Self scheduling is a great way to improve staff morale and increase job satisfaction. This system uses employee availability as the basis for producing the schedule. The staff members have a lot of control over the times they work and this sense of control is very empowering. Like most things in life there are disadvantages as well as advantages with employee availability and we will examine the different issues during the rest of this article.
A big bonus with an employee availability system is that it saves a lot of time for the person who has overall responsibility for the schedule. When the system is working well it can mean that there is hardly any extra work because the schedule is being completely managed by the staff themselves. Contrast this with the many hours spent trying to create excel sheets and juggling staff to make sure each shift had the required number. It also means that there will be no need to keep on changing things as staff make it known that they can’t work certain times or want to go on holidays on that day. The employee availability system means that the staff can negotiate things among themselves in regards to time off.
The proviso with any employee availability system is that the responsibility for ensuring that each shift is fully staffed with the correct skill mix is left in the hands of the employees themselves. This is where the problem with the system is most likely to occur. You will always get people who are first to get their employee availability in and they will tend to get what they want while other staff can be slow and find that they are struggling to get anything they want because there are already too many people are off that day. If the same people are always being first to the post and getting what they want then it can lead to bad feelings. This is why it is important that there is some oversight to ensure that there is some fairness.
If you have an online scheduling system then this can really take all the effort out of employee availability as you can more or less automate the whole system. This can be really popular way of doing things once staff get used to the system. It means that they have twenty-four hour contact with the schedule and they can check things from home without needing to phone into work.
As you can see there are quite a few benefits with using an employee availability system. There can be quite a few hiccups when you first introduce such a system, but once staff get used to things it really can be a great boon. Of course a lot will depend on the type of business you have and the dynamics of your staff. It is worth giving it a lot of thought before introducing such a system; it is also well worth discussing the possibility of an employee availability system with your staff. If you get them on-board with the system they can really make it work.