If you're still using spreadsheets for scheduling, you're not alone. Thousands of businesses rely on Microsoft Excel and its alternatives to make sure their business is fully staffed. But with new innovations in workforce management systems, there are much better, less time consuming ways to create the best schedule possible. Don't cling to your spreadsheets out of habit. Here are four reasons you need to ditch spreadsheets today.
Spreadsheets are Time Consuming
You have a system but how efficient is it? If you're spending more than ten minutes preparing your weekly or monthly schedule, you're wasting time that could better be spent on other tasks. Spreadsheets require cutting, pasting, and tweaking schedules to account for weekends, vacations, holidays, and other time off. Workforce management systems don't require any of this time because the schedules auto-generate based on your employees and your business schedule. You have better things to do as a manager, and fiddling with spreadsheet schedules shouldn't be one of them.
Spreadsheets are Fraught With Error
You're not perfect, and if you've been using spreadsheets to schedule shifts, you already know that. Whether it was a short-staffed Saturday or accidentally scheduling someone to work on a day that the office was closed, spreadsheets are only as good as the time spent preparing them. In between personnel issues, budget requests, and company meetings, creating the schedule on a spreadsheet is usually crammed between other more pressing issues. Without dedicated time and effort, spreadsheet schedules have the potential to cause lost business and short-staffing.
Spreadsheets Aren't Shareable
If you're working with spreadsheet schedules, you've probably already fielded panicked calls after hours from employees wondering whether they're scheduled to work the next day. Spreadsheet schedules aren't made to be easily shared. You can print out a nice copy at the beginning of the month, but by the end of the month, most have ended up shredded or lost.
There are better ways to share schedules and keep on the pulse of employee needs when scheduling. Many workforce management systems offer online access for employees as well as time off accruals and time off requests, making managers' jobs easier and the schedule more up-to-date. By using a shareable schedule, employees can better manage their time off and managers can better manage their employees.
Spreadsheets Aren't Flexible
How far ahead are your employees scheduling time off? If you're using a spreadsheet, you may be limiting that notice because you haven't started working on that month, or you don't want to waste time figuring out if the employee will have enough time off for that request, or you're afraid of being short-staffed.
Spreadsheets aren't flexible to your dynamic needs like a workforce management system, which can adapt to your employee needs and your business needs. You're the person who does the grunt work to ensure the schedule is right, not automation. If upper management suddenly decides that a shift needs more staffing or less, you need to account for those needs. The inflexibility of spreadsheets make them a poor choice for both employers and employees.
While many businesses are still using spreadsheets, the advances, affordability, and convenience of workforce management systems make them infinitely easier for managers and employees. Spreadsheets require time and effort that managers should be expending on more meaningful tasks. Don't waste another week crafting a spreadsheet schedule, explore the options for scheduling using a workforce management system.