How scheduling software can save small businesses time and money

Scheduling and managing a weekly shift rota is part and parcel of running any business that employs hourly or shift workers. Unfortunately, the process can often be complex, time-consuming and stressful for small business managers. Not only do managers need to juggle multiple variables, including employee availability and preferences, when putting a rota together, they also frequently end up having to tweak the schedule throughout the week when employees call in sick or request last minute changes.

It’s no surprise then that managers using traditional shift scheduling methods spend, on average, 4.87 hours per week planning and maintaining their rota. But using automatic employee rota software can simplify and streamline the whole process and make it a breeze not only to plan a shift schedule but also to communicate it efficiently to all employees.

Below, we’ll talk you through some of the main reasons why using online shift scheduling software could prove to be a boon for your small business.

Save time by simplifying rota management

The main benefit of using automatic rota software is the significant amount of management time that can be freed up every week for more productive activities.

Once set up, your rota scheduling system is a one-stop shop for managing employee hours. All the information you need—lists of employees, their roles, skills and availability, locations, and the shifts that need filling—is at your fingertips at all times. Plus, there’s no need to go back and forth between different sources to double check details in order to get the rota right. With a solution like Findmyshift, As soon as you have your system up and running, you can quickly repeat a weekly rota using predefined templates, make and approve changes, respond to holiday requests, and communicate with employees about any open shifts - all from within the software that you can access anywhere on any device connected to the internet.

Finally, the software system automatically generates shift data that can be directly used for payroll calculations, eliminating the need for employees to spend valuable time logging their hours.

Empower your employees

Not only can you make shift scheduling even easier to manage, but rota software can offer opportunities to empower your employees at the same time. By allowing them to swap shifts independently while retaining the final say on the changes, you communicate a level of trust that can otherwise be difficult to show as a supervisor. Without the need to involve a manager at every step, swapping shifts can become a more organic process and take far less time to arrange.

Respond rapidly to cancellations

Unexpected cancellations can happen at any time. Whether it’s due to sickness, childcare problems, or issues with traffic, there’ll be times when you need someone to cover a cancelled shift at short notice. With the help of online rota software, you can respond to these curve-balls in record time and with minimum hassle. All it takes to find cover is to send out a quick alert (via email, text message or in-app notification) to all eligible employees. Once the shift has been claimed, the system is updated in real time, keeping everyone on the same page as to who’s required when.

Keep the rota accurate and up to date

If you rely on a spreadsheet or a printout to advertise your weekly rota, your employees may not have access to the latest shift information when they need it. Misunderstandings can be costly and frustrating if they lead to errors like missed shifts or two employees turning up for the same one. Using smart rota software keeps everyone in the loop about any rota changes with automatic notifications and minimises the need for endless messaging between employees and managers regarding the rota.

Keep your employees happy

A rota system that runs smoothly is not only a boon to managers, it’s also likely to increase employee satisfaction, encourage a more professional attitude toward absences, and foster a sense of transparency and fairness around shift allocation. And considering that ongoing issues with rota scheduling is one of the top six reasons why employees decide to leave a job, getting shift management right could help you hold onto your top talent.

Reduce business costs

While any decent shift scheduling software will likely come with a monthly fee, it’s almost guaranteed to pay itself back. And Findmyshift is even free for the smallest businesses, and discounted for charities and non-profits. On top of freeing up several hours each week for growing your business, using employee rota software also helps avoid understaffing and overstaffing. This means you won’t pay unnecessary wages, or lose out on revenue at peak business times.

Add to that the vital financial information you can extract directly from the software and check against your expected payroll expenses, and you’re well on your way to optimising your rota schedule to align it with your business’ financial targets.

All in all, smart automated scheduling software can save you and your small business hours of managerial time, lower costs, improve employee satisfaction, and help you to grow. And with pay-monthly options (though we offer a discount if you pay in advance too) you’ve got no reason not to give it a go!

About the author

Jake Waller is a wordsmith who plies his trade here at Findmyshift. He uses his background in engineering to simplify complex topics for a variety of tech firms. When not writing for Findmyshift he blogs under a pseudonym at My Name is Skylance and has a passion for creative writing and editing, about which he's always talking on Twitter.