By Denise Limato

“I’m doing payroll.” That’s what many think when updating weekly schedules. These people believe they are simply entering data for payroll.

Why is that not the right attitude? Because managing the schedule offers us so many benefits beyond just paying your officers. We shortchange our business — and our profitability — when we don’t use sound management practices and tools that integrate the needs of our organization.

If the goal were to simply enter time worked, then the better solution would be to have people clock in and out and only pay them for those hours. Why go to the trouble of creating the schedule, reviewing clock ins or timesheets, and entering all the data? Seems like a lot of extra work to just “do payroll.” Managing a schedule, on the other hand, puts us in the driver’s seat and is integral to managing our contract.

When we begin to look at optimizing our workforce by managing the schedule, the other requirements begin to flow from there. Employees are paid accurately, increasing their happiness and improving the service they provide to the client. Labor and other complaints are reduced, saving us time and money on legal fees and headaches. Your clients know that compliant officers are covering their posts, increasing your competitive edge. Bills are accurate, making it possible to pay in full and within terms. Training is provided on time and on budget, reducing the risk of fines or worse.

Sound too good to be true? It’s not. Consider a program manager for a large contract with over 300 employees and roughly 7,500 hours per week. The following are just some of the benefits realized when this manager employs  tools and processes to manage their schedules more effectively:

  • Overtime reduced from almost six percent to just under three percent;
  • Part-time employees leveraged to fill open positions caused by vacation and other leave;
  • Training compliance increased to 100 percent with only a few officers requiring overtime for training;
  • A “call-off corp” developed to cover call-offs/vacation/leave. By gathering data from scheduling changes and leave needs, managers are able to determine how many “extra” officers are needed and how to best utilize this group to avoid overtime and open posts;
  • Increased client satisfaction by eliminating open posts and providing accurate billing on a consistent basis;
  • Reduced employee complaints and fair labor practice claims; and
  • Reduced attrition by 22 percent and increased employee performance.

How do you get these results? Attitude matters when managing schedules. It’s crucial to manage your schedules by leveraging your scheduling tools to their fullest potential. Your reward will be efficient and effective sites, an improved bottom line, reduced organizational risk, happier employees, and satisfied customers.

And you thought you were just “doing payroll.”

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