How to eliminate programming inefficiencies in your company

How to eliminate programming inefficiencies in your company

What do salons, consultations and home service providers have in common? This question may sound like the opening line for a joke, but there’s no punchline to be expected. While the above industries may seem worlds apart, they share a common need: calendar planning.

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Many companies use scheduling approaches which, unfortunately, are riddled with inefficiencies. If the scheduling processes you use for your business are ineffective, it could result in disgruntled customers and vanishing profits. But there is no need to despair! Here are six ways to eliminate coding inefficiencies in your business.

Inefficiency no. 1: multiple calendars

It’s natural to want to keep your personal and professional calendars separate so coworkers can’t intrude on your private affairs. But using multiple calendars can confuse your scheduling processes and make it much more difficult to manage your time effectively.

When you can’t view all of your calendars at once, it’s more likely to accidentally create scheduling conflicts. This could lead to embarrassment down the road. It is unprofessional to cancel a meeting with a client because you have a doctor’s appointment scheduled at the same time.

The solution: Combine multiple calendars in one place

Use scheduling software that combines multiple calendars in one place to streamline scheduling processes and avoid unwanted conflicts. Look for software that aggregates multiple calendars in one place. This will eliminate the need to switch between calendars when scheduling employee meetings, appointments and shifts.

To get around privacy concerns, choose scheduling software that allows you to set viewing permissions for calendar events. This feature will help keep your personal calendar events (and even professional meetings) out of sight of prying eyes.

Inefficiency no. 2: staff shortage

Staff shortages are nothing new for most industries, but they have become more prevalent in recent years. Globally, there is an alarming shortage of workers to fill the jobs that are available. A high “layoff rate”, a large segment of retired workers and other factors are contributing to the current staff shortage.

While many of these factors are beyond your control as an employer, you can still take action. You can’t control staff shortages globally, but you can take steps to make sure your business is properly staffed.

The solution: build a healthy staffing pool

When you’re running a schedule-based business, it’s imperative that you have enough team members to make and keep appointments. The best way to do this is to build a healthy staffing pool from the start. Make sure your hiring process effectively weeds out volatile and irresponsible candidates so you’re left with the cream of the crop.

Once you have the right team, you will need to take steps to keep them. Regular raises, paid time off, and corporate recognition events can go a long way in improving employee retention rates. But beyond these incentives, you should go to great lengths to support the mental health and well-being of your employees. Encourage work-life balance and stress management to boost morale and keep team members happy where they are.

Inefficiency no. Myth #3: Overprogramming

Overscheduling is a common problem across multiple industries. But this method of doing business has real-world consequences that can be devastating for both your business and your people. Forcing employees to work long hours (more than 55 hours a week) leads to hundreds of thousands of deaths each year. Don’t contribute to this stat by intentionally overwriting your team members.

In addition to the serious health risks to your staff, excessive scheduling also poses a direct risk to your business. Overworking your employees will eventually cause burnout and make people more likely to get sick when they’re not. If you constantly overburden your employees, they’re also more likely to quit. This could lead to missed events and rearranged schedules, which can frustrate your customers and impact your bottom line.

The solution: Give employees adequate time between shifts

If you want maximum efficiency from your employees (which will translate into better customer satisfaction), you can’t over-schedule them. Just like you, your employees need adequate rest to function optimally.

There are several things you can do to avoid overburdening your employees. Start by building a culture of care in the workplace. Let your team members know that you are concerned about their well-being and want to help them create a healthy work-life balance. Then follow that sentiment by giving employees adequate time to rest between shifts. Try to schedule at least 12 hours of break between employee shifts.

Inefficiency #4: Lack of availability

Many companies employ both full-time and part-time employees. Some even have a hybrid work model that allows workers to switch between remote and in-office work. Variations in working hours can make it difficult to fill staffing gaps at certain times of the day.

Lack of availability can become even more pronounced during the holidays when employees want to take more time off work. Challenges with staff availability can lead to scheduling issues with clients. If you fail to meet your clients’ scheduling needs, you could end up losing their business.

The solution: hire a well-balanced team

To avoid the widespread problem of understaffing, hire a well-balanced team. Make sure some employees are regularly scheduled for daytime hours while others are on the schedule for night shifts. When hiring part-time employees, choose team members who are able to work alternate days so you always have adequate coverage.

If you expect your existing employees to be less available during the holidays, plan ahead. Hire seasonal employees to help you get through the busy season while your full-time employees schedule more time off.

Inefficiency no. 5: last minute absences

If there’s one thing that’s certain in life, it’s that unexpected things happen. Medical emergencies, illnesses and deaths in the family can interfere with the most carefully planned plans. Employees can call in sick at the last minute or not show up, leaving your customers in awe.

The worst thing you can do when faced with a last-minute employee absence is to panic or lose your temper. Your time is better spent figuring out how to find someone else to fill the shift. Your primary goals should be to keep customers happy and to avoid canceling customer meetings if possible.

The solution: offer incentives to fill the shift

Finding staff members to fill in unexpected absences doesn’t have to be like pulling teeth. If you offer incentives like extra time off or holiday pay, employees will be more willing to step in. You can also check your schedule to see who else has a shift that day. Then see if they would be willing to come a few hours earlier or later to fill the vacancy.

Inefficiency #6: Disorganization

Disorganization is one of the most common scheduling inefficiencies companies have. If you’re using outdated methods of scheduling client meetings and employee rostering, it’s probably time for a change.

Gone are the days when companies used paper calendars and pencils to jot down meetings. These methods are not only inefficient, they are a recipe for disaster. It’s easy to make mistakes when you rely on old-fashioned ways to create and manage multiple calendar events and meetings.

The solution: use calendar planning software

Modern scheduling software now reigns supreme for planning-based businesses, and it’s easy to see why. The best online calendar programs are intuitive and versatile, making it easy to avoid double bookings. I’m also able to merge multiple calendars so you can see all your professional and personal commitments at once.

Some scheduling software programs have additional features, such as analytics, to show which clients you spend the most time with. This feature can help you prioritize time with your most productive and profitable customers.

Don’t let your business get bogged down with scheduling inefficiencies that can negatively impact customer satisfaction and employee morale. Use these tips to streamline your scheduling processes and make sure you always have enough staff members to keep meetings on your calendar.

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