Employee Scheduling Software For Small Business

Employee Scheduling Software For Small Business is a cloud-based software that offers businesses with highly flexible scheduling tools to manage their employees. If a small business is looking for an affordable, flexible, and feature-packed employee scheduling software then it should consider using Employee Scheduling Software For Small Business.

In this guide, we review the aspects of Employee Scheduling Software For Small Business, scheduling software for cleaning business, best social media scheduling app for small business, and best employee scheduling software for small business.

Employee Scheduling Software For Small Business

We all have that one friend who is a whiz with technology. They can work a smartphone like nobody’s business, and they can tell you about every single app on offer. If you’re that friend, then this post is for you! We’re going to talk about an app called Timely Pro from TimeClock Plus. This particular software is designed specifically for small businesses and has been around since 2007. The features include:

Calendar view

Calendar view is a great way to see all the shifts and employees in one place. It’s also a great way to see what shifts are available for booking.

You can also see the schedule of your employees!

Time saving

One of the most time-saving aspects of employee scheduling software for small businesses is that it automates many of the processes you would otherwise have to do manually. Automated features include:

  • Easily seeing who is working and when
  • Quickly making changes to schedules
  • Seeing who is working and when

Drag and drop scheduling

Drag and drop scheduling is a way to assign shifts to employees. Employees can be assigned to different shifts, leaving you with more flexibility when it comes to scheduling.

It’s also a simple way for employees to pick their own schedule for the week. Employees can choose which days they want off, or if they want different hours on different days.

Employee availability

What is employee availability?

Employee scheduling software allows you to see when employees are available to work. This feature is useful for scheduling staff, but it also helps with shift swapping. Shift swapping allows employees to swap shifts with each other, which can be helpful if one employee has a personal engagement on another day and needs someone else to cover his/her shift.

Multiple locations and departments

Employee scheduling software for small business is a great way to manage employees in multiple locations and departments. The software allows you to create schedules, assign shifts, and monitor employee timecards all from one easy-to-use dashboard. This makes it extremely simple to create schedules that are fair, accurate, and efficient.

Why should you use employee scheduling software for small business? Simply put: it saves time! Using an employee scheduling application will enable you to do everything from creating an employee schedule to managing shift swaps and more with just a few clicks of your mouse or taps on your touchscreen device.

Time off requests

Time off requests are a great way to communicate with your employees in advance. Employee scheduling software will let you be very specific about the kinds of options they can choose from and the amount they can accrue based on their individual circumstances. For example, some employees may be allowed one day off per week, while others may need two or more days off every other week.

In addition to letting employees request time off, employee scheduling software will also let managers see what kind of requests their employees are making so they can approve them accordingly. This is especially important if an employee has requested time off that conflicts with another employee who already has similar demands on his/her schedule. Managers also have access to information about how many hours each employee has worked during the past month so they know exactly what kind of schedule adjustments need to be made for future months as well.

Shift swapping and drop requests

Shift swapping and drop requests are two powerful features that allow employees to request or swap shifts with other employees.

Shift swapping is when an employee wants to trade shifts with another employee. For example, if someone wants a day off on Saturday, but their coworker would like an afternoon shift on Friday instead of the morning shift they were assigned, then you can set up your employee scheduling software so that both parties get what they want in exchange for switching their schedules around.

Drop requests are essentially the same thing—except instead of wanting a different day off than originally planned, an employee might need additional hours during their chosen schedule because of something unpredictable happening in their personal lives (like having unexpected guests visit). These requests work similarly to shift swaps: click “drop” under any existing work schedule and select which days/hours are available to be dropped by choosing another colleague who needs those hours as much as you do!

Messaging and notifications

  • You can send messages and notifications in real time, so managers and employees are always aware of what’s happening. Messages can be sent to employees, managers and administrators alike, while notifications will only be sent to managers, administrators and employees.
  • Employees can also receive messages from the employee scheduling software system if they are available to take on additional shifts.

scheduling software for cleaning business

Brush away the days of paper schedules and messy whiteboards. With industry-leading cleaning service software, companies can streamline operations and grow their business; all while creating a more actionable and accountable workforce.

