We are a non-profit soaring club that gives rides to the public as part of our club activities. We have been on the same site since the 1930’s and officially organized as Harris Hill Soaring Corporation in 1967. All of our ’employees’ are volunteer members of the club.
The Harris Hill Soaring Corporation is a voluntary organization composed of persons who are enthusiastic about motor-less flight and who have a good time taking part in the flying activities and carrying out the aims and purposes of this non-profit corporation. All this is accomplished in an informal club atmosphere at low cost to the individual through the cooperative efforts of all members.
We have approximately 105 employees and our work scheduler operations are based on duty obligations that club members must fulfill. We offer glider rides to the public for a fee from April through October. Each member is required to work at least one shift per month in that operation. Because members are volunteers, they are allowed to request their schedules rather than being assigned to a shift. The duty work scheduler (that’s me) sets up open shifts each month that members may request.
Our main challenge is when more than one member requests a shift and also if no members request a shift. When shifts are over-requested, a phone call or email to both must be made to work out their availability since there is no way to indicate a 2nd or 3rd preference for a shift. If no members select a shift, manual assignment is made from the list of available members with that skill set. For example, only some of our members are tow plane qualified and can be scheduled on that shift. Since we fill out our schedule for the month, sometimes people are on vacation and we must schedule a double shift. Figuring out who was scheduled twice and who wasn’t can be a bit painstaking, especially if you are trying to balance the number of double shifts you’ve assigned over the past few months.
Other challenges involve preferences such as members who have other family members in the club and wish to be scheduled on the same shift with them or only on certain days. For example, one of our tow pilots and his wife (who works our log function) ask to be scheduled on any Saturday morning, as long as they are both together. When finalizing the schedule, remembering this when moving them to a different shift is hard to do. I have a manual cheat sheet I use that has a checklist of these types of preferences before I finalize the schedule.
Manual work scheduler using an Excel spreadsheet grid to publish the roster. Emails from members would let the scheduler know when they were on vacation or days they were unavailable.
Since moving to the work schedule maker ShiftPlanning we take those emails and make that appropriate entry (e.g. vacation or unavailability) in the system for them. Thus everyone has a ShiftPlanning ID even if they never use it.
The online employee schedule maker makes it much easier for the scheduler because instead of having to remember our employee preferences, they can simply look at the schedule and select the shift they want to work. The more members that select a shift, the easier it is for the scheduler to fill in the remaining gaps.
I would absolutely recommend ShiftPlanning! I’ve recommended it to the Corning Museum of Glass as a tool for coordinating their docents and tours.
Responses are always quick and thorough!- Tom Berry – Harris Hill Soaring Corporation
Whether email or forum, I’ve had outstanding customer service experience with the work scheduler ShiftPlanning.
The online planning process has made life much easier for our volunteers. They can sign up for an entire season (April-October) in a single session and not have to send a new email prior to our schedule closure date. It is often difficult for our many members to keep track of this, especially with the many family obligations and summer events they have and work scheduler ShiftPlanning has helped to streamline this process considerably.
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“With this tool, you can literally run tens of employees with ease.”- makeuseof.com
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