The Impact of Scheduling Conflicts
Scheduling conflicts can be eliminated through the use of a leave tracker, which we’ll get into more below, but before that, what are the effects of scheduling conflicts? A lot of business leaders don’t understand just how detrimental employee scheduling conflicts can be.
First, if there are scheduling conflicts between employees, and particularly if an employee feels like they’re not being treated fairly, it can have ripple effects throughout the organization. If employees feel like someone is a favorite and always gets their requested time off, the culture can take a nosedive. It can quickly become a toxic workplace. In a toxic workplace with a negative culture, employees are less engaged and less productive. It can be damaging to the employer brand of a company as well.
If an employee perceives they aren’t being treated fairly when it comes to scheduling, they may even think about taking legal action.
Scheduling conflicts can also just take the focus away from the work at hand, not just for the employees who are requesting time off, but also for the HR professionals who are managing requests and scheduling.
If conflicts aren’t resolved in an organized way, a business may end up being understaffed, and that can cause problems related to customer service and experience. The best way to avoid almost all scheduling conflicts is with the use of a leave management system, and more about that will be detailed below.
The Most Common Workplace Scheduling Conflicts
The following are some of the workplace scheduling conflicts that happen most frequently:
- Confusion Over When Requests are Received: The number one problem in terms of scheduling conflicts is usually disagreement over who got their requests in first. If a company is using an outdated leave management system, rather than an automated leave tracker there often is no way to know who got their requests in first. Employees may just be putting notes on the desk of the person who handles scheduling, and whichever note is grabbed first is who gets the time off. There’s no rhyme or reason, and employees are right to see this as unfair.
- Understaffing: When a business has conflicting requests for time off, which especially tends to happen around holidays or in the summer, they may ultimately end up being understaffed. If there’s no centralized way to see who’s taking off when and a business is understaffed it can affect the quality of goods and services provided to customers, and reputation and brand can take a significant hit.
- Wrong Forecasting: Employers will try to forecast their staffing needs, but sometimes they aren’t able to do so accurately. For example, a manager may think that because the weather is bad, their retail store might not be that busy. Then they ultimately find that they are swamped, and they don’t have enough people. With a leave tracker, the manager could quickly and efficiently deal with incorrect forecasting by seeing who’s not currently working but also available and not on vacation and could call them in.
- Scheduling An Employee Who’s Out of Town: If you’re not organized when it comes to planning and scheduling, you may end up scheduling an employee who’s out of town without even realizing it. Again, a leave tracker is the best way to avoid this conflict.
- An Employee Thinks Their Request Was Approved, Even When It Wasn’t: Sometimes an employee might submit a request, and then they don’t hear anything else about it, so they wrongly believe it was approved. The employer has no idea this is happening, and it can cause big conflicts.
Implementing a Leave Tracker
The above list represents only a small number of the potential scheduling conflicts that can occur if you don’t have a leave tracker system in your business. The following are some specific things to think about if you’re considering the implementation of a leave tracker:
- Choose a self-service leave tracker. You want to look for a leave tracker that allows your employees to log in on their own, submit their leave requests, and see if they were approved. This is good for solving so many of the problems named above, and others as well. When employees can manage their time-off requests through their mobile device, for example, it avoids the situation of having lost requests or human resources not knowing who submitted their request first. Employers then don’t have to worry about employees who say they didn’t know whether or not their request was approved either, because they can log into the system themselves, and check on the status of their request.
- When things are organized with an automated leave tracker, it streamlines so many other things. An automated system allows for the elimination of paper and spreadsheets, and nothing has to be added to a hardcopy calendar.
- As was touched on at the start of this post, there are a lot of issues that can arise when employees feel like they aren’t being treated equally or fairly. For example, they may feel like someone else always gets the time off they request, while they don’t. By setting up automated approvals rules in a leave tracker, this issue is eliminated. No human decision-making goes into whether or not a request is approved or denied, so employees can’t claim they aren’t being treated
- When you’re choosing a leave tracker or attendance management system, you want to make sure that you’re looking for one that’s flexible, customizable and scalable to the needs of your organization. For example, you may not have different departments right now, but will you in the future? If so, you want your leave tracker to growth with you, rather than having to start all over as your business grows.
There is no reason for a business to suffer through the effects of unnecessary scheduling conflicts. Scheduling can be difficult to manage without a leave tracker, but with an attendance management system, everything you and your employees need is within the system. It clears up potential conflicts before they ever start, reduces staffing problems and lets businesses and employees focus on strategic objectives, rather than going back and forth over scheduling.