Thursday, September 20, 2018

Flexible work Schedule

Flexible work schedule is less rigid if comparing with fixed schedules. Employees are required to work for the number of hours/days of the week they have committed to the company. Employees may even be allowed to work from home or work remotely from any location where mobile is available, so that they can communicate electronically with co-workers.

Majority of the millennial generation today have done away with the 9-5 workday entirely. With digital technology that allows them to work anytime and anywhere, they want a job with flexible hours which they have complete control over their schedules.

Why do Millennial want a job with flexible hours rather than a fixed schedule job?

Balance work and non-work responsibilities.
It benefits employee who are raising families, pursuing higher learning and other vocations, hobbies or balancing multiple jobs. By managing their time better, employees can maintain a work-life balance and reduced stress, as they find more time to attend to family and personal matters. They can spend time with family and friends during usual work hours and are able to run errands that they normally are unable to complete. Employees who are closely connected to their parents; are likely to be involved in caring for them as they age.

Build trust between employees and manager
Employees take ownership of getting the job done even on an irregular schedule. It helps build trust between employees and manager. Depending on their schedule, they can work at their most productive and most convenient hours, increasing job satisfaction and productivity of the work.

The Flexible schedule can benefit both the employee and manager. It gives employees a bit more freedom with their time while providing employers with some benefits of their own. However, flexible schedule also come with disadvantages. It depends on the industry you work for and the job nature of the work itself. Not all industries are suitable for flexible work schedule.

But we can’t deny the world is evolving slowly to flexible workplace. Evolving to a flexible workplace? We’re not there yet. Is your company ready for the change?

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

How rotating shift schedule can double productivity

Rotating shifts require an employee to work at different times based on the type of work required. The shift cycle can be weekly or quarterly and hours between day shifts, night or overnight shift. Employee who works in the morning shift for the 3 consecutive days in a row may rotate to do the afternoon shift for the following days. This shift pattern helps to distribute shifts in desirable hours and less desirable hours between employees.

Productivity is a major concern when dealing with rotating shifts. Ensure that employees have sufficient time of rest between shift. An Employee who is over-scheduled and does not have enough of rest may affect productivity and increase the chance of employee burnout.

Rotation shift are commonly seen in hospitals, construction work, manufacturing sector, hotel, restaurant and, etc. These industries are required to operate their business more than 12 hours or even 24 hours a day. So rotating shift ensures that their business runs efficiently and employee is able to perform at optimal levels without undue stress.

How shift can double productivity
Industries that run their business 24 hours require employees to work nights and other work days. There may be two or more shift turnovers per day.
  • Can keep all operating hours covered while still giving employee regular time off.
  • Production disruptions that may occur during shift changeover period will reduced.
  • Increased productivity with low error and accident rates.
For restaurants, rotation shifts will be able to foster a productive team by rotating employees to work the higher paying shift and less-desirable shifts. It gives everyone a chance to work on both high-dollar shift and less desirable one.
  • It gives all employees the opportunity to learn how to work during peak hours
  • It keeps employees engaged because they know they will have their share of busy shifts.
  • Employer has time to train their employee without disruption to the “busy hours”. Manager can train during less busy hours.
Other benefits
Employees are able to spend more time with family and friends and will be able to run errands that they normally won’t be able to complete.

Use right tool to help your organisation in scheduling.
You need a right tool to help you in your scheduling system whether you are in fixed shift schedule or rotation shift schedule. 247shift makes complicated rotating shift schedule easy. The cloud–based schedule, time-off request and shift pattern can be easily managed and added to your system. The system even provides warning for shift conflicts. 247shift is the best tool to simplify your scheduling process.

Friday, July 20, 2018

What is work schedule?

Work schedule includes the days and times that an employee is expected to be working. There are several types of work schedules and they vary from the company and the job itself. The type of schedule is usually explained during a job interview. If your employer does not mention it, it would be good to check before accepting the job offer.

