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5 Mistakes to Avoid When Using Roster Scheduling Software


Scheduling your staff’s roster is a balancing act. You need to balance employee availability, business demands, labor costs, and operational requirements – all while keeping your team satisfied. Roster scheduling software promises to make this process smoother, but only if used correctly. Without thoughtful setup and optimization, you could end up with more headaches instead of less. Read on to learn the top 5 mistakes to sidestep when using roster scheduling software so you can optimize your scheduling processes.

What is Roster Scheduling Software?

Roster scheduling software provides digital tools to create and manage employee schedules and shifts. This type of online system allows managers to schedule teams and optimize staffing levels efficiently.

In the past, managers may have relied on manual or paper-based methods to create schedules. This involved tedious tasks like physically posting weekly schedules. Unlike manual or traditional paper-based scheduling, roster scheduling online can provide managers with more capabilities like:

  • Drag-and-drop calendar interface for creating schedules
  • Shift-swapping capabilities for employees to easily trade shifts
  • Time off request management
  • Labor law compliance tracking
  • GPS time clock integration
  • Reporting and analytics on hours, costs, and more

As a manager, you can leverage these roster scheduling software solutions to improve communication with your staff and ensure you have adequate shift coverage. This will help you create optimal schedules that meet the needs of your business and employees.

Common Mistakes to Avoid with Roster Scheduling Software

While roster scheduling platforms provide many benefits, it’s important to avoid some common pitfalls users encounter. Here are 5 mistakes to sidestep when using this software:

Mistake 1: Not Setting Up User Permissions Properly

One mistake managers make is not properly configuring user permissions in the roster scheduling system. Without restricting access, any employee might be able to go in and modify schedules without approval. This can result in widespread unauthorized changes like employees adding themselves to certain shifts or removing others.

To avoid this issue, carefully set user permissions when first implementing the software. Typical settings include:

  • Manager admin access to create and modify schedules
  • Employee access to view schedules and request time off
  • Approval workflows for shift changes and overtime

When you limit editing access and institute approval processes, you can prevent unwanted schedule changes from creating chaos. Take the time to set up proper user roles and permissions in your scheduling system.

Mistake 2: Not Entering Employee Availability

Failing to enter employee availability data into the scheduling system is another common misstep. Without knowing when staff are available, managers may create schedules that conflict with appointments, family commitments, or other obligations. This leads to excessive schedule change requests and logistical headaches.

Ask employees to indicate their availability limitations, such as religious holidays, medical appointments, or personal commitments. Enter this data into your system’s availability settings. This allows the scheduling engine to show feasible shift options that align with staff availability automatically.

Mistake 3: Not Enabling Shift Swapping

Don’t forget to turn on shift-swapping capabilities. This allows employees to pick up or exchange shifts amongst themselves, providing self-service coverage for last-minute callouts or conflicts. Enabling shift swapping means:

  • Employees can easily pick up open shifts for extra hours
  • Managers spend less time filling last-minute gaps
  • More flexibility for staff to resolve conflicts themselves

Turning on shift swapping gives your team increased autonomy to resolve coverage issues. The result will be less work and stress for everyone.

Mistake 4: Not Integrating Scheduling with Payroll

Entering hours from the schedule into payroll manually is begging for errors. Instead, directly integrate your scheduling and payroll systems. Key benefits include:

  • Seamless transfer of work hours data
  • Fewer payroll errors caused by manual entry
  • Time savings from eliminating duplicate data entry

Find a scheduling solution that integrates with your payroll platform. Automatic syncing ensures payroll accuracy and saves your team major headaches.

Mistake 5: Not Regularly Reviewing Analytics

Don’t schedule blindly without tapping into your scheduling system’s analytics and reports. Reviewing key data regularly enables data-driven decisions. Some useful metrics to track include:

  • Hours scheduled vs. actual work hours
  • Labor costs over time to control the budget
  • Shift fill rates to improve coverage
  • Overtime frequency to avoid burnout

Setting aside dedicated time each week to analyze trends allows you to improve your scheduling continuously. Don’t miss out on the insights your reporting provides.


Roster scheduling software delivers immense benefits, but only if used thoughtfully. Avoid these common mistakes like inadequate permissions, lack of availability tracking, and no integration. When leveraged optimally, advanced features like analytics provide scheduling insights not possible manually. By sidestepping pitfalls, you can transform scheduling from a headache to a competitive advantage.