Running a Cleaning business is difficult. Your Cleaning business software shouldn’t be.

It can be hard to find the time to keep your cleaning company organized. With WorkWave’s residential cleaning software, we’ll help you manage and organize your business without a hassle.

Cleaning Business Scheduling

Don’t miss another cleaning appointment with our cleaning business scheduling software. Easily schedule recurring jobs and dispatch your cleaning employees.

Cleaning Job Management

Putting all of your information in one place. Easily access job and customer information to give your cleaning crew everything they need to satisfy your customers.

TEAM Lite has been an amazing transition for our company, saving us so much time and effort from our previous software. It’s helped our business complete heavy, tedious, time-consuming tasks with ease. We could not be happier!”

– Brooke Turner, Robertson Pools

Cleaning Business Mobile App

Equip your cleaning crew with everything they need in the field, including customer information. Give them real-time GPS directions to their next appointment.

Cleaning Estimates & Billing

Manage your cash flow and get paid faster. Easily invoice all of your appointments in just a few clicks with our cleaning billing software.

Cleaning Business Software

The cleaning industry’s needs are unique and require easy-to-use software specifically designed for your business. TEAM Lite Cleaning is designed to drive growth, profitability, and efficiency while allowing you to align your operations with your customers’ high expectations.

best social media scheduling app for small business

How do you find the small business software you need without spending a fortune?

In the USA, there are 32.5 million small businesses. These companies create around 1.5 million jobs each year, and they account for 64% of the jobs in the US. But, every business needs the right tools to thrive. And the overheads of running a small business aren’t shrinking. 

What software does a small business need?

As demand for value, and the popularity of freemium products, has grown, there are plenty of small business software options to choose from.

So many, in fact, that finding the best one for you has become a time-consuming and preventative task.

That’s why we’ve put this post covering the best small business software options for the following categories:

Best Business Software for Collaboration

Collaboration is at the heart of any successful business. It doesn’t matter whether you have five employees or 50. Making sure everyone stays on the same page is essential.

An upward trend anyway, and more popular since the 2020 pandemic, remote work has triggered the need for collaboration tools to become your work hub.

1 – Slack

Slack is one of the best-known collaboration tools in the world and exceptionally popular with small business owners. In fact, 65% of businesses say they are using Slack today.

At its core, Slack is a messenger app for business to business interactions.

It’s easy to use, like chatting with a friend over Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. Slack has a variety of ways to bring context to conversations like formatting, images, and GIFs.

Alongside messaging, you can transfer files, share your screen, and even video call. Slack brings your entire team together wherever they’re working from.

You can even use shared channels to connect with external contacts who also use Slack in different organizations.

Companies of every size from every industry rely on Slack to get work done. The free version of Slack makes it easy for small businesses to get started.

2 – Cisco Webex

Cisco Webex is a user-friendly collaboration service that might be familiar if you’ve ever joined a Webex meeting. The app combines messaging, file sharing, and video meetings with business calling.

Webex is ideal for companies that already have Cisco hardware. If you’re using Cisco phones for telephony, then adding Cisco Webex and Meetings is a breeze.

Cisco is on the cutting edge of the communication industry. They even coined the term cognitive collaboration. Cognitive collaboration brings artificial intelligence into team meetings and conference rooms. 

Cisco Webex includes access to virtual assistants and tools like People Insights. People Insights allow you to learn about your colleagues before starting a call.

Virtual whiteboarding tools make sharing visual ideas quick and easy and can be integrated with a physical whiteboard supplied by Cisco.

3- Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is part of the Microsoft 365 productivity suite. If you know your way around tools like Excel and SharePoint, then you’ll love Teams. There’s even a free small business software version available.

This app started as a replacement for Skype for Business. Now, Microsoft Teams is an advanced collaboration tool, with options like Business Voice.

As part of the Microsoft 365 catalog, Microsoft Teams come with end-to-end encryption. You can connect with employees through web conferencing and online meetings. Plus, there are channels and instant messaging like you find in Slack.

You can open up Microsoft Teams to external contacts who use the same app in their business by enabling guest access.