The most common work schedule is full time and part time work schedule. Most companies require a consistent work schedule to fulfill the business needs. Work schedule like rotating and fixed work schedule is not as common but can found in companies that run their business 24-hours. Flexible work schedule is not common and not many companies like this work schedule due to its disadvantages.

Type of work schedule:
  1. Full-time work schedule
  2. Part-time work schedule
  3. Fixed work schedule
  4. Rotating work schedule
  5. Flexible work schedule

Full time work schedule is common in the workforce. Full-time employees are required to commit to 40 – 44 hours per week. It is about 8 to 9 hours per day, for example, 9AM to 6AM or 8.30AM to 6PM. Schedules can vary but the shifts are usually the same. Full-time employees are eligible for work benefits e.g. leave, sick leave, health insurance and etc.

The number of hours worked for part-time work schedule is less than full-time staff. Part-time work benefits people who have to spend more time with their family, or they may be students. Part-time employees may not be included in benefits that are offered to full-time employees.

Fixed work schedule requires an employee to work the same amount of hours for a specified period of days. An employee, who is assigned to work the same hours each night, is not able to switch over to dayshifts (unless there is a mutual swap of shifts with another employee). Fixed work schedules stay consistent for the number of hours and days which is agreed upon by both manager and employee.

Rotating work Schedule is commonly seen in hospitals, construction work, the manufacturing sector, hotel and etc. Rotating shifts require employees to work at different times based on the type of work required. The shift cycle can be weekly or quarterly and hours worked between day shifts, night or overnight shift.

Flexible work schedule is less rigid in comparing with fixed schedules. Employees are required to work for the number of hours/ days of the week they have committed to the company. This allows employees to come in any time, as long as they complete the required and agreed hours of work every day/week.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Creative ways to hire hourly rated employees

The turnover rate for hourly rated employees can be extremely high because hourly employees are usually younger people who have no problem moving from one job to another. How do you attract the right people to work with you as hourly rated employees for long?

Hiring the right people and giving them training is equally important. First of all, where you can find the right person in your hiring process?

Reach out to more people – local Colleges
Put up job placements in local colleges and universities. Students usually want to make extra for pocket money and spend their free time when on school holidays. They may have more flexibility in their schedules and be willing to learn new skills.

Online Resources
Recruiting online is a great way to find hourly candidates. There are many job posting platforms in the market. You can look at like recruitment websites, Mobile apps and social media that is suitable to find your hourly employee. Make sure that your posted recruitment ads are easy for people to find you and importantly, that it is easy for them to apply.

Look for current employees and friends that you already trust for new hourly employees. Offer referral bonuses for employees who recommend candidates.

Job Fair
Job fair is another way that allows you to meet potential candidates in person. You’ll get to meet them face to face, rather than go through their resumes. Job fair allows you to target a certain demographic like veterans, retirees, college students and career-changers.

Getting the right people is not easy. Before you reach out, make sure you have all the job scope listed in details. You will have a greater chance of getting the right person who will fit into your business.

The hiring process does not stop there, onboarding them the right way is equally important. Onboarding is not just having a new employee meet the team and start work. You have to provide them with training and mentoring in order for them to perform their task efficiently.

Training is a key to retain your hourly rated employee. Training process is continuous. It is good to have the first few paid days used strictly for training purposes. Let employees familiarise with the job function, and environment of the workplace before get ready for the job. Provide an experienced employee as mentor for the new staff, to help and guide the new employee catch up with new duties and tasks.

To retain your hourly rated employees for long term, don’t treat them as if they are expendable. You will need to put in effort, investing time and effort to nurture your employees and help them grow. They definitely will stay with you for long!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Best practice for scheduling hourly employees

Hourly employees often feel that they are less valuable than salaried employees. How can you avoid that? Here are the best practices that you may wish to follow to boost happiness among your hourly employees.

Post schedules 2 weeks in advance
Posting schedules less than a week to actual shift hours may pose a problem for hourly rated workers. It may be difficult for them to plan their work life or family life ahead. If they unable to plan their shift in advance, their work-life balance is compromised. By creating your hourly rated employees schedule in advance, they can integrate with their personal work life and other obligations and make arrangement to swap shift early if needed.

