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Solving the Absentee Problem

You know the call. The phone rings at a quarter to 5 and immediately you wonder which of your employees it is. Who's calling in sick tonight?Do you ever wonder what that's costing you? You know it costs you in your time and convenience. Will your customers be as happy? Will things run as smoothly? According to Circadian, a workforce solution company, unscheduled absenteeism costs you $3,600, per hourly worker, per year.Restaurant labor scheduling softwareThis is a problem worth solving.Undoubtedly you've tried some things. When I started out, I used a pen, paper and a ruler to draw the lines and connect the dots of filling out the schedule. I built all of the employees' requests for time off into it, making accomodations for their school schedules, second jobs and day care. Inevitably, the schedule I posted was just a starting point. Kim wants Friday off so she trades with Kristi. Darren forgot to ask for Monday night off. The owner's son's soccer team is going to come in on Wednesday so I need more people on the floor.Does your head hurt yet?Scheduling gets exponentially harder as you add more individuals into the mix. There were times when I felt like my job was more about scheduling than anything else.One weekend I came up with a solution. I put the schedule into Excel. I set up a bunch of complicated rules and calculations so that I could pretty easily see how many people I needed on each shift. It also meant that rather than make edits to the paper schedule, I could make the change and just print out the revised schedule. You probably know this already but it created as many problems as it solved. The process evolved to where I would agree to Kim's shift trade, but I wasn't at my computer, so I'd write it on a scrap of paper and stuff it in my pocket. More than once those scraps of paper made their way into my laundry. Friday night came and I ended up covering for Kim because I had no record of what had happened. Spreadsheets don't work.There's a technology solution that not only will improve your absenteeism problem, but also make your life easier.Of course I'm in the business of selling WhenToManage's software. I'd love it if you bought our scheduling solution but the important thing is that you don't need the scheduling hassle any longer. You need a cloud-based scheduling solution.In a report out this week from SoftwareAdvice.com, a review site for employee scheduling technology, they surveyed hourly employees in a range of industries. They found that service industry employees are the most likely group (67%) to use a mobile scheduling app. What appeals to them is that they can use it to request time off, ask for shift trades and pick up additional shifts. More than a third also said that they would appreciate notifications of upcoming shifts.Two things First, according to the study, 52% of employees said that they would be less likely to miss a shift because of having a scheduling app. Just implementing a cloud-based scheduling solution could solve the lion's share of your problem.Second, the hassle part of scheduling is taken off of your plate. You still need to approve shift changes, but all of stuff that goes into those changes: the negotiation, the complaints, the scraps of paper…gone.Think this might pay for itself?WhenToManage has probably the best scheduling solution on the market. There are others but you should check ours out too. Follow this link to learn more: /restaurant-labor-scheduling/Jim Affeldt is the Director of Operations for Matt Haley Companies, and a user of our scheduling software for several years. He recently did a podcast with our VP of Sales, Walker Thompson. The podcast has been turned into a 10 minute video that you can watch here. http://vimeo.com/106749954Sources Employee Preferences for Mobile Scheduling IndustryView | 2014. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.softwareadvice.com/hr/employee-scheduling-comparison/Absenteeism Bottom Line. (2005). Retrieved from http://www.workforceinstitute.org/wp-content/themes/revolution/docs/Absenteeism-Bottom-Line.pdf