You are new with us? In this article we'll help you to start your planning!
- Before the planning
- Create locations and customization
- Create departments and customization
- Schedule and shifts
- Employee's view, shift applications and swapping
- Absences, special days and holidays
1. Before the planning
Staffomatic is a quite flexible tool and is therefor often used in alternative ways. There are cases where subsidiaries, jobs, orders, cars or clients get integrated into the system. Basically there are three different types of users (admins, managers and employees/staff) and also three different levels of the planning.
On top are locations. Each location is complete entity of it's own, but the same user may be member of various locations.
Each location carries at least one department, which might have the same name as a department in another location. The same department can't be used my multiple locations.
The lowest level of planning are notes that can be attached to shifts in the schedules. Every location can have only one schedule per week which carries all departments of the location. Each department can have multiple shifts per day and each shift may be added by a note for planners or employees. This note helps to transport valuable information e.g. to the employees about their customers.
2. Create locations and customization
Using Staffomatic requires at least one location. Use the top bar in order to navigate.
- Hit the name of the location on the left side and select "Create new location“ from the drop down menu.
- Think of a name and adjust the settings.
- Don't forget to save!
In the same drop down menu you may also find "manage locations". You can adjust, delete or create new locations from this section at any time later by selecting the pen icon under actions.
- Choose a logo and name
- The permissions you set are standard settings. Each schedule created starts with these settings but might get alterated in the options.
- The employee tab is the section where information about the different users can be found. You can hide it in the following section. Below chose the visibility of applications, assignments and notes in the schedule.
- In the schedule you find a planning help on the left side. In the setting you may decide for the sorting of users there.
- On the very bottom you can limit the daytime if e.g. there aren't any shifts in the early morning or evening.
The function "All locations" allows you to see assignments or absences or tracked times etc. all in one overview. Only schedules do not work this way.
3. Create departments and customization
Departments help to split the planning of shifts and affect notifications and visibility. These things happen only when a user is member of the department. This does also apply to admins.
Creating and customization of departments:
- Head to departments in the navigation bar
- Hit the blue button "add department"
- Choose a name, location and color
- In the next window add or unselect members of the department
- Don't forget to save
- You can add or delete members of the department later in various situations
- In the overview tap the color, pen, employee number or people icon in order to adjust
- Caution! Hit the trash icon and confirm and the department with all shifts and assignments will be deleted irreversibly
4. Schedule and shift
Move to schedules and create one by klicking one of the predefined weeks in the navigation bar or when starting of from the dashboard (you reach the dashboard with a klick on the Staffomatic logo top left) with a klick on the predefined week in the first menu.
You can still change the week on the next screen. Here, you may also set an application deadline. If you decided in the settings for the location that applications are allowed, this will be the day until when a shift will be closed for further applications by your staff.
You can also save the week as a template, which eases further planning in the future. Later you may decide whether you want to import only certain departments of the week and if you want to include assignments to the import. Just give it a name, but you can also decide about the template later.
Also you may decide for more options of the schedule later. The drop down menu offers you the following adjustments:
- Show/Hide assignments for employees (if you e.g. may want to prevent jeleasy)
- Show/Hide applications for employees (same idea)
- Show/Hide notes (give information to staff / help planners to organize shifts)
- Allowance of double assignments (working 2 or more shifts at the same time)
- Automatic acceptance of applications (When disabled, planners will have to decide manually, whether an applicant is selected for a shift)
- Self-removal from shifts by employees (If an employee isn't confident with an assignment she or he may delete the assignment by her/himself)
- Shift swap allowance (employees may ask for replacement and available employees of the same department will be notified)
- You can limit the number of shifts offered for swapping by a user
- You can also reduce the daytime for a better overview in the calendar view
Caution! The additional schedule options only apply to the week selected. If you want to change the standard settings move to the management of the location.
As soon as the schedule got created you'll find a sub navigation bar beyond the main menu and a list of employees on the left, which is called "planning help", as well as horizontal bars with the name of each department and vertical columns featuring the days of the week.
The sub navigation bar features a navigation between schedules and months on the left as well as further options on the right. From left to right these options are:
- Change of the additional schedule options
- Export of the schedule as PDF
- Application acceptance
- Import of shifts (of those schedules saved as templates)
- Quick shift deletion
- Subscription for external calendar apps
- Distinct view options for the schedule
- Filter for the shifts
Shifts can easily be created by hitting the plus symbol next to the dates or right in the correct row of the department where you want to create the shift.
