Blog Article:
Shift planning is not an administrative side job

Article written by Thomas Aagaard,
Head of Business Development at PDC.

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Business development manager of workforce management solutions



In many companies, staff is the biggest asset. Therefore, it should not be an administrative side job to ensure an appropriate number of employees with the right skills are at work when customers, patients or citizens demand your labor. It is a task that requires skills and the right tools. You will not find shortcuts, easy or political solutions.

The challenges of making shift plans are different depending on which industry you are in. It is relatively simple to plan shifts for hourly paid staff e.g. in a café. On the other hand, it is much more difficult to distribute shifts in a hospital to employees with different qualifications and agreements, secure 24-hour staffing, comply with individual employment conditions, variations in patient load, etc. If the complexity is spiced with advanced rules for wage supplements for specific working hours, ”economy” also plays a role in shift planning.

This is a task that many planners have in retail, prisons, ferry services, air traffic, ambulance services, etc. Since staff are often the company’s biggest asset, which must be used optimally, shift and resource planning should have significant managerial attention. Schedule planning should be a priority!

Shift planning should be performed by employees with professional planning skills and company knowledge to achieve optimal flexibility in the staff – which ultimately leads to greater customer satisfaction and earnings.

The professional competence consists of i.e. of knowledge about contexts and dependencies in the company. What formal and informal relationships need to be fulfilled. The planner needs to know what a “good” plan is? Is it just the cheapest plan? Is there a plan that ensures timely delivery? Is there a plan that meets the wishes of the staff? Is it a fair plan?

In addition to professional competence, the shift planner needs the right IT to assist with both trivial and complicated tasks. It can be PDC Plan, which is currently used in several major Danish and foreign companies.

Good planners succeed in balancing the needs of the company with those of the employees. It happens by involving the employees in the planning and considering their wishes. It gives loyalty to the shift schedules and goodwill among the staff when one must “draw on the goodwill account”.

It is also valuable that the planner has no other primary tasks to solve – that shift planning is not an administrative side job. But it is also important that the planner is well trained in using the IT made available. Thorough knowledge of the possibilities of the program is crucial for optimal results.

Thomas Aagard,
Head of Business Development

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