Are you considering a new free employee scheduling tool? Here are some of the things to consider when doing so.
When it comes to different industries, each one has varying scheduling demands. Of course, experience and overall skill are extremely important, however, the actual qualifications of a worker varies. To put this into perspective, the qualifications of a retail worker is less important than a care-giving worker.
As a result, if you are responsible for managing caregivers and nurses, then you will have to know the training and experience of each one so that you can properly assign them to suitable patients. Now, with retail, qualifications are still important, but remember, there are no lives at risk.
So, this is one of the important factors that we use when it comes to evaluating scheduling apps. Try this schedule maker from Tracktime24. We ensure that there are sufficient parameters for you to adequately manage your team as a whole.
There are free shift scheduling software solutions that enable you to deal with your workers according to their shift and location. So, for example, if you run a restaurant chain or even if you have volunteers that work in different locations, then you need to be able to do multiple location scheduling.
So, this is another factor when selecting a work scheduling program. We need to ensure that they can easily help manage employees in many different locations.
Easy To Use
Once you are determined to move from your own scheduling methods to use a free employee scheduling software, then you need to make sure that the software is easy to use and navigate. Remember, scheduling your staff needs to be done almost every day, so you won’t have a lot of time to figure out the software. Therefore, it needs to be easy to use and intuitive from the start.
One of the problems that you’ll need to deal with when doing employee rostering is being able to quickly give new and updated schedules to each of your staff members. Remember, even if you create a fantastic schedule that is suitable for every member of your team, it won’t matter if there are persons who can’t access it.
Therefore, it is best to select a software that will enable you to quickly share your new work schedules using email or text once you’ve finished it. This will help prevent problems with miscommunication.
Monitoring Of Attendance
In order to manage your staff and workforce as a whole, you need to do a lot more than figure out their work hours. It is essential that you can keep track of each staff member and verify that they actually work within their assigned hours. So, you will need a shift planner that is also capable of tracking attendance.
The good thing about work scheduling apps is that they collect a lot of information and data about the workload of each employee in your company. So, you can actually use that information in your accounting and even for payroll. Therefore, we check each potential apps to see if it can be easily integrated with other apps so that you can make your business run easier and more efficiently.
Each one of the scheduling programs that we have listed are completely free. With that said, if your business isn’t small, there is a high chance that you’ll need to purchase an upgraded package.
Many of these scheduling app companies provide their software for free up until a certain number of employees or users. There are other apps where you will need o purchase a plan if you want to schedule employees in many different locations. So, due to this, we pay close attention to pricing.
When using software, you will likely have to deal with bugs. Even if the app is near perfect, always remember that errors and issues will eventually occur. Whenever you do encounter one of these issues, it would be great to have customer service reps to assist. So, we also look at customer support for each app in our reviews.
Benefits of Better Scheduling for Employees
It is vital for time records to be accurate and reflect all the hours worked by employees. Such accuracy should be maintained whether you are using paper timesheets, punch clocks, or recording the work hours electronically with a work time tracker. While safeguards aren’t infallible (more so in cases where employees travel, telecommute, or work “in the field”), there are several tips for minimizing risk:
Keep your employees informed about prohibited timekeeping practices. Going by most employment laws, the employer’s policy is the common starting point. Be sure to indicate clearly on your timekeeping policy what’s allowed and what’s not. That should include, at least, a clear off-the-clock prohibition (particularly attending to emails after office hours). What’s more, make it mandatory for employees to seek approval before working overtime. While employees must be compensated for all working hours (overtime included), employees with no preapproval may be up for disciplinary action or may be written up. It is also essential to establish a complaint procedure, which guides the procedure of reporting timekeeping concerns.
Normalize the confirmation of the accuracy of time records by employees. It is almost expected that most employees will claim to have worked for more hours than those indicated by the records. To avoid that, allow the employees to review and sign off in confirmation of the accuracy of their time records.
An affirmative act like entering their identification number, ticking on a box, or signing an acknowledgement is the most preferred. With that, an employee can hardly dispute the correctness of their time records. If they do, however, they will have to deny their own confirmations.
Make sure that records indicate all changes. Supervisors are not expected to alter employee’s time records. All they should be allowed to do is either approve or reject timesheets and send back the rejected ones to the employees coupled with a reason for rejection. By effecting changes, employees can then resubmit the timesheets and verify the accuracy of the corrected records again.
Where supervisors are allowed to edit the time records, it should be easy to view and track the original employees’ entries and the supervisor’s edits. Most timekeeping software include audit trails. For paper timesheets, be sure to attach the original timesheet and record the amended entries on a separate timesheet.
Round cautiously. You may round the employees’ time to quarter-hour and round down their time seven minutes. Consequently, you must round up their time 8-14 minutes and record it as a quarter-hour. Rounding comes with risk and should be done with counsel’s advice. Where rounding is done, audit the time records periodically to ensure that rounded time cancels out to avoid any net loss to employees. If rounding grants the company an uneven amount of time, consider scrapping or revising the practice.
Desist from making automatic deductions. Brief breaks are compensable time, but meal breaks and uninterrupted rest of 30 or more minutes aren’t. Most timekeeping systems allow for automatic deduction of meal and rest breaks from employee’s work time. Keep off this option as it breeds collective actions. Instead, ask employees to record their actual meal period time.
Frequent audits are essential to ensuring that the information from the system is similar to the real information, regardless of the recording method. Particularly, pay attention to employees whose work hours indicate no fluctuation (those with all 9.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m. entries). Again, there is no infallible method, but employers who are keen on the accuracy of the timekeeping records of employees stand a better chance in court than those who don’t.