March 8, 2017

4 Things You Could Be Doing Instead of Scheduling Your Staff


It’s common knowledge that small business owners today are required to wear many hats at once, especially in the infant stages of their entrepreneurial endeavors. Money is tight and trying to turn your business idea into a profitable company is harder than ever these days.

According to sales expert Jim Keenan, becoming profitable and seeing real revenue as a small business owner comes down to four things: strategy, structure, people and process.

Being able to define and execute your business processes effectively is one of the most important factors you should be focusing on when working towards creating stability within your organization. Having healthy processes in place will enable you, as a business owner, to focus on the bigger picture instead of the often boring, everyday managerial tasks that, whether you like it or not, cannot be ignored.

That’s why every business process that can be automated is good news for you!

Automate your staff scheduling process and spend more time on interesting and meaningful tasks, for example:

Looking Towards the Future

Turning staff scheduling into an afterthought instead of a major undertaking can enable small business owners to focus more time on leading their teams and growing their businesses, rather than micro-managing their staff. The better, faster and more effective your scheduling process is, the more time you have to think about where you want to see your business five years from now. When you’re spending less time managing your staff, you have more time to collaborate, brainstorm, discuss and plan the future of your business.

-Are you editing schedules in Excel and then calling your staff to let them all know when they are working?

-Are you printing out paper schedules and handing them out in the office?

Think about how much time you could save by creating your schedules online and sending them out to all your employees via SMS and email with the click of a button.

Think about how great it would be if you had a tool that would alert you every time you accidentally scheduled a shift conflict so that you can fix it before sending the schedule out to your employees.

Or how great it would be if you could simply create an empty shift in the cloud and send automatic notifications to all your available workers who are qualified to work that shift, asking them if they’d like to pick it up.

By spending less time micromanaging every little aspect of your schedule, you’ll have more time for the bigger picture.

people lying in back of car next to a beautiful field

Spending Time with Loved Ones

According to this Simply Business report, more and more small business owners are neglecting family life and social interaction due to their work responsibilities. More than any other type of worker, small business owners need to rely on efficient processes in order to achieve a better work/life balance.

One of the big reasons that small business owners tend to be overworked is because they are often “control freaks” who don’t want to delegate or share responsibilities. This tends to be true for every business process, including staff scheduling.

Believe it or not, giving your employees more control and more say in the process will ultimately lead to a more efficient process.

-Create an “Availability” project that allows employees to give their bosses and managers weekly input on which hours they would prefer to work and when they won’t be able to take shifts.

Think about how much time that saves the person creating the schedule – simply having this information ahead of time.

This could help you to avoid scheduling someone for a Friday shift without knowing that their children had a soccer game that day and then having to go back to the drawing board and find an available replacement.

Instead of spending all of Thursday night calling your employees one by one to see if anyone is able to pick up the Friday shift, you could have scheduled the right person at the start of the week and spent a quiet Thursday night at home with your family or grabbing dinner with your bestie.

-Think about how great it would be if every single action didn’t have to go through you first.

What if two of your employees could agree independently to swap shifts with each other, file a request and then all you had to do was click a button to approve it and automatically update your schedule? Wouldn’t that be great?

By giving your employees more autonomy and an actual voice in the scheduling process, you are taking a lot of the work off your plate and giving yourself more free time to spend with the people who are most important to you.

Having a better work/life balance helps small business owners reduce stress and be more productive when at the office.

Spending Money on Cool Stuff

Sure, having a great scheduling process in place saves you tons of time, but it also saves you cold hard cash. You’d be surprised to find out how much money you are leaking because of poor scheduling practices.

Switch to smart scheduling. Online scheduling software is intuitive and literally, keeps you in check.

For example, if you ever accidentally schedule more hours than needed for an employee – effectively sending them into overtime – the application immediately notifies you of that so that you can make changes, distribute shifts to other people and avoid paying overtime wages unless you absolutely have to.

Online scheduling software allows you to keep better records so that you’re never leaking money on poor bookkeeping. By having your employees clock in and out of shifts through Humanity, you have accurate records of the hours everyone has worked stored in the system that you can easily export into perfect reports that are ready for payroll processing.

-How many times have you scheduled too many people on a slow day or too few on a busy one? Do you know how much money you’re losing when that happens?

-Wouldn’t it be great to have records and reports of all that important business data so that you can reference it when scheduling your staff?

Switching to a modern, online employee scheduling application like Humanity can do all that for you. All of the human error and mistakes you have made in your bookkeeping and scheduling because of being overworked and overextended become worries of the past. It’s safe to say that employee scheduling software practically pays for itself with all the money it can save you.

So instead of watching that hard-earned money go down the drain every month, why not plug that hole and spend that money on something your business needs or something you and your employees want. Better equipment, new uniforms, better employee incentives, anything really.

We all know that money is tight when you’re operating a small business, why not do everything you can to maximize your spending and save dollars wherever possible? Maximizing your scheduling efforts and automating that process would be a good start.

lifeguards standing in a circle on a beach

Building a Stronger Team

No matter what industry you’re in, your people are your greatest asset. And no matter how awesome your business idea is, it’s worthless if you don’t have a great team working everything to make it a reality.

We’ve already confirmed that having a healthy scheduling process installed helps you to save time – time that can be spent nurturing your business, your personal life, and relationships with your employees. Spending less time managing your staff gives you more time to focus on leading them, mentoring them and allowing them to grow and develop along with your company.

A very important part of the employer-employee relationship is transparency. Opening up the lines of communication and making sure that no one is being left in the dark.

If you haven’t updated your scheduling process to a more modern method, you’re leaving tons of room for human error, miscommunication and employee frustration.

-Even if your employees are working remotely or you’re out of the city for the week, using employee scheduling software keeps you connected with your workforce and promotes communication.

-You and your employees can see the latest version of the schedule in the cloud, from anywhere and on any device. There are no secrets, no surprises. There’s even an option that lets employees inform their managers that they are on their way to work, just to be polite.

The stronger your team communication, the greater the trust and mutual respect among coworkers. This not only leads to great productivity but higher levels of employee satisfaction and lower turnover rates.