Shift change request
Flexibility for hourly employees is important. Try to accommodate employee request if they need a specific day free or shift change. Shift change is inevitable. Hourly rated employees may have to juggle with work, school, or family. Provide your employee with a convenient and reliable way to submit their shift change request and make it easier for everyone.

Deadline for time-off
Flexibility is good for hourly employees when they need a specific day off. However, without setting any deadline for change requests to be made, hourly employees can simply change their schedule anytime or even at the last minute. Therefore, posting deadlines for all schedule requests should be incorporated when you are managing your schedules.

Maintain a list of employee shift preferences
Create schedules based on the employee preferences. Give them the opportunity to schedule or swap their shift for given timelines. Your employees may include students, part time employees’ housewives, and retirees. Having their availability and shift preference will be a great help.

Create standards for on-call procedures
Falling sick, getting into an accident, getting stuck in traffic, etc are sometimes unavoidable. It will be helpful to create a list of employees that can be called upon to fill the shift for such “emergency” situations.

Create scheduled templates
Having scheduled templates will free you up for other responsibilities. It will also allow you the flexibility to modify/reallocate staff resources more efficiently as and when it is needed.

List responsibilities on the schedule
Create a list of responsibilities of your employee, and make sure their work scope are not duplicated. When duties are understood, expectations will be clear. This is important for employees to perform their duties when on shift.

Scheduling doesn’t have to be an overwhelming part of the job. 247Shift makes it easy for hourly employees to access their shift schedules easily, whether on desktop or mobile devices, and in turn saves everyone lots of time.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Why your hourly rated employees dislike working in the organisation.

Hourly rated employees often handle several jobs at once or need to balance work life with school or family life a lot more delicately than salaried employees. But managers view them as being expendable most of the time. Therefore, hourly rated employees dislike working in the organization, when managers do not schedule in advance.

Here are some reasons that make hourly rated employees dislike working in the organisation.

Clopenings is when hourly employee is assigned the closing shift and the opening shift on the next day. Depriving employee valuable sleep and family time from work can build resentment in employees, which in turn decreases employee engagement.

Too few days off in between shifts
Constantly scheduling employees to work every day for a week and giving 1 day rest may lead to resentment in employees. Give employees enough time to rest and recharge, so that they are able to work efficiently for you on their next working day.

Relying on the same team members in the organisation
To avoid resentment among employees, make sure you have people to fill in for “on-call/emergency worker” in your list. This will help to manage your employees during the busy hours.

Scheduling shift less than a week in advance
Schedule shift in advance, so that employees can integrate their schedules with their personal appointments, other obligations and make arrangement to swap shift early. Nobody likes to be scrambling to fill the shifts at the last minute.

Scheduling in ways that make it harder to access and manage
In the age of mobile and tablets, paper schedules are not employee-friendly at all. Hourly Employees require flexibility in accessing their shift schedules.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Technology helps you save time

With the available technology today, 247Shift's scheduling solution saves you a lot of time. You can access all the information from a single storage place [Cloud Hosting] everywhere you go [Mobile]. All important information and documents can be covered digitally [Computer]. Errors in handwriting or misinterpretation can be reduced. With the fast and accessible technology, it helps to improve productivity, reduce cost, improve security as well as help the environment.

Shift scheduling that is managed by the manager can be shared with all employees or by sending notification via email to the employee that is affected by the shift change. Staff availability is monitored by the manager from a single location. You can track and monitor productivity by location, department or staff role with the system. The built in reports can help you identify the effectiveness of your staff deployment. You do not need to consolidate the information manually. The system allows for export of shift related information that can be used for staff/management discussions, planning and payroll easily.

[Cloud Hosting]
An Online based solution has many advantages over your computer based software. A web browser is all you need to have in place. Online based browser does not require special software. All important information and documents can be backed up or stored in the cloud-based system. You do not have to search through thousands of files to obtain employee information. You can easily access to your employee information with the search function and information can be shared instantly. Your data is protected with encryption and backed up daily.

