Shift Swapping has Arrived

Renée Mellish

18 September 2018    |   

It’s 7am on a Saturday morning, your busiest shift of the week. You hear the familiar melody of your ringtone and your heart skips a beat. A call this early usually means one thing. As suspected, one of your employees has called in sick. The doors are about to open for the morning rush, and you need to do the ring around. Find the best replacement, fast Sometimes even the best of employees are unable to work a rostered shift. With our new Shift Swapping feature, you can skip the ring around and tedious manual calculations to find a suitable replacement. Our app presents costs, rostered hours, and availability so you can make quick decisions. With our Shift Swapping feature you can: Have complete control and oversight over shift swaps Compare rostered hours and wage costs when approving a cover Automatically inform staff of roster changes How it works When an employee can’t work a shift, the manager is notified and prompted to action the request. From there a shift can be broadcasted to all available staff in that team, or sent to hand-picked employees. Broadcast to all staff Once the shift is broadcasted, employees can put their hand up to cover the shift. Managers are notified when ‘good fits’ have offered to cover the shift, and can approve a suitable replacement from a pool of applicants. A good fit is someone who is: available, works in the same team, and will cost the same (or less). Selected staff For hand-picked employees, whoever accepts the shift first ‘wins’ the shift. In each of these cases, the original employee is notified whether their cover request was approved or declined, and the new employee is notified of the change to their roster. At this point you’re probably wondering, ‘what if I forget to action a new request?’ We have included an auto broadcast system to help with exactly that. If the shift the employee can’t work is less than 3 days away, it will be automatically pushed to ‘in progress’ and sent to all available staff within the team. If you’re more of a hands-off manager and don’t want to spend any time approving shift swaps, you can turn off Manager Approval in the Roster tab in General Settings. What’s next We’re working on optimising the process for finding last-minute replacements. This way, when an employee calls in sick you can initiate the process. We plan to incorporate open shifts into this feature, where employees can offer to fill open shifts. So you can keep an eye on how many times your staff request to drop or cover shifts, we’ll make it easy by showing this information during the approval process. FAQs Can employees swap shifts outside their team? Employees can only swap within teams they have been assigned to. Why am I not receiving notifications? To receive notifications you need to be a Team Manager in your employee settings, and be assigned to the relevant teams. Check that you haven’t turned notifications off for the Tanda App. Will the feature be available on desktop? Yes, we will be building shift swapping in My Tanda in the future. Can employees find their own replacement? No, our feature has not been designed for employees to find their own replacement. This is deliberate to provide managers more control and oversight over costs. Can employees trade shifts with each other? No. Our cover request system is designed to minimise the number of requests and roster changes. Shift ‘trades’ can be done manually by editing the roster. What if I don’t want my staff to access this feature? You can turn the feature off in General settings if you’d prefer to manually manage swaps between your staff.

It’s 7am on a Saturday morning, your busiest shift of the week. You hear the familiar melody of your ringtone and your heart skips a beat. A call this early usually means one thing. As suspected, one of your employees has called in sick. The doors are about to open for the morning rush, and you need to do the ring around.

Find the best replacement, fast

Sometimes even the best of employees are unable to work a rostered shift. With our new Shift Swapping feature, you can skip the ring around and tedious manual calculations to find a suitable replacement. Our app presents costs, rostered hours, and availability so you can make quick decisions.
With our Shift Swapping feature you can:

  • Have complete control and oversight over shift swaps
  • Compare rostered hours and wage costs when approving a cover
  • Automatically inform staff of roster changes

Shift swapping mockups

How it works

When an employee can’t work a shift, the manager is notified and prompted to action the request. From there a shift can be broadcasted to all available staff in that team, or sent to hand-picked employees.

Shift swapping process diagram

Broadcast to all staff

Once the shift is broadcasted, employees can put their hand up to cover the shift. Managers are notified when ‘good fits’ have offered to cover the shift, and can approve a suitable replacement from a pool of applicants.

A good fit is someone who is:

  • available,
  • works in the same team,
  • and will cost the same (or less).

