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11 Workforce Scheduling Software to Supercharge Productivity

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As a business leader, finding ways to maximize workforce productivity should be a top priority. After all, your team‘s performance ultimately fuels your organization‘s success.

One proven way to optimize productivity? Leveraging workforce scheduling software.

I know examining new software can feel tedious, but bear with me. This guide will explain:

  • Why scheduling software is critical for productivity.
  • An in-depth look at 11 top options.
  • Key statistics and recommendations so you can make the right choice.
  • Tips to ensure smooth implementation at your company.

So if you want to take your team‘s productivity to the next level, keep reading. This guide is for you.

Why Scheduling Software is Crucial for Productivity

Let‘s start with the basics.

Workforce scheduling software gives managers an automated way to assign shifts, tasks, on-call duties, and time off. It also provides tools for communication, documentation, and analytics.

This solves major pain points associated with antiquated scheduling methods like spreadsheets or paper calendars:

Inefficiency: Manually scheduling is slow, tedious, and error-prone. Managers can waste 5+ hours per week on scheduling with manual approaches.

Lack of Optimization: Humans struggle to objectively evaluate all variables to create optimal schedules. Software algorithms handle this easily.

Poor Accessibility: Spreadsheet or paper schedules create bottlenecks. Employees must ask managers for the latest updates.

Minimal Flexibility: Making shift changes and trades is difficult. Employees depend fully on managers for schedule modifications.

Limited Analytics: Manual schedules provide zero data around schedules, attendance, overtime, budgets, and more.

Compliance Risks: Following labor laws and regulations with inconsistent manual scheduling is virtually impossible.

By transitioning to automated scheduling software, organizations report:

  • 65% faster scheduling time [1]
  • 83% reduction in unplanned absences [2]
  • 45% improvement in labor budget accuracy [3]
  • 75% drop in compliance issues [4]

Simply put, scheduling software leads to dramatic productivity gains by streamlining scheduling tasks and allowing managers to focus on more strategic initiatives. Employees also benefit from visibility and flexibility around schedules.

Now let‘s explore the top scheduling software options available to take your team‘s productivity to new heights.

11 Leading Scheduling Software Solutions

1. BambooHR

BambooHR provides a robust HR software platform complete with award-winning scheduling and time tracking capabilities.

With BambooHR, managers can:

  • Build schedules in a drag-and-drop calendar interface
  • Assign shifts based on role requirements
  • Automate schedule distribution and notifications
  • Approve time off requests
  • Enable employees to trade shifts
  • Track employee work hours

Notable features include mobile apps, labor analytics, and deep integrations with payroll, ATS, and other HR platforms. Over 29,000 organizations use BambooHR‘s software worldwide.

Cost: Starts at $4 per employee per month

2. Connecteam

Connecteam offers user-friendly features for scheduling, communication, and organizing a distributed workforce.

Key scheduling capabilities:

  • Build schedules from customizable templates
  • Drag and drop interface to assign shifts
  • Manage employee requests for time off
  • Automate schedule changes and notifications
  • Enable shift trades between employees
  • Track attendance and hours worked

Additional features like digital forms, shared inboxes, and video messaging foster seamless collaboration. Users rave about Connecteam‘s intuitive UX.

Cost: Starts at $2 per user per month billed annually

3. Deputy

Deputy is an AI-powered scheduling and workforce management solution purpose-built for shift work.

With Deputy, managers can:

  • Leverage predictive scheduling technology
  • Assign shifts and tasks
  • Approve time off and shift swaps
  • Manage schedules across multiple locations
  • Track attendance, hours worked, and overtime

Employees can clock-in, make requests, view schedules, and more on Deputy‘s customizable self-service portal.

Cost: Starts at $2.50 per user per month

4. Homebase

Homebase offers free employee scheduling software designed for restaurants, retailers, and other service businesses.

Notable features include:

  • Drag and drop scheduler
  • Labor budgeting insights
  • Employee availability tracking
  • Permissions to restrict schedule edits
  • Overtime alerts
  • Timeclock
  • Payroll reports
  • iOS and Android apps

Homebase provides free scheduling for a single location. Paid upgrades available for multiple locations and additional features.

5. Humanity

Humanity is a scheduling platform built for high-volume shift work. Used by over 175,000 businesses worldwide, Humanity simplifies complex scheduling.

Managers can:

  • Schedule in a visual drag-and-drop calendar
  • Assign shifts based on roles and seniority
  • Approve or deny time off requests
  • Fill open shifts
  • Configure schedule notifications

Employees can request days off, shift swap, and communicate needs. Custom analytics measure schedule performance.

Cost: Starts at $2 per active user per month

6. Planday

Planday is a scheduling solution tailored for retail and hospitality industries. Automated features simplify and speed up scheduling for managers.

Notable capabilities:

  • Automated schedule optimization
  • Employee self-scheduling
  • Vacation requests
  • Shift trading
  • Labor analytics
  • Payroll, POS, accounting integrations
  • iOS and Android mobile apps

Planday also has built-in messaging for schedule changes and internal communications.

Cost: Customized quotes based on needs

7. Shiftboard

Shiftboard is a flexible solution for workload scheduling across a variety of industries and shift types.

Key features include:

  • Automated shift scheduling
  • Employee self-scheduling
  • Vacation requests
  • Real-time notifications
  • Customizable manager and employee portals
  • Configurable shift workflows
  • Time tracking
  • Payroll integrations
  • Scheduling analytics

Shiftboard provides enterprise-level capabilities scaled to support 100,000+ employees if needed.

Cost: Scaled cost model based on users and options

8. TSheets

TSheets offers advanced employee scheduling combined with GPS-based time tracking.

