It’s the beginning of the day at your retail store when your cell phone rings. An employee that was on the schedule for the afternoon cancels their shift because something “came up”. You grab the staff phone list and begin making calls. After an hour, you find someone who’s willing to fill in. You thank them and resume your other responsibilities.

Shift work makes the economy go ’round, but shift scheduling can certainly cause grief to both employees and employers.  Because of this, employers are constantly seeking innovative ways to address shift work and unstable scheduling. With new technology surfacing in the service industry, companies are exploring the best ways to avoid shift cancellations while empowering employees to maintain their changing schedules with ease.

Text Message Scheduling

It’s no secret that most of us stay connected through text messages. The Gap used text messaging to control and pass shifts among employees. Hourly staff and store managers reported that they liked the text messaging approach because it made the process easier:

  1. It saved time.
  2. With proper planning, shift-posters were able to find a replacement within 24 hours. This was an improvement from managers seeking last minute replacements for canceled shifts.

This seemed to be a strong solution. However, some managers felt like it undermined their scheduling decisions to have top-performing staff at peak hours. Without specific skills outlined to fill an open shift, managers could face not having the right talent on-staff for a particular shift. Open text scheduling seemed like a great improvement, but what would happen if the employee pool ran out, or if schedules got dropped, or if employees simply don’t show up?

The Gap shows that shift swapping isn’t the answer for schedule stability. Employers want to have more accessibility to people with skills and have infinite choices to manage them without their employees constantly swapping schedules.

Scheduling Through pepelwerk

Pepelwerk is a new software that makes scheduling easy for employers and employees. Employers can control staffing requirements for each shift. In turn, employees can set their work availability. Everything happens through one app, and is a great new way to streamline your process. Sign up to see how it’s done!