by Paul Rudo on 11/10/12 at 9:03 pm
In today’s increasingly competitive business climate, it’s no longer acceptable to “shoot from the hip” or rely on established habits when making daily business decisions. Today, the most successful organizations are the ones which are most agile in exploiting the organizational data at their disposal and putting it to good use.
A recent survey by Kronos illustrates this point well.
Kronos commissioned the The Praetorian Group to conduct a survey with the aim of establishing the effectiveness of employee scheduling practices within the public safety industry. The survey focused on EMS, Corrections, Police and Fire Rescue employees working in organizations ranging in size from 5000 members to just a single employee, although most respondents reported belonging to an organization of roughly 300 members. There was a special focus on public safety professionals in supervisory roles, such as chief, lieutenant, captain and sergeant.
The questionnaire contained 19 questions which revolved around scheduling practices and processes, along with questions relating to other systems which were being used within those organizations. (HR, Payroll, RMS, CAD, etc…) And the results of this survey provided interesting insight into various aspects of how time is managed within the public safety industry, including issues relating to vacation and position bidding, shift trades, emergency recall and overtime.
One of the more interesting statistics was the fact that 78% of respondents reported not having a proper data-driven scheduling automation or optimization system on hand.
Within this group, 42% claimed that spreadsheets such as Excel were their primary scheduling technology, while another 14% reported that they still manually schedule using a paper based system.
Due to the nature of their work, it’s very common for public safety workers to claim overtime hours. And despite this, 53% of respondents revealed that their employers relied on manual tracking to keep note of overtime hours.
The survey also found that 80% of respondents are poorly prepared for quickly reacting to large-scale disasters requiring rapid dispatch. In such an event, their employers would need to manually contact employees in order to react to mass-response events.
Another alarming statistic was the fact that 71% of employees reported that their agencies trusted employees to track their own time when trading shifts, and pay themselves back. This is a potential source of conflict and theft, since shift trading is very common within this industry and irregularities would be difficult to catch or monitor using a manual system.
65% of respondents reported that shift bidding and picking is primarily done using a paper-based process, with no formal electronic system in place.
According to Kronos TeleStaff Solutions Group vice president Greg Ekstrom:
“Public safety is under tremendous pressure to be more efficient and accountable in controlling labor costs, minimizing compliance risk, and improving productivity. The survey results emphasize that these organizations are struggling in the face of inefficiencies with managing an incredibly complex process of scheduling, which involves factors such as staffing minimums, qualifications, availability, union agreements, and labor regulations.”
Image Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/chriswong4238/