Microsoft Teams keeps getting better. Features like direct routing and virtual backgrounds are recent additions to the portfolio. The company also keeps adding new ways to make Microsoft Teams help you become more productive.

4 – Zoom

Zoom is one of the world’s best known video conferencing tools. If you want a quick and easy way to communicate over video, Zoom makes it easy. All you need to do is click a link to get started.

Zoom offers extra features on top of video, like Zoom Team Chat (a dedicated messenger), and Zoom Phone. Features like in-line translation and transcription make it easier for people to connect.

Zoom’s virtual backgrounds and hand-raising features make meetings more immersive too.  With a free business software option for beginners, Zoom is great for small companies.

5 – Universal channels

Finding a collaboration tool that works for everyone is tough. Everyone has their own preferences.

When you’re working with customers, suppliers, and contractors, things get tougher.

Mio ensures that working with people outside of your team doesn’t have to be a challenge.

Like Slack’s shared channels, Mio brings collaboration environments together. You can set up a universal channel from Slack and invite your contacts who use Microsoft Teams or Cisco Webex.

Once in a universal channel, you can send, edit, and delete messages as you would in your preferred app. Mio translates them across platform and your contact receives the messages in their own platform.

And it’s not just messages that are supported…

GIFs, emojis, and, file sharing are all supported too.

If this sounds like something you need, try out a universal channel with up to three organizations completely free here.

Free sales software for small business 

According to Vlad Voskresensky, CEO of Revenue Grid, the right tools make happy customers.

“Your sales process needs to suit your audience. Even small businesses need to ensure they’re empowering sales teams. Find a tool that aligns your employees and provides insights on customer needs.”

We’ve outlined the best free sales tools for you to delve into:

1 – Streak

Built into Gmail, Streak helps companies keep their pipeline moving. Streak helps to put your business pipeline on autopilot.

Using the app is as simple as adding data to a spreadsheet. You can filter and sort through customer information and set notifications.

You’ll capture customer data from emails and contacts. Plus, you can set alerts when things in your system change. Streak also integrates with other Google apps like Docs and Sheets.

Another handy feature is view tracking, which shows when people read your messages. So, there’s no more guessing if emails are open – and you can tailor follow-up messages.

Streak has over 750,000 customers, and is free to use. You only need to pay if you decide you want extra features, like a core CRM or data validation.

2 – Really Simple Systems

Created for small businesses, Really Simple Systems is an entry-level CRM.

This software saves time and generates more sales with prospect tracking. You can improve the visibility of your sales pipelines and create more opportunities. 

Once your prospects have converted, Really Simple Systems creates invoices and quotes from inside the Opportunities dashboard. 

The free version of Really Simple Systems is available for up to 2 users. There’s no limit on how long you can use the free option.

3 – Agile CRM

Agile CRM is an all-encompassing CRM. Outside of the basic sales prospecting tools, you can access features like custom appointment calendars and drag-and-drop automation. 

There’s the option to set up reports via email. Agile CRM also supports widgets and plugins for extra functionality too.

The free version of Agile CRM comes with support for up to 1,000 contacts. You can use custom data fields and lead scoring, as well as unlocking a helpdesk.

The free version misses things like social media monitoring, but it’s still generous. There’s even support for email campaigns and web engagement analytics. 

4 – Freshsales

You can see where your employees are interacting with customers and automated data entry makes tracking pipelines a breeze. Plus, you can stay on top of appointments and tasks with deadlines. 

The best thing about Freshsales is that it comes with an in-built phone and email sync.

There’s also lead-scoring, reporting, and event tracking. You never have to miss an opportunity again.

Freshsales appeared in the 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Sales Automation. The free version gives you complete access to the tool for 21 days. 

SalesHandy is a convenient way to turn your emails into growth opportunities. You can add the extension to your Gmail or Outlook account in seconds. The service lets you schedule emails to reach out to prospects at the right time.

Automated follow-up options ensure you don’t lose track of a prospect. Plus, email templates are available for businesses to add a professional touch.

The free version of the app is free forever. You get unlimited email tracking, but you won’t have access to premium features like custom domains and mail merge services.  

