Address Employees’ Top Concerns: Availability and Scheduling

March 12, 2024

by Carrie Bradfield

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Spend a few minutes of your day perusing the places on the internet where hourly workers go to vent about their jobs, and soon you’ll see a common theme. There are hundreds of posts a year from workers who are either venting about managers scheduling them for shifts they can’t work or looking for advice on how to talk to a manager about respecting the available and unavailable hours they can work.

Venting aside, what impact can availability and scheduling have on your organization? Availability is a crucial part of schedule predictability, a concept legislated in many jurisdictions across the United States, but it is also essential to consider outside legal requirements. Legion’s State of the Hourly Workforce report found that 43% of employees cite inconsistency in hours as one of the most challenging parts of their job, and 44% of managers surveyed said lack of flexibility is why it’s hard for businesses to hire new talent.

Inflation has had a substantial impact on households in the US. Approximately 8.4 million Americans hold two jobs. Imagine how vital availability becomes to those workers who must juggle schedules between multiple workplaces. No wonder many people need to vent when their schedules don’t match their available hours.

Capturing employee availability and preferences and easily keeping them up to date with a scheduling tool like Legion Workforce Management software allows employees to indicate when they can or can’t work and, even more importantly—when they WANT to work.

The impact on employee satisfaction can be huge when managers go beyond to understand their employees, for example, that Katarina prefers working early morning shifts because she wants to spend evenings going to her daughter’s basketball games or that Armando is a night owl and works best on late evening shifts.

Beyond preferred times, it’s also important to consider what types of shifts these employees want to work. When balancing two jobs, sometimes you need shorter shifts to keep your day from getting too long to manage, or maybe your daycare has a minimum hours policy, and you want longer shifts to ensure your childcare costs stay in control. Or, as employees seek to increase their earnings, perhaps they want to pick up shifts at other store locations.

Looking at these factors employees must consider when fitting their work schedules into their lives, it’s unsurprising that 62% of hourly workers plan to leave their jobs within the next year. Everyone is looking for greener pastures and better schedules that meet their needs.

A perfect match schedule is the foundation of a good job and leads to better retention and excellent customer service.

Companies that use manual or legacy solutions may create schedules that don’t meet the employees’ needs and are posted inconsistently. Employees are unaware of changes and must go to the store to get their schedule, creating a negative experience.

The good news is that you can make changes in your organization to move the needle on employee experience by capturing and using employee availability and employee work preferences to create schedules that better match the needs of your workforce. As the Harvard Business Review found, employee experience can even impact your bottom line in retail, so there’s no reason to wait to make some of these changes.

The Legion WFM Solution

Legion’s Workforce Management software enables intelligent automation to create optimal schedules that match business needs with employee preferences and skills 96% of the time. With Automated Scheduling, managers can instantly create optimized schedules based on labor rules, budget constraints, compliance rules, and employee skills, performance, and preferences.

With Automated Scheduling, employees can share their preferences on when, how much, and where they work. They can easily access their schedules, request changes, pick up shifts at other locations, swap shifts, receive and respond to open shift requests, and request time off in the Legion mobile app. To meet predictability requirements and improve the employee experience, schedules are posted at a set time. All affected employees are notified of changes, eliminating delays and lost communications.

Legion WFM also offers powerful, fully automated options for sharing employees across locations for labor efficiency while ensuring scheduling policies and compliance rules are met. During schedule generation, employees can be automatically assigned across locations based on business needs and employee skills and preferences.

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