Scheduling Re-Imagined: Work Smarter, Not Harder | Part 1
Scheduling Automation: The #1 Transformation You Need to Consider in 2020
COO, WorkForce Software
- Access to technology that enabled a quick pivot in a rapidly changing business climate
- The ability to easily comply with changing guidelines
- Loyal and engaged employees that keep operations running smoothly
- Adoption of new ways to provide an attentive, yet safe, customer experience
For me, it’s clear that employees are at the heart of these themes, and the right employee scheduling practices can have a very meaningful and positive impact across the board. That’s why if you are considering any digital transformation right now, an automated and thoughtful approach to employee scheduling should be at the top of your list.
Schedule optimization to respond quickly when disruption or opportunity strikes
At some point in our lives, we have all heard or used the phrase “Hindsight is 20/20.” The beauty of this rear-view mirror perspective is the insight it provides to drive smarter decisions today and into the future, helping us duplicate and refine positive results to avoid the repeat of past mistakes.
A modern approach to employee scheduling will leverage emerging technology like AI and machine learning to surface and evaluate historical data that reflects the current business climate to automatically predict and generate effective schedules that achieve business KPIs, minimize labor costs, improve operational efficiencies, and strike a perfect balance between employee health and safety and productivity.
Simplify compliance and maintain your brand equity
Non-compliance with everchanging labor laws and union and collective bargaining agreements can be expensive—from the cost of litigation, fines, and penalties to the potential damage to your brand, should accusations be made public. It can diminish employee engagement and make it difficult to attract and retain top talent. Leaving compliance to chance with manual scheduling processes can place your organization at high risk if you can’t prove compliance with work hour limits, fair and predictive scheduling guidelines, and minimum employee qualifications.
With a modern approach to scheduling practices, you can simplify compliance and avoid damage to your brand by enabling multiple layers of defense—from the ability to accurately forecast labor demand and publish optimized schedules that meet business KPIs and legislative or contractual constraints to pre-emptive alerts that warn of potential violations so you can prevent them before they occur.
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Boosting employee engagement is about more than money
According to a recent Gallup report, business or work units where employee engagement is high are 21% more profitable. That’s a staggering number. Unfortunately, the same report states that only 85% of employees are engaged, which means there’s a lot of money left on the table.
Unfortunately, higher pay rates and salaries don’t necessarily equate to higher engagement. For example, CareerBuilder.com found that only 12% of respondents have left their job because they were looking to earn more money. Instead, today’s employees want to feel appreciated, have opportunity for growth, and achieve a work/life balance.
In addition to the financial gains your business can achieve, optimized scheduling has a positive impact on other employee engagement factors, such as showing commitment to employee development by pairing top performers with new or less experienced workers to promote cross-training and mentorship. Early access to planned schedules enables employees to coordinate personal and professional commitments while last minute conflicts can be resolved easily with employee-led, rules-based shift swaps.
Bring your customers back for more
According to the same Gallup report I mentioned earlier, businesses in the top quartile of employee engagement reported on average 10% higher customer ratings and 20% higher sales—meaning the boost in employee engagement you achieve will also translate to an improved customer experience.
However, you may be missing out on opportunity to improve the customer experience by not effectively evaluating schedules against critical customer data from enterprise resource planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Point-of-Sale (POS) solutions to determine how various scheduling patterns impact customer behaviors, including visitor frequency, duration and spend, turnaround times for delivery, production quality, customer ratings, etc.
Are you gaining enough value from your current scheduling approach?
Given the current workplace environment, it is more important than ever for organizations to make the transition to the cloud, but this journey needs to be thoughtful. Focusing on the solutions that will give you the greatest value while protecting the safety and well-being of your employees will be critical, and in this category, scheduling can be a real game-changer.
Stay tuned for the next blog in this series, “Is Your Current Approach to Scheduling Costing You Money?” to learn the questions you should be asking of yourself to determine if now’s the time to transform your business’s work experience with a more thoughtful and automated approach to scheduling.
Download this eBook to learn the 5 secrets that will help your organization shift from surviving to thriving now and in the future and learn how the right workforce management solution can empower your initiatives.
Smart manufacturing needs modern workforce management to optimize labor, empower employees, and drive efficiency.