Mastering Employee Scheduling with Workforce Management Software

February 23, 2024

by Malysa O’Connor

Workforce Management Software For Employee Scheduling Blog Thumbnail

Effective employee scheduling is critical to success. It can mean the difference between great service, higher revenues, and repeat customers. Ensuring staffing levels align with customer demand while considering employee preferences and availability is complex.

Many factors are at play, from fluctuating consumer traffic patterns and seasonal demands to varying staff availability and skills. Plus, you must maintain compliance with labor laws, which adds another layer of complexity.

Businesses can significantly simplify scheduling by leveraging advanced workforce management software. Legion’s Workforce Management (WFM) Platform is artificial intelligence (AI) native. The platform uses machine learning algorithms to automate more than 70 key tasks, including employee scheduling.

Efficiency is paramount in today’s fast-paced business environment. Let’s dive into employee scheduling challenges and why it’s essential to use a cutting-edge tool like Legion WFM to manage the process.

Key Takeaways:

  • Employee scheduling is vital for retail businesses to ensure optimal staffing levels to meet customer demand, preventing overstaffing and understaffing scenarios.
  • Manual employee scheduling processes pose numerous challenges, including errors in scheduling, difficulties in labor law compliance, and issues related to shift preferences, resulting in reduced employee satisfaction and increased labor costs.
  • Implementing software like Legion WFM can transform scheduling chaos into a well-organized and efficient system, benefiting the business and its employees.

The Impact of Employee Scheduling on Business Operations

When it comes to the health of a business, few things are as important as employee scheduling. Optimized, stable schedules do more than just tell employees when to show up—they’re the backbone that supports productivity, keeps labor costs in check, and boosts overall satisfaction on the job.

Boosting Productivity with Intelligently Automated Employee Scheduling

To create the most efficient schedule, businesses should align staff availability with customer demand. A poorly managed schedule can lead to employee downtime or underutilization of skills. Intelligently automated WFM software aims to fix these issues by predicting peak times and scheduling your staff accordingly.

It starts with highly accurate demand forecasts that give you optimal labor plans, budgets, and schedules across all touchpoints, freeing managers to spend more time with employees and customers—resulting in happier employees and increased revenue.

A stronger labor plan and a more effective schedule keep your business running like a well-oiled machine and position you better against competitors (who might still be stuck in outdated scheduling methods). Plus, having the right number of hands on deck at all times means customers get faster service—a win for everyone involved.

Cutting Labor Costs Without Cutting Corners

Labor expenses often take up a big piece of a company’s budget and can quickly eat into profits.

A 1% improvement in labor optimization can result in millions in savings. Transforming labor operations and controlling costs starts with accurately and precisely predicting demand for each location and customer touchpoint by creating optimal schedules.

Businesses using workforce management systems have seen reduced labor costs through scheduling optimization. This frees up funds for growth initiatives or employee benefits programs.

Elevating Employee Satisfaction Through Flexible Schedules

Satisfied employees are happier and more productive. However, one primary source of discontent is rigid schedules that don’t consider employee availability or preferences, which is a reality that many workers face today.

Advanced scheduling solutions from platforms like Legion WFM give team members more control over their hours through easy shift swaps and flexible work options while keeping operations smooth. Employees have more control with automated self-service shift swaps and shift claims. They can define when, how much, and where they want to work and update their preferences anytime.

This flexibility directly leads to higher morale and less turnover (which is costly), especially when about two-thirds of hourly workers plan to leave their current jobs within a year primarily due to inflexible working conditions—an issue modern workforce management software helps address head-on.

Challenges in Employee Scheduling and How Software Can Help

Scheduling employees is a juggling act of availability, preferences, labor laws, and business needs. When done manually, it’s time-consuming and prone to error.

Manual Employee Scheduling Errors

Mistakes are easy to make when sorting through stacks of requests, sticky notes, or trying to remember off the top of your head. These errors can lead to understaffing or double-booking shifts—a headache for everyone involved.

Legion WFM automates and optimizes shift allocations based on real-time demand, employee availability, and skill sets required for each shift. This means fewer mistakes and more time for managers to focus on what matters, running their business smoothly.

Labor law compliance is another minefield for managers when scheduling staff. One wrong move can result in heavy fines or legal trouble. Legion WFM automatically factors in your policies and local compliance laws for scheduling and meal/rest break regulations—eliminating the burdensome process of manually tracking schedule changes.

