Set an Availability Policy

You can set an availability policy to help set the right level of flexibility and communication surrounding the issue of availability changes for your team.

By default, the system allows team members to request availability changes at any time.  Typically, this works well, but there are cases where it may be important for you to limit this communication.

The setting allows you to limit requests for changes to only during a span of time you allow during an availability campaign.

In addition, you can allocate a single exception if someone on your team needs an exception.  It unlocks the ability for a team member to make a request to update their availability without you having to run an availability campaign.

Access:  Navigate to the Store Profile by clicking on your store name in the upper left corner.

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Set a Days Off Policy

You can set a simple days off policy for your store to help you establish the right level of flexibility and control for your team.

By default, the system will establish a high level of flexibility.  There are a simple set of tools that you use to create the appropriate policy.

1.  Boundary for Future Requests – this setting establishes a system rule for limiting how far in advance an employee can ask off.  For example, would you like to make it so someone could not ask off for two years from now?

2.  Must Request in Advance – this setting is the number of days that an employee must make the request before the actual day they want off.

3.  Policy – this setting gives you a couple of sentences to describe your policy for your team.  This policy is visible at all times to your team and is a reference.  You can change it at anytime.

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Beyond this group of settings, you can also Set Limits for the number of

requests that can come on a particular day.

Edit Employee

In the event that you need to update an employee’s info:

  • Email address
  • First Name
  • Last Name
Simply Click on the Edit button by their name on the employee profile page.You will see a window pop up that allows you to change the name and or the email address.
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Smart Notes – Introduction

SmartNotes allows your team to attach notes to almost anything and then serve those notes to the people who need to see them, when they need to see them.

What Can I Do with Notes?

SmartNotes is flexible, and you can use it in a lot of different ways. Here are some common uses:

Post a Note on a Day

You can attach notes to dates on the calendar or even multiple days. These notes will be visible to all employees who have shifts on that day. This allows you to easily warn your workers of the soccer tournament tonight and remind them to pull extra food from the freezers.

 The image above shows Colbie attaching a note to October 12th.

Notes for Positions

You can also attach notes to entire positions, like cooks or cashiers. All employees who are a member of the position group that you attach a note to will be shown that note before they start their shift. Next time the grill is acting up, you can remind your cooks to use the backup grill.

The image above shows Colbie attaching a note to the Cook position from October 11th onward.

Post a Note to an Employee

SmartNotes allows you to attach notes to specific employee profiles. This provides an excellent way to target training material to your new employees. Don’t let your greenest workers be without the material that they need to succeed and make your store more efficient.

The image above shows Colbie delivering training materials a new employee.

Post a Note to a Shift

You can post a note to individual shifts, so that your employees know about any important information pertaining to their shift. This allows you to target information to a specific time of day without any hassle.

The above image shows Colbie informing a specific shift about an incident to be aware of.

Failed Payment Policy

If your credit card on file is failing for one reason or another, your account will remain active for a grace period to allow you to correct any issues that could put your subscription on hold.

What You Can Expect

Shift Agent will send you an email to the accounting email address for your store to indicate that there is an issue with the latest payment, and you can update your card on file or take whatever action is necessary to provide payment for your account.

  1. The first email is sent when the payment initially fails.
    • You can take action by updating the card on file on your own from within Shift Agent.
    • Once the new or updated card is successfully is charged, everything goes back to normal.
  2. After the first failure, we retry charging the card on file at 3 days, then again in 5 days, and 7 days.
    • You will receive emails each time.
  3. Your account will remain active until 14 days after the last period you paid for.
  4. If the card is not successfully charged, your account will be put on hold until the payment is taken care of.

On Hold

  • Admins can still login and access the store data.
  • You can update the card.
  • Everyone CAN login and see the last schedule published and put in requests.
  • Admins and Managers CANNOT publish new shifts, and you cannot create a store news announcement.

Shift Agent invoices and payment are handled by Stripe, Inc with extreme security measures in place.

 

 

 

The 20 Minute Schedule

Yeah, you can do it faster than 20 minutes with Shift Agent.  And yes, there are companies that might tell us that they can make schedules in seconds.  But we think 20 minutes or so is the right amount of time to spend.  Here’s why:

Think about this for a minute.  Your operation and your team both hang on the schedule.  Is it worth taking 20 minutes each week to ensure the best possible outcome?

