Feature Improvements: Unavailability for your staff
We heard you. Based on lots of customer feedback, we’ve recently made a number of improvements on how unavailability works in our rostering software so that our clients can take full advantage of this feature.
Receiving unavailability updates via email
Now, managers and admins will receive email notifications with all the new or updated unavailability entries from their staff. This means you can keep track of your staff’s schedule and easily click through to see the entire calendar.
Filing for unavailability via the new mobile app
We recently released a mobile app where your staff can check their roster, enter unavailability (when turned on), and apply for leave. The app makes it much easier than before to enter unavailability, especially when the schedule is a recurring one.
Setting a number of days’ notice
If you want to make sure that your employees give you adequate notice before setting their unavailability, you can now set a minimum number of days’ notice in the admin settings.
Upon entering their unavailability, your staff will get a warning and won’t be able to input their desired date when it falls within the minimum number of days that you set. This is a new feature that ensures you won’t miss any updates and have enough time to roster other staff to fill in empty shifts.
Turning on unavailability for your employees
You can start taking advantage of these updates by simply setting unavailability to ‘on’ for your employees. To do this, go to your settings and turn on unavailability under ‘My Account’.
Next, get your employees to download the Tanda mobile app.
And, that’s it! Your employees can now enter their unavailability via a mobile device. With these new features, managers and admins will now be notified of changes in their staff’s schedule, too.
Product Updates |
Adding unavailability just got way simpler!
The new Tanda Mobile App is really starting to take off with over 5,000 new users in the last month. On the back of some customer feedback, we have added our most requested feature, the option to enter unavailability in the app. Native Mobile Experience for Employees Employees have always been able to enter the times they are unavailable via an online portal, but it was not always easy to get to. Now, a better version of this functionality is available any time through the app – meaning employees have a single location to check their rosters and also let their manager know when they can’t work. Once an employee enters their unavailability, we’ll let their manager know with an email. Filing of unavailability directly within the app Recurring unavailability can be scheduled (e.g. for students with classes) Real-time roster updates whenever an employee adds or changes their unavailability Using Unavailability Knowing the time your employees prefer not to work helps you plan a roster that works better for everyone. Tanda lets you do this in two ways. You can see all unavailability requests via My Tanda under ‘Time Off’ > ‘Unavailability’. You will be notified if you create a shift for someone that clashes with their availability. It doesn’t stop you from rostering the person at that time, it just gives you a heads-up about their schedule. Getting your Employees to install the Tanda Mobile App Encourage your employees to install the app directly from the Apple App Store (for iOS) and Google Play Store (for Android) by searching for ‘Tanda Employee App’. If you have any questions about your employee’s account or how to use the app, visit our Help Centre. You can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be happy to help.
Product Updates |
Announcing our plans for Tanda time Off
Announcing our plans for Tanda Time Off We are combining the best bits of our existing unavailability + leave features to bring you the new and improved Tanda Time Off. This post lists the features we have planned to improve how you manage staff time off. — One of the most important factors in running a successful business is having staff who are happy, productive and love where they work. One way to foster this type of culture is by allowing staff to have the time off that they need. But how can a business do this while still making sure they have enough staff to put on their roster? Introducing Tanda Time Off We believe that the best way to manage the needs of your staff combined with the needs of the business is to simply be transparent with staff and tell them when the “good” or “bad” times to take time off actually are. We are taking the guesswork out of this process for staff so that they know when they should or shouldn’t take time off and why: i.e. 4 people already have friday off or saturday is our busiest day. The benefits of this are that managers don’t have to decline leave and leave staff disappointed, because the staff are discouraged to apply for unrealistic time off in the first place. We want to help you foster a happy, productive and successful workforce and we think our new time off feature will do a much better job of achieving this. How it works The current functionality of leave and unavailability is going to be combined to one feature, called Time Off. Meaning all staff regardless of their employment type will enter time off and managers will see it all in one place. Think of the approval process of leave, combined with the times / ability to create recurring events of unavailability. Approval process Right now all leave requires manager approval and all unavailability does not. We realise that this one size fits all approach doesn’t work for a lot of businesses. Which is why manager approval will now be based on the type of