According to a 2017 CareerBuilder survey, nearly 80% of American workers are living paycheck to paycheck. Hourly employees are especially pressed; even losing a single shift has the potential for short-term financial struggles.
A recent study of hourly workers found that whenever they missed a shift, roughly 49% were unable to pay their utility bills on time, 27% missed their rent, and another 25% had to skip buying groceries that week.
To quell unexpected losses in shifts, proper communication between front-line employees and management is critical. And it all starts with your scheduling process.
24×7 environments like manufacturing, food processing, public safety, and energy production are inherently erratic. Workers already have to schedule their lives around their work schedule, but life inevitably gets in the way sometimes. Managers that rely on static paper processes to create such complex, dynamic schedules are asking for miscommunication.
Let’s use a typical scheduling bottleneck as an example: the doctor’s appointment. If you’re using paper or other outdated systems (spreadsheets, anyone?) to create weekly schedules, there are a few ways this can go amiss.
Scenario one: Jan typically works the morning shift at a manufacturing plant but needs to take the afternoon shift to accommodate her 10am appointment. Not wanting to lose any hours, she asks Jim to swap his 4 to midnight shift with her; Jim agrees. Both Jan and Jim forget to alert the manager. While Jan has the certifications in place to cover his shift, Jim cannot cover hers. Now the supervisor is learning ten minutes before the shift that there will be a gap in the production process.
This could have been avoided with an automated scheduling solution. Employees would be able to swap shifts in real-time, and management would have the transparency to approve or deny the switch based on an integrated qualification management system.
Scenario two: Let’s backtrack and say that Jan remembers to tell the supervisor, sending them an email because she is unable to reach them in person. She goes to the breakroom where the shift schedule is posted; there are already a bunch of scribbles and arrows on it when she adds her own. Come the day of Jan’s appointment, the shift manager is confused and doesn’t understand why Jan isn’t there; they are working with a schedule that is a day older than the one Jan edited, and the manager has not gone through all their emails yet. Jim, unqualified for the specific position, is asked to come back to his normal afternoon shift or forfeit his hours for the day. Jan loses out on a day’s worth of work—and pay.
Our automated workforce management solution reduces the headaches that occur with paper-based processes because it mitigates human error. You can quickly generate a schedule based on pre-assigned rules and change it to match ever-evolving staffing needs.
Every employee can have complete visibility into not just their own schedules, but their coworkers’ schedules. Perhaps most important, your organization will improve process efficiencies and employee satisfaction by giving employees the tools necessary to have more control over their schedule; volunteering, swapping assignments, requesting time off, and more.
A stable work schedule offers your employees—your biggest asset—peace of mind over their finances. Learn more or request a demo here.