- Choose the timeframe for the shift as well as the correct calendar date
- Add breaks, they will be reduced from the total work hours. Please note that some countries rule that depending of the length of a shift certain breaks should be inclusive/paid.
- Open end? The end of the shift will be used as an estimate, but employees will notice that they can't be sure about a shift's end time.
- Repeat? You can copy the same shift inside the schedule and department.
- Choose a department
- Let the system know how many staff is required. A shift will be shown as incomplete if the number has not been reached which helps the planner.
- Add a note if you want to give information to planners or staff.
- Klick save!
Now the shift is set in yellow and a 0/number-of-required-staff-figure indicating that there is missing staff to complete it. Hence, it is now time to assign staff to shifts. You can now easily drag and drop staff from the planning help on the left.
When moving the mouse over one of the staff a tooltip with additional information opens that do also explain the figures below the names.
Another way to manage a shift is to just klick on it. In the next window are all the details about the shift which can be edited via the edit link on the bottom right. Then, there are three tabs. Add staff via the plus button next to the name. If your plan features availabilities they will be recognized when switching on availabilities on the right. Also, this option recognizes absences.
The next tab is about applications. If you publish the schedule later with shifts that aren't completed, staff of the according departments will be notified that new shifts are available. Whenever the log in they can apply for the shift and show up in this section. You can also push employees manually to applications, if they e.g. just tell you that they're up for it.
You may also tap the swap requests which shows users that want to give away their assignment. If you accept, the shift is up for assignment of another user. A user will be assigned to a shift as longs as a swap has not been found (the user will receive a warning that the assignment remains until then).
Sometimes, assignments via drag & drop are not possible for various reasons. A little information will pop up and tell you why:
- User already assigned during the same time (no double assignments allowed)
- User not available due to confirmed absence
- User is not a member of the department
Templates and import of shifts and assignments
We already learned that a schedule may get saved as a template by giving it a name. If you completed planning a schedule and just decided now to save it, hit the gearwheel for adjustments and add a name, quit by saving. Now, in the navigation between months you'll find a little paper sheet icon on the top right of the week indicating the schedule got saved as template.
Caution: Whenever you change anything in a schedule that has been saved as a template, the template gets changed too.
Suggestion: Reserve some months in the past to use those for template creation, if you are at risk of changing templates frequently.
Now, importing a schedule works via the three dots in the sub navigation. Opening shift import requires you to select a schedule that has been saved as a template earlier. Make sure the names give a hint of what's inside. Then, you may import only the shifts but not the assignments, if shifts remain the same but you want to give other staff a chance. You can also adjust the departments that you want to import. Multiple imports in the same schedule are possible.
Caution: Please klick the save button only once. It might take some seconds until the import has been completed.
Publish schedules and send changes
In the bottom right corner you'll find a blue button called "Publish". Klick it in order to release the schedule.
You can now decide again options of the schedule like automated application acceptance, self-removal from shifts and e-mail notifications. All staff that is somehow affected by the schedule due to a shift of at least one of their departments will receive an e-mail. You may also attach a message that will be shown along with the e-mail notification. Another klick on publish and the release is completed.
From that moment onwards the week icon in the sub navigation will change from greyish to a deep blue circle indicating the percentage of fully assigned shifts. The button on the bottom right will change to "send changes" in yellow featuring the number of changes and allows you to resent the e-mail notification whenever changes have been made. Changes will be available to affected staff at any time after the schedule has been published.
Subscribe for calendar integration:
It is possible to subscribe for all assignments or only your own ones and thereby adding them to your calendar. This works 1 week to the past and four months to the future. Klick the three dots in the sub navigation bar and copy the URL. Google calendar, Outlook and iCal (among others) offer subscriptions where you may paste the link.
Note: You cannot make changes to shifts in your personal calendar. Changes are only possible via Staffomatic.
5. Employee's view, shift applications and swapping
Again, employees can only view departments they're member of. The same is true for locations. As a standard setting you may change location settings or do it individually for a schedule to decide, whether employees should be allowed to see assignments
or applications or only themselves. In absences and the different absence categories you can do the same, continue with point 6 for more.
A big advantage of Staffomatic by EASYPEP is to source out the planning to employees. Adjust the number of required staff per shift but do not assign anyone. Now it goes first come first serve. Do not ask any longer for availabilities juggling with Whatsapp, E-Mail, phone and pieces of memories from last night. Staff of the according department will receive an e-mail that a shift is available for application. They can check their calendars and apply if they got time. In advance you only have to decide whether you want to decide about applications or if you wanna do it first come first serve and automatically accept applications until the shift is full. As long as an application is not accepted, users have the chance to take back their application.