Shift Scheduling Preferences and Employee Satisfaction

A lack of flexibility in shift assignments often leads to disgruntled employees who feel their personal lives aren’t valued by their employer. A recent study found that employees and managers agree that schedule flexibility is critical. 96% of hourly employees said schedule flexibility is the number one benefit motivating them to take a new hourly job.

Through Automated Scheduling, Legion allows workers to input their available times and location preferences directly into the system, leading to more accommodating schedules that meet employee needs and business demands.

Automated scheduling enables managers to instantly generate optimal schedules that match business needs with employee preferences and skills, including the most qualified employee for a shift based on skills, performance, labor rules, budget constraints, and compliance rules.

Unplanned Absences

Filling open shifts at the last minute can cause chaos behind the scenes at any workplace. A reliable WFM platform makes swapping shifts smooth sailing rather than a crisis whenever someone calls out sick. In the same survey, almost 30% of managers reported that managing callouts is the most time-consuming part of their jobs.

Legion Automated Scheduling enables the intelligent automation of finding the best-suited employee to fill open shifts based on compliance rules, employee skills and preferences, and labor policies. Managers can ensure the most critical shifts, including peak hours, are filled first. Managers can increase their labor pool by automatically scheduling employees with matching skills and preferences from nearby locations. With Legion Automated Scheduling, managers can reduce scheduling creation and maintenance time by 50% to focus on driving revenue and retaining employees.

Ineffective Resource Utilization

You don’t want too many cooks in the kitchen or too few hands on deck during rush hour. Businesses need to find the right balance for efficient operations and to control costs associated with overstaffing or overtime pay.

Legion WFM’s AI-driven Demand Forecasting paves the way for just-right staffing levels. By predicting customer demand patterns accurately based on historical data points, including sales transactions, weather events, and local activities, we help businesses make the most of their resources.

Legion WFM Labor Optimization automatically computes the minimum labor necessary to meet forecasted demand and accounts for labor not directly related to customer services, such as restocking and inventory.

Built-in productivity metrics help you automatically schedule employees who are top performers during peak periods, increasing conversion rates, maximizing sales, and delivering a great customer experience.

Unnecessary Overtime

Manual scheduling of employees often leads to unnecessary overtime and inflated labor costs. This can cause a ripple effect that negatively impacts your business operations, from employee morale and productivity to the bottom line.

Automated scheduling systems can significantly reduce unnecessary overtime by efficiently optimizing workforce allocation. These systems analyze historical data, employee availability, and workload demands to create schedules that align with business needs while minimizing overtime requirements.

By accurately forecasting staffing requirements and distributing workloads evenly among employees, automated scheduling eliminates the need for last-minute adjustments or emergency shifts, often leading to overtime. Additionally, by providing real-time visibility into staffing levels and resource utilization, managers can proactively adjust schedules to prevent understaffing situations that typically necessitate overtime.

By adopting Legion WFM, retail companies can streamline their workforce management process. It will auto-alert managers if an employee’s hours are approaching overtime, so it’s hard to miss in the schedule and accidentally go over your allocated labor budget.

Legion WFM Software Revolutionizes Employee Scheduling

Legion’s Workforce Management Software solves the challenges businesses face regarding employee scheduling. It automates the process, eliminating manual errors and ensuring compliance with labor laws.

WFM software considers factors such as employee skills and preferences, business demands, and legal requirements to create optimized schedules that benefit the business and its employees.

By automating the scheduling process, you can significantly reduce the risk of mistakes and their consequences, such as overtime payments and legal fines. This not only saves money but also protects you from potential legal issues.

With Legion’s Automated Scheduling, luxury retailer SMCP was able to reduce scheduling time by 50%, increase sales by 22%, and eliminate compliance violations. All of their employees adopted the Legion mobile app because it gave them schedule flexibility and control at their fingertips.

Additionally, WFM software helps address the impact of inflexible schedules on team morale. Legion helps you automatically create schedules that are fair and accommodating. This leads to increased job satisfaction and employee productivity, ultimately benefiting business operations.

Legion WFM’s platform provides a valuable solution for businesses looking to optimize their employee scheduling process. It streamlines the process, reduces errors, ensures compliance with labor laws, and improves team morale.

Request a demo to see Automated Scheduling in action. Learn more about how Intelligent Automation powered by Legion WFM simplifies and reduces scheduling time.