February 25, 2021

Platform Update: Announcing Demand-Driven Scheduling


You notice your shifts are often understaffed, so your employees end up working overtime, but then when you schedule more people, it turns out they don’t have enough work to do. You try to predict demand before a shift, but when you work in an industry like healthcare, unplanned admissions, and unforeseen complications can throw your entire day – and staff – off course. What’s more, recent research on nurse staffing shows that using average demand as a guide for creating schedules doesn’t work: it leads to understaffing which can get critical in this type of organizations.

On the other hand, relying on on-call and just-in-time scheduling increases absenteeism and exacerbates employee burnout. Research done by The Shift Project unveiled a strong correlation between unpredictable schedules and the wellbeing of hourly employees in food service and retail, so much so that making schedules more stable would have a stronger positive impact on the employees’ health outcomes than increasing wages.

With all these challenges thrown into the mix, shift scheduling can seem like an impossible task that can get very costly in more ways than one. The quality of service and employee satisfaction are dwindling, while the labor costs are spiking. How can you tip this scale in your favor and stay mindful of your organization’s needs?

Enter Demand-Driven Scheduling. This new product built by Humanity, TCP’s industry-leading cloud-based employee scheduling platform, is designed to ensure your rosters match your actual business needs. Demand-Driven Scheduling uses your business data as a basis for building shifts, accelerating the scheduling process while also empowering managers to be more strategic when assigning shifts.

How Demand-Driven Scheduling Elevates the Scheduling Process 

The heart of Demand-Driven Scheduling is a rule-building mechanism that takes your business metrics – anything from foot traffic to wait-time to staff-to-customer ratio – and turns them into staffing requirements. This first step is happening behind the scenes, as our team takes your data – however unique they are – and interprets them as scheduling variables. Here are a few of the critical capabilities our rule builder provides:

  • Allowing you to upload values in both whole and decimal numbers for intervals as short as 15 minutes, accounting for even the most dynamic demand fluctuations 
  • Using multiple rules and demand drivers to calculate staffing requirements for a single position 
  • Setting different rules for different positions, as well ascalculating staffing requirements for positions that are dependent on another position’s staffing 
  • Defining rules valid for different parts of the day 
  • Setting a minimum and maximum for the number of required staff members, as well as the threshold for acceptable under or overstaffing 

Next, you can review the resulting staffing requirements as you’re creating a schedule in the Humanity software. The handy Staffing Level graph helps you tell apart required and scheduled staff for multiple positions and even entire locations. The indicators in green and red alert you to potential understaffing or overstaffing, so you are forewarned of potential issues. While you’re tweaking the schedule, the graph and the indicators are updated in real time, so you’re always aware of your progress.

Demand-Driven Scheduling in Humanity

Sounds like there’s still too much work? Think again. After determining staffing requirements, you can completely skip manually adding new or tweaking existing shifts. If there are shifts missing, you can use Auto-Build Schedule to create them based on set business rules and practices. Then you can assign them in line with your staffing policies with Auto-Fill Schedule. The result: a conflict-free schedule built to accommodate your needs, your staff’s availability, skills, and any other rule important to your organization.

Let’s reiterate the winning formula of Demand-Driven Scheduling:

  1. Leverage your existing business data to set staffing rules.
  2. Review how your shifts align with the staffing requirements.
  3. Optimize your schedule or build a new one from scratch in just a few clicks.

Your managers no longer need to copy-and-paste schedules week after week and hope for the best. A growing body of research shows that this approach is not sustainable for your organization or your employees. You know your organization’s needs best – it’s time you bring your schedules up to speed.