Building a Business Case for Workforce Scheduling Softwareby Lindsay Rose
If managing employee schedules is your job, you already know the potentially disastrous results of not having every employee role filled as needed. No matter how diligent you are, schedules are “living” documents. Scheduling means not only constant change, but it also involves the challenges of keeping those changes updated in real time to all relevant employees and managers.
Calculating the impact and ROI of workforce scheduling software could be the fastest and easiest way to give management the visibility they need, eliminating manual scheduling tasks and empowering employees to self-manage their time.
Here’s how to calculate the ROI of workforce scheduling software for your business.
Automate Scheduling To Yield Astonishing Time Savings
The Safeway grocery store chain uses TCP’s Humanity Scheduling for its 1500+ employees in 27 locations.
One Safeway Operations Manager manages six different Safeway locations. It takes him only 5 minutes to set up a schedule. The system sends out automated text and email notifications when new shifts are published and also as reminders before shifts. Revisions and changes in employee availability are seldom needed because of the dynamic scheduling feature that allows employees to upload their availability into the system.
Dynamic scheduling also tracks hours worked to prevent unplanned overtime. And managers have extraordinary visibility to monitor trends and practices.
How much time could your organization save on scheduling? Let’s say it currently takes you two hours (120 minutes) to create a schedule. Now add the time spent over the course of the pay period publishing, updating, and communicating with employees about it. Let’s say you spend 90 minutes. That’s 120+ 90 = 210 minutes.
The time difference between how you’re scheduling and what Safeway is doing it is obvious. It’s 205 minutes (3 hours and 25 minutes) saved. The percentage decrease is calculated like this:
*To calculate your potential time savings, simply replace both instances of 210 in this equation with your total minutes spent on scheduling per pay period.
Potential time savings:
((210 – 5) ÷ 210) x 100 = 97.6%
Extra Credit: Make a list of other revenue-impacting tasks that could be done with this excess time.
Flexibility for Employees Protects Your Bottom Line
A recent study revealed that 66% of workers get less than two weeks’ notice before receiving their shift details, and half of those get less than a week’s notice. Schedules are often changed at the last minute: 14% report at least one cancelled shift in the last month and 70% report at least one change to shift timing shifts in the past month. 25% are expected to work on-call shifts and 50% work back-to-back closing-then-opening shifts separated by fewer than 11 hours.1
This practice makes it difficult for employees to find work/life balance or maintain a stable income. It leads to high turnover rates, lost income and additional expenses, such as travel, childcare and missed payments. It’s so disruptive that some cities and states have adopted predictive scheduling laws requiring 14 days advance notice for shift schedules. Penalties for noncompliance include paying premiums to affected workers.2
But there is a solution: Demand-driven workforce scheduling software.
Dollywood Amusement Park uses Humanity Scheduling to manage schedules of 2500 employees scattered across 25 locations within the park. Managers can view all the shops’ schedules at once and utilize their employees on a global scale. They are now able to schedule employees out three weeks in advance and save 10 hours a week on scheduling. They can also proactively assign shifts for expected drops and peaks in park attendance.
Employees appreciate these efficiencies. They highly value flexible work schedules, mobile access to shift schedules, notifications and the ability to swap or pick up extra shifts from their phones.
Workforce Scheduling Impacts Growth of Your Business
Business growth is impacted by many factors, with Operations (people, processes and technology) ideally accounting for less than 70% of the overall budget. This operating expense ratio is considered to be an accurate reflection of your organization’s financial stability and can influence how much it costs you to borrow money.3
It’s not always easy to calculate the cost and impact of any one expense or process. But with personnel accounting for the largest expense and scheduling being such a critical and time-consuming component related to the output that comes from your personnel, its impact on the business is obvious.
CareMinders Home Care is an agency that provides services to aging individuals. The organization employs more than 50 licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, certified nursing assistants and physical and occupational therapists. When scheduling became completely unmanageable, Humanity’s remote scheduling software reduced the organization’s scheduling time by 60%. But the results of that efficiency were even more telling.
The owner attributes easy and accurate accounting and regulatory reporting, more reliable service to clients and happier employees to a 200% growth of the business. Here are a few more common ways unoptimized scheduling can hurt the bottom line:
- Understaffing and employee absenteeism: Unscheduled absenteeism costs roughly $3,600 per year for each hourly worker and $2,660 each year for salaried employee.4
- Employee burnout and turnover: Burnout can lead to disengaged employees, to the tune of 34% of their annual salary and up to 50% of turnover.5 When they leave, employers are faced with additional recruitment and training costs, a reduced staff, and low employee morale. Calculate your turnover:
- Determining the average number of employees during a time period (for example, one month). (Number employees at the beginning of a time period + Number of employees at the end) / 2.
- Divide: (Number of employees who left the company during that time period / Average number of employees).
- Multiply : (Number from step 2) * 100 = turnover rate
Calculate your turnover percentage
S = Number employees at the beginning of a time period
E = Number of employees at the end
L = Number of employees left = S – E =
A = Average number of employees = (S + E) / 2 =
( L / A ) * 100 = turnover rate
- Risks of compliance violations: Non-compliance costs more than twice the cost of maintaining compliance.6
- Inability to track where money and time are being lost: Without tracking employee time with employee scheduling software, business owners are flying blind in the areas of productivity and the operational expense ratio.
Does Your Organization Need Employee Scheduling Software?
Now that you know how a workforce management system could benefit your organization, are you ready to finalize your business case for employee scheduling software? Our Workforce Management Software Buyer’s Guide provides everything you need to present your case.
Our guide helps you prepare for the selection process by helping you understand:
- Which questions to ask to help you choose the best solution
- Why your organization needs a workforce management system
- Who in your organization should be involved in the decision-making process
- How to prepare for the selection process
- What to consider when reviewing available options