Ensuring Compliance with Hard Stops vs. Warnings: A Balanced Approach to Schedule Edits

June 18, 2024

by Justin Siu

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Managing schedules and compliance is a time-consuming and difficult process for managers. One of the most critical components of scheduling is deciding when to use hard stops versus warnings during scheduled edits.

Managing this without automated software can be nearly impossible. This blog will explore the benefits of using an automated workforce management system to track compliance and analyze the appropriate scenarios for implementing hard stops and warnings.

The Benefits of Using a Compliance Tracking System

A robust compliance tracking system is essential for organizations aiming to adhere to labor laws and internal policies. Here are some of the key benefits:

  1. Reduced Risk of Legal Issues: Automated compliance tracking helps ensure that schedules comply with labor laws, reducing the risk of costly legal disputes and penalties.
  2. Enhanced Employee Satisfaction: Companies can boost employee satisfaction and retention by adhering to fair labor practices.
  3. Operational Efficiency: Automation reduces the administrative burden on managers, allowing them to focus on strategic tasks.

When to Use Warnings

Warnings are gentle reminders that a schedule edit may violate compliance rules or business policies. Warnings are also helpful, providing store managers context and alerts that an edit they are making can be harmful. It’s a judgment call for store managers to determine whether to edit or undo the change. For example, there may be a case, such as with overtime, where a store manager may want to schedule an additional shift because they predict their store will be busy on the weekend and want to make sure they are fully staffed.

Warnings can help managers ensure they have the final say and input into the scheduling process. However, businesses need to be careful to make certain that key compliance requirements and business policies are not broken when configured as warnings.

When to Use Hard Stops

Hard stops, conversely, are non-negotiable blocks that prevent publishing schedule changes that violate compliance rules or business policies. Some examples where hard stops are essential include:

  1. Critical Compliance Requirements: Hard stops ensure absolute adherence to regulations that carry severe penalties or are non-negotiable, such as child labor laws that restrict working hours for minors.
  2. Health and Safety Concerns: When compliance rules, such as mandatory rest periods, protect employee health and safety, hard stops are crucial.

Setting up violations as hard stops can benefit the business by ensuring that no schedules with violations can be published and that the business can limit its compliance exposure as much as possible. On the other hand, hard stops are extremely rigid and may limit managers from making specific schedule edits or having additional input in unique situations.

Finding the Right Balance

The key to effective compliance management is finding the right balance between warnings and hard stops. A well-designed workforce management system should offer both options, allowing managers to choose based on the specific context and compliance requirements.

For instance, a hybrid approach could involve setting hard stops for critical compliance areas while using warnings for less critical, flexible policies. Additionally, providing managers with training and clear guidelines on warnings versus hard stops can ensure consistent and effective application of regulations and policies.

Legion Workforce Management (WFM) makes it easy for businesses to manage compliance violations. All violations in the schedule can be set as either a warning or a hard stop to ensure that customers can set the perfect blend of compliance management. Visualizing these warnings in the schedule is just as easy for store managers. A yellow triangle denotes a violation as a warning, and a red flag indicates that a violation is a hard stop and is always displayed first. By giving managers an easy view of the different violation types, they can take the appropriate action to continue creating appropriate schedules.

Compliance management is a crucial aspect of workforce management that requires careful consideration of when to use hard stops versus warnings. By leveraging an automated compliance tracking system, organizations can reduce legal risks, enhance employee satisfaction, and improve operational efficiency.

Request a demo to see how Legion manages compliance with Automated Scheduling in action. And, you can learn how intelligent automation powered by Legion WFM simplifies managing compliance.