3 Reasons to Make the Switch From Manual to Automated Scheduling

6 min read

Change is hard.

Especially when you have a “tried and true” way of building schedules using Excel or doing it manually by paper.

It may take an eternity but if it isn’t broken don’t fix it, right?

In this day and age, it’s less about adding new stuff and more about optimizing and gaining efficiency.

After interviewing some of our clients in the healthcare and retail industries, we’ve learned that employees were the most excited ones to make the switch to online scheduling.

While managers had their hesitations about it being “too complicated to use”, or “feared their employees not using it properly”.

In the end, they were all valid reasons but after getting out of their comfort zones and making the switch, realized they were just that:

Fears that stemmed from uncertainty.

As much as uncertainty can prevent you from taking a leap, it can also stifle your ability to adapt and grow to meet the needs of an evolving workforce, especially during these critical times.

From a former nurse and a retail manager’s point of view, here are 3 valid reasons why you should make the switch from manual to automated workforce management:

1. It Builds a Sense of Community

Rym Sara Bouanani, a former nurse and CEO of Soins Rymed, a placement agency for health professionals in Montreal, understood the sense of isolation many front-line workers faced in their day-to-day lives.

With many employees working from different locations (including hospitals and clinics), the sense of disconnect is heightened, especially during these hard-hitting times for front-line workers.

Which is one of the reasons she made the switch from manual to automated scheduling with Evolia.

Not only did it help take a load off their shoulders from having to manage their own schedules, but it provided them “a sense of community and belongingness” in her team.

Instead of relying on SMS to stay connected with her employees, Rym decided it was best to have them actively engage on Evolia for team communication and schedule management.

As a result, her employees built a stronger sense of community, while improving the efficiency of creating and assigning new work shifts. 

Whether it be through instant messaging, being able to view their own schedules and check in with others, having everything centralized on one app, helped boost that sense of togetherness with one another.

Or in Rym’s words, it helped them “feel like part of a family and a community” working towards the same goals, separate but together.

Recommended Reading: Tips for Successful Shift Swaps

2. It Allows Employees To Focus On What Matters Most.

When it comes to hourly workers bringing their A-game to work, they need to be actively engaged.

This includes having a sense of drive and purpose in their job role, feeling valued by their employers, being fairly compensated as well as one other thing: having the energy to take on their day.

In other words: not feeling “burnt out” or overwhelmed on a recurring basis.

While being overwhelmed is inevitable when you work in fast-paced

environments like healthcare and retail, the anxiety is heightened when you have other additional tasks outside your core role to worry about like managing your own schedules and being on the lookout for new assignments from your boss. 

All of which have become fully automated since Rym started using Evolia.

As a former nurse, Rym knew exactly how hectic it could be on a day to day basis, which is why she wanted to take the burden away from her employees by letting them focus on what they do best: saving lives.

As for her employees?

“They all love it, it saves time and makes their lives so much easier.”

With smart scheduling features like custom invitations and shift swapping, her employees don’t need to play the telephone game trying to find a replacement or get in contact with her for shift availabilities.

Instead, as Rym states:

“Employees can easily see who’s on the schedule, swap shifts with one another and with a notification I can approve it easily. There’s no need to be in front of a computer, everything is done on the go”.

By taking the burden away from having to constantly check in with their manager and build their own schedules, a workforce management app allows employees to focus on what matters most.

Less scheduling chaos = more productivity

3. It Can Work In Harmony With Current Habits

As much as online scheduling provides easier accessibility and saves time in the long haul through automation, it can work in harmony with more traditional methods.

Take, for example, Carl Fortin, retail manager at Depanneur Voisin.

When making the switch to Evolia’s employee scheduling and workforce management app, he can still export his timesheets in Excel for accounting to do one last validation before importing the data to payroll. 

This prevents him from disrupting other departments’ processes, while removing the burden of reentering the data manually. 

In time, he can also work with them to move towards Evolia’s fully automated integration, if he wants to.

While Rym, on the other hand appreciates printing a hard copy of her schedule to post on her bulletin board.

In the end, just because you go online doesn’t mean you need to toss away all of your previous staffing practices and habits.

With the right app in place, digital and manual can work in sync with one another.

The important part is looking for one that meets your workforce’s needs. 

In Carl Fortin’s case that involved getting on board with an app like Evolia’s that’s “easy to use, streamlines the scheduling process and helps you save a lot of time in the long run”.

For others like Rym, it could be as simple as finding a solution that allows employees to view their schedules on the go and communicate with one another directly on the app.

Recommended Reading: How to Schedule Employees Effectively


Making the leap from manual to online scheduling requires being open to change.

Yet, as we learned from Rym and Carl, change doesn’t always need to be so drastic.

It involves a small leap of faith that leads to better opportunities in the long run for your workforce.

Having a talk with your employees to see what solution best fits your workforce needs will give you a better understanding of what matters most.

Whether it be streamlining the scheduling process, centralizing employee communication or bringing the time clocks on your employees’ mobile phones to save time on everyone’s side, knowing the big WHY behind making the switch is the first step.

The second step is taking the actual leap.

Or in Rym’s own words: “Just go for it!”

Need help managing your workforce? Start a Free Trial of Evolia’s Workforce Management Platform.

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