Creating schedules for hourly paid employees is not an easy task. You must not only ensure the right qualified employee is scheduled at the right location, but you must also ensure that employees who are scheduled to work are actually available to work. Couple this with constant shift changes and adjustments, and managers will find themselves spending more time than they should on creating and updating employee schedules.
Like many complicated projects, the first instinct to making this process smoother is to turn to Excel or other spreadsheet creators to keep scheduling intact and organized. Yet, most managers and business owners don’t realize there’s an easier, more affordable way to create and manage employee schedules. Thank goodness we are in the 21st century because technology has created more convenient ways to automate these manual tasks.
Introducing: Employee scheduling software.
With a simple interface that allows for comprehensive tasks to be completed with ease, employee scheduling software offers solutions that spreadsheets simply can’t match. Here are the top 10 things timesheet software can do that Excel spreadsheets can’t:
1. Give Full Visibility into Employee Scheduling in Real Time
You probably have your share of stories about employees trying to get time off in the worst ways possible.They may send a message asking for time off in the future, which can easily get lost in the shuffle. Even if printed forms for time-off requests are used, time is still wasted from inputting schedule changes into the system or rearranging schedules based on availability to accommodate employees.
Employee scheduling software removes all the hassle caused by requesting time off or making changes. Employees can simply request time off using their smartphones with the Deputy app. These changes are updated instantly, allowing managers full visibility into schedules in real time. You can quickly see employee availability and easily accommodate last-minute requested time off. With the Deputy web interface, users can drag and drop time slots to rearrange schedules. Employees receive instant alerts of schedule changes and updates right on their smartphones.
2. Allow Employees to Swap Shifts and Fill Scheduling Holes
This is perhaps the best part of switching from Excel spreadsheets to employee scheduling software. Most managers can relate to the struggle of having employees call in sick or have a last-minute emergency. On top of managing the storefront, you are faced with calling, texting or emailing every employee to see who is available to come in. Once a shift is filled, managers or owners then must text back employees, notifying them of the shift change. This back and forth manual communication can easily become a full-time job for managers.
With an employee scheduling software, team members are empowered to swap shifts and take open shifts (as long as they have the proper training, open hours and meet other criteria) on their own, using their smartphones. Employees who see the open shift will also see once it has been filled, requiring only seconds of your time to simply approve the shift change. Once changes are made, the master schedule is automatically updated, allowing for total accuracy when you sync the time worked into your payroll system.
3. Create a 360° View of Cashflow
For small business owners, the ability to see the financial performance of their company in real time is gold. With Excel spreadsheets, the ability to view total cashflow can only be done at month’s end reporting, leaving owners in the dark from day-to-day on the realistic revenue they’re bringing in.
Employee scheduling software is the only way to truly get an up-to-date look at money coming in and money going out of your business, in real time.The right employee scheduling software can integrate with almost any kind of POS system, as well as payroll systems. That way, you can view estimated shift costs and graph wages against expected sales, allowing you to quickly make adjustments to maximize profits.
4. Automate Employee Scheduling Changes for Accurate Payroll Processing
Managers have to deal with constant shift changes and shift swaps, making it a total chore to update employee schedules every few weeks. Most managers are stuck behind desks each week updating employee schedules and ensuring the changes are reflected in payroll processing systems. If numbers are even slightly off, be it a typo or a miscalculation, managers have to recalculate all over again or worse, employees are paid incorrectly.
An employee management software actively keeps track of shift changes through clock-ins, clock-outs and schedule updates – leaving managers little to worry about when it comes to processing accurate payroll. What’s more, data from every payroll period is automatically stored, so if there is ever a dispute, managers and owners have automatic access to records and can quickly address the issue.
5. Manage Employee Schedules for Multiple Locations with Ease
For owners who operate multiple business locations, managing employee schedules can be a nightmare. This is especially true for managers who have the same team of employees to schedule at different locations interchangeably. Keeping track of where and when team members are scheduled to work using Excel is nearly impossible. Multiple Excel spreadsheets are required with hour counts for every employee. Scheduling an employee at the same time in different locations can easily occur.
The right employee scheduling software eliminates that struggle. It ensures accuracy of all team member schedules, whether it’s one location or five. Managers can instantly see which employees are working and at what location, making shift changes easier and more accurate. Above all, scheduling conflicts can be totally avoided once team availability is integrated into each location.
6. Track Employee Clock-Ins and Clock-Outs in Real Time
How do you track clock-ins and clock-outs? While you may trust your employees to work honestly for you, intentional or even accidental time theft is one of the biggest costs for businesses across the world. With a basic clock-in system, it is easy for companies to lose thousands of dollars a year.
