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Employee Scheduling Software

Visual Staff Scheduler Pro 14 is the easiest way to assign shifts and manage work schedules.

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How to complete an evaluation of scheduling software to find the best solution

Employee scheduling is a critical function for nearly every business type. Hospitals, police stations, technical support services, and other organizations where staff scheduling is shift-based often face many challenges in meeting their shift schedule needs.

When you begin to evaluate employee scheduling software options, you're going to find extensive lists from a variety of scheduling software providers. As you sort through the benefits and features, be sure to focus on two basic questions: does your current scheduling program satisfy your requirements and does it offer a feature that's a priority for you?

You may also want to take a few moments to jot down what you expect to gain by moving to, or by changing your existing, employee scheduling software, such as any capabilities that can improve how you handle staff scheduling. During your research, review potential solutions using the following recommended evaluation categories, including how the scheduler:

  • Supports shift and employee assignments
  • Improves staff utilization
  • Offers customization features
  • Saves you valuable time!
  • Provides expert assistance and resources

As you evaluate the scheduling program in these categories, some of the key capabilities you want to find are described below, including features that allow you to customize employee schedule views and reports and make scheduling tasks easier.

Supports Shift and Employee Assignments

Be sure you can create an employee schedule as far into the future as needed, such as 6 months or 24 months. Then, you can pre-schedule shifts, rotations, holidays and time-off requests for your employees at any time.

Look for features that allow you to add special notes and explanations. For example, you may want the ability to attach location, task, or client notes to a shift, or to explain time-off as vacation or sick days.

Improves Staff Utilization

You want the ability to indicate how many people or hours you need in a shift schedule, such as by position, shift, department, or location. Then, you want to easily see if you are over-scheduled or under-scheduled based on those requirements.

You want the employee scheduling program to display a list of all employees available to work, which can be very useful when you need to fill for no-shows or other missing assignments in your schedule. Be sure the list updates immediately after you assign a shift to an employee.

Offers Customization Features

You want the ability to make adjustments so the scheduling program meets your own specific staff scheduling needs. Be sure you can define your own shifts; including starting/ending times, breaks, and color codes. You may also want the ability to change the information displayed on the screen and in reports, or to set up any day of the week as the beginning of your workweek.

Be sure you can create schedules and reports based on your specific requirements, including date ranges, employee groups, types of shifts, and other defined information, such as locations or clients.

Saves Valuable Time

You want employees to view the schedule directly from the software, while having the ability to protect the information. Be sure the scheduling program offers read-only protection when others have permission to view the schedule.

You want staff scheduling software that provides the ability to distribute schedules and reports using a variety of methods. Be sure you have options to print, e-mail, or web publish so you have more than one way to get the schedules and reports to those who need them.

Provides Expert Assistance and Resources

Be sure the scheduler includes a manual or user's guide, as well as a help file, you can access while working with a shift schedule. The resources should provide the information you need to get started and information that helps you learn how to use the employee scheduling software and troubleshoot problems you may encounter.

You want to have readily available customer assistance you can reach by telephone or e-mail. Be sure to check for costs that may accompany technical support services.

This covers a few selective, scheduling program requirements. Be sure you complete a thorough evaluation before selecting staff scheduling software. For a comprehensive list of evaluation questions, use a free employee scheduling software evaluation checklist. Using this checklist helps you consider all the capabilities to ensure the scheduling software solution you choose meets your business's needs and expectations.