Scheduling employee shifts is an ongoing challenge in many organizations, especially considering the variety of moving parts. In addition to staying on top of employee availability, you also need to build schedules that comply with labor laws, internal policies and collective bargaining agreements. Moreover, if you’re using an old-fashioned, “copy-and-paste” method of building schedules, you probably spend a lot of time double-checking schedules and making changes to avoid errors.
Thankfully, you no longer need to rely on spreadsheet workforce scheduling or one-size-fits-all scheduling software. Humanity scheduling software not only offers dynamic scheduling tools and dashboards to help you stay on top of every shift, but it also offers a custom rules solution that helps you build schedules in alignment with your policies and applicable labor laws.
What Are Custom Scheduling Rules?
Custom scheduling rules are user-defined parameters you can establish in scheduling software to avoid specific actions. For example, custom rules can set limits on working hours, overtime, break times and many other scheduling scenarios, all based on what makes sense for your organization.
Custom rules replace manual scheduling calculations and generate system notifications when any schedule violates a preset limit. In the Humanity scheduling solution, custom rules provide an additional layer of scheduling control beyond the default scheduling rules. You can create up to ten custom rules to apply across all of your scheduling workflows and change or replace rules as your needs shift.
The Benefits of Humanity Scheduling Custom Rules
No two organizations are the same, and employee schedules vary widely across industries and workplaces. Custom rules offer the flexibility needed to schedule employees in line with your specific workforce management requirements. Whether you manage a 24/7 schedule in healthcare or variable shifts in a retail setting, custom rules empower you to create employee schedules more efficiently and with fewer errors.
Key benefits of the custom rules solution include:
- Less reliance on manual workflows: The Humanity scheduling system manages employee shift parameters and limits for hours and overtime, so you don’t have to do it manually. As a result, the schedule creation process becomes more automated and less prone to human error.
- Support for better compliance: You can use custom rules to maintain compliance with Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requirements, state-specific wage and hour laws, and laws that apply to minors.
- Ease in creating workforce schedules: Custom rules allow you to build schedules that conform to your policies and practices, including evolving scheduling requirements set by collective bargaining agreements. With greater customization, you can spend less time calculating hours and double-checking schedules for accuracy.
Five Examples of Custom Scheduling Rules at Work
In a 2020 XpertHR survey, employers said pay and scheduling issues represented their top compliance concern. FLSA and state laws can create a confusing web of requirements and limitations. Each schedule you create for full-time, part-time and seasonal staff must meet those requirements.
However, streamlining your workforce scheduling activities isn’t limited to managing compliance risk. You also need to ensure you have the right employees scheduled to work at the right times, including during planned and unplanned peak demand times. Finding that balance can mean the difference between having lines of customers out the door and having enough employees working to meet their needs. In industries such as healthcare and public safety, it can even make a life-or-death difference in the communities you serve.
Here are just a few examples of how Humanity Scheduling and custom rules can support your unique scheduling needs:
Managing Hazard Hours
Irregular and extended shifts can result in productivity and safety issues, which is concerning for employees working with patients, heavy machinery and hazardous chemicals. A meta-analysis of studies on the effect of long working hours found that employees working long shifts and excessive overtime experience higher rates of workplace injury, stress and risk of personal health problems.
Custom rules can address concerns related to hazardous work schedules by allowing you to set minimum and maximum daily and weekly working hours. Anytime a schedule reaches the preset limit, you are notified and can make adjustments as needed. As a result, you can provide employees with more predictable and stress-free schedules.
Meeting Labor Union Scheduling Requirements
When you have employees working under a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), it’s essential to schedule their work according to CBA parameters. For example, they may require a specific number of overtime hours each week or a certain number of guaranteed working hours per week. You can use custom rules to build those requirements into your scheduling activities, maintain compliance with the CBA, and promote positive relations with union representatives.
Aligning Scheduling with Internal Policies
In addition to scheduling requirements set by federal and state laws, your organization’s workforce management policies may also influence your scheduling activities. For example, your organization may have overtime limits, set rest times and meal breaks, and rules about how much time off employees receive between shifts. Custom rules make it easy to incorporate internal policy requirements into every work schedule so that you don’t have to do it manually for each shift. When you receive a notification of a custom rule violation, you can manage policy exceptions more effectively.
The FLSA and state wage and hour laws set stringent requirements for minors’ working hours. For example, these laws limit the number of hours minors can work on school days versus non-school days. Moreover, you may also have internal guidelines for which shifts minors can work and when they can be assigned overtime work. With its custom rules capability, the Humanity scheduling solution reduces the complexity of scheduling high schoolers. As your customized workforce scheduler for minors, Humanity gives you more flexibility when scheduling younger employees, thus helping you to avoid overscheduling them.
Managing Industry-Specific Scheduling Practices
Just as your company policies influence your workforce scheduling activities, industry-specific requirements and norms may also influence how you schedule employees. For example, when scheduling public safety employees, you may want to base schedules on the FLSA “work period” overtime allowance, which gives employees overtime over a 28-day work period rather than the usual 40-hour workweek. Or, if you are scheduling a healthcare workforce, you may want to match employee shifts to patient demand. In both cases, Humanity’s custom rules capability enables you to incorporate rules that match these parameters and give you greater control over how you design employee schedules throughout the year.
Simply Workforce Scheduling For Good
Scheduling employee shifts can be complex, especially if your workforce is dispersed across multiple work locations and includes a mix of employees working under labor contracts and variable schedules. However, scheduling doesn’t have to be a manual or frustrating process, regardless of the location or employee mix of your workforce.
With Humanity’s custom rules solution, you can build schedules that match applicable laws and your internal policies and practices. Instead of spending hours manipulating spreadsheets and double-checking schedules for errors and compliance violations, you can create schedules automatically and let custom rules notify you of any conflicts.
To see why organizations across various industries rely on TCP’s Humanity scheduling solution, schedule a demo today.