time off that has been entered. Tanda will automatically generate a bunch of time off types for each employment type, each with a default setting of ‘requires approval’ or ‘does not require approval’. Types like social time off, sick time off or family time off will require approval, but for types such as school time off and university time off, approval won’t be required, as these are times when staff don’t really have a choice. You can also create custom time off types or adjust the approval setting to suit your business need. Note: the ability to set leave types as auto-approved is live in Tanda now, find out more here. Encouraging time off in non-busy times (green-out periods) We plan on adding green-out periods for your business, this will give you the ability to let your staff know the days, weeks or even months when they are encouraged to take time off. For example, if you know that February is a really quiet month for your business, you can highlight it as a ‘green’ time so that staff know their leave is very likely to get approved. This gives staff more confidence and a better understanding of how their time off dates affect your business. Show staff the team’s existing time off when they are applying for their own As staff go to apply for time off they will see the existing time off that other employees have already entered, just like the shared diary or shared book that businesses would have prior to using Tanda. This allows staff to figure out what dates are the best to take off. I.e. if 3 staff in my team already have saturday off, I am less likely to apply for Saturday off. In addition to these key new features, we also plan to display a staff member’s time off more clearly on rosters and on employee profiles. We also plan to show the type of time off, so that if something happens and managers do need to get someone to work desperately, they can start with staff who have time off for things like social or family rather than those who have university or school. How this would work for employees For full-timers / part-timers For full-time and part-time staff they would be able to choose from any time off type that applies to them. All of which require manager approval so these changes won’t impact them much at all. For casuals Instead of entering unavailability, casuals will put all the times they can’t work in as time off requests. When they do so they will be able to choose from a series of options which map back to either unpaid leave – with approval or unpaid leave – without approval as above. Example time off options: School, University, Tafe etc. These options would be set on the leave types themselves. Basically as preset reasons that determine if approval is required or not. Why? The reason for this is because by law casuals are entitled to take time off when they need without manager approval and often this will be for legitimate things outside of their control like going to school, university time table etc. We also don’t think it’s fair to require approval for these types of things that really are simply just unavailable work times that often won’t change very frequently. The things that we do believe they should have approval for are for once off social events or other things that are within the employees control. So for things like ‘social, family, medical’ etc. these would all require approval. How does this sound to you? We would love to know any feedback or questions you have regarding Tanda Time Off. Simply email email@example.com
Awards & Rostering |
Restrict unavailability on published rosters
A common pain point for managers occurs when staff submit unavailability after the roster has been completed and published. Having to go back to the roster, make changes and re-publish it can be annoying and confusing to staff. To help prevent this situation we’ve always had minimum days’ notice setting for unavailability: This setting works okay, however it doesn’t factor in if the roster has been published further in advance than the minimum number of days notice. Let’s say you have a minimum notice period of 14 days but you have published rosters 3 weeks out (21 days) then you wouldn’t want staff to submit unavailability as this would require the manager to go back and change the roster or tell staff that it won’t be accepted. Both of which take time. Instead, you would want them to request a shift cover. For this reason, we’ve improved the way the unavailability notice works, so that it also factors in roster publishing. How it works When an employee goes to submit unavailability, Tanda will check whether their roster has been published yet for that date. If it has, they won’t be able to submit unavailability until the day after that roster ends. The main thing to note here is that if the minimum days’ notice is greater than the last day of published rosters, this setting will be used instead. The reason for this is that we know many businesses have a policy around days notice (i.e you must give at least 14 days notice), which we felt was important to still respect regardless of the roster publishing. This is what an employee would see in their app if they went to apply for unavailability within the lockout: This update should reduce the number of manual changes a manager has to make after they publish their roster. This should also encourage staff to get their unavailability entered earlier which is also going to make rostering in advance easier for managers. The great news is if a manager does publish their roster and staff are no longer unavailable they can request a cover and a manager can easy approve the change without ever needing to go back and edit the roster.