- Need to know in advance
- Creating locations and adjustments
- Schedule/Weekplan and Shifts/Slots
- Staff-view, Shift/Slot applications and swaps
- Absences and bank holidays
1. Need to know in advance
Staffomatic is quite flexible and is therefor popular for individualization and customization. There are cases where subsidiaries, jobs, orders, cars or clients are getting implemented. The flexibility roots not only in different roles of staff (admins, managers and employees), but also in distinct levels of organization of the account.
In this regard, on the top level you'll find locations. Most of the time they are used to plan geographically divided units.
Each location contains it's very unique sub-planning. First, there needs to be set up at least one work department. You cannot copy those from one location to the other, but you may appoint the same name in each location. Typically they are set as departments within an office, the name of frequent clients or vehicles.
Each location can have only one weekplan per week with the according departments listed up inside. Each department can have various shifts.
Here, you may add another planning tool, namely "notes". These can be hidden for employees and only made visible for planners. Depending on the setting, you may put information for the planner or relevant additional information for the employees.
2. Creating locations and adjustments
In order to use Staffomatic there need to be at least one location. In the headline of the tool you'll find all you need to navigate. After the introduction has been completed, you may want to add another location.
- Klick the name of the location on the top left and create a new one
- Don't worry about settings you do not understand. Decide for them late in "manage locations".
- You may hover over the question marks to better understand the settings
- Don't forget to klick the save-button.
When trying to manage locations, klick the little pen in the action column in order to adjust the according location.
In the list of locations you also find quick links to see who are the members of the location and a list of the departments of a location.
After saving, you may want to quickly manage another location. Just select it from the quick drop down list on the left of the navigation bar next to the Staffomatic logo.
To begin with:
Departments help to split up the planning of shifts. When employees aren't members of a department, they accordingly cannot see the shifts and they also cannot see who is planned there.
Creating and managing locations:
- Navigate to the department section
- Klick the blue box "add department"
- Create a name and select a color and save
Manage department and assigning users:
- Navigate to the department section
- Select the people icon in the action column
- Select all or remove all or assign individuals with the help of the search bar
- Don't forget to save
Hint: You can alternatively assign employees to departments in her or his profile. Klick the pen icon in the employee section and scroll down to 04 Departments.
After klicking the pen icon for managing the department you'll find a trash-bin icon where you can delete the department.
Attention! When a department gets deleted this directly and irrecoverably affects all users and all shifts in the department. The shifts will be deleted too and the link between the users and the department will be gone.
4. Schedule/Weekplan and Shifts/Slots
The schedules are made on a weekly basis and are being adjusted automatically to the settings made for the location. One schedule may have an individual setting (see below).
- The dashboard of a location holds a line for the next upcoming schedules right beneath the navigation bar. Klick on the week you want to start with or that you want to adjust.
- In the next window you have another chance to chose the right week which you would like to plan.
- Chose an application deadline if you want to work with open shifts. A shift that is not fully covered by assignments can be used by users of the same department in order to apply for it (for more details see below).
- If you want to save the schedule as a template you may add a name for the schedule. You can change it later. Copying schedules this way saves you a lot of time when planning. When copying later, you may additionally decide for the departments and the assignments that are supposed to be copied.
- If you want to change the standard setting for the schedule that was put in the location settings you may klick on "more options".
- Save, and the schedule will be created.
Below the navigation bar is the sub-navigation for the schedule. On the left side you may navigate between schedules. On the right side you can adjust the schedule, print PDF, import shifts from templates and change the view.
The next bar on the right side offers you a quick add for new departments.
On the left side you can see the assignment help. If you miss an employee you can invite him by klicking the button on the bottom. If you hover over the employee you will see detailed information and understand the meaning of the figures below the names. Use the search bar in order to find the right employee.
In the center is the actual schedule. Please continue for shift creation.
Each department section and each weekday offers you a little plus-sign to klick on for shift creation. Check the start and end of the shift and leave the end open if you do not know, when the shift will end. The time you will put will signalize to other sections of Staffomatic the estimated end of the shift.
Breaks are set to diminish the total work hours. If by contract breaks are included and paid you may skip this section.
Only now you are able to copy a shift for multiple days inside the schedule and inside the department. Slide up the repeat section in the next window and klick each day where you want to create the same shift.
If you want to reach 100% of planning later, please also set the number of users that are required for the shift. This does also have an effect on the employees who cannot apply for a shift that is fully booked (they can only put themselves on the waiting list).
Additionally, you may attach notes to the shifts as mentioned above in the starting chapter of this article. In the settings of the schedule you can decide whether to show them to employees or only to admins and managers.
In order to quickly assign employees to a just created shift there are three options.
- Drag & Drop
- Open shift
- Leaving it to the users
Drag and Drop is very easy and means that you just klick on a user on the left, hold it and let loose just when hovering the requested shift.
