Online Scheduling Software: 3 Things It Should Have

Jana Dee Reserva

22 January 2020    |   

In an ideal world, managers focus on building people up, improving workflows, and strategising to achieve the organisation’s goals. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.  In reality, managers juggle a lot of tasks that holds them back from doing high-value initiatives for the organisation. Most of which involve admin work that is tedious, repetitive, and eats up a lot of time, with rostering being one of them.  Managers tend to spend hours in scheduling because it requires looking into a lot of factors, from operational requirements to the needs of employees. They need to cover all bases and ensure balance for the team. In fact, a survey from Glassdoor shows that 87% of employees expect their employer to support them in balancing their life between work and personal commitments. The good news is there are different online scheduling software available in the market today. But the hard and crucial part is finding the right one for your organisation. Here are the top three things you should look for when choosing an online scheduling software. Eliminate the paperwork. Try our free rostering template for Excel sheets. The anatomy of a good online scheduling software Before you invest in any rostering solution, here are essential things to consider: 1. Ability to meet business needs Scheduling software may have a lot of features, but they will all be for nothing if they don’t meet your needs. Recognise that each business is unique, and a solution with all the bells and whistles may not always be the best choice.  Understand your requirements and things you want to achieve. Is it to lessen time spent on rostering? Is it to maximise wage cost? Is it to have complete oversight on your entire operation? Go for the platform that will help address the gaps and take you closer to your targets. Case in point is Inala Primary Care in Brisbane. Inala Primary care is an independent, not-for-profit General Practice in Queensland, and they invested in a solution to achieve particular goals such as saving on wage costs and increasing productivity. They opted for Tanda’s rostering software to help them focus more on providing good quality of care to their patients and less on doing admin tasks such as scheduling. Also, the roster system, along with other features built within the product, enables them to minimise wage costs.   2. Ease of use Go for a solution that’s easy for you and your team to use. Sure, there’s a learning curve to everything, but go for a software that you can quickly get used to and integrate with existing processes.  For retailers like HideAWAY, an artisan beauty goods company, are very much a mobile workforce. They use Tanda to manage staff, and their team finds the mobile version of the platform — specifically the time clock and rostering features — very useful. Because everything is in one app, they can check rosters and manage availability without needing to be physically in the office, making their operations smoother.   Read more: 3 Common Rostering Problems Managers Face (And How to Solve Them) 3. Enables you to make smart decisions When choosing a scheduling software, or any solution for your business, always go for the one that will help you manage your people and operations better. You can only get the most out of a rostering tool when it’s able to provide insights that can help you make the right decisions.  There’s too much consideration and information that comes with creating a schedule for your team. It includes hours to fill, the number of shifts worked, team membership, dates, and so on. All this contextual information is essential to schedule, but they shouldn’t overwhelm any manager. A good scheduling platform is built in a way to help you look at these factors without flooding you with details. It gives you options to examine and filter information as you schedule. Going beyond software If you want success for your business, it’s time to think beyond software. Go for a solution that not just helps you get one task done, but empowers you to stay on top of your organisation.  Tanda is a platform with a very comprehensive roster software that works seamlessly with other features that cover all the admin and tedious side of workforce management, empowering users to have more time for high-value tasks. Start taking your team to the next level and give Tanda a try today. 

In an ideal world, managers focus on building people up, improving workflows, and strategising to achieve the organisation’s goals. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. 

In reality, managers juggle a lot of tasks that holds them back from doing high-value initiatives for the organisation. Most of which involve admin work that is tedious, repetitive, and eats up a lot of time, with rostering being one of them. 

Managers tend to spend hours in scheduling because it requires looking into a lot of factors, from operational requirements to the needs of employees. They need to cover all bases and ensure balance for the team. In fact, a survey from Glassdoor shows that 87% of employees expect their employer to support them in balancing their life between work and personal commitments.

The good news is there are different online scheduling software available in the market today. But the hard and crucial part is finding the right one for your organisation. Here are the top three things you should look for when choosing an online scheduling software.

Eliminate the paperwork. Try our free rostering template for Excel sheets.

The anatomy of a good online scheduling software

Before you invest in any rostering solution, here are essential things to consider:

1. Ability to meet business needs

Scheduling software may have a lot of features, but they will all be for nothing if they don’t meet your needs. Recognise that each business is unique, and a solution with all the bells and whistles may not always be the best choice. 

Understand your requirements and things you want to achieve. Is it to lessen time spent on rostering? Is it to maximise wage cost? Is it to have complete oversight on your entire operation? Go for the platform that will help address the gaps and take you closer to your targets.

