By Dympna Byrne
Softworks Finance Department
Workforce Management Systems have come a long way since the more traditional methods of writing everything down and manually keeping account of everyone’s schedule. From my very first part time job as a waitress in a small hotel, I can remember the time when schedules / rosters were pinned on a wooden board listing everyone’s name with their latest work roster. Sunday was the day that everyone was able to see their upcoming two week’s working roster. That board was kept in the manager's office out of sight while it was being planned and if the opportunity came up to pop something on his desk you might get to steal a peak at it, this was the only time you could see how the planning was going! We’d have to steal a moment of his time to ask him nicely not to roster us on for a certain day but more likely we’d have to wait until the Sunday to see what our rosters were. After the board went up, came the discussions of the hours between everyone and this was the time that people swapped shifts around to be able to accommodate their social/family life plans. I remember our manager used to roll his eyes as he had already spent hours reviewing and planning it. I guess it was hard to please everyone all the time.
Thankfully time has moved on and we can enjoy an easier method of scheduling where managers and supervisors can roster their staff to the needs of the business, but can also keep in line with budgets and forecasts at any point in time over the day the month or even the year. It is brilliant to think that this system can help track staff, but also be able to provide reports.
Hopefully most companies have moved on from my managers "notice board" system. Thankfully with advances in technology there are proper Scheduling Systems available to the hospitality industry.