Tip of the Week: How to Implement Smarter Scheduling
If your business is like most, you and your team likely rely on a schedule to keep your processes moving along efficiently… while also ensuring that everyone has something to work on at any time. However, this is often easier said than done, which is why there are now cloud-based software options that make your scheduling efforts a little smarter.
Let’s take a few moments to discuss what smart scheduling is, and how you and your team can make the most of it.
What is Smart Scheduling?
Technically speaking, smart scheduling is a specific kind of software intended for use within industries that serve consumers with fluctuating demands and that are strongly influenced by different events that may line up with their operations. For instance, ice cream parlors do FAR better in the warmer months, and anyone who has worked in retail can appreciate how much different the holiday season is from the rest of the year. Smart scheduling solutions help to automate the process of scheduling a team to best fit the business’ need, taking these fluctuations into account.
However, if we look to smart scheduling as a process, rather than as a technology, it suddenly becomes far more applicable to all industries. After all, every industry—and individual business—has those external factors that can and do impact their operations.
Smart scheduling is simply the consideration of anticipated demand and adjusting employee hours and responsibilities to match. It’s knowing that the factory next door is going on lunch break in a moment, and ensuring that there’s an employee at each station of the fast food franchise so that the sudden influx of orders can be filled as quickly as possible.
It’s predicting the most likely scenarios and preparing your business appropriately.
How to Smarten Up Your Scheduling Process
Whether or not you’re using a smart scheduling solution, there are some basic tenets that you can follow to ensure that your business (including the employees that work there) is operating at a sustainable maximum output.
1. Define Your Schedule
Take all of the data that you have, concerning your schedule, and bring it all together. This will make it much easier to balance availability to the workload at any given point. For example: if a large project is coming up, but a holiday is as well, it may make sense to take any employees currently assigned to smaller, less-critical projects and delegate them to tasks on the larger one so it can get done. This makes everyone’s goals clear, which can help motivate your team to accomplish them.
2. Be Open to Communication
Regardless of your industry, communication is an indispensable part of your operations each day. Make sure that your schedule clearly (emphasis on the word clearly) defines where people are supposed to be, when, and what they are to accomplish in that given time. This includes those employees who have indicated that they are not available for a period. Failing to apply that information into your schedule will only cause complications and potentially leave you understaffed for what you planned to do. On the other hand, incorporating these considerations into your scheduling will lead to your staff feeling empowered, while reducing the number of unforeseen absences and tardiness.
3. Implement a Scheduling Platform
Many different software titles now exist that make scheduling your employees a lot easier, whether that means defining the hours they are to come in or assigning the tasks they are expected to tackle throughout the workday. Finding one that fits your needs and implementing it will make the entire process much easier for you and your team alike.
Ciracom can help you out with this aspect, as well as any other of your IT needs. To learn more about the solutions we have to offer, reach out to us by calling (703) 621-3900.