If you own your own business, chances are you’ve looked into the best software for employee scheduling.
In this guide, we’ll discuss the main features to look for in an employee scheduling system;
As well as some of the most popular and effective systems on the market.
We’ll also take a look at some of the potential problems with employee scheduling software and how to avoid them
So that you don’t waste money and time on solutions that aren’t right for your business!
Most businesses schedule employees to optimize productivity and customer service.
After all, it’s better to have an employee on-site than to have your business closed because no one is there.
That being said, it can be hard to find a scheduling solution that’s as user-friendly as possible
This is why we’ve spent so much time reviewing employee scheduling software in order to determine what is—and isn’t—the best.
If you’re struggling to keep track of your employees’ schedules, then employee scheduling software may be a way to formalize your company’s scheduling process.
With employee scheduling software, your employees can create their own schedule and access it from any device.
However, it’s important to know that while some systems automatically assign shifts and are easy to use, they do require training (and sometimes additional hardware).
When deciding on an employee scheduling software solution, ask questions about how difficult it will be for you and your employees to learn how to use it.
Ease of Use
The most important thing to consider when evaluating employee scheduling software is how easy it will be to use.
Time and again, we’ve seen people choose products that looked good but turned out to be a nightmare because they couldn’t get it set up or were intimidated by it.
And some programs are so complicated that even IT professionals have trouble setting them up.
The best employee scheduling software will have plenty of options, but if you’re not an expert in IT, be sure to look for a program that’s relatively intuitive.
A good indicator of how hard a program will be to use is whether or not it has a user manual:
If there’s no user manual, chances are it’s complicated and you’ll spend more time trying to figure out how to use it than actually doing your job.
It’s easy to think about scheduling software as a problem of software, with all of its algorithms and technology-based solutions.
But at its core, scheduling is an issue that involves people—employees and managers alike.
After all, there are no issues without people.
So if you want to get a feel for how scheduling software can really benefit your organization, take a look at what current employees have to say about it (and what they don’t like).
If there are enough complaints or concerns, it might be time to reevaluate your options.
Feedback is an important part of any solution;
It should be part of your decision-making process when deciding which employee scheduling software will work best in your business.
Cost and Pricing
When deciding what software to buy, you should evaluate more than just functionality.
Features and functionality are important but they’re not everything.
Always consider cost when deciding on software, but don’t just look at the cost as a price tag; be sure to review additional costs associated with each system.
Do some systems come with a one-time purchase price or does each employee need to pay an annual fee?
Some software packages have annual or per-employee fees – which will significantly increase your long-term costs
While others may offer a discounted price for volume purchases.
Either way, adding another type of fee will increase your total long-term cost of ownership.
When considering employee scheduling software, integration capabilities is another feature to consider.
The ability to integrate with other business apps can make a scheduling tool more useful and easier to implement.
For example, an integrative feature may allow you to sync your employee schedules and timesheets from within a calendar app so you don’t have to export data and import it elsewhere.
Or an app could pull info from your email client or CRM system so employees don’t have to enter information in multiple places.
We recommend that you choose scheduling software that offers a comprehensive range of features.
There are four major categories of functionality to consider when looking for employee scheduling software:
- automatic scheduling,
- employee payroll,
- attendance tracking, and
Each category will have different specifications and options depending on your requirements and budget.
Take time to compare scheduling software and evaluate which features are important to you before buying.
There are a ton of software options out there but some don’t offer certain features you may need.
For example, do you have employees that require shift swaps or time off within their work schedule?
Some software solutions will block you from getting any of these flexible scheduling options
Which can really limit your business and employee efficiency in finding balance in their lives.
When looking at reviews from other companies using software to manage their employee schedules;
Look for a minimum rating of 3/5 stars when considering your purchase.
2 Types of Employee Scheduling Software
When you start to research employee scheduling software, you’ll quickly learn there are two main types:
- desktop; and
Some of your employees may prefer having a downloadable program on their computer, while others will want to use it on their phone or tablet.
You should consider how important it is for all your employees to have access at all times and which devices your workforce uses most frequently.
It’s a good idea to check out user reviews from other businesses using each type of program before making a final decision.
This way, you can find out if any users had trouble learning how to use certain features or what kinds of glitches they ran into when updating their schedule online.
3 Features That Make Employee Scheduling Easier
The software that you use to schedule your employees should do more than just present you with a grid of open shifts and require some fancy footwork to fill them in.
It should make things easy, especially if it’s your first time scheduling employees or if you have very few employees.