Case in point is Inala Primary Care in Brisbane. Inala Primary care is an independent, not-for-profit General Practice in Queensland, and they invested in a solution to achieve particular goals such as saving on wage costs and increasing productivity. They opted for Tanda’s rostering software to help them focus more on providing good quality of care to their patients and less on doing admin tasks such as scheduling. Also, the roster system, along with other features built within the product, enables them to minimise wage costs.  

2. Ease of use

Go for a solution that’s easy for you and your team to use. Sure, there’s a learning curve to everything, but go for a software that you can quickly get used to and integrate with existing processes. 

For retailers like HideAWAY, an artisan beauty goods company, are very much a mobile workforce. They use Tanda to manage staff, and their team finds the mobile version of the platform — specifically the time clock and rostering features — very useful. Because everything is in one app, they can check rosters and manage availability without needing to be physically in the office, making their operations smoother.  

Read more: 3 Common Rostering Problems Managers Face (And How to Solve Them)

3. Enables you to make smart decisions

When choosing a scheduling software, or any solution for your business, always go for the one that will help you manage your people and operations better. You can only get the most out of a rostering tool when it’s able to provide insights that can help you make the right decisions. 

There’s too much consideration and information that comes with creating a schedule for your team. It includes hours to fill, the number of shifts worked, team membership, dates, and so on. All this contextual information is essential to schedule, but they shouldn’t overwhelm any manager. A good scheduling platform is built in a way to help you look at these factors without flooding you with details. It gives you options to examine and filter information as you schedule.

Going beyond software

If you want success for your business, it’s time to think beyond software. Go for a solution that not just helps you get one task done, but empowers you to stay on top of your organisation. 

Tanda is a platform with a very comprehensive roster software that works seamlessly with other features that cover all the admin and tedious side of workforce management, empowering users to have more time for high-value tasks. Start taking your team to the next level and give Tanda a try today

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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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Easter Penalty Rates 2015 — What you need to know about paying staff

Easter is coming up soon, and that means two things! A new season of Game of Thrones to feast on, and – perhaps less excitingly – public holiday rates to pay staff. As a business owner, accountant, or bookkeeper, it’s important to be aware of how public holiday rates over Easter and ANZAC Day should be paid in your state. First, let’s see when the holidays will be in 2014. You might be surprised! If your business is open on any of these public holidays, you’ll need to pay staff the appropriate public holiday rates. You should check your award, which will tell you exactly what multiplier or penalties to apply, often under a Public Holidays section. A common multiplier is 2.5x. Some businesses pay staff salaries, or pay casually “above award”. Public holiday penalties still apply! If you have a contract, it should cover this – check with Fair Work if you are unsure. Staff who don’t work on a public holiday If you have full or part time staff who should have worked on any of the weekday public holidays – Good Friday, Easter Monday, and Easter Tuesday in specific cases – they are still entitled to pay, even if they do not work. Generally you’ll pay at base rate for the hours staff would have been entitled to. Of course, if staff do work on the day, you’ll pay at a higher rate as dictated by the award (see above). But keep in mind: this only applies if they usually work on that day. For example, a part timer in Queensland who generally works Tuesday to Thursday probably wouldn’t get paid the public holidays because there’s no public holiday on those weekdays. Check your award/agreement to be sure! If your award dictates how rostered days off work, you should check to see if staff with an RDO on a public holiday are still paid. In some states, some kinds of businesses are not permitted to open on public holidays due to trading regulations. If this applies, you will probably still be required to pay staff who would otherwise work on that weekday. Again, if you’re not sure, it’s best to ask. Staff who work on a day that isn’t a public holiday Keep in mind that the rest of the award doesn’t shut off just because it’s Easter. For example, if you are in Tasmania and pay Saturday rates, you’ll still need to pay these on Easter Saturday (which is not a public holiday for you). Did you know… If an employee takes sick leave around a public holiday (eg. Thursday April 24 to Monday April 28), they still get paid the public holiday if they were otherwise supposed to work that day (ie. full/part time) If an employee takes annual leave, public holidays during the leave period don’t count towards their annual leave balance Public holidays do not need to be paid for staff on unpaid leave Staff cannot be forced to work on a public holiday if they have reasonable grounds for doing so. Common reasons include: the amount of notice given, family responsibilities (especially over Easter), and whether one could reasonably expect the business to be open on a public holiday. Tanda’s employee time clocks automatically interpret industry awards – including public holidays – so you can be sure you paid staff right, without tedious manually data entry Add the Fair Work Infoline to your speed dial, they are always happy to help. The number to call for any payroll queries is 131 394. Note: none of the above constitutes formal payroll advice. Always check with your accountant, bookkeeper, or Fair Work.

