Diary of …

January 23, 2012

Diaries

An Angry Service-Industry Employee

Ever wish you knew exactly what your employees were thinking? Wonder if your team is just as frustrated with paper scheduling processes as you are?

Read the following ‘diary’ entries for our first-hand account from the (disgruntled) frontline. From last-minute postings to last-minute no-shows, team members are just as fed-up with paper-process pitfalls as managers are. Then, take a page from our “Smiley Guy Solution Manual,” so your employees don’t have to fill one up with their frustrations.

Trading Shifts

Dear Diary,

I got to work for my lunch shift and *Jane* had called in sick. She hadn’t tried to fill the shift … she didn’t even tell us she wasn’t coming until 10 minutes after the shift started. My manager spent the next 15 minutes calling everyone to see who could fill her spot. No one could. Worst shift ever. If it happens again, I’m walking out.

Smiley Guy Solution: Two-thirds of companies surveyed in PMI’s 2011 “HR Technology in the Service Industry” found managing sick or absent employees a challenge — not surprising given 80 percent use paper or in-person processes to manage shift-change requests. Expecting sick employees to drag themselves out to your location to give you timely notice is unrealistic. And busy managers may not get a voicemail until it’s too late. Mobile scheduling allows employees to coordinate their own shift trades, so all managers have to do is approve the swaps. It’s faster, easier, and more efficient … and real-time mobile updates help eliminate last-minute surprises and no-shows.

Distribution

Yo Journal,

Totally forgot to check the schedule when *Frank* posted it last night. Which is BS — he scheduled me for Monday morning and posted it Sunday night. He knows I hate morning shifts. I didn’t know I was scheduled, so I didn’t go. He called and let me have it this morning, going on and on about how if I don’t make it when I’m scheduled, I’m fired. Forget that — I’ll quit before I let a jerk like *Frank* fire me when it’s his fault anyway.

Smiley Guy Solution: Eight out of 10 service-industry employers distribute schedules via BOH message boards or print-outs — requiring employees to come by or call in for their shifts. According to a PMI study, companies offering Web-based distribution report overall satisfaction levels one-third higher than those using notice boards and/or individual printouts methods. To increase efficiency, satisfaction and employee loyalty, push out schedules via a mobile app for real-time accessibility and control. Syncing schedules with smartphones means team members can connect their work lives to their everything-else lives — even when they’re on the go.

Availability

Monday, January 16, 2012:

*Jill* is targeting me because I’m the only middle-aged parent at this C-Store. She always manages to ‘not see’ my notes about needing to switch shifts until it’s too late. I’ve missed all of my daughter’s soccer games. My family comes first, so maybe it’s time I find an employer that better understands that balance.

Smiley Guy Solution: Work/life balance is an important factor in attracting top-notch talent. Most managers find matching shift coverage with employee availability to be a challenge. Availability issues can also be a touchy subject; employees may take them as a personal affront. Online solutions help ensure fair scheduling practices by automatically organizing time-off requests and controlling specific rules and preferences. Employees feel respected, and employers can take any accidental biasness and overlooks out of the equation. In fact, companies whose employees are satisfied with their schedule-flexibility report retention rates 9 percent higher than companies with dissatisfied teams.

Under and Over-Scheduled

*Sam’s* Blog

Sorry dudes — I’m broke. That’s right, I’m not making it out this weekend, because my manager can’t add up my hours. Last week she over-scheduled me then went all postal about the overtime. Guess this week she ‘fixed’ it, because I had half the hours I normally do. No hours = no money = no fun. Sucks. Once school starts back, I’m blowing this popsicle stand.

Smiley Guy Solution: Inefficient scheduling doesn’t just hurt your bottom line or customer service; it also hurts your workforce morale. According to Aberdeen research, automated scheduling systems can reduce unplanned overtime by 21 percent and increase management efficiency by more than 30 percent. Additionally, companies with the highest levels of scheduling accuracy experienced 31 percent greater engagement levels than those with lower accuracy rates. Stop the paper battle, and start the healing process with automated scheduling.

Under Lock and Key

Don’t become a dark page in your employees’ work histories — unlock the secrets to scheduling satisfaction with an online labor management system.

Happy Chronicling,
The PeopleMatter Institute