Marketing software for small business

The “if you build it, they will come” approach doesn’t work in today’s world. If we’re honest, has it ever worked in small business marketing?

There are new small businesses opening all the time. Salesforce says millennials and Generation Z are 188% more likely to open their own small business than generations before.

Relying on word of mouth and referrals can only last so long. So, marketing software for small businesses is vital. But, marketing software is often associated with hefty monthly fees.

According to Co-Founder of the Graygency, Andy Gray:

“Keeping an eye out for a good legacy deal on AppSumo and other premium tools can be like winning the lottery. Every marketing tool won’t necessarily work for your business. Finding the right solutions can save, and earn you thousands in the long-run.”  

We’ve put together the best free marketing software options for small businesses below.

1 – Screaming Frog SEO Spider

Screaming Frog is an SEO company that provides free tools to small businesses. The Screaming Frog SEO Spider software searches through your website for insights to bolster your SEO strategy.

The software is excellent for SEO auditing and points out where you need to upgrade and improve your site.

You can download and crawl up to 500 URLs for free or buy a license to access more URLs and premium features.

Screaming Frog is ideal for crawling JavaScript websites or visualizing your site architecture. The free account ensures you won’t have to spend any cash until your site grows.

2 – Hotjar

Analyzing where your customers click and what content they find useful and helps drive changes to existing content and development of new content.

HotJar uses heatmaps to track where customers spend the most time on your pages. As you can see below, the red heat patch tells us the most clicked button on the Dispatch blog home page is the Mio Pricing page.

Conversion funnels show you which steps audience members take before buying a product. You can also run surveys and feedback polls for extra data.

With a free option to get you started, HotJar is great for small businesses.

HotJar offers a window into your customer journey. As you understand what your customers need, your opportunities to sell will grow.

3 – Optimizely

Optimizely is a tool for improving your marketing ROI.

If you want to make sure you’re getting the most from each campaign, use Optimizely. With this tool, you can test your targeted messaging and personalize campaigns.

Optimizely ensures you can run constant A/B and multivariate tests. This increases conversion rates and improves revenues. 

You can also access services for knowledge management and workflows.

The full version of Optimizely is unlocked when you upgrade to the paid version. But, you can test the tools first to make sure they work for you.

4 – Canva

Canva is an easy-to-use tool for image editing and graphic design. It includes features for all forms of graphic creation like text formatting, pop-ups, cards, and infographics.

You can get templates for Instagram Posts and Stories. Canva also helps out with finding images for blog posts or Facebook covers too.

The simple visual editor means that companies can create professional assets. Whether you want to stand out with a great website, or a fantastic social profile, check Canva out.

The design tool is drag and drop, so it’s great for small businesses whose marketing teams are cross-skilled rather than design specialists.

You get access to a library of over 1 million photographs to inspire your next creation.

Canva’s free trial is generous. You can unlock up to 8,000 free templates and more than 100 design types.

5 – Followerwonk

Followerwonk is a social media marketing tool used to search Twitter bios and connect with influencers and peers.

You can run analysis and  compare twitter accounts to find overlaps in target audience.

Followerwonk offers reviews of your followers. Here, you get insights into locations and who they follow. You can also compare your relationships on social media to your competitors. 

The free version of this app comes with a snippet into the full version. You can’t view follower losses and gains but you can track follower locations and view authority rankings with the free plan. 

6 – Visme

Visme helps create visually appealing content and suggests a wide spectrum of tools for your content design needs.

You can create flyers, infographics, presentations, flowcharts, and graphs.

Visme provides 1000s of professional templates for infographics, presentations, charts, maps, documents, and printables.

One of the top priorities of Visme is to make sure that everyone can use these tools – starting from non-designers to professional designers who work with serious projects. 

All these elements help you create engaging content that your target audience would like. 

best employee scheduling software for small business

When I Work Software: Featured Sponsor

When I Work is an all-in-one app for businesses to schedule and communicate with hourly employees, as well as track their time and attendance. The online platform lets you build schedules, make changes, and track when employees come and go.

