Two Ends of the Scheduling Spectrum: 3 Metrics for Overtime and Absence Planning Success

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It’s impressive how many specific details managers and schedulers have tribal knowledge of, from company overtime and PTO rules to employee skill sets and hours worked. But relying on memory alone comes at a cost: human error… and an unnecessary amount of work.

We’ve discussed in detail why automated scheduling should be your new normal. Now we want to take it one step further and talk about how you can (successfully) deal with disruptions to your status quo. Thankfully, reactions to these changes can be automated as well.

We are of course talking about overtime and vacation planning—two completely different requests that still always manage to create more work for HR and Operations. Here are the three metrics you should consider when scrutinizing your current leave management and overtime policies.

1. Visibility

Mentally tracking overtime hours or manually typing them into an excel spreadsheet is burdensome. Without real-time visibility into employee hours, managers can’t accurately anticipate their overtime costs. If schedulers aren’t aware of who is close to going over 40 hours, the organization then has to spend more on overtime pay that could have been avoided altogether.

That’s probably why automated workforce management can drive unplanned overtime costs down by 7%, and total overtime costs down by 19%.

And what about time-off requests? Remembering how many PTO days were already taken and how many remain is stressful when you have to sift through piles of paper or outdated spreadsheets. You’re taking up time just keeping track of it all, and you haven’t even gotten to the important part of finding their replacement.

Wouldn’t it be more efficient to see your labor information in real time? Rather than relying on manual data-entry, our SaaS solution Workloud keeps track of your employees for you with cross-departmental visibility into employee hours, vacation, sick days, and PTO.

If your current overtime and leave management process doesn’t have 24x7 visibility, then it isn’t working.

2. Centralized Communication

If employee-manager communications are kept in an individual’s inbox, then it isn’t centralized.

How does everyone else on the shift know that someone is out sick when that person only sent an email, phone call, or text to their direct manager that morning—or, even worse, they didn't do any of those things and just missed? (They don’t.) How aware is the second-in-command that they will have more responsibilities for that shift to make up for the absence? (They aren’t.) How fair is this lack of a heads up? (It isn’t.)

Better productivity is always linked to better communication; keeping that communication centralized will streamline your entire operation.

If you’re still handling work requests through email chains, it’s time to find a better way.

Eliminate the need for scattered systems and manual processes by having all your scheduling and leave management information in one place. With everything in the cloud, valuable employee information – from skills to vacation time – can never be lost. Bonus: you’ll never misplace a time-off or overtime request again.

3. Protocols and Standards

Unscheduled absenteeism costs roughly $3,600 per year for each hourly worker. Most businesses try to curtail this with internal rules and repercussions for missed shifts.

This may be obvious to most, yet some companies are not as secure in the enforcement of their PTO and overtime policies.

You need to understand how your business currently handles overtime to then establish long-term policies for overtime usage. The same goes for leave requests, whether it’s a week vacation two months from now or an unexpected sick day. Every request should be, in theory, treated the same to keep the process running smoothly.

To control costs and expectations, all employees need to be aware of the following internal rules: how requests get submitted, when employees can and cannot request time off, how far in advance the time-off request needs to be made, the maximum amount of overtime allowed, who is eligible for overtime, how overtime is calculated, and what the overtime pay rate is.

With Workloud, you can input company restrictions to prevent unnecessary overtime or time off—that long list looks a little less daunting now, doesn’t it?

The Indeavor Solution

Workloud is our workforce management SaaS solution which offers clients an end-to-end, cloud-based employee scheduling, time & attendance, and absence management system. Workloud integrates with your human capital management and enterprise resource planning systems to create a robust platform that provides you with real-time employee data.

Interested to see how we can help your organization streamline the overtime and leave request process? Click here to request a demo.