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When to use a Shift Swap Template

a female employee in a hard hat, currently on shift

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In this post, we take a look at traditional shift swap templates and compare them to automated shift swaps. Raise your hand if you’ve ever needed to swap shifts with a coworker. Now, raise your hand if you or your manager wrote down a note or made a phone call to start the process of swapping shifts. Raise your hand one last time if you think there could have been a faster, more efficient way to get the job done. The traditional way of swapping shifts does get the job done, but there has to be an easier way to handle the process, right? Fortunately, there is.

Why care about shift swap templates?

Without doubt, one of the biggest benefits in the retail and service industry is having a flexible schedule. In fact, it may be one of the biggest reasons people seek a job in one of the two industries. Someone who is in school, has children, or has other responsibilities requires a flexible schedule. With a flexible schedule, team members let management know which days and hours work best. This keeps employees happy, improves retention, and reduces turnover.

Of course, no matter how well people plan, there will always be something that pops up from time to time. At some point, every hourly worker will need to have someone pick up their shift or will want to pick up someone else’s. Traditionally, this is done with a shift swap or by trading shifts, which is where a shift swap template comes in.

Manual Updates with Shift Swap Templates

According to HR Payroll Systems, managers can indeed manually handle all of the steps for a shift swap. But to save time for everyone, employees might want to handle the initial steps amongst themselves. As discussed above, employees could fill out and sign a shift swap template form for the manager to review. This form would explain which shifts they would like to swap and why. 

But the manager would still have to see and keep track of the form. Then, they’d have to review the schedule and make sure overtime wont be an issue. They’d also have to make sure the replacement staff member has the necessary skills needed for that particular shift. Once the manager has done all of those things, they then have to make modifications to the schedule and communicate the changes. 

Taking all of the above into account, it’s not hard to see how a single shift swap can quickly eat up a manager’s time.

Is an automated system better?

So what would be a better alternative to a shift swap template? The easiest and most efficient way is to let your scheduling software handle the shift swap. Sounds easy enough, but the scheduling software would need to be able to:

  • allow employees to post shift swap requests,
  • check for appropriate skill levels,
  • allow manager review and approval (or allow automatic approval, if desired),
  • inform the manager if overtime would occur,
  • automatically change the employees on the schedule,
  • inform all parties involved, including the manager,
  • and a host of other tasks. 

This raises the question of whether there’s a scheduling software system out there that can do all of these things and more?

The answer is yes! TimeForge’s Scheduling Software can do all of these things. From making a simple schedule to calculating overtime, shift swaps, skills, and more, TimeForge can help managers with their labor management. Still not convinced? TimeForge goes a step further and prides itself in quick customer service, training sessions, and a Knowledge Base where managers can find answers to questions after hours. For managers and employees alike, technology should do the hard work so everyone can be where they’re needed – with the customers.

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