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Why Centralized Scheduling?
Experiencing burnout is a recognized issue among frontline staff, and the problems caused by burnout affect everyone on the team, from the managers to HR and, of course, the frontline workers themselves. One of the leading factors leading to burnout is overwork, and the extra strain of having to keep track of work hours doesn’t help matters.
One of the best ways to help frontline workers and their managers alleviate this stress is through centralized scheduling. Centralized scheduling makes it easier to assign correct levels of staff, frees managers from spending time on scheduling, and allows the staff across the team to consistently interpret and understand scheduling rules. This allows all members of the team to spend less time stressing over keeping track of hours correctly and more time on their professional work.
What is Centralized Scheduling?
The main concept behind centralized scheduling is to allow one person in the organization to schedule all employees within the organization. There are several benefits to centralized scheduling.
Having one scheduler means that scheduling rules and collective agreements are consistently applied throughout the organization. A single scheduler will have a better idea of what the needs are across the organization as a whole. Both employees and managers only need to contact one person in case of issues with scheduling or payroll for frontline workers, making resolution quicker and more efficient. Managers can delegate scheduling to another person, meaning they can spend more time training frontline workers in other areas of their work. It’s easier to train a single scheduler compared to training several managers on correct scheduling procedures.
Centralized scheduling, when augmented by automation, improves operations within an organization and allows frontline workers to concentrate on what they do best: providing their clients with the best care possible.
The Benefits of Scheduling Automation for Frontline Staff
The idea behind automation is to make scheduling as quick and easy for the scheduler as possible, which is especially important in a centralized scheduling model. Scheduling software allows for this kind of automation by considering staff availability, the number of staff needed for a given shift, and other factors like overtime and collective agreements. All this data is then quickly crunched by the scheduling software, which then creates a schedule based upon these factors.
For the scheduler, this means less time spent trying to manually manage all this data. Schedules for the following week, or even further into the future, can be quickly created and handed out. Any adjustments can be quickly made as well. For frontline staff, this means a more predictable schedule and less stress, lowering the chances of burnout.
The Challenges of Centralized Scheduling
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While centralized scheduling has many benefits, the challenge comes from getting staff to switch to a centralized scheduling system. Here are where a few issues that may arise during the switch from a decentralized system to a centralized one.
In the beginning, there will need to be a small measure of forgiveness for errors made as the scheduler gets used to the scheduling system and to the needs of each unit. While scheduling automation can prevent many of these errors, some errors will likely occur as the system is being set up. These errors should go down as the scheduler becomes more used to the new system.
Reluctance to Let Go
Understandably, managers may feel some fear over a loss of control. Completely giving up scheduling duties may make managers feel as if they are giving up control over their staff, and there may be some concerns over individual members of their team not being accommodated. During the transition, these concerns should be addressed, and it should be stressed that managers are merely delegating a task over to someone else, not completely giving up control.
Not Involving Everyone
Collaboration within the entire team is absolutely essential to ensuring a smooth transition to centralized scheduling. This means getting management on all levels involved, along with workers and the staff overseeing human resources for the frontline workers. Centralized scheduling can address many issues faced by a decentralized scheduling model, but it only works if challenges are planned for early in the transition.
Centralized Scheduling Means Less Stress
While centralized scheduling may not solve every issue faced by frontline workers, it goes a long way in alleviating one of the biggest stressors facing frontline staff and the managers that support them. Centralized scheduling takes the burden of worrying over their schedule and hours off of managers and frontline staff, and delegates it to a dedicated scheduler instead. While some challenges will come up as a team transitions over to centralized scheduling, a well-thought-out plan will mitigate many of these issues. For stress-free scheduling and management solutions, contact our team at GoEasyCare. We have everything you need to get started.