Use Staff Roster Software to Eliminate those Dumb Spreadsheets

Published: 19th February 2010
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We're all guilty of using spreadsheets at one time or another to create rosters. The problem with spreadsheets is they require constant re-keying of information. You can't search them. They don't show you any staff availability. Unless you have created complex ranging formulas you can't easily predict wages. You can't duplicate rosters without renaming a bunch of stuff. And they don't have any staff information in them - requiring you to constantly look elsewhere for phone numbers, addresses and so on.



The easiest way I know how to create a roster is to add staff to a week - not a shift. Forget creating shifts - that's for multi-national outfits or factory's of hundreds of staff, all with their big budgets. If you're a small business you need something off the shelf based on weekly data entry. Simple, add staff to days of the week - instead of creating complex shift formats that hardly ever comply with actual goings on.



The biggest problem with spreadsheets is they offer no feedback during data entry about staff availability. We spend hours and hours making calls or asking questions, writing post it notes, and relying on missed communications, in order to identify when staff are available. Imagine if, as you add a staff member to your weekly roster, it shows you exactly on what day and times they are available. It would also be useful if staff were able to update the availability schedule themselves so that you can see who's available when adding them to the roster.



Spreadsheets fail at the basic need of communications between managers and staff. They are not integrated with your contacts so you can't quickly see a phone number, or make the call from inside the spreadsheet. Email poses the same problem - you have to go to your contacts program to email staff.



Another drawback of spreadsheets is they do not accumulate data on a periodic basis over time. You either have to copy the sheets and rename fields or save the file with a new name each time. This makes it virtually impossible to search for staff and roster schedule data when you need it quickly.



Rostering using spreadsheets is a waste of time and money. You could literally be spending more time doing other things, or catching up on some rest. Give yourself a break and look for a smart, quick roster program.



This is what to look for in Roster software:



• You should immediately save up to 2-4 hours per week by rostering dynamically

• You should be able to roster within set company wage budget parameters

• Look for Roster duplication options - amazing time saving feature.

• You should easily be able to notify staff by email about availability requirements

• Integrated email and telephony options to make follow ups a breeze.



The most important features of a Staff Roster are:



1. A Dynamic Staff Time and Attendance Scheduler - Roster

2. Dynamic Staff Availability display in the Roster

3. Staff Availability Scheduling and Allotment

4. Payroll or Wage Prediction

5. A Staff Team Register for recording Staff details

6. High speed reporting on any Windows computer

7. Code to ensure proper data entry

8. Should be really easy to learn and use.



Summary



You could be saving thousands of Dollars a year and around 8 days of time and energy using a purpose built tool for Rostering staff.



And you can get software to do it for under 50 bucks!



Spreadsheets may seem like the right choice but they do not actually save you time and money. In fact, most people find them a nuisance and waste hours/days even weeks creating formulas with pretty formatting. Give yourself a break and use small business Roster Software. You can save yourself a small fortune and get rid of the Staff Roster headache forever.



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