The best employee scheduling software provides users with three features that make employee scheduling easier.
To help employers find an awesome time-saving piece of software, we’ve broken down those three features below.
1. Auto-Generated Work Time:
Letting your employee scheduling software automatically create open shifts makes things easy by eliminating some manual labor.
The easiest way to get employees scheduled, after all, is to let your system do most of it for you.
So, look for an employee scheduling software that creates a grid of open shifts and automatically fills them in with appropriate time slots
Which frees up employees to take on extra hours or swap with co-workers if needed.
Without having to go back and rework schedules week after week, your system should make employee scheduling quick and painless
Helping you provide plenty of consistent work hours each month without spending extra time managing them.
2. Integrated Open Shifts and Full Staff Calendars:
At any given time, you likely have a good idea of how many hours each employee should work each week.
Your employee scheduling software should let you add open shifts and your full staff calendar to quickly see whether or not your employees are on track to reach their weekly goals.
Seeing what’s open helps you quickly tell who can pick up extra hours while checking your full staff calendar tells you when—and where—you need to fill shifts.
3. Detailed Shift-by-Shift Breakdown of Work Hours:
Having a breakdown of all work hours—whether that’s a full work schedule or just an open shift grid;
Lets you see how many hours each employee has worked so far and how many they have yet to complete.
Knowing who has already completed their shifts, who have time left in their weekly goals
And who needs to pick up extra hours helps you get employees on track quickly.
Your scheduling software should also provide details on partial shifts and allow you to view them easily;
Which ensures every bit of available time gets used up as effectively as possible.
The 3 Best Software for Employee Scheduling
All in all, there are 3 software programs that can offer the best employee scheduling:
- Springbot; and
These three programs have a wide range of additional features that users report are beneficial to making their job easier.
Springbot Scheduling Software
Springbot, designed to help small and midsize companies solve employee scheduling problems.
The software improves communication between all involved parties by providing everyone in your company
- a user-friendly interface to share schedules,
- request time off,
- create shift swaps; and
- send messages regarding any changes or questions they have.
The software works in conjunction with existing HR programs and integrates with
- Dropbox and
- Google Calendar
It also includes an easy-to-use mobile app that keeps employees up to date on changes no matter where they are.
If you’re looking for employee scheduling software, look no further than Springbot.
Engageware (TimeTrade) is a popular employee scheduling software solution that helps small business owners and corporate HR personnel schedule employees.
For any small business owner who values time (and their sanity), a scheduling program like TimeTrade may be worth looking into.
Engageware is an easy-to-use employee scheduling software that allows you to create schedules and send them out to all your employees,
While providing additional tools, such as employee time tracking and a detailed calendar.
The software is free for 30-Day (Trial) which gives you complete access, allowing you to experience how easy it is yourself.
After 30 days, if you aren’t satisfied with their features and advantages compared to other available options in employee scheduling software;
Then simply cancel before being charged. No question asked!
However, TimeTrade’s premium version can save an organization between $2,500 and $9,500 a year in labor costs.
ScheduleOnce makes scheduling easy by allowing you to communicate directly with customers while offering staff flexibility.
They also provide real-time analytics you can use to plan future schedules or make changes midstream should issues arise or new data come into play;
Plus they offer convenient features like,
- Don’t show me these clients again; or
- Make these clients recurring.
Those who work primarily with recurring customers love using ScheduleOnce
Because it eliminates appointment scheduling headaches and allows them more time to focus on their day job.
For those who are just starting out with scheduling clients online, such ease of use comes at a cost of $40 per month per seat (capped at five seats)
But would make sense if you typically see five or more clients per day.
After doing some research, I’ve concluded that ScheduleOnce offers the best employee scheduling software
The reason is that it has simple, yet effective user interfaces and adapts quickly to changes made by its users.
Engageware and Springbot are great alternatives if you don’t want to pay a fee
Or don’t mind the added complexity that comes with setting up an account through your Gmail or Google Calendar account.
When you’re trying to find software that matches your needs, it can be tough to figure out which option is best.
It’s an investment, so you don’t want to choose a program that doesn’t fit your business
But there are also many other factors that play into choosing a piece of software.
When it comes down to it, every employee scheduling program will have its strong suits and weak points;
Regardless of which one you choose, remember that finding one that fits with your unique workflow will save you time and money in the long run.
If you need help finding a good match for your business or need more advice on how employee scheduling works, reach out via our contact form or give us a call.
We’re here to help!
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