5 Tips To Empower Your Nurses During Self- Scheduling
June 27, 2019
Handing scheduling over to your nursing staff may sound like a nightmare. However, more and more hospitals, medical clinics, and healthcare facilities are finding that putting scheduling into the nurses' own hands has big benefits.
Self-scheduling software allows nurses to have more control over their work schedule. As a result, they can see other open shifts in your unit and can pick them up as their work and personal schedules allow. Empowering your staff with self-scheduling builds morale and is more efficient than a nursing manager or director spending hours trying to fill the schedule. Plus, a web-based system allows your nurses to access from anywhere they have an internet connection.
Here are some other tips to empower your staff and let nurse scheduling software work for you:
1. Compliance Tracking
Implementing self-scheduling is the first step in empowering your nurses. This gives nurses the desired flexibility while covering shifts. An employee must still work their required number of hours per pay period, in addition to days of the week per scheduling period. For instance, your unit may require x number of Mondays and/or Fridays in addition to every other weekend rotation.
The scheduling software will let the employee see if they are at target or not. They can then add shifts based on that number. However, management still has control. If a nurse does not schedule himself/herself for the required work load, the director can plug them into open shifts without their input.
2. Set Shifts
It is always a good idea to have some sort of set schedule and have that schedule done in advance. A set weekly schedule and weekend rotation allows nurses to plan ahead for appointments and/or vacations.
This should include holiday shifts.
Working on holidays should be balanced among the staff. This will prevent any resentment when a nurse is required to work on a holiday. But, keep in mind that it is always good to respect time-off requests when submitted properly in advance.
3. Allow Trading
Allowing your team members to trade shifts will go a long way in avoiding last minute call-offs and guaranteeing shifts are covered. Good self-scheduling software should allow employees to swap shifts within a set of rules. It can be configured in different ways, including shift trading only with management approval or only for shifts that are within the same pay period to avoid overtime.
4. Define Qualifications
Providing your staff with all they need to know regarding scheduling their own shifts is a great way to empower them during the process. Be sure to define qualifications and experience required for each shift. If you need a certain number of nurses with certain credentials, you can let them know.
Perhaps add a rule to the self-scheduling software that requires only a couple of new nurses to work a shift or require that a set number of experienced nurses be on each shift.
5. Provide an Ample Period to Schedule
There is a learning curve when it comes to self-scheduling. In fact, 20% of people make mistakes when they self-schedule. Therefore, make sure you give your nurses enough time to select shifts. And keep it somewhat fluid. Give employees the power to edit as they self-schedule in case they change their mind or can't work that day anymore. It gives employees the autonomy they want. Look for self-scheduling software that allows staff to release themselves from self-scheduled shifts, too.
Consider a feature that allows your nurses to release a picked-up shift and continue making changes to their schedule until the self-scheduling period is over. This offers nurses the ability to work where and when they want within your rules.
When done correctly, letting nurses self-schedule will help you strike the perfect balance between filling your shifts and keeping your staff happy by giving them control of their schedules. However, not all scheduling software is the same. You need a nursing scheduling software solution that can create and adjust schedules in real time while still handing over more control to your nurses.
Schedule360 does this. We offer the web-based employee scheduling solution your unit needs. Contact us today to see how Schedule360 can work for you.