Centralized Scheduling: Is it Right for Your Organization?
by Julie Bushee
Manager, Implementation Services, Logile, Inc.
Centralizing scheduling for your company may sound overwhelming, intimidating, maybe even more work than it is worth. But why?
The centralized scheduling model, decreases the number of persons in charge of your current scheduling of employees. Centralized scheduling is a model in which one or few persons oversee the scheduling for all employees in the organization or worksite. Isn’t that great?
So, let’s talk this through. Why wouldn’t every company want to adopt a model for centralized scheduling if a small team could accomplish the task currently assigned to every manager in your company every week?
Well for starters… Moving from decentralized scheduling to centralized scheduling is change management… change is uncomfortable…it brings you into the “unknown zone.”
Here is what your company may believe to be the “comfortable zone”:
- Store Management better knows their employees
- Department Managers are closest to the work
- Store Management knows which days and times of day bring the largest increases in traffic
- Department Managers know what shifts their teammates prefer to work and this keeps their team satisfied
I’m not convinced that these statements are accurate, at least not all the time. Not where it matters most for your company. If you could improve operational efficiency and customer service, wouldn’t you?
Here are a couple of key benefits in adopting centralized scheduling:
Have an individual or small team of scheduling specialists oversee scheduling for all teammate
Someone that has a better vision of the big picture. Someone that knows that scheduling is more than assigning a teammate to a shift. Someone that understands while scheduling is personal to the teammate, it’s anything but personal to efficiency and customer service in your organization. Someone managing the right scheduling tool to produce a great schedule every time without also having to worry about the day-to-day operations of the managers “closest to the work.”
Having a team of scheduling experts that understand scheduling across multiple store formats, has visibility of teammates that are cross-trained in secondary departments or even secondary stores is invaluable.
Consistency in schedule writing and training of scheduling specialists
If store management knows their employees the best, then what happens when the manager leaves? What happens when this manager moves on from the store or department and another manager takes their place? Turnover in staff is inevitable. It’s going to happen. How well does your company handle change management?
How well does that new manager know these same teammates? I think we can agree the level of this knowledge decreases dramatically. Having a scheduling specialist in these cases is no longer more uncomfortable than being the new manager.
In the world of centralized scheduling, the level of knowledge does not change. The scheduling system holds employee data such as:
1) What labor tasks can the teammate perform?
2) What areas of the department/store can the teammate work?
3) What availability does the teammate have?
4) How many hours per day and week can the teammate work?
This transition in management becomes much smoother when the new manager does not have to concern themselves right away with this level of detail. They can continue to focus on business, building sales and customer service.
I hope this gives you a perspective of centralized scheduling that you haven’t considered before. There is no better feeling than feeling comfortable knowing that your company is running efficiently. Centralized Scheduling does not have to be intimidating! This is a time that less is more!
Please follow future blogs in your evaluation of centralized scheduling. Is it right for your organization? It can be! Next up we will explore taking the emotions of out of scheduling.