development and Enterprise Application Integration, James fulfills his role as solution visionary at Sparkrock and to our customers. James’ successes have granted him recognition as a visionary within our industry. Currently, James is focused on building winning business solutions through future product development.
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