When I Work can be accessed via web browsers or iOS and Android devices. The software’s time-tracking tools can help improve accountability, reduce no-shows and manage overtime costs. When I Work integrates with payroll services to quickly and accurately process payroll.

Homebase: Best Employee Scheduling Software

Out of all the vendors we researched, Homebase is our pick for the best overall employee scheduling software because of its long list of features, simple-to-use interface and numerous integrations with existing business software. Errors on an employee’s timesheet are instantly tracked, as is each paid and unpaid break, allowing you to check ongoing labor costs in real time. In addition, Homebase makes it easy to ensure your scheduling practices comply with existing regulations.

Homebase offers a free tier that lets you try out the service at a single location before committing to a more expansive but still competitively priced package. Combining this with its many other convenient features, Homebase is a strong candidate for any business’s employee scheduling software.

Setmore: Best Budget Booking App

If you run a medical practice, beauty salon or some other business that requires appointments to be made ahead of time, you may need a form of employee scheduling software that helps your workforce manage client bookings. Setmore is our best pick for a booking platform because we found its appointment scheduling and payments platform to be the most feature-rich and widely compatible one in our research.

Setmore Pricing

Setmore charges a monthly or yearly subscription for its services. If you pay monthly, you have more control over how long you use the service. The yearly plan, however, costs less, but the trade-off is that it’s not as easy to cancel your subscription.

Pricing for Setmore’s solution is based on “per staff,” which is identical to the per-location fee structure charged by some of Setmore’s competitors. The per-employee rate that other employee scheduling software companies charge often is slightly cheaper than this model, depending on the size of your company.

Setmore has three plans: Free, Premium and Pro. Here is a breakdown of the pricing and features in each plan:

Setmore says there are no additional charges and that users can downgrade to the free version at any time. It also offers a 30-day, money-back guarantee.

Features

Setmore’s platform is easy to use for small businesses and customers alike. When we signed up for the free tier, we were immediately met with an easy setup process that helped us find certain features.

After setup, we were able to get our hands on the platform’s payment scheduling feature, which helps you create invoices and track payments – an important function for any business. As bookings come in, staff members with logins to the account can view the group calendar with everyone’s schedules and appointments. This transparency between employees makes overbooking and double booking less frequent.

When a customer books an appointment, the software sends confirmation emails to the customer and the employee, as well as follow-up emails and SMS reminders. It’s easy to reschedule appointments or make them recurring with the platform’s drag-and-drop function. Staff can also view a client’s history, which shows how long they’ve been coming to your office, their past payments, and how many times they’ve rescheduled or missed appointments. You can integrate this data with your CRM software to better manage customer information.

Setmore also offers several website and business application features that bolster its functionality. You can add booking widgets directly to your business’s website, whether it’s a self-hosted page or constructed with the help of platforms like WordPress, Wix or Drupal. Your customers can use those widgets to book appointments without picking up a phone. If social media is important to your business, Setmore can also integrate its booking features with your company’s Facebook or Instagram pages or the company Slack.

Setmore can integrate with other major business applications, like Salesforce, Mailchimp, QuickBooks and Zendesk. It also has an iOS and Android app that your employees and customers can use to set appointments, sync data and receive push notifications for upcoming appointments.

Additional Considerations

In addition to its regular service tiers, Setmore offers a live booking service for companies in the U.S. and Canada. For $89 a month, Setmore employees will answer your company’s calls as if they were your in-house receptionist. They can book appointments, answer with your business’s name and provide email summaries of each call. This service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and your company won’t be charged for “calls, solicitors and hang-ups under 30 seconds.”

Setmore’s support section has an extensive knowledgebase where you can search for answers to any questions you have. If that fails you, you can call the 24-hour support line (in the U.S. and U.K.), with the option to leave a message if needed. You can also email the tech support team, but there’s no live chat option on the website.

During our interactions with customer service, we found Setmore’s staff very easy to interact with. They were quick to answer our questions and attentive to our needs, which is what you want when you’re a small business owner looking for help in a timely manner.