With Shift Agent, you get to take the best of what a computer can do, and add it to the best of what your most capable manager knows about your team, and you get the best possible outcome.  Your manager is working with a business intelligence machine, and your team get the benefits and hopefully your store sees the sales.

The 20 minute schedule encourages you to be involved just enough to add a personal touch to the element of your work environment that most affects your Operation.

Copy and Paste the Schedule

A common question about Shift Agent is “How do I copy and paste last week’s schedule?”

How Copy and Paste works in typical scheduling

The traditional form of copy and pasting schedules is fundamentally different from how Shift Agent works.  It usually involves copying the people who worked last week at certain times and simply repeating the exact same schedule.

PROS
Really fast.
CONS
Overlooks changes in availability.
They might have requested off this week.
Might repeat an unnecessary overtime mistake

How Copy and Paste works in Shift Agent

What you “copy” in Shift Agent is the operation without the people in the shifts. Our idea is that if you invest 15 minutes or 30 minutes in making the schedule each week, you will be in the best position. This is because that time is invested in thinking through the aspects of the operation and your team that will provide the greatest number of savings and the best level of flexibility LONG TERM.

Shift Agent considers the person who worked the same shift last week in the suggestion area. You will see an “LW” (Last Week) next to their name. And, if they are the best fit, you will notice them at the top.

Store News from Mobile Device

You can send Store News from your Mobile device.

To access:

  • Click the menu button on the lower right corner of the app from your mobile device.
  • Click Store News

When sending the message, you will have the option to set the kind of message depending on the urgency. You can send email, text, or both. As always, the acknowledgement of reading the message is required by every employee to see their schedule.

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How to Send Store News

Store News is useful for communicating with your team.  You can send store News from your computer or if you are logged into Shift Agent from your mobile device.

Create a Store News Announcement:

  1. Click on Store News button in the main menu.
  2. Click the Create Announcement button.
  3. Select your Sending Mode – Email, both email and SMS, or SMS only
  4. Select your audience for the message. (defaults to all employees)
    • You can type in any combination of:  Names, positions, departments, or all employees
  5. Select a Read-By date. (after this day/time, the employee would be considered LATE in reading it, because it could be irrelevant by then)
  6. Type your message.
  7. Press Send
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The Store News Interface

After you send the announcement:

  • A new dashboard will appear after you send the announcement, and you will be able to see a list of all employees, along with the date that they read the message.
  • There is also a little chart showing you who, how many and when your employees read the message.  You can get a feel for how quick or how slow the culture of adoption for your announcements is taking place.
  • If you post a link, the report you will show you how many of your employees and exactly who of your team actually clicked on the link.  Announcements are different than system messages, which are found in the notifications area of the app.
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Store News via Text

Shift Agent provides a Store News messaging platform that enables you to communicate with your team by Text and Email.

  • There is a small fee associated with sending SMS Text messages.
  • Email messages are always free.

How it works

You can create a Store News message and select any combination of team members to which the text message will be sent.

Remember, SMS Text messages are optional, and should be used provided you want the more immediate response.  You can elect to send the message by Email only, Text only, or Email and Text at the same time.

How your Team Experiences the Store News Messages

Store News is helpful in that you can send messages with differing levels of urgency.   When the message is sent, it will be the first thing each employee sees when they open the app.

If you select SMS, they will receive a Text Message with the email.  Currently, it is not possible to acknowledge the message from SMS, but they will be able to see the message again and acknowledge the message in the app.  Sending SMS messages will spend the number of tokens that corresponds to the number of messages sent.

If you select email only, they will receive and email with the contents of the message and be able to acknowledge the message from the email.

Purchasing SMS Tokens

To purchase SMS Tokens, you can use the credit card you have on file for your subscription.  The purchase of SMS Tokens will have a separate invoice and be reflected in your invoice history.

Purchase SMS Tokens in Blocks

500 tokens = $25 ($0.05 per text message)

1000 tokens = $40 ($0.04 per text message)

2000 tokens = $60 ($0.03 per text message)