Whenever a shift is full, further applications will be put on a waiting list. If someone assigned to a shift now wishes to be free that day for whatever reason, you may allow shift swapping. If there is somebody on the waiting list, this is quite easy. If there is noone, those being member of the department and available will receive an e-mail about available shift swapping. The person who wants to get rid of the assignment receives a warning that he will continue to be assigned for the shift as longs as there is no replacement.
Planners can filter a schedule for shifts with open applications, shorthanded shifts or empty shifts which helps to complete the shifts.
6. Absences, special days and holidays
Absences and absence categories
When choosing absences, Staffomatic professional or premium, this tool helps you to organize all sorts of absences like vacation, blocks, sickness, school or whatever comes to your mind.
First of all, you may set in each user profile the number of vacation days per year. You may notice in the profile that there is a vacation counter that allows you to calculate vacation per year and also to take along vacation days to the next year.
Setting up an absence category is easy. Let's stick to the vacation example. Hit the tab "Absence Category" followed by the blue button "Create Absence Category". In the next window give a name to the category like vacation and choose a color. The inclusion of weekends as a standard setting makes sense if your business works the weekends too, often the case for leisure and gastronomic businesses. If you want to give employees the chance to request an absences of this category by themselves, turn on the following option. Do you wish that the final absence of this category is visible for other employees of the location? If your vacation calendar works out collectively it makes sense to let your staff know where little vacation has been granted.
Don't forget to save!
Now, requesting or creating an absence is easy, too! If the category allows your employees to create the absence they'll do it the same way as you as an admin or manager with according rights do it. The only difference is that the latter are the only ones who can accept absences or view all of them.
Klick the airplane icon for the absence tab and continue with the blue button "Create Absence". Choose the employee and a time frame. You may also give the exact time and therefore uncheck the switch top right "all day".
If it's vacation that you want to grant or request, deduct the absence from the holidays. The corrected days figure will adjust according to the time frame and weekends, but please make sure that the corrected days correspond to the calendar. The notion "paid" is important for users of the working time account. Only paid absences will be calculated there. You may get an overview about the employee's holiday account when unleashing the vacation overview beneath the box.
Finally, choose the correct absence category.
Additionally, you can add a comment like the reason for the request or an information about the sickness or whatever is important. As an admin you also may allow comments on the absence or allow uploads, so that the employee is able to e.g. attach his sickness certificate.
Save and the absence gets created!
As an admin or manager with according rights, you can approve or decline the absence right away. Anyone creating it will get an overview and a chance to edit or delete the absence on the top right.
In order to approve or decline an absence request later, absence managers and admins will see in their dashboard (klick on the Staffomatic logo) a number of unprocessed absences. There is a quick approve and quick decline button.
If you need more details klick on absences.
Now, in the absences tab you may use the filter to identify absence requests which need processing. E.g. klick Status = Pending and time frame = Year. Whenever you identified a request in the calendar list, klick on the bar which leads you to the absence details.
Whenever the corresponding person has an assignment in one of the schedules during the same time, accepting the request will lead to a warning banner: You get the chance to delete the assignment (not the shift) or to cancel and maybe decline the request.
Only if an absence have been approved a warning in the schedule will be displayed when trying to assign the corresponding person.
The person who requested the absence will be notified about the decision via e-mail. A change of the absence will require external communication.
Special Days & Holidays:
The third tab in absences is special days. These days are gonna be displayed in the headline of your schedule as well as the absence calendar. The difference between special days and holidays is, that just another special day doesn't mean to be a public day off from work. You may use special days for plenty of occasions like a visit of a VIP in your company, anniversary of the foundation, plant holidays or world cup final day.
You may shorten the setup via the import of public bank holidays. Klick "import public holidays" next to the blue button on the top and choose the region and time. The holidays will be displayed to check them up before klicking on safe. Please klick only once, since the import may take a moment of time.
Creating a new special day via the blue button or editing them via the gear wheal in the list view on the right clarifies last details.
Check or uncheck the switch on the top right if you want to mark the day as a holiday. Absence requests will deduct holidays from the corrected days and the working time account will decide about the calculation according to this setting.
After giving a name and a color, set the time frame and maybe also give it a description. You may uncheck the day to be shown in the schedule, it will then only be displayed in the absence list, e.g. to notify about a vacation block. Do not allow absence requests during that time in order to evade all doubts.
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