Limitations

While Setmore is our best pick for a booking platform, we have to point out that it’s pretty limited in scope for employee scheduling software. This may not be a drawback for service-based companies, since booking help may be all they need, but if your business needs an all-in-one scheduling solution, this isn’t it.

It would also be wrong of us not to mention that we found a complaint was leveled against Setmore on the Better Business Bureau’s website this past July. The company still has an A+ rating even though it’s not currently accredited with the BBB, and it’s noteworthy that Setmore CEO Bryce Morrow personally responded and offered to change the offending policy.

Humanity: Best Scheduling Software for Ease of Use

If the point of technology is to make our lives easier, then why should you, as a small business owner, settle for employee scheduling software that is hard to use or understand? If you’re looking for an intuitive and simple solution for your scheduling needs, Humanity‘s solutions are easy for managers and employees alike.

March 2021: TimeClock Plus (TCP) recently acquired Humanity. While this acquisition does not currently affect Humanity accounts, customers will soon have access to TCP’s top-tier suite of solutions, as well as more than 300 integrations.

Humanity Pricing

Humanity, like every other employee scheduling software provider, charges a monthly rate for companies to access its functionality.

While most companies generally charge on a per-location basis, Humanity charges for each user. The former style of pricing is generally good for companies with a small number of locations, while the latter is good for companies that have multiple locations with different teams at each site. What you’ll generally notice in a location-based solution is that the prices are much higher upfront, while per-user pricing models can be considered more akin to buying something in bulk.

With that in mind, you can pay for your subscription to Humanity monthly or as a singular lump sum payment for the entire year. If you pay monthly, you’ll have more control over how long you use Humanity’s service, while the yearly option helps reduce costs with the understanding that you won’t be able to back out of your agreement as easily.

Humanity offers two regular service tiers and one enterprise-level service tier. The company offers a 30-day free trial of its Starter level service and 24/7/365 support online. (Phone support is available for all three tiers.) Here is a breakdown of each tier:

Features

From its drag-and-drop functionality to its highly accessible mobile application, we found Humanity’s software easy to use. (We used the trial period, which only allows access to the Starter tier while the company’s knowledgebase and YouTube videos on the software’s functionality helped demonstrate the software’s other features.)

The software includes many features to make scheduling easy, such as the setup wizard. Its mobile application lets you tend to scheduling issues on the fly. Humanity provides powerful scheduling capabilities, such as drag-and-drop functions and the ability to fill shifts based on employees’ skill levels.

Employees will benefit from Humanity’s scheduling software; they can swap shifts with co-workers and request time off online. Schedules are easily accessible on the smartphone app, so employees can keep tabs on when they’re expected to come in for their shift. This work scheduler includes a GPS-enabled timeclock that you and your employees can use to easily track hours. Humanity integrates with many payroll software solutions, including ADP and QuickBooks.

The best scheduling software allows employees to set their availability, which prevents scheduling conflicts. Humanity’s employee scheduler does this and offers employees the opportunity to swap shifts and bid on open shifts. Since employees can log in to the scheduling software anytime, they can submit time off requests without going to work to do it. Each request must be approved by a manager, so supervisors are always aware of what’s happening with work schedules.

You can access Humanity through any computer with a connection to the internet, and you can download a free mobile application that lets you manage schedules anytime. You can also set up text and email alerts for individual employees to reduce tardiness.

Additional Considerations

In addition to Humanity’s employee scheduling capabilities, the software features a robust reporting system that covers more than a dozen different reports, including attendance and labor costs. With the ability to look at minute data surrounding your employee scheduling efforts, you’re able to properly adjust how you handle the schedule week to week.

While Humanity is our pick as the easiest solution to use, the company website features a comprehensive help section aimed at guiding new users through the process of setting up and using the software. For more intermediate users, the website has forums and FAQs. There are also video tutorials covering various aspects of the program.

If those options don’t answer your questions, Humanity’s customer service is available via live webchat 24/7 and by phone. During our interactions with their customer service, we found Humanity’s staff to be well versed in the program and willing to walk us through our concerns. They were clear and concise in their answers, and easy to work with.

