A Guide to Essential Features for Employee Scheduling Software - Netchex
Jun 29, 2021

A Guide to Essential Features for Employee Scheduling Software

A Guide to Essential Features for Employee Scheduling Software


Creating schedules manually (even online or in a spreadsheet) is a time-consuming process with many of the same limitations as using a paper and pencil. Specialized scheduling software makes the job easier and comes equipped with a wide range of features and benefits. These options are easy to use and are designed to save you time and effort.

The best HR software solutions integrate several management tasks together. These typically include:

  • Scheduling
  • Time and attendance
  • Payroll
  • Benefits Administration

Quality HR technology is designed to be user-friendly and intuitive, so adapting may be easier than you expect.

Learn more about the potential features of employing scheduling software, and choose the overall software that’s best for your business.

User-friendly schedule builder

Ideally, your new software should be intuitive and easy to use. Look for helpful features like drop-down forms and drag-and-drop calendars. Extras like color-coding can also help you stay organized.

Here are a few signs that your new software is designed to be user-friendly:

  • Tutorial videos and simple training resources
  • Drag-and-drop functions
  • Customizable drop-down selections
  • Easy to read calendars
  • Organization tools like color coding and profiles

Mobile-friendly technology

Employees need to be able to access schedules and receive notifications anywhere. Smartphone apps and mobile-friendly sites still function flawlessly when workers are remote or out of the office. 

Employee self-service

Everyone benefits when employees are empowered and can handle their own simple questions and requests. When staff can check their schedule, available PTO hours, and compare clocked hours with paychecks, they are less dependent on managers and HR.

Payroll integration

The best scheduling solution for your situation will be compatible with your company’s payroll software. That might mean upgrading multiple systems at once, but it makes more sense than repeating the same work like entering employee hours again.

Accurate time tracking

As with Payroll, your Time and Attendance tracking should be compatible with scheduling software. With integrated systems, you can easily identify missed and late clock punches. You can even send automatic alerts to employees and managers.

Employee profiles

With profiles, you can sort employees based on their location, department, and other key attributes. Make sure that shifts include balanced teams. When they’re needed, payment information and contact numbers should be easy to find.

Shift bidding

Supervisors don’t have the time (or enjoy) juggling the personal preferences and requests of employees. Fully developed employee scheduling software makes it simple and fair for staff to bid on available shifts. When employees feel empowered (like when their preferences are heard and taken seriously), they’re more motivated to improve your performance-based work culture.

Shift swapping

Employee scheduling software also makes it easy for employees to swap shifts with their colleagues. Just as important, you can also set limitations on swapping. To avoid excessive overtime, you might require that shifts are similar in length. Exchanges may also require manager approval before the official schedule is changed.

Customizable alerts

With the right integration, you can have all kinds of helpful alerts. Alert managers and employees when clock-in times (or entire shifts) are missed. Automatically let the staff know when new schedules are posted. Choose between texts, in-app notifications, emails, and multiple channels for important alerts.

Customer support and training

Even the most user-friendly software requires introductory training. Your software upgrades should include training packages for both the manager and employee types of users. Average employees may need an introduction to make sure they understand how to bid on available shifts, but only managers need to learn the more complex process of schedule creation.

Prevent scheduling errors

When manually creating schedules, it is easy to make mistakes. Software can automatically track employee hours as they accumulate, avoiding excess overtime and other scheduling conflicts. Automatic calculations are even more helpful when deciding whether to approve shift swaps and last-minute PTO requests.

Managing remote workers

In the process of responding to COVID-19, many businesses found that some of their staff can perform their jobs more effectively from home. Most telecommuting jobs will require schedule flexibility, focusing on task completion rather than hours. However, standardized schedules can still help communicate availability and on-call hours. If you still have a hybrid workforce, scheduling software allows you to plan meetings and manage remote workers with the same system as in-office teams.


Scheduling software isn’t just about managing time; it’s also about saving time and improving your entire workplace culture. When the schedule creation process is streamlined, more transparent, and more collaborative, all of the employees feel more like valued stakeholders in the business.

Accessibility makes it harder for employees to claim that they weren’t informed about a particular shift change, but it also demonstrates that the company is invested in making communication as clear and simple as possible. 

With the right features, employee scheduling software does more than save time for the managers tasked with making schedules. When it’s integrated with related software, this solution has exciting potential to streamline the whole way your company does business.

Interested in learning more about Netchex’s robust, fully-optimized scheduling software?

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