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Why rostering software misses the boat.

Data is only as good as your inputs.

There are plenty of rostering systems available on the market, and they all promise to ease your roster burden, minimise your costs and/or make your employees lives better.  They will also link to your accounting, payroll, HR and travel systems.

But the best software is only as good as the people that run it, its data integrity and the roster rules that you put in place at the start.

Don’t get blinded by the pretty dashboards and the awesome graphs. Like any computer program, rubbish in means rubbish out.

And without a trained operator that fully understands the impacts of their workforce allocation decisions, these roster systems can be less than optimal. Someone can go and buy a hammer and a tool belt but that won’t make them a master carpenter. 

Using a roster system or software to manage your same old work arrangements, and under the same old rules and roster patterns that you have always used will just result in better looking examples of the same old thing.  

This may not be the most cost effective or optimised option for your operation and may also leave your workforce unhappy, resulting in increased turnover with resulting gaps in your coverage that require expensive additional hours to be worked by the remaining employees.  

Longer term, this can also lead to fatigue and burnout as people continue to work long hours or unsuitable work arrangements with minimum breaks, with multiple shift transitions and swaps to cover these gaps.

The role of the workplace has changed and will continue to evolve. As we move towards more flexible working models whilst navigating economic pressures, meeting the whole of business demands has never been more challenging.

It begins with the right roster, by balancing the needs of the people and businesses.

To create a cohesive workforce that meets your unique workload demands requires a set of roster and working arrangements that consider the whole business picture – from health and safety considerations, operational requirements and employee preferences, to market disruptors and new technologies.

Software is not enough. It requires a deep understanding of the goals and issues, and deep conversations with your key personnel and stakeholders.

The result is happier, safer people who stay and resilient businesses achieving their ambitious targets.

Once the right roster, work arrangements and rules are established, your rostering system can then be used to manage the ongoing allocation of staff within the daily operating requirements.

Talk to one of our roster consultants to discover how we can help you establish compliant and costed roster and work arrangements that are good for your people, and your business.

Orkest is an expert workforce planning and design consultancy, specialising in roster optimisation. 

Drawing on two decades of advisory across Australia and the Asia Pacific, we’re helping organisations solve their most crucial workforce challenges by finding balanced solutions that are good for business and good for people.