How to Optimize Your Employee Shift Scheduling - Don't Be Another RyanAir

May 16 17:43 2018 Eyal Katz Print This Article

RyanAir went through a crazy time when they were trign to get rewady for the 2018 Christmas and Holiday Season travel rush/It almost cost them the company.

In 2018,Guest Posting employee shift scheduling should be a breeze. No, really, it should. So why does it seem like even major brands and large corporations make million-dollar errors in their shift scheduling? And if they’re making errors, then what can you do, as a small business owner managing a business that depends on accurate and well-planned employee attendance?

So what happened at RyanAir and what does it mean?

In September 2017, the airline was forced to cancel 20,000 flights due to rostering problems, leaving Europe's largest airline by passenger numbers unable to staff pilots to planes. The result was a sh#*storm of epic proportions that the pilots used to their advantage to put the squeeze on management.


Unsurprisingly, RyanAir were caught with their safety belts unbuckled. Not a good flight plan for a company whose tagline is “Always Getting Better”.

Scheduling mistakes can cost you

How much? RyanAir was forced to promise pilots improved pay and conditions, which it claims to have exceeded those offered by rivals. Overall, the company is hiring hundreds of pilots hoping to bring its crewing ratio to 11.0 pilots per aircraft from 10.5 in time for summer vacations in Europe in 2018.Along with all these expensive improvements in employee conditions and fresh hires, RyanAir also invested in the optimization of shift scheduling and absence logging, including a new crew control mobile phone app. Process optimization and adoption of mobile employee apps don’t make press release headlines but are just as integral to RyanAir’s plan to avoid costly pilot schedule management near-misses.

How not to be the next RyanAir and save a bit of money on shift scheduling

Managers spend up to a quarter of their time compiling schedules and dealing with updates and changes to the roster. What if I told you that you can do that while dropping expenses associated with unplanned absences, as well as the costs of understaffing and overstaffing.


Plan ahead

Timing is everything. For example, you can reduce absences and absence requests by simply providing employees with work schedules. Giving everyone plenty of room to plan and adjust is also bound to reduce the rate of last-minute scrambling to find replacements.


Easier said than done?


It’s all about creating routines and improving the way you work. Like any good boy scout will tell you spending time on preparation now will save you time later and let you get into a groove where shifts are prepared way in advance. That way, even if changes come, and they will come, you’ll be ready for them.


Respond in time

You need to respond fast if you want to have the necessary manpower on the clock to keep things running smoothly. Frantic phone calls are hardly the most effective way to deal with unexpected changes in the planned rota. Ideally, when a shift becomes available for employees to “claim”, they are automatically notified and can choose to pick it up if they’re free and could use the extra shift.

Fair (and smart) shift distribution

Computers don’t play favorites. Just set up and go. You can assign employee “roles” and skills while setting up the perfect rota to consider employee preferences and the needs of your business as well.


Simplify shift swapping

Manual shift changes and swaps add quite a bit of overhead for both employees and managers. We’ve all seen it happen, a shift change is requested or approved in person but somewhere along the way is forgotten or miscommunicated.


A quick and effective process for shift swaps and approvals can make things easier for everyone while ensuring every shift is staffed by the people with the necessary skills and “roles”.

Empower employees through communication

Internal communications can go a long way in improving the speed and accuracy of shift swaps, simplifying the search for replacements and giving employees a much-needed voice in the organization. Instead of endless email threads and multi-channel updates, a single service aimed at your employees can provide them and their managers with all the tools and information needed to manage your shift scheduling all by themselves with minimal intervention on your behalf.

Analyze to optimize

Overstaffed means you’re paying unnecessary wages to employees standing around dreaming of flying off on a vacation (if flights don’t get canceled because of understaffed airlines). Analyzing attendance records along with payroll data and daily productivity metrics can give you some invaluable insights.

Ditch the paper, switch to software

With flexible and user-friendly solutions available to businesses of all sizes, there’s really no reason for you to continue using antiquated methods for shift scheduling in 2018. In fact, switching to a software solution is bound to save you more money than the software is likely to cost.

And the paper? You can still make paper airplanes from it, and send it flying around the office without a pilot. Because unlike RyanAir you don’t need to manage a roster of thousands of pilots, all looking to take time off for the holidays.


Enjoy the fulll length post


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Eyal Katz
Eyal Katz

Eyal Katz

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