Introducing Smart Templates

Renée Mellish

31 January 2019    |   

Creating rosters using templates is great because in one click you have an entire roster worth of shifts. But even with templates, there are still a bunch of edits that you have to make after it is applied, for example: swapping out staff who are now on leave or unavailable, assigning staff to vacant shifts, etc. Today, we are introducing Smart Templates, a way to apply a template and have the best staff assigned to vacant shifts at the same time. You can start using Smart Templates today, by clicking the Apply Smart template option in your template menu on rosters. How it works: 1. Start by creating a template that has the coverage you know you need for the week, e.g. you know you need 3 people in the bar on Saturday night and 1 person to always be on the front desk. Note: Only vacant shifts will get adjusted so if you have shifts you don’t want to be altered just make sure those have staff assigned. 2. Apply your smart template. 3. When a template is applied any vacant shifts will have staff assigned automatically using the Tanda’s Cognitive algorithm. The algorithm works like this: Look at all the vacant shifts in the template across the week Avoid adding users with clashing shifts/leave/unavailability Avoid breaking roster validation rules Assign a cost-effective team Aim for fairness by spreading out shifts Read more: What’s new in Tanda — January 2019 FAQ Does it assign staff to shifts on a day by day basis (mon-sun) or does it look across the entire week? The way the algorithm works is it looks for the best combinations across the entire week at once, rather than doing it day by day and making the choices for available staff on the last day the least favourable. If I have shifts in my template that already have staff assigned i.e. full timers, part timers but those staff are on leave when I apply the template will those shifts be swapped out? At this stage no, only shifts that are left vacant will be filled – but we plan on making this part of a future version of smart templates.

Creating rosters using templates is great because in one click you have an entire roster worth of shifts. But even with templates, there are still a bunch of edits that you have to make after it is applied, for example: swapping out staff who are now on leave or unavailable, assigning staff to vacant shifts, etc.

Today, we are introducing Smart Templates, a way to apply a template and have the best staff assigned to vacant shifts at the same time.

You can start using Smart Templates today, by clicking the Apply Smart template option in your template menu on rosters.

How it works:

1. Start by creating a template that has the coverage you know you need for the week, e.g. you know you need 3 people in the bar on Saturday night and 1 person to always be on the front desk.

Note: Only vacant shifts will get adjusted so if you have shifts you don’t want to be altered just make sure those have staff assigned.

Tanda-Smart-Roster-Template-1

2. Apply your smart template.

Tanda-Smart-Roster-Template-2

3. When a template is applied any vacant shifts will have staff assigned automatically using the Tanda’s Cognitive algorithm.

The algorithm works like this:

  • Look at all the vacant shifts in the template across the week
  • Avoid adding users with clashing shifts/leave/unavailability
  • Avoid breaking roster validation rules
  • Assign a cost-effective team
  • Aim for fairness by spreading out shifts

Read more: What’s new in Tanda — January 2019

FAQ

Does it assign staff to shifts on a day by day basis (mon-sun) or does it look across the entire week?

The way the algorithm works is it looks for the best combinations across the entire week at once, rather than doing it day by day and making the choices for available staff on the last day the least favourable.

If I have shifts in my template that already have staff assigned i.e. full timers, part timers but those staff are on leave when I apply the template will those shifts be swapped out?

At this stage no, only shifts that are left vacant will be filled – but we plan on making this part of a future version of smart templates.

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How much do full-time staff really cost?

