Rota scheduling tool helps rota planners schedule shifts for their employees and teams. Setting up a rota that works for both your business, your customers, and your staff is not easy. Making sure that staff cover is good and you have the right skills at the right time is a juggling act many circus performers would be proud of.

But there are applications out there that can help. Many of these come in the form of rota scheduling tools.

What is rota software?

A rota scheduling tool is a piece of software aimed at making rota creation easy. Sometimes referred to as a rota management tool, they provide templates and other functions for creating an effective work schedule.

Good rota software will allow you to plan and populate your rota with the staff available to you. It will also be able to consider the skills of your employees and any staffing requirements you have.

Most rota scheduling software will contain templates that define the requirements for a shift. It will also contain information about your staff. Input the type of skills or other requirements for each available time slot and the software will populate the rota automatically.

What are the benefits of rota scheduling software for rota planners and shift workers?

There are many benefits to using a rota scheduling tool, including:

  • Reduces the time to create a staff rota. A good rota software can reduce the time to produce a rota by several hours each month. This can free up time for your HR team to use on more important tasks.
  • No more rota clashes. Manually producing rotas can lead to error. Things like scheduling an employee for more shifts than they can work are common. A rota scheduling tool prevents this by checking for time clashes or other errors.
  • Don’t fall foul of the law. In the EU there are several laws relating to how many hours staff can work. If you get your rota wrong, you may ask the staff to break the law. A good rota software will prevent this from happening.
  • Better time management. A good rota management software will ensure you have exactly the right staffing levels. No more being under or over-staffed. No more missing key skills at key times.
  • Can reduce paper consumption and printing costs. No more printing rotas on paper to display on notice boards. Networked rota software will allow users to see shift patterns right from their PC.

How is a rota scheduling tool better compared to excel sheets for rota planning?

While it might be tempting to use free software like Excel for your rota management, don’t. Excel, while a great spreadsheet tool, offers little of the functionality of rota software. Excel won’t populate rotas automatically. It won’t consider the needs of your staff. And it won’t understand the skills of your employees.

Using Excel requires a fair amount of input and editing, which is fine if your rota is static. If you need to be more dynamic with staffing, rota software will give you far more flexibility.