Any company interested in attaining long-term success must have productive employees. Productivity, of course, can be measured in terms of how efficiently a business uses its available resources to turn a profit. Productivity metrics encompass a number of crucial aspects with regard to running a business: the use of monetary assets, workplace morale, customer satisfaction, and the use of time.
While there are a myriad of ways to boost productivity at the office, one of the simplest (yet often overlooked) ways to do so is the implementation of an effective scheduling process. So, how exactly are scheduling and productivity related?
The following discusses 3 key ways that effective scheduling software, combined with effective scheduling practices, leads to increased productivity.
1. Better Time Management
Perhaps the most obvious benefit that an effective scheduling process yields is better time management, for employees and managers alike. For instance, an advanced scheduling platform can provide key time management advantages in the following areas:
Reduction of Multi-tasking
With more traditional scheduling, managers are forced to constantly update employee schedules week to week (or in some cases, day to day). Many managers have to handle this task while juggling several other duties at the same time. What’s the result? One study found that, on average, productivity drops by 40% when an employee (or manager) multi-tasks.
In contrast, a platform that enables automated scheduling can drastically reduce a manager’s workload, leaving him/her more time to deal with pressing operational issues. In effect, the software allows the manager to be more productive on the job.
High Transparency for Employees
It’s easy for miscommunication to arise between managers and employees, for a number of reasons. This is certainly true when it comes to the scheduling process, especially if most workers are on rotating or variable shifts. It’s all too easy for an employee to misunderstand when he or she is supposed to come in to work, or miss a shift because of a last-minute schedule change. These unfortunate breakdowns in communication can contribute to a ton of lost productivity, along with an average absenteeism-related loss of $3,600 per year for each hourly worker.
A transparent and easily accessible scheduling system can help solve many of these communication problems. Software that automatically sends notifications of schedule changes to employees (via email and/or a dedicated app) ensures that they stay on the same page with management. Intuitive and easily-navigated calendars enable employees to get a clear understanding of when they are scheduled to work within the next few days, the next week, or the next month.
With a visible and transparent scheduling system in place, absenteeism rates will drop, and productivity will inevitably increase.
Improved Planning Capability
On a professional and a personal level, the ability to plan is a critical skill for success. When employees have the ability to look ahead at their scheduled work week, they are in a better position to prioritize key on-the-job tasks, and thus perform more productively. Similarly, managers that have a firm grasp of when and where each employee will be working can successfully develop and execute project timelines according to business needs. Moreover, both employees and managers will enjoy a better work-life balance with a clear schedule in hand.
2. Enhanced Resource Management
Effective scheduling is not just about time management; it also enables managers to allocate resources in a more efficient manner. One of the most common examples of this principle in action involves payroll costs: specifically, payroll costs related to overtime.
It is true that the overtime option can offer several advantages to a business, such as the ability to avoid a heavy investment in new employees, and the capacity to meet busy periods and staff shortages. Nevertheless, there are also key drawbacks associated with regular overtime. These include:
- Increased labor costs (employee pay at 1.5 times the normal rate)
- More man-hours with less productivity, as employees tire and lose concentration
- Decreased morale
- A higher turnover rate
As the above points illustrate, businesses need to find a sustainable balance between using too much overtime vs too little. Effective scheduling software can contribute to this cause by helping managers keep track of which employees have already passed the overtime threshold, which ones have not, and how best to evenly distribute the workload for maximum efficiency and minimum cost. Smart overtime management can even promote worker safety, and increase employee morale overall, all of which contributes to a higher level of productivity.
3. Improved Reporting
Finally, an advanced scheduling platform should make payroll reporting and other key HR functions easier and simpler. For instance, schedule reporting can help in the following ways:
- It allows managers to better understand current business needs, such as when peak times occur, and when staffing shortages are usually encountered.
- It enables managers to gain insight into employee behavioral patterns. For example, which employees are chronically late or absent? Which ones consistently come in early? What effect do longer shifts have on employee productivity?
- It makes data compilation and visualization much more intuitive and actionable.
Exceptional scheduling software should be compatible with robust data analytics, so that managers and other key stakeholders can view scheduling metrics as a key component of the “big data” picture.
The Importance of Effective Scheduling Software
As discussed above, effective scheduling software offers several key advantages to forward-looking companies. For instance:
- It promotes exceptional time management for supervisors and employees alike.
- It helps to eliminate preventable misunderstandings.
- It allows for a better work/life balance.
- It enables managers to cut down on labor costs, especially with regard to overtime.
- It promotes occupational safety by reducing the amount of overtime the average employee will work.
- It boasts exceptional reporting capabilities to help company leaders make better decisions.
Scheduling and Productivity Go Hand and Hand
Time Tracker’s new scheduling feature offers all of the benefits mentioned above along with many more. If you feel like this innovative scheduling solution could help your company, then try it out for yourself with our 14-day free trial and find out how scheduling can improve your company’s productivity.