Staffing Shortages? AI Shift Planning Can Help

by Isioma Daniel, 4 minutes read
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Have you ever felt like you're constantly putting out fires when it comes to staffing? 

Are you spending countless hours wrestling with spreadsheets, juggling shift requests, and struggling to fill last-minute gaps? If so, you're not alone. The global staffing shortage has hit businesses hard, and it's not showing any signs of slowing down.

But what if there was a way to turn down the heat, reclaim your time, and even boost staff morale? The answer might surprise you: AI shift planning.

Staffing Shortages: A Crisis Across Industries

Let's be honest. The current staffing climate is tough. Across industries, businesses are grappling with a severe lack of qualified workers. This shortage isn’t just an inconvenience - it’s a full-blown crisis with far-reaching consequences:

Care Sector:Over 165,000 vacancies in adult social care in the UK alone, leading to overworked staff, reduced service quality, and longer waiting lists for care.

Retail Sector: Over 200,000 job vacancies with 9.7% of businesses experiencing worker shortages, leading to reduced hours and longer queues. 

Hospitality Sector: An estimated 132,000 vacancies in the hospitality sector means limited services, shorter hours, and even closures.

The result? Burnt out, overworked and exhausted employees, unhappy customers and mounting costs from using temporary agency staff as a stopgap solution. It’s a crisis that demands a smart solution. 

AI to the Rescue: Smart Scheduling, Happier Staff

AI shift planning isn’t about replacing humans but empowering them. AI-powered shift planning can help you retain the staff you have and can function as an attractive recruitment benefit in a competitive job market. 

Because AI-shift planning learns from your past staffing patterns and understands your unique business needs, it can predict future demand and give your staff the flexibility and stability they need to plan their lives and balance work with priorities. 

According to Deputy’s 2023 State of Shift Work report, one-fifth of UK shift workers have more than one job, making flexible working arrangements and clarity even more critical. 45% of UK shift workers value the ability to fit in other commitments, and 43% say they appreciate schedule flexibility.

Flexible work schedules mean very different things to shift workers than to 9 - 5ers. For shift workers, flexibility means having more control over when they work, a stable and predictable shift schedule, and the ability to declare their availability or swap shifts quickly when life happens. 

Deputy’s scheduling tools can accommodate shift workers’ needs, offering flexible arrangements and easy shift swapping that enhance work-life balance. 

AI-powered scheduling software like Deputy works behind the scenes to:

  • Forecast Demand:Deputy analyses your historical data, staff availability, and external factors to predict staffing needs accurately. It then suggests optimal staffing levels for each shift and department.

  • Automate Scheduling: Say goodbye to manual spreadsheets! Advanced algorithms can factor in employee skills, availability, and labour laws to suggest the right person for the right shift, taking the guesswork out of scheduling.

  • Adapt in Real-Time: When things change, like unexpected absences or sudden demand spikes, AI adjusts schedules on the fly to keep your operations running smoothly.

  • Automation and Efficiency: Say goodbye to manual spreadsheets and tedious shift assignments. AI handles the heavy lifting, generating accurate schedules in minutes. 

  • Empowered Employees: Give your staff more control with self-service features like shift swapping and leave requests. Many AI scheduling platforms, like Deputy, offer self-service tools that allow staff to swap shifts easily, request time off and view their schedules, fostering a sense of autonomy and control. 

Real-World Results: AI Shift Planning Delivers

AI shift planning isn’t just theoretical. It’s already making a difference for real businesses:

Ready to Take Control of Your Schedule?

If you’re ready to say goodbye to the stress and chaos of manual scheduling, it’s time to explore the power of AI. With the right tool, you can optimise your workforce, reduce costs, and create a more positive work environment for your employees,

Next Steps: 

  1. Evaluate Your Needs: Assess your current scheduling challenges and identify areas where AI can impact most significantly. 

  2. Research AI Solutions: Look for a user-friendly platform that integrates seamlessly with your existing systems and offers features like demand forecasting, automated scheduling and mobile accessibility.

  3. Get Started: Most AI scheduling platforms offer free trials, so you can experience the benefits firsthand before committing. 

The staffing shortage is a formidable challenge, but it doesn’t have to cripple your business. By embracing AI shift planning, you can transform how you manage your workforce, streamline operations, and create a more positive, productive environment for your employees. 

It’s time to take the next step and unlock the potential of AI to create a more efficient and resilient business. Let’s chat about how Deputy can help. 

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