Shift-swapping is a common practice for many retail and restaurant employees. Since shifts fall at any time of the day, week, or year, employees frequently need to find a co-worker to cover their time. There are many reasons for shift swapping, including personal or family matters, illness, or unforeseen conflicts. This can cause headaches for […]Read More >
Shift Swapping Best Practices
- Alan Thurston
Shift-swapping is a common practice for many retail and restaurant employees. Since shifts fall at any time of the day, week, or year, employees frequently need to find a co-worker to cover their time. There are many reasons for shift swapping, including personal or family matters, illness, or unforeseen conflicts.
This can cause headaches for both employees and management. Sometimes, problems arise when an employee believes his shift is covered, but there has been a miscommunication or there is no manager available to approve a swap.
Though employees are willing to find someone to cover their shift, without time and attendance software, the process is time-consuming. Managers are busy people, and shifting focus to take care of a shift-swap can distract them from pressing duties.
In workplaces that don’t yet have time and attendance software, management might ask that employees make arrangements with one another and enter the shift change in a log book to eliminate needing their approval. This is done manually, on paper. The trouble is that employees might make assumptions about their friend’s availability, and it’s difficult to know who exactly is accountable.
Shift Swaps with Accountability
Time and attendance software that includes shift swapping enables employees to make electronic shift-swaps. Both employees must agree to the change from their individual accounts. This eliminates the possibility of an employee signing for their co-worker, causing confusion.
When both employees agree to the swap, management receives an email. All the manager needs to do is click “OK” to approve the change. Once the change has been accepted, management has the assurance that the employees are in agreement, and that they will have easy access to the schedule. If the employee who accepted the swap misses the shift, management will know who to hold accountable, and has an electronic trail in the case of disputes.
An Easy and Accessible System for Shift Swapping
A time and attendance software solution with shift swapping empowers employees to change their shifts and meet outside obligations. If the software has mobile capabilities as well, the swaps can be done on-the-go– employees can access their schedules from smartphones or tablets. Neither party even needs to be in the workplace. Thus, if an employee is taken away at the last minute for a family emergency, she only needs to contact a co-worker and arrange for the swap.
Management is also freed up to do their jobs, as they can also make the approval from their mobile device. Instead of giving a verbal approval they might not recall, they can simply click the approval from their phones, automatically updating the shifts in the system. All schedule changes are thus saved for later reference.
Advanced Scheduling in stratustime
nettime’s Advanced Scheduling module has your shift-swaps covered. Not only can employees easily arrange their shift-swaps, but they can post availability to pick up a shift for their co-workers. Further, it’s easy to monitor overtime, and the system sends notices when employees are close to the limit.
Here are a few key features:
- Employees set their availability: makes your scheduling tasks smoother and lets others know when they can cover shifts.
- Schedule templates: create master schedule weeks and months in advance.
- Team notifications for schedule changes: everyone stays in the loop and receives automatic updates.
- Employees can respond to notifications: open communication keeps everyone on the same page, and all of your shifts filled and productive.