Opening the shift by klicking it in the schedule opens another window where you can easily manage the assignments of the shift.
By setting the required number of staff but not assigning it yourself you leave it to the users who are assigned to the department. They can use the staff app (separate article) or log in (need to be created with email address) in order to apply for the shift.
When assigning is not possible, you will receive a little pop up note with the reason that could be
- no double assignments allowed (there is a time intersection with another shift of the same user)
- there is an approved absence
- the user is not a member of the work department
Release schedules and publish changes:
On the bottom right of each schedule there is a button that allows you to release the schedule (first time action) or send changes whenever there have been changes made in a public schedule. However, each change in a public schedule is immediately visible for the users. Sending changes allows you to send a e-mail notification to your users about the changes that apply to each and one of them.
Hint: If you want to undo a schedule release, use the next part of this article in order to save the schedule, export it to some week in the future, delete the current schedule and create a new one in the same place and import shifts from the just created template again.
Templates and importing shifts and assignments:
This function actually saves plenty of time.
When creating a schedule or adjusting it by klicking the little gear wheel for adjustments you can find in the middle of the window "save as template". You can give any name such as masterplan or standard week etc. You can change the name late navigating to the calendar week and also delete each character in order to delete the template completely. Also you can make changes to the content of the template by adjusting the connected schedule.
Hint: Use schedules that lie prior to your subscription of Staffomatic. Thereby you won't change reports and summaries of your employees.
If you then create a new schedule you could just copy your templates (also in parts). Klick the three little dots next to the print icon and chose "import shifts". You can now decide which departments shall be included and also whether you want to import assignments also. Repeating this process several times allows you to combing content of several templates. E.g. Standard week A with only the department office and Standard week B only with the department factory etc.
Attention! Importing takes some time. Do not klick "save" multiple times and be patient for up to 10 seconds. The page will reload and afterwards the import will be finished.
Subscription and integration for your calendar:
Assignments can be subscribed for via URL and hence be integrated to almost every calendar such as Google or iCal.
Klick the three dots next to the print icon and select "subscribe for assignments to calendar". Two links will be posted: The first one in order to subscribe for only your own assignments, the other one for all assignments that you can see.
The integration has only the view function, you cannot make changes to assignments via your calendar. Please see the help files of your calendar application in order to understand how to subscribe with URL.
5. Employee's view, applying for shifts and shift swapping
The visibility can be switched individually mainly via the location settings but also in the account settings.
Regular employees do only see departments they're members of. The same is true for locations. You can set in the location settings, whether employees shall be able to see how else is working in shifts (assignments) and who applies for a shift (applications), and you can set the same thing individually for each schedule in the schedule adjustments (when creating a schedule or klicking the gear wheel for settings). You can also decide whether notes shall be visible. If not, you can use notes as a help to organize the planning of a schedule.
The visibility of absences is dependent on each single absence category. This way you can have absence categories that help you planning and others selectable by employees.
When creating or adjusting an absence category (klick the little pen icon), you can't only decide to create the category for all locations simultaneously but also "selectable by employee" meaning that an employee can request an absence by her/himself.
The next step is to decide who should be able to see the absences of this category- only the admins and managers or also the users of the same department. A non-visible category can still be requested by a user if the checkbox selectable by employees is set true.
Decide whether your staff shall be able to adjust the reports in the location settings. This enables them to report when they're not working as requested in the schedule.
If you want a more detailed report try time tracking and work time account.
Outsource the planning and scheduling:
A big advantage of Staffomatic by EASYPEP is to source out the assignment variables to your employees. If you release a schedule without assignments (remember that you can set the demand of workers per shift), users of the same department will be notified about available shifts and invited to apply.
They will receive an email notification with a link to the schedule in Staffomatic and can apply to all available shifts. They can also use their mobile smartphone app of Staffomatic.
Now, there is a choice to be made. When publishing the schedule you are asked whether you want your staff to be able to remove themselves from shifts (not recommended) and whether you want applications to be automatically accepted until the demand is covered. You will be bulk notified about applications every hour until the day before the shift starts where you will be immediately notified. Should the demand of a shift be covered staff can put themselves on a waiting list in order to signalize their availability should anyone become ill or otherwise unwilling to take the shift.
Of course, you can plan your staff also manually and when publishing the shift employees will be notified about their assignments.
In the location or schedule settings you can decide whether you like to allow shift swapping. This function is workable both in the mobile app and also in the browser version. Staff needs to check that they understand they will remain assigned to the shift until the swap is finished. They will also have to state a reason why they want to get rid of their assignment. Other available users of the same work department will be bulk notified every hour about available shifts from swaps. They can accept the swap and will be assigned in place of the original assignee. The admin, until then, is able to see the reason for swapping in the shift when klicking the tab swap requests.
You may also decide how many swap requests can be made per week per user in order to prevent that users book all week and then slowly decide which of these they don't want.
