Poof!.. Your wish is our command! We want to help you autoschedule your staff.
We know that creating schedules for your staff can be a taxing, time-consuming task that many managers dread each week. Even the simplest schedules can be a hassle when considering employee requests, special events, and perhaps most importantly, your budget. If you already use TimeForge, the ability to track all of this while making the schedule means you don’t even miss the mess of spreadsheets, staff e-mails, and sticky notes that used to constitute your staff schedule. Added functionality of request management and versatile templates make the decision to use TimeForge an obvious one. But, one feature you may not currently appreciate is the TimeForge AutoScheduler.
The AutoScheduler is schedule building with a mouse-click. Applied to your templates and schedules, it takes the guessing and remembering out of generating schedules. AutoScheduler can make a more fair schedule for your staff while maintaining the coverage that you need and coordinating time-off requests. Even better, AutoScheduler keeps your budget in mind by finding the most cost-effective schedule to meet your needs. AutoScheduler is particularly helpful in organizations that have variable schedules. Do you have lots of employees with complicated availability due to school or other obligations? Use AutoScheduler and get the best schedule that accommodates your employees’ needs.
So how does AutoScheduler work? AutoScheduler utilizes a complex algorithm that accounts for employee availability and preference, the costs of the shifts assigned, the minimum and maximum hours permitted to each employee in a given day, week, and/or month, and many other data points.
Managers have the option to provide all of this information in each employee’s TimeForge profile. While much of this information is not required to build schedules and schedule templates, it is absolutely critical to creating the most awesome schedules with AutoScheduler. Putting all this information in once will save you an abundance of time in the future while scheduling! Here’s what some of this information will determine:
Minimum and Maximum HoursShifts: How does AutoScheduler know that it’s better for all three of your employees to work three shifts a week instead of only a few of your employees working every single day? Well, you have to tell it so! Assigning a preference to the number of hours and shifts each employee works encourages fairness through AutoScheduler.
Availability: TimeForge can keep track of your employees’ availability for you! When you input one-time or recurring availability requests, or approve those submitted by your employees, AutoScheduler automatically coordinates a schedule, taking these requests into account.
Cost: When employees have varied pay rates, some schedules may be more expensive than others. For example, say you have an experienced employee who is eligible to work multiple positions at a higher pay rate and a less-experienced employee who can perform in one of the positions at a lower pay rate.
- Employee A: High Skill Level Employee at $15.00 can work in Position 1 and Position 2.
- Employee B: High Skill Level Employee at $15.00 can work in Position 1 and Position 2.
- Employee C: Low Skill Level Employee at $10.00 can work in Position 1.
To schedule a five-hour shift for Position 1 and a five-hour shift in Position 2, you have several options. First, you could schedule both Employees A and B in one of positions because they each have the necessary skills. This will cost you $150.00 for the two shifts. Or, you can schedule either Employee A or B in the Position 2 shift, and Employee C in the Position 1 shift. This, alternatively will cost you only $125.00. Without pay rates, Auto Scheduler is unable to make this distinction, so it’s very important to provide it for each employee! That way, AutoScheduler can select a cost-effective shift configuration while still considering employee minimum and maximum hours and availability.
Other Factors: A number of other proprietary factors go into the decisions that AutoScheduler makes, including:
- Sales for the day / department
- Which staff members are on time for their shifts
- Staff throughput (items / guests per ticket, tips, etc…)
- Skill of each staff member
- And some other items …
In addition to saving weekly on your labor costs, AutoScheduler can give you an advantage when assessing employee hours in reference to pending Obamacare changes. Because you will face penalties for not offering healthcare coverage to employees who work full-time, ensuring that your part-time employees do not cross into full-time status is important. By setting minimum and maximum hours for AutoScheduler to work with, you can be sure that your schedule will not cost you hefty fines in the future!
For instructions on AutoScheduling, take a look at our manual. If you are not already a TimeForge Scheduling customer and are interested in AutoScheduler or all the other awesome features within TimeForge Scheduling. If you have any questions about AutoScheduler or other TimeForge products, don’t hesitate to e-mail us or call 866-684-7191.