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4 Keys to Effective Employee Scheduling in the Healthcare Industry

Healthcare organisations face considerable pressure to provide adequate staffing levels despite an ongoing skills shortage. This often leads to overworked staff and reduced productivity. Scheduling issues are made worse if managers are forced to use manual processes. A well-considered workforce rostering strategy, aided by technology, can help improve employee satisfaction, engagement, and retention, as well as improving patient outcomes.

Healthcare organisations that succeed in fostering an employee-friendly rostering system can help workers feel more valued. Satisfied workers tend to stay more engaged and loyal to the organisation. This is beneficial to the bottom line as employees are more productive and staff replacement costs are minimised.

At the same time, patients receive a higher quality of care from workers who are not excessively fatigued, burnt out or dissatisfied.

There are four things healthcare organisations should consider to create an effective employee roster:

1) Time off requests

Employees need to be able to request time off for a vacation, a sick day, or any other relevant reason, directly to a centralised system. Once approved, those should be automatically reflected on timesheets and taken into account by the rostering software.

Self-service tools let employees lodge their preferred working hours and unavailability. This gives healthcare organisations a clear oversight of availabilities and helps to inform leave request reviews.

2) Shift swaps

Scheduling systems that let workers trade shifts with qualified peers give them more control over their roster without compromising organisational results.

3) Adding and dropping shifts

Scheduling tools can let workers indicate if they want to pick up additional work or reduce hours. System safeguards can look at the total work hours and allow for shift additions and subtractions when it’s beneficial for employee and employer.

4) Shift and vacation bidding

Letting workers bid for future holiday periods and high-demand shifts well in advance can give them greater control over their roster and lets them plan personal obligations.

We also recently announced the addition of job and vacation bidding to our WorkForce Suite. The new enhancements let administrators set up a bidding process for jobs or vacation by following simple prompts and will notify eligible employees in seconds. Employees can then browse the available options for both work shifts and vacation periods. This further assists employers to engage staff via rostering.

Giving employees more flexibility in choosing their shifts and time off shouldn’t be a burden for healthcare organisations. Using an effective workforce software system can make it easy for businesses to support employee rostering needs and maximise productivity at the same time.