Industry Insights    |   

Giving Employee Feedback: 7 Ways to Constructively Deliver Bad News

Wouldn’t management be so much easier if everyone just did their job? You might feel sometimes like your job description would better match that of a babysitter than a business manager. But the sad fact is, unless you provide your staff with proper leadership; productivity, efficiency, morale, and overall quality of work will suffer. Part of effective management is providing your personnel with feedback when they’ve done something incorrectly, or perhaps just less correctly than you would prefer. Ideally, you want to train your workforce to act as you would in a given situation. This takes time, patience, and consistent positive reinforcement. So how can you communicate to your beautiful and unique snowflakes that they’re not meeting your standards without alienating, offending, or irritating them? Here is a list of best practices that can help you deliver a difficult message in ways that will improve employee attitude, engagement, and performance. 1.      Focus on Positives Even if you’ve been stuck with the worst employee in the world, even if they come into work smelling like a Cypress Hill concert in un-ironed slacks made of organic hemp, you’ve got to find a silver lining. To be clear, this doesn’t mean sugar-coating the negatives. It just means balancing criticism with praise. Build employee confidence first, then present avenues for improvement. The thing to remember about creating a harmonious work environment is it begins and ends with being nice. The simplest gestures can prevent resentment, discontentment, and hurt feelings. Keep your employees happy, and you’ll be a much happier manager. 2.      Objectivity This can be tough. It’s important not to let your emotions get in the way of effective management. Subjectivity can get you into all sorts of trouble: favouritism, nepotism, and a plethora of other –isms worth avoiding. A cool head is needed for command decisions, plus your employees will reflect the attitudes you present to them. Come to work angry, and you’re likely to look out and see an office rife with cantankerousness. 3.      Always Deliver Negative Feedback in Person It’s a busy day, you hear a bad report, and you want to get it handled quickly. So you just shoot of an email with a textual reprimand. A very tempting scenario, but not the best idea. People can read into messages more or less than you intend. If there’s a problem with an employee important enough for you to respond personally, then it’s important enough to respond to it in person. 4.      Time your Feedback Correctly Timing is everything. You have to take the opportune moment. For minor infractions, or something of a sensitive nature (a conflict between employees for example), allow a bit of time to pass so that tempers might cool before addressing the situation. Similarly, don’t call an employee out in front of their peers. Wait for the right moment, when they’re not under scrutiny, to approach. You don’t want to embarrass an employee, and you never know what can get the blood running to someone’s cheeks. 5.      Location, Location, Location Along the same lines as timing, the location of a performance review can have a great impact on how receptive an employee might be to your suggestions. Go to an empty conference room, any neutral ground will do. 6.      Pay Attention to How You’re Being Perceived This means watching your phrasing and body language. Present problems in a sympathetic light, and avoid negative syntax: “I don’t think… You shouldn’t… This isn’t…” Maintain eye contact, without being creepy. Keep gesticulations, mannerisms, and movements calm and casual. Aggression is an animal instinct, don’t release the beast during a performance review. 7.      Be Clear With Your Criticisms, Leave No Room for Interpretation Convey your meaning quickly, clearly, and without ambiguity. Be direct with your employees, let them know exactly what you disapprove of, how they can improve, and if there’s a need for it: a warning as to what continued instances of the undesired behavior will result in. Alternatively, reinforce desired actions. If they’ve done anything right at all, mention it, and offer praise. Building an effective team is a complicated process, but armed with common sense and a healthy dose of positivity, you can put together an office environment that runs like a well-oiled machine.

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About the author

Jana Dee Reserva

Jana Dee is a content and digital marketing professional who's advocating for cultural breakthroughs in organisations through technology and good employee engagement practices.

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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 […]

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Easter Penalty Rates 2015 — What you need to know about paying staff

Easter is coming up soon, and that means two things! A new season of Game of Thrones to feast on, and – perhaps less excitingly – public holiday rates to pay staff. As a business owner, accountant, or bookkeeper, it’s important to be aware of how public holiday rates over Easter and ANZAC Day should […]

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Giving Employee Feedback: 7 Ways to Constructively Deliver Bad News

Wouldn’t management be so much easier if everyone just did their job? You might feel sometimes like your job description would better match that of a babysitter than a business manager. But the sad fact is, unless you provide your staff with proper leadership; productivity, efficiency, morale, and overall quality of work will suffer. Part […]

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