Selected staff

For hand-picked employees, whoever accepts the shift first ‘wins’ the shift.

In each of these cases, the original employee is notified whether their cover request was approved or declined, and the new employee is notified of the change to their roster.

App notification

At this point you’re probably wondering, ‘what if I forget to action a new request?’ We have included an auto broadcast system to help with exactly that. If the shift the employee can’t work is less than 3 days away, it will be automatically pushed to ‘in progress’ and sent to all available staff within the team.

If you’re more of a hands-off manager and don’t want to spend any time approving shift swaps, you can turn off Manager Approval in the Roster tab in General Settings.

What’s next

We’re working on optimising the process for finding last-minute replacements. This way, when an employee calls in sick you can initiate the process.

We plan to incorporate open shifts into this feature, where employees can offer to fill open shifts.

So you can keep an eye on how many times your staff request to drop or cover shifts, we’ll make it easy by showing this information during the approval process.

FAQs

Can employees swap shifts outside their team?

Employees can only swap within teams they have been assigned to.

Why am I not receiving notifications?

To receive notifications you need to be a Team Manager in your employee settings, and be assigned to the relevant teams. Check that you haven’t turned notifications off for the Tanda App.

Will the feature be available on desktop?

Yes, we will be building shift swapping in My Tanda in the future.

Can employees find their own replacement?

No, our feature has not been designed for employees to find their own replacement. This is deliberate to provide managers more control and oversight over costs.

Can employees trade shifts with each other?

No. Our cover request system is designed to minimise the number of requests and roster changes. Shift ‘trades’ can be done manually by editing the roster.

What if I don’t want my staff to access this feature?

You can turn the feature off in General settings if you’d prefer to manually manage swaps between your staff.

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Should you approve shift swaps at work?

If you run a service-oriented business, you’re all too familiar with staff requesting to suddenly change or drop shifts. It’s something that any business owner cannot control; staff will encounter unlikely situations and will get sick from time to time. What is shift swapping? Shift swapping is a need for staff to change the time that they’re rostered for work. A situation where shift swaps happen can vary from work-related to personal reasons. But all the same, the employer is always given the power to let changes in rosters happen. Operational risks Letting staff take control of their time is one way of showing respect to your people. Sick leaves and personal emergencies are really out of the question when it comes to approving time off. However, without the knowledge of who can immediately fill in vacancies, more so the ability to get replacements instantly, business operations become tricky. Shift swapping that results in vacancies gives your business the risk of giving inconsistent service to your customers. For pubs, loyal customers come back for the quality of drinks and those who serve them. We hear regulars say, “the usual” when they order something, and having that one person take unexpected time off can derail your customers’ expectations. Because businesses enter ‘firefighting mode’ when staff is out, it’s not easy to assure that whoever comes in will provide the same level of service — or worse, that someone else even agrees to come in in the first place. Administrative costs It’s not a chore to mark your staff unavailable when they suddenly decide to take some time off. But it becomes confusing when multiple shift swaps happen within a day, week, or month. The fact that staff members have different rates, allowances, and hours can leave you organising pay data for ages. The good news Despite the risks you get with shift swapping, managers are still in control of their operations. With modern technology, apps can now accommodate these gaps. No-show shifts can easily be filled without the worry of overlapping schedules and calculating hours for payroll. Recent shift swapping technology not only fills your vacancies, but it also ensures that whoever is taking up a shift is a good fit, i.e. they are available for the hours, they belong in the same team, and will cost your business the same/less. So yes, go ahead and approve shift swap requests at work. With shift swapping technology, there’s no room for worry and firefighting for your business. Not only are you creating trust between managers and staff,  but you’re also at ease knowing that operations will keep running while keeping costs in check. To know more about Shift Swapping, visit https://www.tanda.co/shift-swapping/

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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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If you run a service-oriented business, you’re all too familiar with staff requesting to suddenly change or drop shifts. It’s something that any business owner cannot control; staff will encounter unlikely situations and will get sick from time to time. What is shift swapping? Shift swapping is a need for staff to change the time […]

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