Topic Workforce ORTEC

Self-Scheduling

What is Self-Scheduling?

Self-scheduling, also referred to by the umbrella term ‘autonomous planning’, opens up the planning activity to the participation of employees themselves. The extent of influence employees have on scheduling differs per organization and/or scheduling system being used.


Different forms of self-scheduling, or autonomous planning, include:

  • Self-scheduling: Employees design their own schedules from start to finish
  • Shift swapping: Employees are enabled to swap shifts
  • Shift bidding: Employees indicate their preferred shifts and the planner decides
  • Shift picking: Employees choose and are assigned their preferred shifts directly
Why optimize Workforce Scheduling and use Self-Scheduling?

Self-scheduling has numerous advantages:

  • Organizations save time spent on planning
  • Organizations eliminate time spent on communicating about employees preferences, needs and unexpected absences
  • Employee engagement increases
  • Absences from work decrease
  • Employee productivity increases
How to optimize Workforce Scheduling and introduce Self-Scheduling?

The first step to introduce self-scheduling is to optimize workforce scheduling with a system that uses smart algorithms. A ‘smart algorithm’ is a set of well-defined instructions that finds the best optimum in formal rules combined with restrictions deriving from organizational or personal preferences. In the world of optimization, an algorithm is ‘smart’ when its mathematical solution is also balanced out with in-depth knowledge about the client’s business needs and, often, insights from applied sciences. An algorithm functions along a set of well-defined rules, while additional insights that refine it into a ‘smart’ algorithm are referred to as ‘restrictions’.

Formal rules, for example, can be found in:

  • Labor laws
  • Collective Labor Agreements (CLA’s)
  • Contracts, like service level agreements (SLA’s)
Restrictions come from the organizational needs for which the smart algorithm is created. These can include:

  • Specific business KPI's
  • Situational or local requirements
  • Tasks that require specific expertise
  • Employee preferences
Smart algorithms uploaded with a full set of rules and restrictions allow an organization’s scheduling system to prevent, detect and report ‘violations’, such as overtime or a mismatch between expertise and the specific job that has to be done. These can be resolved, either by a manager, a planner or, in a self-scheduling environment, by employees themselves.

What are the results of optimizing Workforce Scheduling and using Self-Scheduling?

Introducing self-scheduling:

  • Reduces time spend on scheduling significantly
  • Eliminates time spend on communication to schedule
  • Increases employee involvement, motivation and satisfaction
  • Reduces absences from work
  • Improves productivity
  • Reduces extended shifts and overtime

Why contact ORTEC to optimize Workforce Scheduling and introduce Self-Scheduling?

ORTEC has extensive knowledge and experience in optimizing workforce scheduling, introducing autonomous planning or self-scheduling, shift bidding, shift picking and shift swapping in different industries that all have specific needs but have complexity in common.