Employee scheduling is often a nightmare in many organisations. However, it is a critical aspect that affects a company’s bottom line. For instance, businesses accumulate higher payroll expenses when they maintain sloppy work schedules for their staff. Organisations that rely on shifts can record poor performance and low productivity due to miscommunications. Since inaccurate scheduling of employees affects profitability, the creation of efficient schedules should be a priority.
After shifting from paper-based processes, many businesses adopted the use of spreadsheets. Excel has gained popularity due to its ease of use and adaptability to a company’s requirements. Despite its benefits, its shortcomings became apparent in organising human resources. Spreadsheets are time-consuming and prone to errors when used to schedule staff. It is challenging to strike a balance between employee requests and shift rota requirements. Due to the limited information it offers, you may end up overstaffing or understaffing your employees. If you are still stuck in the era of spreadsheets, here are a few reasons why you should ditch it. Besides, we will give you alternative software for employee scheduling.
The Disadvantages of Managing Employee scheduling with Excel
Scheduling is a very dynamic process since workers are constantly changing shifts. Therefore, organising staff rotas using Excel takes hours. Shifts are not set in stone, and with daily changes, managers have to edit the spreadsheets and communicate the changes to staff. The purpose of having a schedule is to avoid confusion and save the manager’s hours of planning employee routines daily. With spreadsheets, the result could be the opposite.
Lack of Automation
When using spreadsheets to record data, you have to feed formulas to the system for it to perform the calculations automatically. Unfortunately, you cannot find a formula that can handle the intricacies of creating employee schedules. You have to input all the data manually and figure out how to balance staff in every shift. The rostering system gives you the luxury of automation. You set up shifts with little effort, get employees who can cover open shifts, and monitor timesheets for payroll processing.
Prone to Errors
Excel relies on the accuracy of data entry to produce error-free reports. You need to type in everything, and regular updates increase the likelihood of mistakes. While calculations are automated when you enter a formula, the wrong formula renders all the data incorrect. In a large organisation with lots of information, you can have tons of formulas throughout the spreadsheets. Locating the mistake can be a nightmare and time-consuming.
When scheduling staff, it is common to have shift conflicts and open shifts. If you rely on Excel to make your job easier, there will be a lot of confusion, overstaffing, or multiple open shifts. Spreadsheets are also not intuitive; they do not notify you if you assign two workers for the same shift or have some open shifts. Unfortunately, you cannot make them dynamic and proactive. Therefore, the management of staff schedules will depend on your diligence in formulating error-free spreadsheets.
Reassigning duties and changing shifts constantly, requires adequate communication to ensure the employees are aware of the changes. If you are using Excel to prepare the schedule, it limits the accessibility of employees. You have to print the rotas and circulate them in workstations. Besides, you have to communicate via phone or email to ensure the changes are effected. With an employee scheduling software, you can incorporate employee changes at any time, and employees will get a notification. Excel ties you to the office, and you will keep making changes and running around, informing everyone. Most rostering software promotes flexibility, and staff can swap shifts or make requests without inconveniencing anyone.
Lacks a Time Clock
Spreadsheets do not have an in-built time clock. This means that employees fill out a time card for check-ins and checkouts. The worst part is when you have to reconcile the time cards with Excel schedules; the whole process can give you headaches. Besides, you are likely to make costly mistakes that could affect your company’s budget and profitability.
How Rostering Systems Can Solve the Shortcomings of Excel
Depending on the complexity of your company’s shift patterns, you can waste eight hours weekly figuring out staff schedules. However, if you invest in employee scheduling software, you can stay on top of your workforce rotas with little effort. Here are the benefits of using an e-rostering system:
Adaptability to Changes
Sometimes, employees have an emergency and cannot make it to their shift. Instead of losing a workday, they can easily swap shifts without disrupting the entire schedule. The software automatically updates any changes to the routine, saving the manager time.
Employees Can Clock in Online
Consolidating timesheets with schedules can be hectic, but the employee rostering software does all the heavy lifting. Workers can check-in online, and the system matches their hours with the schedules. You will have error-free timesheets without lifting a finger. Effectively managing work hours will ensure productivity and seamless budgeting.
Whenever you need to make changes in an Excel schedule, you need to be at the office. However, employee scheduling software is optimised for mobile and works perfectly in multiple devices. You can update staff schedules on the go, and the employees will get the notification instantly. Excel does not give staff members access to the schedules on their devices. They have to access the information at their workstations, which may lead to delays in communication.
The days of poring over Excel spreadsheets to assign duties are over. You need to take advantage of scheduling software to prepare work rotas and communicate information easily.