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De-Stressing Schedulers: Taking the Weight off Their Shoulders with Technology

by: 
Stefanie Gause, Sparkrock

The role of a scheduler is crucial in an organization and proves to be very stressful, time consuming, and frustrating. According to a Payroll Association study, almost 20% of schedulers use the “pen and paper” method to schedule their employees. That’s not a typo. This old-school method creates many challenges for your hard-working schedulers as they have to rely on their memory to build schedules, taking into account the many variables involved in creating an efficient and effective schedule, such as the training of the staff, shift types, overtime laws, seniority rules, and many more.  Luckily, there’s a better way of building schedules that will de-stress your schedulers and take the weight off their shoulders: technology.

Using technology can empower your staff with a positive scheduling experience that will assist you in the smooth sailing of your business operations and in continuing to provide exceptional service to your clients. To help you understand how scheduling tools and technology can help your organization and take the stress off of schedulers, we’ll look at the current problems administrators are facing and how technology can solve them. We’ve compiled best practices for scheduling from many I/DD organizations we’ve worked with in making their scheduling not only easier, but also extremely accurate, fast, and staff-friendly. Here are the 4 issues with manual scheduling that many schedulers struggle with:  

  1. Time consuming time sheet approval: Manual processes is extremely frustrating and time consuming, and it can take schedulers almost 5 hours to go through time sheets and confirm the accuracy of hours for payroll
     
  2. Limited access to public schedules: Printed schedules are difficult for staff to access and can lead to schedule conflicts and confusion
     
  3. Manual absence management and HR requests: Your HR staff is constantly struggling with the inconveniences of a manual staff management system. Having to deal with manual call downs to fill open shifts and no automatic calculation of remaining entitlements for employees continues to take their time away from focusing on your key operational activities
     
  4. Struggle to meet regulatory compliance: Employers and schedulers must ensure that staff scheduling meets all regulatory requirements regarding breaks, hours, vacation time, etc. Manually managing the amount of time between shifts to meet these requirements can add pressure on your HR staff and can be very time consuming

Do any of these sound familiar? If so, it’s time to implement technology into your scheduling processes to lessen the burden and stress on your schedulers. Using a scheduling tool can reduce the workload on your HR team and offers a comprehensive solution to your scheduling issues. Scheduling tools will improve the way your organization functions collectively by allowing you to:

1. Store all employee data in one place

Having a scheduling tool that’s part of an integrated solution allows you and your staff to access all of their personal information in one place, including scheduling, timesheets, payroll, employee profile, expenses, time off requests, etc. Storing employee data in separate systems can create confusion and uncertainty on the accuracy of the data.

2. Build smart schedules with business rules

Use business rules to help your organization schedule employees based on certain skills or certifications that are required to comply with certain regulatory standards.

3. Automate timesheets and payroll

Process payroll with the click of a button in an integrated solution that connects your time tracking solution to your scheduling tool. This eliminates having to manually enter in employee hours and other payroll information as everything is automatically integrated from the scheduling tool into your timesheets and payroll, allowing for more reliable data and less room for human error.

4. Find available employees efficiently

Track who you can schedule based on employee availability to avoid double booking and other scheduling conflicts.

With an efficient and effective scheduling tool, your organization can modernize its scheduling process to maximize operational productivity and meet all regulatory requirements while avoiding scheduling and payroll conflicts.

Sparkrock offers Smart Scheduling that will make your scheduling process a walk in the park. It’s built specifically for human services organizations, eliminates all risks and challenges, and provides all of the above features and more so you can focus on what really matters. Here are some of the many reasons you’ll love the Sparkrock scheduling tool:

  • Easy scheduling with smart, connected data that makes it simple to make informed scheduling decisions from any location, eliminate shift conflicts, notify employees of work shifts automatically, and produce perfect timesheets from month to month
  • Training integration that allow you to stay on top of certification expirations, staff training, keep important credentials up to date, and avoid scheduling conflicts
  • Shift bidding that allows your employees to pick up unfilled shifts and displays all the information you would need to pick the right employee for that shift, including seniority, credentials, and skills
  • Employee self-service that enables them to update their personal profiles and contact information
  • Integration with finance and payroll allows you to create timesheets, pull reports in real time, and give staff online access to paystubs, making processing expenses and staff payroll as easy as 1-2-3

Smart Scheduling is part of the Sparkrock All-in-One System that combines Finance, Workforce Management, Scheduling, Case Management and Donor Management into one easy to use, Microsoft-based platform.

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