This feature is included from the Pro Plan and up.
Reach out to our support team if you'd like to try it out.
Auto-schedule is a schedule feature that allows you to quickly assign open shifts to multiple employees at the click of a button. This means that once you have determined how many people should work each day and created the open shifts you need, Planday can calculate and assign shifts for you! If you like the schedule suggestion, you can approve the shift assignment and then move on to your daily tasks, with time to spare.
Sometimes, filling a schedule can be a complex jigsaw puzzle of laws, preference, needs and headaches. Auto-scheduling is a feature meant to deal with it in a matter of minutes, for the time frame and department you need.
The automatic assignment of open shifts is based on Contracted hours, Availability, Vacation and Working time rules.
How to use Auto-schedule
Before you start using the feature, you’ll need to make sure you have a few things in place.
- You have Open shifts in the schedule, waiting to be assigned to your staff.
- Every Employee on the schedule has their necessary Contract rules entered in Planday (here's a guide, if you need to set them up).
- Your employees set their Availability preference for the upcoming period.
- You dealt with the Vacation requests for the timeframe and reminded your employees to record their desired time off before-hand.
- You made the time to add Working time rules to make sure your schedule respects contract terms, labour laws and union rules. (You can just follow our guide if you need to put some schedule rules in place).
These steps will need to be completed only once, and then they'll work for you every time you need to fill out a new schedule period. Once you are ready, you're very close to getting a schedule draft made for you!
All you need to do now is to click on the new “Auto-schedule” button at the top right side of your Schedule view:
Then, decide many weeks you’d like to auto-assign and whether any employees, positions, or shift types should be ignored, for now.
Once you are ready, click on “Start Analyzing” and the system will start the fill in the schedule for you.
You will have the opportunity to confirm the schedule.
If some of the preparation steps are not completed, you may get some warning messages.
You can just "Ignore" these messages if they are not relevant for you at this time.
Auto-scheduling might take a few moments to find a possible schedule solution for you - and if that is the case, you can see the progress in real-time.
Once the calculations are finished, you’ll see a preview of the completed schedule.
Click “Apply schedule” to assign the shifts as shown, or “Cancel” to revert back to the unassigned shifts.
Please keep in mind that if the suggested schedule does not fit with your expectations, after reverting to the Open shifts stage, you can run the calculation again.
Because there might be multiple solutions for a complete schedule, the Auto-scheduling feature may give you different suggestions, with the same input.
Sometimes, you might notice that some shifts are left Open by the auto-scheduling feature. This happens when either Availability, Working time rules, or Contract rules prevent a shift from being assigned.
As a scheduling manager, it is your decision whether a Working time rule can be ignored or whether there is a need to schedule someone over their contract requirements.
When using the Auto-schedule feature, it might be useful to know:
- The system will take into account your daily opening hours, first assigning the shifts so that the day is fully covered.
- You, as a scheduling manager, have final say in how the schedule is set.
- Taking a closer look, the Auto-schedule feature organizes the Open shifts considering:
- Employee groups & Skills: the automated match between an open shift and an employee is based on their role and skillset.
- Hired and Deactivated dates: adding and removing employees from your department is seamlessly added to the schedule automatic calculations, considering by when they'll start or when they are expected to stop.
- Shift conflicts: when an employee has a shift in a different department or at a different location, they will be excluded as potential assignee for an Open Shift at the same time.
- Shift requests: if an Open shift has been requested by an employee, fulfilling that request will be a priority, granted the other condition are met.
- Availability: employees that marked themselves as available will be prioritized, whenever possible. At the same time, those marked “Unavailable” will not be assigned shifts, whenever possible. Please note: the current version will not consider Availability input from predefined intervals. If necessary, you should change your configuration to allow your employees to their own start and end time for their availability records (instead of intervals), following this guide.
- Vacation: the employees with approved vacation should enjoy their time off work, so no open shifts will be assigned to them for that period by this feature.
- Working time rules & Contract rules: to make sure that you, as well as your employees, respect the terms you agreed upon, assigning shifts automatically takes those into account those rules. The result is guaranteed to follow the rules and meet the requirements for the schedule. If you don't use either one of those rule types, the system will simply try to assign the hours equally. When the situation requires it, you can always make manual changes to your schedule.
- Priority - custom field: if you need to make sure that some of your employees get assigned shifts before others, for a particular reason, you can do so with the custom priority field. At this point, it offers 3 levels of division: “Low”, “Medium”, “High”. This makes it very likely for "High" priority employees to be assigned first, but please keep in mind that it depends on the other listed factors as well.
Head over to the Auto-schedule: advanced settings guide to learn how you can customize this feature to fit the needs of your organization.