3 Reasons to Break Free From Spreadsheets for Scheduling

August 22, 2018 | 1,515 views

3 Reasons to Break Free From Spreadsheets for Scheduling

3 Reasons to Break Free From Spreadsheets for Scheduling

It’s not uncommon for us to hear the agonizing cries of HR managers who need a better way to manage their schedules. People around the world are sick and tired of how exhausting it is to schedule team members for work. Every time we hear these cries, our heart breaks just a little—especially when we hear that they’re using a spreadsheet to toss team member’s hours around like they’re balls in a pinball machine.


There’s nothing more valuable than a person’s time, so it’s about time that we start putting each minute in every day toward useful, meaningful tasks. Scheduling is necessary and meaningful but it doesn’t have to be as burdensome as it is when those schedules are housed in spreadsheets. Here’s why scheduling on spreadsheets is an HR practice that deserves a spot in the history books.



1. They’re Prone to Human Error


As Alexander Pope so famously said, “to err is human.” Even the most talented, detail-oriented, organized people make errors at times, and spreadsheets are no exception. Add in multiple people working in and touching the same schedule and you’re likely to see regular errors, which can cause strife in your organization.



2. They’re Difficult to Update

Schedules are notorious for needing multiple updates and iterations. People call in sick, which requires a last minute shuffling of team members. Employees have last minute emergencies, which require managers to make quick moves to fill open shifts.


When you live in a spreadsheet, you have to get access to that spreadsheet to make updates. The system isn’t built for shuffling people around and trading shifts, so the process is tedious and burdensome. This difficulty with updating the schedule tends to make the jobs of your team harder than necessary.



3. Productivity Thieves

In addition to adding more work to your employee’s workload, schedules housed in spreadsheets also cause your team to be less productive. When a shift gets updated, the person making the changes has to go through a series of motions to get the new schedule into the hands of the rest of the team. This means printing and hanging the schedule, notifying the team of the changes, and ensuring everyone saw the most updated version.


The Solution

It’s very difficult to automate scheduling when you have so many moving parts. You can only give a machine so much guidance to go off of before the algorithms they use create their own set of errors. So what are you to do? The solution is to use a mixture of both technology and human touch.


When you move your scheduling to the cloud to steer your scheduling process, you’re able to eliminate common human errors and streamline the creation and updating process. This approach is more efficient and more reliable, which in turn will help your HR department become more productive. Better yet, your team will enjoy looking at the schedule and engaging with it, which will free up your management from hours buried in the schedule pages. This blend of technology and human touch makes teams more efficient and more productive over the long run.



Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007, and 2010, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017.

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