Creating and managing schedules for your hourly employees is complicated enough; when workers need to trade shifts with each other, an entirely different process needs to be initiated.
The scheduler has to field the request, ensure both workers are qualified to fill the positions they are swapping, and keep track of overtime hours to make sure neither person unnecessarily goes over. And that’s when everything goes smoothly! If you’re relying on paper processes and emails, you can miss the shift swap request altogether and not sign off on it, putting the organization at risk of being shorthanded.
But schedulers and managers alike don’t have to be as hands-on with swapping requests as they think. Your employees can and want to participate in the scheduling process. In fact, 39% of respondents in a recent survey claimed they would use a mobile scheduling app to trade shifts if such a system was offered by their employer. Being able to swap shifts from the comfort of a mobile device is an added benefit of Employee Self-Service (ESS).
Here are the 3 ways automated employee scheduling makes swapping shifts easier for your hourly employees—meaning less work for schedulers and managers.
1. Keep Organized and Save Time
Those emails, texts, or phone calls don’t just clog your inbox and voicemail; they take time away from initiatives that move the business forward.
Here’s how you’re probably handling shift swaps: Whether your process depends on submitting a request by filling out a form, shooting over an email, calling, or (we hope not) simply asking in person, you’ll have to manually input the switch in the schedule after providing appropriate signoff. If your process doesn’t require the employee to have a replacement already willing to swap assignments prior to sending through the request… well, you’re stuck doing that, too.
A rolodex or two later, you’ve finally found the right person with the appropriate qualifications who is willing to swap shifts. Now you have to respond back to the original requestor letting them know their new shift date and time to finalize the trade… unless of course that time conflicts with their current work schedule as well, and you need to find a new person to swap.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
With Indeavor, our automated employee scheduling and leave management platform, you can automate this entire process. Through the mobile app, the requestor can simply put their undesired shift up for grabs; Indeavor then only shows that open job to other qualified, available employees based on your pre-set rules—it’s like a job board that only the most relevant people can see.
Employees will see the swap whether they have their own undesired shift or not, and those that want it can request to finalize the swap with the requestor. The system can either automatically approve the swap and have it reflected on the schedule or, if you prefer a bit more oversight, a notification can be sent to you for approval—which you can give at the click of a button.
With change requests hosted in the same place that the weekly schedule is, important information can be found in a snap—another way you save time. This is especially important when you need to audit a shift change that happened last week due to an employee grievance.
Having everything centralized means that each employee’s actions, from vacation requests to shift swapping, are auto-logged for traceability and auditing. Plus, you’ll never have to deal with those pesky email threads again (well, for this part of your job anyway).
2. Mitigate Human Error
Whether it’s accidentally leaving shifts uncovered, swapping the wrong shifts, or simply forgetting to change the schedule in the break room once you signed off on a swap in person, mistakes can and do happen. With Indeavor, you no longer need to deal with this responsibility manually, mitigating your risk of mistakes happening in the first place!
Perhaps the biggest mistake that can occur is having a non-qualified employee filling in for a more senior person. At that point, it’s almost as if the scheduling gap wasn’t filled at all because the employee who graciously volunteered to swap shifts can’t actually do the job once they come onsite. That’s why our job board feature is so critical; only qualified people have to ability to swap with each other.
3. Empower Employees
It’s possible to improve both process efficiencies and employee satisfaction. By giving employees the tools to control their schedule when they want to swap assignments, they get to cut of the middleman—or middlemen, depending on how your organization is laid out—and proactively make changes to their own schedules.
Your hourly workers will be taking on the responsibilities of filling shift gaps for you in exchange for the freedom to tweak their schedule when an unexpected event makes their current schedule unmanageable. It’s a win-win for the entire organization!
Another added benefit is that it eliminates the discomfort of having to say “no” directly, whether to their coworker or management. When Indeavor announces a swap opportunity, no one feels directly called out and pressured to say “yes” to someone asking them if they can switch their schedule. On the flip side, all qualified and available employees have the opportunity to fill in for a shift, meaning that someone who isn’t close to or doesn’t know the requestor gets a chance to swap (and they may in fact be the best person for the job!).
The Indeavor Solution
Our workforce management SaaS solution which offers clients an end-to-end, cloud-based employee scheduling, time & attendance, and absence management system. We integrate with your human capital management and enterprise resource planning systems to create a robust platform that provides you with real-time employee data.
Interested in streamlining your shift-swapping process with Indeavor? Click here to request a demo.