Staffing Management

Shift scheduling strategies can be improved through technology

By Rick Bell

May. 11, 2020

Life is good for an organization when shift scheduling is established and working well. Let scheduling get even a little sideways, however, and that tightly run ship can quickly become an all-hands-on-deck disaster.

Shared calendars, lost emails, hard-to-read spreadsheets, white boards and even Post-it notes are not how to schedule employees. Comprehensive scheduling software tools can prevent a Titanic-like calamity from disrupting your employment schedule.

Effective employee scheduling gives managers immediate insight into how many staff members to schedule at any given time and optimizes planning breaks, setting vacations, adding time for training and addressing unplanned absences. A streamlined scheduling plan also cuts the time associated with onboarding new staff members to full productivity.

Here are some ways that scheduling software can save time, streamline scheduling and control costs. 

Employee scheduling software saves time and money. 

The old Benjamin Franklin adage of “time is money” is as true today as it was in ol’ Ben’s era. It certainly applies to scheduling the right employee into the right slot. 

Whether it’s a 12-hour on-floor hospital shift or a four-hour lunch rush slot, scheduling software is a time-saver when it comes to matching an employee’s skills and availability to the proper shift. Managers will have a real-time schedule that changes with the organization’s needs. Scheduling software also removes the labor-intensive task of constantly rebuilding a schedule to free up you and your staff for other opportunities. In other words, you are saving up Benjamins by freeing up time.

Employee scheduling software streamlines the process. 

Saving time is important, and scheduling software helps you make better use of that time. All schedules can be created and distributed electronically, and employees can use their phone to clock in and out, eliminating the need for onerous back-and-forth emails or missed phone calls. 

This also puts much of the responsibility on the employee to communicate a potential absence or shift swap. Such functions turn the stress of scheduling employees into an HR department win.

Employee scheduling software controls costs. 

A 2017 Quickbooks survey found that 49 percent of employees admitted to time theft, which annually costs companies more than $11 billion. Scheduling software tools cut down on fraud that may be taking place in your company. 

Overtime, while often unavoidable, is another opportunity to save money through scheduling software. You have enough people to get the job done, but not so many that you’re cutting into the bottom line. Scheduling software provides the tools to cut costs in the form of unnecessary overtime by showing which employees are eligible for overtime assignments and who already clocked too many overtime hours.

Don’t be a ship helplessly tossed about in the swirling seas of scheduling employees! Find out about the benefits of’s comprehensive scheduling software today. You’ll see how it can boost efficiency and control costs across your entire enterprise.

Rick Bell is Workforce’s editorial director. For comments or questions email


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