With the Right App, the Humble Schedule Can Revolutionize Business

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Most people know that a business is only as good as its employees, but do you also stop to recognize that an employee is only as good as their schedule? Scheduling both people and material is the often overlooked art of making a business's many disparate elements move in unison, and thanks to the modern work schedule app this all-important process can finally be as agile as your workers themselves.

A Work Schedule App Can Make HR Into a Business Nerve Center

Historically, if an employee called in sick with little notice, there were no good options for how to respond. Archaic "call lists" could be used to contact each employee, one by one, to see if any was willing to take over the lost shift, but even when it was successful this approach often took large fractions of the shift in question. The marginal losses on even a minor change in scheduling can be enormous — and time-consuming issues like time card approval and vacation requests only make matters worse.

Mobile work schedule apps allow a better approach, one in which minor changes have only minor consequences, and where the fluidity of the scheduling process can turn unforeseen changes into opportunities, rather than impediments. With a well-designed scheduling solution, HR managers can let employees flag themselves as interested in suddenly available shifts. Modern, mobile-first interface design means that organizing a team is always easy, fast and convenient, so employees are less likely to put off tasks or spin their wheels with insufficient support.

Deployed correctly, modern tech can make HR a nerve center for the business, facilitating efficient communication between individuals and departments in precisely the way HR is supposed to.

It Takes Commitment to Change a Standard

If the goal is that the business will eventually have a fully integrated scheduling component, then it's important to start early with new hires. If possible, early meetings and even interviews should be set up via the standard app, making it clear that this is the platform through which your organization conducts such business. That way, it's harder for them to forget best practices — they've never known anything else. That's particularly important for remote or part-time workers.

Beyond that, think about how traditional values in scheduling can be applied using these new tools. By embedding a schedule in various parts of the user experience, a schedule can be made more "visible" in the office without ever needing to be posted. Good HR departments have always tried to work around the needs of their employees, and through remote collaboration and the automation of complex problem-solving, modern scheduling apps make that easier than ever. It also makes it easier for HR workers to keep an up-to-date schedule even during off hours, without allowing nearly as great an imposition on their free time.

How to Get the Most out of Work Schedule Apps

In principle, the best industries for work schedule apps are those where each person on shift performs a crucial role that must be replaced for the whole to function at peak efficiency, and lax scheduling can greatly impact productivity. There are a lot of options out there, so unless you plan to distribute business devices to every employee, make sure to pick a software solution that's supported by every major software platform. And make sure to head off potential excuses stemming from lost mobile connectivity by choosing one with robust offline capabilities, so even with a spotty connection employees can still get the job done.

Also, make sure to have employees pitch in with things like self-flagging for overtime availability. Not only does this alleviate the pressure on HR to handle every minor detail, but it allows employees to feel involved in the process of making their own schedule. That's how cloud-based solutions can actually help to make people feel they're getting more personal attention from their employer, since the sheer efficiency of modern apps has made it possible for the first time to build schedules based on all workers' disparate, highly changeable needs.

Of course, as convenient as modern cloud scheduling solutions can be, they don't completely negate the need for physical meetings and in-person consultations. As a supplement to good, old-fashioned people skills, however, the nerve center of the cloud can be just what a business needs to keep its various limbs moving and performing as one.

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