Ensuring every shift is properly staffed can be a complex and time-consuming task for public safety managers and supervisors. Whether they're scheduling support staff who work Monday through Friday or officers who work 10-hour rotating shifts, schedulers must ensure each shift is staffed with the appropriate number of qualified employees. Here are some reasons public safety administrators have turned to officer and staff scheduling software to help stay on top of scheduling.
Paper schedules typically reside on a computer or bulletin board within a public safety department. When changes occur, the schedule must be updated and reposted. This means officers can only view the most current schedules when they are at work, and supervisors are never sure whether everyone has the correct schedule information. Online scheduling systems allow officers, staff, and administrators to see up-to-the-minute schedules anytime, anywhere. Employees always know when and where they work, and managers have peace of mind knowing everyone has the most current schedule information.
Public safety administrators already have a lot on their plates and creating weekly or monthly schedules can be time intensive - especially when the facility uses paper schedules or spreadsheets. Scheduling software allows managers to build schedules for each of their divisions in minutes, and easily schedule multiple employees. Some software solutions include tools that make it easy to copy schedule patterns and rotations, so managers don't spend time entering repeating schedule information.
Software with an integrated messaging system allows managers to instantly communicate with staff via email and text message. This helps managers alert staff of schedule changes as well as fill open shifts fast. Scheduling software also lets managers share schedules with other locations or divisions, such as corrections, patrol, and dispatch. This gives the entire organization real-time schedule information to ensure every shift is properly staffed. Additionally, administrators can see how many total hours are scheduled, which safeguards against scheduling conflicts and reduces unnecessary overtime.
The personnel budget comprises most of law enforcement agencies' annual funds. Scheduling software can perform staffing calculations such as total hours scheduled and can provide estimated employee utilization and efficiency for a given work period. When researching scheduling software solutions, administrators should consider the initial investment, as well as monthly and annual costs. Administrators should look for software with flexible pricing, which can be adjusted to meet their department's specific personnel requirements. This ensures the department is paying only for the services they need. For added resource management, some software includes reporting tools, which allows administrators to monitor officer's shifts and hours - preventing unnecessary overtime costs.
Finding the scheduling program that best meets their department's staffing requirements helps administrators ensure every shift is properly covered and each employee has the most current schedule information. Additionally, it can cut the time spent on scheduling by up to 75% and reduce overtime by up to 90% - that's a sound investment for any public safety department.
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