Limitations

The most pressing issue for us is Humanity monthly minimum charge. While $2 to $4 per user is reasonable, a minimum of $60 or $80 for a small business is a little high. After speaking with a representative, however, we learned that Humanity offers a custom pricing plan if your company can’t meet that monthly minimum payment.

Ask any small business owner and they’ll likely agree that the adage “time is money” is completely true. If using employee scheduling software to create a balanced schedule isn’t sufficient, then TimeForge Scheduling’s software application, which provides more than 60 reports on how your employee schedule affects your labor costs, could be the solution you’ve been looking for.

TimeForge Scheduling Pricing

If you’re considering any type of employee scheduling solution, be aware that the software doesn’t comprise a singular, upfront cost. Rather, you pay a monthly fee based on the number of users or number of locations covered by the service, or in TimeForge Scheduling’s particularly confusing case, both.

Depending on which service tier you sign up for and whether you include point-of-sale (POS) integrations with existing web-based functionality, you will pay for the service on a per-user basis as well as per location.

TimeForge Max includes all the features of TimeForge Attendance, TimeForge Scheduling and TimeForge Human Resources, making it a prime solution for small businesses. Here is a breakdown of all of the service plans offered:

If you’re not satisfied with the packages TimeForge offers, according to the company, you can create a custom one by picking the package that’s closest to what you want and then requesting a custom price.

Features

While many of its features deal with regular employee scheduling needs, what sets TimeForge apart from other software solutions is its ability to take the data it has received and transform it into actionable information that business owners and managers can use to fine-tune their business.

The software includes over 60 reports on topics such as attendance, shift swapping, labor costs and employee retention. The reports include bar graphs that are color-coded and easy to read, making them suitable for your own perusal or for presentations. You can access reports in different formats, which can be useful if you need to export the information to various programs or Excel.

TimeForge Attendance users have access to a timeclock with management tools that provide real-time insights into your labor costs. Attendance users benefit from the solution’s ability to simplify state and federal labor law compliance by setting grace periods, scheduling staff breaks and handling overtime.

TimeForge further helps with labor law compliance by integrating with existing payroll providers, including SurePayroll, CompuPay, QuickBooks, Heartland Payment Systems, ADP, Paychex, and FMS.

For more mobile businesses, TimeForge has two apps, TimeForge Employee and TimeForge Manager, for iOS and Android devices. As the names suggest, they address either the management or employee side of employee scheduling.

Additional Considerations

While TimeForge’s options are not the easiest to understand compared to the companies we examined, if you need a solution that reports important data in an easily digestible manner, this could be the solution you’ve been seeking. TimeForge Scheduling has a comprehensive set of tools and strong scheduling capabilities, though its strongest point is its variety of well-organized reports.

We had good interactions with the customer representatives at TimeForge. You can contact customer support by phone and email. They answered our questions clearly and professionally.

You can also access TimeForge’s knowledgebase, which includes training videos and links to the manuals and FAQs. (These are also on the website.)

Limitations

TimeForge may have the most comprehensive reporting capabilities of any employee scheduling solution we evaluated, but it also is one of the programs we evaluated that has a required monthly minimum. While their minimums are relatively reasonable for small businesses, for particularly small businesses, TimeForge may be too expensive.

Another concern was the pricing model structure. Looking at the pricing page can be a little confusing, as you may be tempted to sign up for TimeForge Max, along with some of the other modules that are already included in the highest tier. While it can be easily rectified, it’s the kind of thing that could cause an unpleasant surprise down the road.

Pricing

If you’re in the market for employee scheduling software, you are looking at entering into a monthly, subscription-based service. Some services charge a small fee per employee each month, while others charge a monthly fee that covers up to a fixed number of employees. Other platforms charge a monthly fee on a per-location basis. There are no long-term contracts to sign, but some vendors require you to provide written notice in advance before closing your account.

Like most subscription-based services, every staff scheduling program offers multiple service tiers, with the more expensive options including more advanced features, larger employee bases or both. If you’re considering a certain program, look for a free tier or trial period, as most vendors offer one or the other. That’s a great way to give a service a try before adding an employee scheduling solution to your company’s operating costs.

