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Published: April 29, 2021

Our Top 10 Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Shiftie

Using Shiftie, thinking about using Shiftie, or just generally a bit of a shift scheduling fan? (We know the feeling.)

In that case, you probably already know that Shiftie lets you easily add shifts, edit them as needed, and drag them to the right place in the schedule. You’ll expect it to allow you to track your team’s clock in times, review and export their timesheets, and manage their leave, availability, sickness, too. It wouldn’t be much use as shift scheduling software otherwise, would it?

There’s so much more to Shiftie than that though; read on for our top ten tips for getting the most out of your account and making your life easier in the process.

1. Copying Schedules

First up is one of our favourite time-saving features; the ability to copy an entire week’s worth of shifts. Sure, shift templates are cool and everything and they certainly make it easier to add individual shifts, but being able to copy the previous week’s shifts and let the system handle any conflicts is, in our humble opinion, the bee’s knees and the penguin’s pyjamas.

To make use of this one, head to the schedule, navigate to the day or week you’re copying shifts to, then click the spanner icon and click the ‘Copy previous shifts’ button. If you haven’t used it yet we strongly recommend trying it out immediately and then wondering how you’ve survived without it.

Really want to revolutionise your scheduling? Try setting up shifts for the next few weeks and then scheduling them to publish at pre-set times. You won’t regret it.

2. Schedule Events

It’s easy to miss schedule events when you first start using Shiftie, but they can make scheduling a whole lot easier once you’ve found them. These are events that affect the schedule and there are three types: Announcements, which just give your team information about a date range; Leave Restricted, which stop your team from booking leave for the date range; and Business Closed, which display on the schedule so you don’t have to explain to everyone individually why they don’t have any shifts for that day.

Schedule events are handy for alerting your team to upcoming events without actively having to contact them and even better for reminding you about said events when you come to create the schedule. Need to know about bank holidays too? You’re going to love the public holiday region setting

3. Work Patterns

Sure, shift scheduling is easy enough when your team are always available, but if you have team members who are only available at weekends or who are contracted to work certain days of the week everything suddenly gets a lot more complicated. Holding everyone’s individual patterns in your head is nigh-on impossible if you’ve got a large team and asking everyone to log their availability seems a bit silly if it never changes.

That’s where work patterns come in.

Creating patterns with different employees’ working days might sound a bit much like hard work, but once you’re done Shiftie will base the employees it suggests for a shift off of their assigned pattern. No more weekend staff scheduled for Monday morning. No overtime pay because you’ve scheduled people for days they’re not contracted for. Doesn’t that sound nice?

4. Viewing Available Shifts

Getting your team to log their upcoming leave and availability is a great way of making sure that you only assign shifts to people who are actually available to work them, but a slightly different approach is needed for shifts that you don’t want to assign.

Picture the scene: You’ve got 10 employees but only 6 shifts and you don’t really care who works each so long as someone does. Instead of assigning them at random and running the risk of disgruntling your team simply publish them as unassigned, enable the ability for employees to view all shifts for their job role, and allow them to check the rota and let you know which they want. You don’t have to waste time reassigning shifts and your team have the shifts they want.

Even when you assign all of your shifts before you publish them you can still allow your team to view other shifts which they’re eligible for. They can easily arrange any shift swaps between themselves and all you’ll have to do is to make the change once they’ve agreed it.

5. Location-Based Clock In

Personally, our favourite part about an online timeclock is that we can clock in while we’re still at home in our pyjamas and pretend to be working. We can see that that might not be ideal for everyone though, which is why you might want to be aware of the ability to tie clock ins for each schedule to the physical schedule location. You’ll have full control over your chosen location and how close users have to be to it before they can clock in, as well as being able to see what time they show up. Not as much fun for the employee, but definitely more practical for you.

6. Calling Missing Employees

Of course, that’s all well and good if your employees actually clock in, but it’s not much use if they don’t show up. Are they ill? Just running late? Have they quit? Run away to join the circus? Speculating might be fun but it doesn’t really help you to decide whether you need to find someone else to cover the shift. What might help is the ability to call them straight from Shiftie. If you make sure that your employees’ Shiftie profiles have phone numbers logged against them then we’ll update the Missing notification which you receive to also include the option to give them a call. Beats wasting time looking for their number.

7. Predicted Shift Costs

The perfect schedule is, in our humble opinion, an art form. Balancing the right number of shifts for any day, the optimal ratio of managers to employees, a contented workforce, and happy customers isn’t easy but getting it right is oh-so-satisfying. Until, of course, you realise that you’re horribly over budget and have to start again.

That’s why we suggest that you load your employees’ hourly rates into Shiftie before you start. Once you’ve specified the different rates for your various employees and job roles we can run the figures for you, letting you know exactly what it will cost to schedule each employee for a shift as you’re assigning it and keeping a running total of the estimated cost for the day, week, or month you’re scheduling. Nice, right?

8. Default Break Lengths

This might not be the most groundbreaking suggestion in this list, but it definitely has the potential to be the most irritating if it’s not right. You can set up shift templates, duplicate shifts, and copy schedules to avoid it all you like but if the break length is wrong every solitary time you add a new shift from scratch it’s going to get frustrating pretty quickly. Luckily, it’s an easy one to fix. Simply go to your settings, select the Breaks tab, and change the default. Sure, you might still have to change the break length for certain out of the ordinary shifts, but all of the rest will just magically be set to the right length.

9. Importing Employees

Yes, this might be a slightly irritating tip if you’ve just finished manually adding your 300-person team, but we’re going to risk it.

Being able to import your employees can be a game-changer, especially if you’re already using other shift scheduling software. Just download our pre-configured CSV, fill it out with your team’s details and re-upload it. (Okay, it probably won’t be quite that straightforward because imports never are, but it’s got to be easier than trying to add them one at a time). You’ll save time and might manage to avoid driving yourself insane in the process. Winner.

10. Customising Your Calendar

Okay, we’re aware that it just sounds like we’re padding this list now, but bear with us and really think about it. How irritating is it when your working week runs Saturday to Friday but your calendar runs Monday to Sunday? How confusing is it when you try to add the start time for a shift in 24-hour clock and it tells you that it doesn’t understand? Your schedule is customised to your business and your scheduling software should be too, which is why we think that it’s worth making you aware of this one. It only takes a few seconds to update your company settings, but it could save you days worth of irritation in the long run.

We could talk about the features in Shiftie all day, (and often do, much to the disgust of our friends), but the best way to fully explore how it can make your life easier is to use it. Sorry. So, best crack out the user guide, log in to your account or sign up for a free trial, grab a biscuit (or three) and start exploring. Enjoy!

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