Managers are able to review and approve staff leave requests while out of office. Staff availability can be accessed anytime, from your mobile devices or desktop.

Staff are also able to check and access their schedules from their mobile devices (phone/tablet). Applying for leave request via mobile or tablet can be done anywhere at any time. Both, manager and staff do not have to go back and forth to check staff availability or approve staff request from the office. Thus, saving time for both parties.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Resolving shift scheduling conflicts

You can’t always prevent conflicts but you can set some action to avoid conflicts. Here are the best practices for creating shift schedules that help everyone to coexist peacefully.

1. Automated shift scheduling
247Shift is a web based scheduling system. Employees can check, manage and monitor their shift scheduling wherever they go. Web based schedules update in real time, so information is always up-to-the minute accurate. 

2. One stop consolidated view
Dashboard provides a quick overview of all shift and leave related activities. When the system detects scheduling conflicts, system will display them on the screen immediately, alerting you to resolve the conflict during the shift assignment. Staff, supervisor and manager are able to view shift schedules and outstanding tasks from a single screen.

3. Monitor staff availability
247Shift enables manager and supervisors to monitor staff availability by location and time period. Availability status is colour coded to provide for easy viewing. You are able to filter the view by location, department, designation or staff. With an overview of the schedules, you will always be in touch with your team availability.

4. Make time for scheduling/ schedule it early
When manager works on the schedule at the last minute, employees might be unable to show up on time or miss their shifts. Don’t give your employees a reason to miss their shifts or be late for work. Manage your employee shift early, so that your employee can plan their schedule and time off early.

5.Communicate immediately
When schedule changes and you need someone to fill a shift, the 247Shift Scheduling system allows you to notify your employee in real time. System will notify employees about schedule change by email.

6. Learn from Data Analytics
By reviewing the data from the analytics report, managers can check what hours of the day, days of the week, and months of the year are the busiest in the specific day, week and month. Hence, managers will be able to predict scheduling needs and staff more appropriately.

7. Compliance to staff welfare legislations.
The platform monitors for compliance to staff welfare legislations by tracking maximum working hours per shift and minimum rest periods between shifts.

With the right solution, you can resolve them all on your way to a perfect, conflict-free staff schedule

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Common scheduling conflicts

When two shifts compete for an employee’s attention, it can be stressful for staff, and bad for productivity. Failure to resolve these common scheduling conflicts could lead to disgruntled staff members and problem with staff retention.

1. Overlapping schedule
Overlapping scheduling is one of the most common scheduling conflicts. It always happens when an employee is scheduled to work at two locations or when 2 employees are to work at one location at the same time.

Solution: This conflict happens when a lot of changes have been made to the schedule by different staff members. When too many people are involved, more risk of mistakes will happen. So try to have only one person responsible for scheduling.

2. Double-scheduling
This can happen when two shifts are placed too close together without enough break time in between them. Give staff a longer break in between shift rotations, because it takes time for the body clock to adjust and changing too quickly from day to night can adversely affect mental and physical health. If employees feel tired or overworked, they will not be able to give their best, and could quit in frustration.

Solution: Offer a longer break to employee who is scheduled for double shifts.

3. Irregular Scheduling
Irregular Scheduling happens when an employee who worked all week on night shift forgets about the morning shift for the following week. If the employee doesn’t show up for a busy shift after weeks of irregular scheduling, they can leave you in a bind.

Solution: Create shift patterns for the shift schedule, so that employees can have a consistent work schedule. It will save you loads of time upfront!

4. Unpredictable Scheduling
Last minute scheduling always happens when customers start "pouring in" unpredictably, and you do not have enough employees on that shift. Some managers may opt for scheduling people as “one-call employee, but it will lead to higher turnover.

Solution: Compensate employees for last-minute schedule changes and hire more part-time help for unpredictable scheduling.

The overview of conflicts highlighted will hopefully help managers to prevent these problems from occurring, and if they do occur to resolve them as effectively with conflict-free staff scheduling.

-> Read resolving shift scheduling conflicts in our next blog.