Scheduling can often be a time consuming and somewhat painful experience for owners of small companies and scheduling managers alike. If you have a small business with few employees it can be difficult to make sure all shifts are covered, on the other hand, if you handle the scheduling for a large company, it may require an entire day or more to complete schedules for employees. This is because many companies use Microsoft Excel templates such as this to do their scheduling.
There are many methods business owners and managers use to schedule employees as quickly as possible, unfortunately, most of them don’t really save time for the scheduler or the employee. After you get done scheduling, time is taken away from the work day to answer the phone for employees that are calling in or stopping by the office to get their schedule for the week. That’s where WhenIWork comes in; this unique system is a real time saver for owners and managers, plus it allows employees to check their schedules online. It also makes sure that employees are scheduled for too much time which could lead to disasters like this incident on Examiner.com.
I recently sat down with Chad Halvorson, managing director of WhenIWork to find out the specifics of the system and what is planned for the future, here is what he had to say:
1. How did WhenIWork come about?
“I used to work in a grocery store in 1998 and checking the schedule and knowing when you were supposed to show up was always a pain. I would often think to myself, “wouldn’t it be great if I could just go online and check the schedule from my computer?” That simple question ultimately led me to purchase the When I Work domain name (wheniwork.com) and develop the first prototype in 2000. It was fairly rudimentary and didn’t work all that well, so I made the decision to put When I Work on the shelf and started a consulting company. When I looked at the market in 2008, I was really able to grasp what ingredients were missing during the first attempt at launching the product: a connected world and mobile. By 2008 the whole world was connected through high-speed internet, and almost everyone had some kind of mobile device or smartphone. So myself and a core team developed a new prototype: the first real version of When I Work. Today, nearly half a million business owners, managers, and employees in over 50 countries rely on for hourly employee scheduling, attendance, and communication.”
2. Will there ever be a free version of this system?
“Our system is currently free for companies with five employees or less.”
3. Do you think WhenIWork will come out with an app for personal use?
“Because When I Work is free for companies with five employees or less, a lot of families and individuals are able to and choose to use our software for personal use.”
4. What makes your product different from other scheduling tools?
“We believe that workforce management software should be created for the end-user, not the decision maker — and that businesses should be able to roll out software to their workforce in 5 minutes, not 5 months. Our customers are the end-users and they just happen to also be the decision maker. They also have no IT resources and have very limited time because they are busy running their businesses. They need to be able to easily see the value, test the product, and implement it across the team. We take a problem that is hairy and ugly and something that takes managers days and we take it down to minutes. The increasingly savvy end-user and consumerization of enterprise software flips the traditional paradigm of software selection. This will force software makers to focus more on how software works — not just what it does.”
5. How hard is it to implement and use this system?
“That’s the beauty of our product. Our customers are typically not very tech-savvy so we’ve made our system incredibly simple for them to implement. The process requires little to no onboarding assistance from our customer success team. Anyone can implement our system within a matter of minutes. No IT experts are needed in order to get started.”
6. Now that you have been around for a little while, what kind of feedback have you received from end-users?
“Our customers frequently tell us that implementing our software has saved them hours and has allowed them to dedicate more time and energy on tasks that help them grow their businesses. In addition, we also hear that our software significantly improves communication, boosts employee happiness, and helps entire teams become better prepared to do the jobs and tasks assigned to them.”
“Check our reviews in the app store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/when-i-work-employee-scheduling/id383126470?mt=8”
7. What kind of clients use your system?
“Our customers are businesses that employ hourly employees. Any business that schedules varying shifts (restaurants, bars, coffee shops, retail, hospitality, healthcare, construction, education, salons, and others) can benefit from our software. See more here”
This system comes with many features, below are a few that I think most companies and their employees could make good use of:
· Set-up for multiple locations, for example create a schedule for one office location and a different one for a second location. These can be managed by different people.
· Set-up several different positions, such as manager, waiter, etc.
· Tag employees to specific locations and their position
· Set-up shift blocks or create unique shifts
· Send emails and text updates
· Track employees in a number of ways including payroll expenses and position
· Employees can request time off, view their schedule, set availability, pick up open shifts, as well as swap or drop shifts (these must be approved by a manager in most cases)
The impact of something new
It isn’t often a product comes out on the market that can completely change the way you do business and the way your employees work. In most cases, creating a schedule for an entire company or department is a long, multi-step process like this. Fortunately, it no longer has to be that sort of task. In addition, it is very cost effective, is loaded with features, and can be accessed 24/7. Plus, pricing is based on the number of employees you have, not how much you use it.
When I Work is a unique idea and brings many things to the table at an unbeatable price, something most other schedulers simply can’t compete with. There are several things you can do to make scheduling easier, including these tips from William Harris on the When I Work blog.