On the bottom of a shift will be a little greyish banner telling you about an existing swap request and/or application, the same is true for your dashboard telling you about these actions by your employees.
6. Absences and Special Days / Vacation / Holidays
Absences and absence categories:
In order to make the absence feature work, we need to tell the system what kind of absences we would like to manage. There are no absence categories preset in the system.
Typically you want to create temporary disablement such as sickness, special leave due to moving or bereavement and of course vacation leave. There are many more categories that you could create and help you with the planning such as:
- University leave
- Job training
- Skill enhancement
- Field work
- Reduction of overtime
- Anything else you could imagine
After setting the name chose a color decide about the handling in between locations. You may want to create a vacation category which you will need in all of your locations, so at this point you can copy the category to all the other locations. When you create another location after the category, you will have to create new categories.
After that you decide whether weekends shall be calculated. As an example, if your company regularly employs through weekends, sickness should be including the weekend which becomes important later when you decide, whether an absence is paid or not.
The next thing you set is about the visibility for employees. At this point you decide whether you want employees to manually tell you about sickness and it will be integrated into Staffomatic by yourself or a manager or whether you want to just manage absence inquiries made by your employees themselves.
Afterwards you decide about something that appears similar, but it is actually about the list of absences where employees of the same department can see the absences of others. If you want to prevent that select Admins and Managers at this stage.
Vacation days counter:
You can manage the vacation days of each user which is not directly correlated with absence categories. You will see in the next section, that for each absence creation you can decide about the vacation days reduction parameter.
In each user profile (see employees) you can set the number of vacation days per year. Klick on edit and scroll down a little bit and find the setting next to the maximum working hours per week/month.
Now, in each employee profile starting page you'll find a little widget at the top telling you about the remaining vacation days in the current year plus an info about total vacation days per year, those taken so far and the transfer of vacation days from last year and those transferred to the next year (viable at the end of each year).
Klicking on the little pen icon a new window will open allowing you to adjust the vacation days, especially transfers in between years.
Creating an absence:
Any admin or manager with rights to create absences or employees if set selectable by employees can move to absences and press the blue button in order to create a new absence. You may also click in the absences overview in the line of the user so that the correct user and time is already selected in the creation page. You can also see the individual absences in the absences tab in the employee profile. This view shows a calendar with little plus icons which allow to create absences too.
First, you need to decide for whom the absence shall be created and whether the absence is all day. If the absence is part day the time frame below will be extended by time fields. Otherwise you can only select the dates for the absence. The system will analyze all assignments of the employee and list them in order to give a reminder and maybe discuss the days prior to the creation.
Second is the setting for vacation days and work time account users. Do you want the number of corrected days to be deducted from the counter then set the button true. If so, please select the number of days that should be calculated. If you e.g. want to request temporary leave due to sickness you might activate too, set the number of deducted days to zero but indeed set "paid" true. This helps to calculate the work time account correctly.
The last thing you can do is adding a text and if being a manager or admin allow comments and uploads by the employee (doctors letter and other approvements).
Whenever the request is saved, higher ranked users (employee <manager <admin) will be bulk notified every hour via e-mail and also in the dashboard and also in the absences overview with a yellow bar (yellow = action required). When the absence bar is red it was declined by an admin or manager. A blue bar is an approved and confirmed absence.
Klick the absence bar in order to get an overview or change and edit details and also to see the log file (who declined or approved etc.).
Only confirmed absences will be shown in the schedule (employee view) and lead to error messages when trying to assign the user in the time of the absence.
The user will be notified via e-mail about decline or confirmation, only if you decline or confirm for yourself this obviously won't happen.
Hint: Changes and edits won't result in notification, hence it is recommendable to decline and create a new absence if there are important changes.
Special Days and Holidays:
Special days and holidays can be displayed in each schedule in the first line and thereby offer not only application of regional bank holidays but also to add planning help and / or communication of important content for your colleagues. You can find them under absences and then select the tab "Special Days".
Importing public holidays:
Next to the blue button "create new day" you find another button for importing public holidays. Now, the only thing you need to do is selecting the country and region plus the year and import those days.
You can edit all important dates later, but these holidays are marked as public holiday and thereby result in a calculated day in the work time account (if you use this feature).
Creating a new day:
You can also create a new day or public holiday by klicking the blue button "create new day". The following page looks exactly as if you'd open a special day from the list by klicking the little pen icon in order to edit the day.
Now, first you set name and color. The special day will always be created in the location set in the main navigation bar. But, if you'd like to set the day up for all locations you will need to select "Apply to all locations" in the next section where you also select the time frame for the day(s).
Section three makes you decide about whether the day should be a holiday with repercussions for the work time account. For the same reason you can also select a translation of hours for the work time account which is further explained in the work time account article.
Section four gives you a chance to add a description and whether you want the day to be shown in the schedule and whether you want to allow absence requests. The latter option is helpful if you e.g. create a special day that requires the attendance of all your employees.