6 misconceptions of implementing employee scheduling software

by Rotageek on 7 June 2022

Employee scheduling software is proven to save companies ample time, costs and increase employee productivity. Yet despite a clear return on investment, many businesses are still hesitant.

If you’re struggling to separate the fear of risks from the benefits of employee scheduling, read on to discover the truth behind the most common misconceptions.

Common online scheduling myths busted!

Myth 1: It takes too much time to implement

Granted, new systems can’t be implemented in a second - there is a short period of time required to get everything working perfectly. But once the set-up stage is complete, the benefits of online scheduling just keep rolling in.

In reality, it can take as little as four weeks

Employee management software is a cloud-based solution meaning that it can be implemented quicker and easier than a legacy system. For Lush it took just four weeks.

The iconic cosmetics retailer recently transformed their rota management, remotely rolling out a new online scheduling solution to 4,000 UK employees. Rotageek’s pioneering software was chosen to support Lush in improving the staff experience across 100 stores as well as nationwide manufacturing facilities. An industry-leading mobile app was delivered, giving users 24/7 visibility of their schedules, communications and the ability to swap and pick up shifts.

“Our store and warehouse Managers across our UK&I business are thrilled with the new system. Less time is being spent on scheduling and more time is being spent with their teams and customers.” - Kasey Swithenbank, UK&I Retailer


Myth 2: It’s only a rota scheduling tool

Creating a staff rota is the end goal of employee scheduling - but a top-notch system can do so much more.

In reality, it’s an all-in-one workforce management solution

First-rate staff management software does more than schedule your employees. From streamlined absence management to time and attendance tracking, in reality, it has a whole host of features. Users can access rotas, reports and timesheets anytime, anywhere straight from their smartphone. Whilst simple system integration means your scheduling tool will work alongside a huge variety of already implemented platforms.

Yet the biggest truth behind this myth is the software’s autoscheduling, optimisation and forecasting engine. Using AI-driven technology, the forecaster perfectly predicts customer and labour demand for each location, role and task down to a 15-minute interval and the autoscheduler creates perfectly optimised rotas in just a few seconds!

Discover Rotageek's AI powered, Autoscheduler, here. 

Myth 3: Spreadsheets are the best way to schedule

Humans are naturally inclined to avoid change. And yes, whilst spreadsheets are super at collating data, they are not suited to creating employee schedules. In fact, a paper-based approach or Excel rota does more damage than good.

In reality, spreadsheets are prone to errors.

Many businesses still use Excel spreadsheets to create staff rotas. But this time-consuming method actually results in endless errors from multiple versions to missed requests. This not only costs companies time and money - it has a sour effect on employee happiness.

However specialist employee scheduling software automatically updates one centralised rota with staff availability, changes and shift swaps.

William Hill is just one high street brand that revolutionised their scheduling after ditching manual processes. Their employees were wasting hours of time creating rotas that lacked visibility, consistency and adaptability. All things that implementing a robust workforce management solution like Rotageek, could provide. After going digital, William Hill reported trebled success on business KPIs, boosted employee experience, and greater oversight at HQ to continue improving.

Myth 4: Online scheduling doesn’t save that much time

Like any new system, scheduling software requires an initial setup. But once this short period is complete, companies will actually save hours of time every week. This not only accumulates to monetary savings - it keeps employees happier too.

In reality, companies can reduce admin by 80%

In a recent study, we found that managers spend up to nine hours every week creating and managing schedules. However, after implementing employee management software, these companies saved up to 80% in schedule-related admin, allowing staff to get back to the tasks that matter. In an average retailer with 100 locations, this could be saving as much as 40,000 hours per year! Just think about what your retail business could do with extra time like that.

Myth 5: Workforce management doesn’t generate a return on investment

Sure, new technology isn’t free. It requires an initial period of investment in time and money. But once your workforce management solution is set up, you can expect to see positive results within a matter of months.

In reality, companies can save up to 10% of labour cost, whilst only spending 0.5%

Online scheduling software directly saves time and improves productivity rates - therefore staff are able to generate more revenue whilst reducing costs elsewhere.

Because the digital system perfectly matches staff levels to the demand curve, businesses can in fact save 5-10% of labour cost, whilst only using 0.5% of the staffing budget. This tenfold return on investment allows companies to not only reduce wasted costs but to reinvest these savings into ROI producing areas such as training, wellness and development.

Myth 6: Computers can't make rotas as well as humans

The age old debate of ‘man vs machine’ is an important one. However when it comes to who’s better at accurate employee scheduling, there’s no competition.

In reality, employee scheduling software improves labour to demand match by 25%

Instead, employee scheduling systems can improve labour match to customer demand alignment by up to 25% compared to traditional methods.

Predicting customer demand (the exact times and days your store will be busy) is a central part of scheduling. Knowing that you’ll need two people on shift during a quieter morning, but then six workers over lunchtime where footfall is likely to increase is exactly how both human and machine rota-makers think about the problem they are trying to solve. However human models of demand are often guided by intuition and memory, hinging on heuristic patterns that are mostly inaccurate and repeat from one day or week to the next.

Rotageek’s ‘demand modelling’ technology begins by analysing years of granular data (such as RetailNext’s footfall analysis) to deliver a history of patterns from seasonality to payday trends to moveable events such as Easter. The result is a 15-minute granularity forecast for each individual store that can be slightly different for every day of the year.

We then pre-program the system to share how many staff are required to serve this volume of footfall - considering various roles and tasks - for any given period. This resulting view of demand is then used to drive automated scheduling, allowing retailers to either serve the same number of customers with less wasted labour hours or to serve more customers quicker and better with the team already in place. By improving customer experience, this feature is proven to increase NPS scores, basket size and conversion rates.

Plus, by integrating with payroll workflows to automate required cross-checks, automatic scheduling software eliminates common payroll errors. If an employee works longer than legally permitted, the system won’t allow it. If they work a set of hours as confirmed by time & attendance functionalities in-app, then those hours are directly submitted to the payroll system. Benefit from automated accuracy and enhanced scheduling compliance.

Want to revolutionise your employee scheduling?

Online scheduling software is a necessity for optimising productivity in today’s modern world.

Join the world’s leading companies and transform your employee management with Rotageek’s world-class workforce management solution.

If you would like to learn more about Rotageek's retail scheduling capabilities for your business, speak to a geek - we'd love to see what smart scheduling can do for your people, your customers, and your bottom line.

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