Shift planning nightmares

5 common nightmares about roster planning – and how to prevent them.

Keeping track of roster plans is a challenge in many organizations, and if your business operates with shift patterns, planning work can be a nightmare.

As experts in rostering, PDC has seen the frightening consequences of poor staff scheduling, and we have helped companies bring their demons to rest with the right planning tools.
If you are worried about the consequences of poor shift planning, here are some common horror scenarios that can be easily overcome with the right PDC’s StaffPlan.

Nightmare # 1: Under- or over-manning
Profitable shift planning depends on getting the right number of employees every day. Allocate too many people, and staff costs drain your profit margins; Allocate too few and your productivity suffers.

PDC’s StaffPlan solves this problem by enabling your planners to set the minimum and maximum number of people to be scheduled to work each shift. This ensures that you are automatically alerted when the number exceeds or falls below these guidelines, and prevents you from being over- or understaffed by accident.

 

Nightmare # 2: A wrong mix of employees
Effective shift planning is more than a numbers game. To maximize production, your company needs to make sure the right people with the right mix of skills and qualifications are on duty.

By investing in StaffPlan, your planners can set specific requirements for each shift to get a good distribution of skills and seniority. This may include mandatory requirements, e.g. a team member with health and safety qualifications or a rule that dictates that at least one senior manager must be on duty at each shift to deal with unforeseen problems that may arise.

 

Nightmare # 3: Planning staff who have time off
Some planners have encountered the heart stopping moment when they realize that an employee is scheduled to work even though they have booked time off. Some unfortunate companies do not even see the error until they show up for their shift and they are left understaffed for hours or days.

Fortunately, StaffPlan has tools for dealing with absence, whether it is planned or acute illness. They accidentally prevent anyone from planning to work, even though they have time off. At the same time, they provide complete visibility to carry out alternative staff arrangements – eg offering open shifts via StaffPlan.

 

Nightmare # 4: Forget to share updated schedules with staff
A large amount of work is done behind the scenes to keep shift based companies running, but often this is not visible to the entire staff. You will be surprised at how many companies set shift schedules in advance, yet first notify employees a few days before they are entered.

The simplest way to solve this problem is to choose StaffPlan from PDC with built-in communication so that employees are notified on mobile phones when their schedule is updated. In addition to making sure they are available to work, clear planning allows staff to see who else is on duty that day so they can make the necessary preparations to ensure a hassle-free job.

 

Nightmare # 5: Only discover “gaps” in the roster when it is too late
We have already talked about this, but the chances of a scheduling error slipping through the net can be quite high for companies that do not use roster software. This leads to the nightmare scenario where staff must be called at short notice or if no one is available, the rest of the team must provide extra work.

By leveraging the shift scheduling features we’ve outlined – from determining the number and type of staff needed for each shift, to planning ahead, communicating shift schedules as soon as they are available, and integrating vacation with shift scheduling software – your company has all the tools it needs to come up with the perfect roster – every time.

PDC’s StaffPlan is the IT your company needs to make day-to-day operations run like a dream. “Holes” in the plan are clearly highlighted for you, thus avoiding situations where you have fallen short at the last minute.

Ole Grønskov,
Sales Director, Workforce Management

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