Effective employee scheduling & staffing are critical for any business that wants to reduce labor costs and increase operational efficiencies. Staff scheduling is one of the most challenging tasks for managers, yet it’s often handled with outdated, manual processes such as excel spreadsheets and even post-it notes! These fragmented approaches are risky and can create a host of other challenges, such as understaffing, employee dissatisfaction/burnout, mistrust, and employee disengagement. Further, lack of insight and organization can lead to excessive overtime and external hire (agency) costs. Read on to find out five tips for how to reduce labor costs through effective employee scheduling and staffing:
Understand Your Demand Forecasting
One of the most effective ways to reduce labor costs is to optimize your staffing levels based on demand forecasting. Analyzing historical staffing trends – such as what times of day your department is busiest or what days of the week employees are more likely to take sick time – helps you predict your vulnerable shifts and more accurately adjust your future staffing needs. This allows you to schedule accordingly and mitigate the risk of understaffing and subsequent expensive external labor costs.
Data-driven scheduling software provides historical scheduling data and analytical insights to help you make more informed scheduling decisions. Leveraging these insights empowers schedulers to better understand their staffing needs and reduce labor costs associated with understaffing.
Optimize Internal Resources
Before turning to external labor, it’s important to ensure you’re fully leveraging your existing internal workforce. Moving away from manual, paper-based scheduling processes in favor of digital automation solutions frees up time for your employees to focus on higher-priority tasks. Similarly, offering flexible solutions such as partial shift bidding allows you to fill at least a portion of a given available shift, helping to mitigate understaffing issues.
By automating your absence and shift filling workflows, you can optimize the usage of your internal workforce first before hiring externally. As a result, you can increase your organization’s efficiency and support improved employee satisfaction and retention rates, all while reducing costs.
Effective Employee Communication
Effective employer-employee communication is essential to ensure operational efficiency and reduce labor costs. Providing staff visibility into their schedules and upcoming shifts helps them feel empowered and voice any potential conflicts in advance. Additionally, implementing a streamlined, consistent method of communication – such as emails or text messages – ensures all employees are receiving important updates and announcements relating to their roles. In fact, some scheduling solutions take this a step further and allow employees to customize their notification methods, giving them the ability to choose between options such as email, phone, and text message. This level of personalization provides greater flexibility and helps ensure you are contacting employees in the most effective way possible.
Intelligent automation can provide methods of direct communication, allowing managers to streamline communications with targeted employee groups. Further, features such as employee shift bidding, vacation request submissions, and a comprehensive schedule view provide the additional transparency and control employees need to effectively manage their own schedules.
Offer Flexible Scheduling
In today’s work environments, flexible work arrangements are becoming increasingly popular for employees. A flexible work environment can take many different forms, so even if remote work isn’t an option for your organization, there are ways to implement increased flexibility. Providing options such as partial shift bidding, streamlined absence reporting, and improved vacation scheduling can go a long way in combating issues such as burnout, turnover, and absenteeism that put strain on your employees and increase the need for costly external hires.
Organizations can improve flexibility by implementing an intelligently automated shift filling solution into their scheduling process. Optimally configured software can streamline communication of vacant shifts to employees and ensure immediate need shifts are identified and filled promptly. Additionally, these solutions provide line-of-sight into the scheduling process for employees and empower staff to take control of their schedules to work how and when they want to.
Implement Employee Scheduling Software
Employee scheduling software is invaluable in improving overall operational efficiencies and gaining a better understanding of your staffing needs. However, it’s important to acknowledge that not all organizations are at the same stage in their technology adoption journey (early, mid, and late stages), and each stage requires a different approach.
Those in the early stage of technology adoption should focus on identifying quick wins and evaluating their current processes to identify the most significant sources of inefficiency. Organizations in the mid-stage of technology adoption may be wary of adopting software that ends up creating more work than it saves and should consider solutions that offer seamless integration into their current environment. Lastly, organizations in advanced stages of technology adoption are often challenged by ensuring that their technology solutions remain effective over time. At this stage, they should prioritize technologies that deliver the most impactful outcomes and are future-proofed to meet evolving needs.
How Andgo Helps
Andgo’s software is specifically designed to eliminate time-consuming scheduling inefficiencies in complex, high-volume environments such as healthcare and manufacturing. By providing end-to-end employee staffing automation, Andgo drives efficiencies and helps reduce labor costs.
Interested in learning more about how Andgo can help your organization reduce labor costs? Get in touch!