Ultimately, you have to consider how many employees and locations you have, and which features you really need out of an employee scheduling solution. Sometimes the free tier will fill all of your needs, especially if you run a particularly small operation. Note which features land on which service tier and compare those findings with other staff scheduling companies. What one company considers a premium feature could be included in a lower tier elsewhere. Also make sure that whichever company you go with offers some sort of knowledgebase or training materials, since employee scheduling software is only an asset if you know how to use it and make sure your workers get paid for their efforts.

Instead of paying a monthly fee, you can usually opt to pay for a full year upfront. This usually results in overall savings, but you should be absolutely sure that you want to stick with the service for the full year. If you decide to cancel before the term ends, some companies will offer a prorated refund, though you will want to check the agreement before attempting to sever ties, in case there’s a hefty fee.

Buying Guide

What Is Employee Scheduling Software?

Regardless of what your company does, if you have employees, you’ll need an employee scheduling app that both you and your workforce can understand. If you don’t properly convey your scheduling needs and expectations, you’ll eventually run into a situation where either your workers are shorthanded and unable to properly do their jobs or you have too many people on the clock at one time, greatly inflating labor costs without giving you much of a productivity boost in return.

Employee scheduling software helps businesses streamline the schedule creation and maintenance process. Rather than managers filling out each employee’s schedule by hand or scheduling individuals based on a hunch about their effectiveness in a certain shift, employee scheduling software can provide detailed data to help you create the most effective schedule possible. Once it’s implemented, managers can also gauge how much time off people are using and where inefficiencies exist in the schedule, helping the company save time and money in the long run.

With the right employee scheduling software in place, businesses of all sizes not only become more efficient, with less to worry about in terms of labor costs, but can also more easily forecast the potential workload at certain times of day. For example, a restaurant owner can chart out when regular meal rushes happen and plan schedules accordingly.

Depending on the type of employee scheduling software, employees can also enjoy some huge benefits from its implementation. With most of today’s platforms functioning in the cloud, employees can access their schedules from any location on their mobile devices, get instant notifications about shift changes and adapt to any changes at a moment’s notice. Employees can also set their own availability through a staff scheduling platform rather than relying on their manager’s memory.

In addition to employee scheduling software, employee booking platforms can be a huge boon to small businesses that require customers to make appointments in advance. You won’t need to hire a receptionist to take down any incoming appointments, as most modern booking software lets customers book their own appointments either online or via mobile app. This not only saves time and money, but lets employees know when they’re booked and puts customers in the driver’s seat throughout the process.

Employee Scheduling by Industry

While employee scheduling software can benefit all kinds of businesses, there are certain factors to take into account based on your company’s industry.

In most instances, the type of employee scheduling software that fits the widest range of industries is the one that acts largely as a facilitator of employee schedules. Throughout our research, we found this style makes up a majority of employee scheduling software. In this category, managers can create schedules that employees can view.

What separates the platforms is the features. Some solutions have a built-in machine learning mechanism that can eventually generate schedules on its own, based on employees’ availability, competency levels and the expected business during a shift.

There’s also a subset of employee scheduling software for businesses in the services industry, where team members are booked as needed by customers. These programs let customers book a meeting or session with an employee. This style is generally seen in healthcare, with massage therapists and chiropractors using the software on their business websites. As with the other platforms, employees can set their availability, making them less likely to get booked when they can’t work and reducing the number of cancellations.

Employee Scheduling Software Features

The specific functions your employee scheduling software can perform will often depend on what service tier or scheduling package you purchase. For example, some software is very basic and simply enables the creation of schedules, whereas other options incorporate advanced features like time and attendance tracking, automated scheduling, and security and compliance functions.

Look for the following features when evaluating employee scheduling solutions.

Shift Scheduling

While most software allows you to build schedules manually, many platforms also give you the option of auto-scheduling to build repeating or varied schedules automatically. Advanced software like this simplifies your workforce management process with schedule templates, labor forecasts, and calendar management features (e.g., daily, weekly or monthly calendar view). Some software includes demand-based scheduling and shift autofill, which can be valuable workforce scheduling tools.

Leave a Comment

one × 4 =