COVID-19 and its Impact on Operations: Managing Shifts in a Time of Crisis

By April 23, 2020Blog

During unprecedented emergencies, managing the shifts of your employee resources can be challenging. Right now you might be dealing with unexpected absences due to illness, quarantine and even PTO to cover childcare needs. It’s equally important not only to empower your employees to be able to manage their schedule, but also to innovate by developing creative shifts to keep people safe and lower the chance of transmission. If you could automate some of these historically manual processes, your employees would have the ability to trade and swap shifts on their own, within established business guidelines, without having to get a supervisor involved. Not only that, but you could open up new non-standard shifts and fill them in accordance with union or business rules without ever having to email or pick up the phone.

If there’s one thing that COVID-19 will do, it’s going to help us all improve our business continuity and emergency preparedness, as well as highlight some of the inefficiencies we all have in our organizations, especially for shift management and workforce availability. You’ve had to create new processes, procedures, and even new ways of scheduling and managing shifts to help comply with social distancing and keep workers from transmitting illness to one another. You may have also had a large part of your administrative staff working remote for the first time. Trying to gather information about who’s working, next up for overtime, on sick leave, has requested a shift trade, etc. can be extremely difficult if you have disparate processes or systems in place to track your data and availability. Using an automated system like ARCOS can provide a single source of truth and full situational awareness during both business as usual and an unexpected emergency situation. By having this situational awareness, you can manage all of your shifts efficiently within your business rules, and automatically notify all employees and scale your workforce up and down depending on your needs. Using a system like this every day, no matter what the situation, will help you build trust with your employees, executives and regulators because you know where your resources are at all times, every day, during daily operations or emergencies.

Our solutions can help make the difference between an informed, quick response to a crisis or having to manage inefficiencies that will affect your bottom line. Saving operating costs by reducing the amount of supervisor time, maintaining minimum staffing levels and ensuring the maximum safety of your workforce seems like a win-win. Helping your workforce feel safe and in control of their schedules during an emergency will not only keep them focused and productive, but it will also later help you with retention and to attract new skilled labor. With automation, you can improve your organization and consistently handle the next big emergency.

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