Being in the business of managing staff costs, we often hear people say that casual staff just cost so much more than their full time equivalents. I mean, that extra 25% is a killer, right? Especially for staff who work a fairly consistent schedule each week, it’s almost like free money. For a while there I went along with that, not really giving it much thought. But today the thought struck me – casuals miss out on plenty of benefits afforded to full and part timers, so are they really better off? I decided to investigate further. What follows may surprise you. First – how many days in a year does a full time employee work? Weeks in a Year: 52 Working Days in a Year: 260 So far so good. We’re going to ignore the 1 or 2 days that we’re off by, for the sake of a nice round number. Next, let’s look at this full time employee’s entitlements, in days. Annual Leave: 20 (4 weeks) Personal Leave: 10 (2 weeks) Public Holidays: 10 We’ll assume a 7.6 hour work day and 17.5% leave loading. So how many hours of leave are we paying? Annual Leave – Base: 152 Annual Leave – Loading: 26.6 Personal Leave: 76 Public Holidays: 76 Total Hours of Leave Paid: 330.6 Earlier we calculated how many days of work one can work in a year, now let’s subtract leave taken to get a more accurate figure. Days of Leave Taken: 40 Actual Days Worked in a Year: 220 Actual Hours Worked in a Year: 1672 Divide 330.6 (hours of leave paid) by 1672 (hours worked) and we get 19.77%. Remember, we are comparing this to the 25% loading paid for casual staff. So from this perspective, yes, your full time and part time staff are still cheaper – but only by 5.23%. And even that number is probably on the low side. We ignored long service leave and maternity leave because they are a bit more unreliable. Both they are also costs (or accruals) that can definitely add up! When you take into account the fact that you only have to pay casuals when you need them, it’s easy to see why more and more Australian employers are turning to casual staff. According to the ABS, this has been growing steadily since the 90’s, and today over 1 in 5 jobs in Australia are casual.

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New weather feature for Tanda Rosters

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New rostering features allows you to get visual with pay rates

This week at Tanda, we’ve launched some exciting new features to give businesses a complete visual breakdown on different pay rates that are applying on the roster. This is a game changer in allowing managers to easily build a fully costed, compliant and optimised work roster. Making it easier to understand the cost of a roster Tanda’s always given you the cost of a roster, broken down by each employee and each day. However, even that doesn’t always make it clear why costs blow out sometimes. This is why we built the roster costing chart. Visible on the costs view of their rosters, it shows a breakdown of each hour of the employee’s roster, showing if the time will be ordinary time or overtime and the cost that it’ll be paid at. With lots of staff on a roster, you’ll see a small preview for each person. We call it the candybar because of how datalicious it looks. You can even sort the list of staff based on this candybar – so you can order rosters based on who has the most complex costing which usually comes from having the most different kinds of overtime. Making it easier to give staff the hours they want We’re tackling these problems from both ends to give you more tools to make great rosters. You can now set the preferred hours that someone would like to work on their employee profile. If you roster someone with a lot more, or a lot less, hours than their preference, you’ll see a reminder on your roster. There’s 10% leeway on either side, which means you don’t need to roster everyone with exactly the number of hours they want – just in the general vicinity. This is a great way of giving staff hours they are happy with, while still maintaining the natural flexibility in hours required for casual employment. Did you know? If you roster a casual for the same hours every week, most Modern Awards include a clause where you need to offer them a permanent contract. Fair Work refers to this as “regular and systematic” rostering. Our goal at Tanda is to make it super simple to build a roster that is both compliant and optimised under your relevant Fair Work Award. If you’re interested in finding out some more information about implementing this in your business check out our rostering or award interpretation pages.

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About the author

Renée Mellish

Development: Renee is part of the software development team working as a UI/UX designer. She is responsible for designing Tanda in a way that provides the best possible experience for our users.

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Awards & Rostering

How much do full-time staff really cost?

Being in the business of managing staff costs, we often hear people say that casual staff just cost so much more than their full time equivalents. I mean, that extra 25% is a killer, right? Especially for staff who work a fairly consistent schedule each week, it’s almost like free money. For a while there […]

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New rostering features allows you to get visual with pay rates

This week at Tanda, we’ve launched some exciting new features to give businesses a complete visual breakdown on different pay rates that are applying on the roster. This is a game changer in allowing managers to easily build a fully costed, compliant and optimised work roster. Making it easier to understand the cost of a […]

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