If you are an employee who is searching for a method to check your schedule online, or even a manager searching for approaches to simplify the circulation of your employee schedules, finding a suitable solution can be a tedious task. There are literally hundreds of thousands of choices available (go ahead; Google “employee scheduling”). After a deeper look, you will begin to realize there are only a handful of truly web-based solutions available (even fewer enterprise-grade solutions).
These 7 tips can help prepare you to search for an appropriate vendor for the employee scheduling software.
1. 100% web-based.
Web-based software (I prefer to call it web-ware), requires no download and no installation, it is simply ready to utilize once you login with their website wvw-greatpeople.me. Most web-ware emerges as a site; meaning you have to sign up to use it (monthly and yearly subscriptions are most common). Web-based software, or Software-as-a-service, is fast becoming the program delivery type of choice. Just look at Google or Facebook!
2. Backups, backups, backups.
Ensure the service includes a rock-solid application data backup and restoration plan. Most web-ware solutions include this, however, many offer it as an add-on service. Make sure there are no hidden fees of a restoration should there be considered a data-related issue in the future.
3. Lifetime upgrades.
The web makes for immediate delivery of software updates to user-communities. However, some web-ware vendors do not include free upgrades as part of their baseline subscription packages. Make sure you ask what the upgrade policy is before signing on the dotted line.
4. Easily customized.
The possibility of finding an answer that meets your entire scheduling requirements is highly unlikely. However, many leading vendors will give you customization services that enable you to bend and shape their offerings to higher meet your unique needs.
It is very important to understand how you can use your scheduling data once it will be managed digitally.
5. Wireless portal.
Your employees want access with their schedules. As well as providing access online, an answer that allows your employees to gain access to their schedules wirelessly (on their cell or PDA) will reduce the total amount of time you will spend communicating scheduling information to employees.
Enabling a shift-trade between two qualified employees, without the intervention from management (other than final approval) is a total must. We all know all too well that employee availability can transform extremely quickly, by allowing employee driven shift-trades you are able to empower employees, and ensure their responsible for finding a suitable replacement ahead of time.
7. Intelligent scheduling algorithm.
The true power of scheduling software is the interior algorithms. It should take into consideration; employee availability, skill-level, AND preferences when deciding who to schedule for any particular shift. Ask questions in regards to the auto-scheduling features and be sure to understand their limitations.