For scheduling, TSheets enables users to:

  • Build project schedules based on employee skills
  • Create recurring shifts
  • Track employee certifications
  • Manage time off requests
  • Fill open shifts
  • Prevent overtime

Seamless GPS-based time tracking enables payroll automation. 200+ platform integrations available.

Cost: Starts at $5 per user per month

9. When I Work

When I Work provides user-friendly, affordable scheduling software suitable for SMBs.

Key features include:

  • Drag and drop scheduler
  • Employee availability tracking
  • Time off requests
  • Shift trade capabilities
  • Group messaging
  • Basic timeclock
  • Payroll integrations
  • iOS and Android mobile apps

The platform is designed for retail, healthcare, restaurants, manufacturing, and professional services.

Cost: Starts at just $1.50 per user per month

10. ZoomShift

ZoomShift delivers simplified scheduling and communication tools for shift-based work.

Managers can:

  • Create schedules in minutes
  • Use pre-built templates
  • Manage time off requests
  • Prevent overtime hours
  • Fill empty shifts

Employees receive alerts on schedules, shift trades, and more. ZoomShift also boasts built-in payroll exports and labor analytics.

Cost: Starts at $2.50 per user per month

11. 7shifts

7shifts provides specialized scheduling software for restaurants alongside labor analytics.

Notable features:

  • Forecast-driven scheduling
  • Employee self-scheduling
  • Time off and shift trade requests
  • Food safety compliance
  • Inventory management integrations
  • Sales reporting
  • Payroll, accounting, POS integrations

7shifts aims to help restaurants optimize labor costs through smarter scheduling. Managers gain insights to improve productivity.

Cost: Starts at $1.50 per active user per month

Key Factors When Evaluating Scheduling Software

With many solutions on the market, these are the most critical factors to consider:

Industry Fit

Focus on solutions designed for companies like yours. Scheduling needs vary significantly across:

  • Retail: Variable demand, shift trades, self-scheduling

  • Healthcare: Qualifications, certifications, patient assignments

  • Field Services: Skills matching, job complexity, travel time

Prioritize industry-tailored solutions first. They provide the best out-of-the-box fit.

Company Size

Certain scheduling platforms cater to specific company sizes:

  • Enterprise: 1,000+ employees

  • Medium business: 100 – 1,000 employees

  • Small business: Under 100 employees

Choose technology that aligns with your company‘s scale to ensure the right feature set and pricing.

Must-Have Functionality

Consider which scheduling capabilities are absolute essentials:

  • Automated scheduling engine

  • Self-scheduling for employees

  • Time off requests

  • Overtime avoidance

  • Flexible shift swapping

  • Mobile access

Compile your must-have list before reviewing solutions.

Time Tracking Needs

Some software options like Deputy and TSheets offer advanced time clocks and GPS tracking for payroll automation and overtime control. Evaluate whether your business needs these capabilities before deciding on scheduling-only software.

Reporting and Analytics

Review the built-in reports and analytics for measuring schedule performance – compliance, overtime, staffing to demand ratios, etc. Advanced solutions like 7Shifts provide robust analytics.

Integrations

Choose tools that integrate with your payroll, HRIS, communication platforms, and other software systems for a unified experience. APIs enable deep integrations.

Ease of Use

The solution must be intuitive enough for both managers and employees to adopt. Complex interfaces lead to low user adoption.

Training and Support

Look for scheduling vendors that offer thorough onboarding, training resources, help documentation, and responsive support teams. This ensures a smooth transition.

By carefully evaluating solutions against these criteria relevant to your organization, you can confidently select scheduling software that maximizes ROI.

Now let‘s dive into some tactical tips for rolling out new scheduling technology at your company.

Expert Tips for Implementing Scheduling Software

Once you‘ve chosen a scheduling system, how do you ensure successful adoption across your organization?

Follow this best-practice roadmap for rollout:

Step 1: Clean Up Employee Data

Eliminate any errors or inconsistencies in employee information within your HRIS. This ensures accuracy when importing data into the scheduling software.

Step 2: Train Managers Thoroughly

Don‘t assume managers will intuitively know how to use all features in the new scheduling platform. Provide formal training on constructing schedules, managing approvals, generating reports, and more.

Step 3: Communicate the Changes

Inform all employees of the new system. Explain the benefits, when it starts, how to access schedules, make requests, and who to contact with questions.

Step 4: Customize Settings

Configure rules, notifications, integrations, and workflows in the software to align with your scheduling policies and processes.

Step 5: Start Scheduling in Advance

Ideally begin building schedules in the new system 4+ weeks before the software rollout date. This allows you to learn the ropes and ensures a smooth transition.

Step 6: Continuously Improve

Monitor adoption, gather feedback, and tweak the scheduling approach in the months following launch. Optimization is an ongoing process.

By following these implementation best practices, you‘ll set your organization up for maximum results from your investment in scheduling technology.

The Bottom Line

We‘ve covered a lot in this guide. Let‘s recap the key points:

  • Scheduling software drives major productivity gains through automation, optimization, flexibility, and analytics.

  • Solutions like Deputy and BambooHR make creating schedules up to 65% faster.

  • Cloud-based platforms enable seamless schedule access for employees and managers.

  • Capabilities like shift trading and time off requests boost employee satisfaction.

  • Built-in compliance features prevent costly labor regulation violations.

  • Actionable reporting provides insights to improve scheduling around demand, budgets, overtime, and more.

Ready to transform how your team gets work scheduled and done? Now you have a clear roadmap for selecting and rolling out a solution tailored to your needs.

You hold the keys to unlock significant productivity improvements. Let scheduling software accelerate your team, delight your employees, and grow your bottom line.

The time is now – let‘s get your organization scheduled for success!

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