The right employee management system can use features like face recognition and geolocation capability to ensure the right person is clocking in and out on time, every time. Even if an employee works remotely, these features can ensure team members are working at the right place when they clock in, be on the way to pick up a delivery or at home.
For businesses of all sizes, managing these reports are then automatically sent to a company’s integrated payroll system, automating the entire payroll processing seamlessly.
7. Streamline Communication Among Teams and Staff
If you use an Excel spreadsheet to manage your employee schedules, there’s a good chance your communication methods are also a bit out of date. Even using text messaging or emails can be a logistical nightmare. Further, employees can claim they ‘never got the memo’ when managers send an email or leave a note of tasks that need to be completed.
Using an employee scheduling software allows for instant communication with the team, whether it’s an employee performance issue to be addressed one-on-one or an important memo that entire teams need to read. With Deputy, you can keep track of how many employees read important memos – try doing that with a sticky note! What’s more, both employees and managers can leave tasks and notes for the next shift regarding tasks that need to be completed or training that must be done.
8. Manage Employee Performance Instantly
Few moments cause more anxiety and agitation for an employee than a performance review. For weeks leading up to it, employees work harder than usual, hoping managers take notice. Once the review is complete, employees are easily left discouraged at the fact that they’ve done something wrong for months. Worse, an employee’s bad habits may be tough to break, so they revert back to the old way they’ve completed tasks.
For the manager, performance reviews bring added pressure to create a list of multiple things an employee is doing wrong over the past months or year and wracking your brain to find supporting examples. This takes time, frustration and in the end, rarely accomplishes the goal of improving employee performance.
Today’s hourly paid employee is looking for feedback in the moment. If they’ve completed a task incorrectly, they want to know to day of, not six months later. In addition, they’ll appreciate and respect their managers who instantly recognize good performance on the spot.
With Deputy’s Journals feature, you can quickly make notes of an employee’s performance in real time. Then, you can easily make reports to see how their performance varies over time. That way, you can make actionable decisions for better employee management in the moment, instead of waiting till the end of the year or mid-year to communicate good/bad behavior. Employees can see exactly what they are doing right and what needs to be improved, which eliminates the need for those dreaded annual reviews.
9. Manage Employees from Anywhere
One of the biggest pain points for business owners who use Excel to track employee schedules is being stuck behind a desk. Instead of growing the business and brand in the community or building relationships with suppliers and other local businesses, you are trapped making calculations at a computer. Being chained to a desk top also limits your availability to leave for vacation or holiday. You know you’ll likely need to handle various business issues and cannot do this without access to a desktop computer.
Using a proper employee scheduling software enables business owners and managers to securely communicate and manage employees from anywhere using a laptop, tablet or smartphone. This kind of flexibility will give small business owners peace of mind that your business is running smoothly, no matter who is on staff.
10. Switch to a New Program that You and Your Employees Will Love
You may love your Excel spreadsheets, it’s how you’ve always operated, and maybe you don’t see the point of switching to a new system. Sure, it may take a few hours to create a new schedule, but learning a new program would be costly and take even more time than just sticking with what you know. And, of course, employees are already stressed enough as it is with their jobs; trying to implement an employee scheduling software would simply be unfair to them.
While that is true for some software, Deputy is different. It is simple and intuitive to operate, yet rich in features and integrations. Employees are onboarded in minutes, and our simple interface helps users get up to speed instantly. Scheduling, communicating and performing nearly any other task becomes a breeze. Time is money, and with Deputy, you can save both while cutting your stress levels significantly.
It’s Time to Say Goodbye to Excel
If Excel is like walking, then employee scheduling software is like driving a sports car. Both will get you where you need to go, but scheduling software will get you there much faster and easier. While you can input your schedule into a spreadsheet, then click over to another spreadsheet to track costs and revenue, Deputy software creates total visibility into employee schedules, changes and cash flow at multiple locations with one intuitive program. In fact, while you may spend up to eight hours a week on Excel spreadsheets, scheduling and other tasks takes just minutes with Deputy. You can spend less time worrying about getting a shift covered and more time working on what you love: growing your business.
If you are ready to make the move to an employee scheduling software, look no further than Deputy. We were recently ranked No. 1 in Workforce Management and Employee Scheduling in GetApp Quarterly Report. Whether you have five employees or 5,000, our employee scheduling software can help you save time and money. Still not convinced? Sign up for a free demo today!
The information contained in this article is general in nature and you should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs. Legal and other matters referred to in this article are of a general nature only and are based on Deputy's interpretation of laws existing at the time and should not be relied on in place of professional advice. Deputy is not responsible for the content of any site owned by a third party that may be linked to this article and no warranty is made by us concerning the suitability, accuracy or timeliness of the content of any site that may be linked to this article. Deputy disclaims all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded) for any error, inaccuracy, or omission from the information contained in this article and any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.