Artificial Intelligence, or AI, has become a transformative element for businesses in the years following the pandemic. The advent of new technologies has helped businesses automate monotonous activities, alleviating employee workloads which in return helped them improve productivity and apply more tech-based solutions for redundant tasks.
With the sudden rise in popularity of AI-driven tools such as ChatGPT in recent months, Artificial Intelligence has become a central topic among business leaders and corporate executives.
The applications of AI are already found across several industries and comprise different responsibilities to help reduce employee downtime and minimize possible service disruptions.
There has been a consistent increase or need for AI, with smaller businesses now leveraging these tools to replace outdated operations, helping to improve their baseline performance, while major corporate players are opting to deploy end-to-end computing, which in return helps them reduce costs, save time, and lower the possibilities of everyday business disruptions.
While it’s possible to see how AI can enhance operations or replace repetitive tasks, in more recent times, many business leaders have started experimenting with the use of avant-garde tech in workforce optimization and employee scheduling.
These applications have already started breaking ground among industry leaders across various sectors, with smaller and medium-tier businesses now starting to follow in their footsteps.
Smart AI Workforce scheduling is improving employee optimization
When you think of how AI has already replaced several monotonous tasks in the workplace, you begin to realize how faster and more widespread automation of workforce optimization and employee scheduling is becoming an increasing reality.
One study by McKinsey found that smart scheduling helped resolve several business issues, with a 67% decrease in job delays per week after smart scheduling was introduced.
The same study also found that with smart scheduling, employers saw a 29% increase in on-job hours productivity and a six percent increase in new jobs fulfilled and completed by current employees.
There was a significant increase in several on-job issues that were either resolved or improved through the use of smart scheduling.
Instead of managers or supervisors having to schedule jobs for every employee, which matches their calendar, smart scheduling provided sufficient solutions that helped improve productivity and reduce employee downtime.
Companies that have in recent years – before and after the pandemic – implemented smart scheduling solutions have seen a significant return on their initial investment as well.
In a survey by NewVantage Partners in 2022, nearly 92% of large companies said they were seeing visible returns on their data and AI investments, an increase from the 48% reported in 2017.
What’s more, in the same survey, 92% of respondents said they are increasing investments in tech tools and infrastructure, with 26% of large companies already having AI systems in widespread production.
One might think that smart scheduling applications are only for larger companies. Still, when you start to zoom your peripheral view, you notice how small and medium enterprises are applying the same strategies to manage their human workforce effectively.
The concentration of monotony, insufficient time management, and related errors are common elements in businesses and companies of any size. Yet in this regard, smart scheduling not only opens new possibilities for these organizations but presents them with better opportunities to manage their teams sufficiently.
The Benefits of AI for Workforce Scheduling
Perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of employee scheduling is providing flexibility for team members.
On top of this, there is the element of time constraints, which plays a significant role for managers and team leaders who spend countless hours working on employee schedules, and tracking down possible solutions based on preferences.
With the induction of AI, team managers are now able to minimize the time required to optimize business operations with scheduling. Having more demand-driven and auto-scheduling capabilities can help to eliminate any possible grievances and errors and ensure a more dynamic team scheduling approach.
AI-driven smart scheduling solutions not only help to enhance the management process, but they can lead to better decision-making. Here’s how AI-driven scheduling tools can benefit the team and business together.
Improved schedule management and quality
Perhaps one of the biggest constraints of setting up multiple schedules is finding possible backlogs or errors that only become reality later down the line. The scope of AI can help eliminate possible errors or any schedule mishaps that occur when team managers or schedulers cannot properly manage workforce demand and existing scheduling systems.
With data-driven smart scheduling, AI can feed off historical scheduling information and data sets to help factor out the availability and needs of the company.
More so, AI can track external information and data sets, such as peak traffic times within a given business, and determine viable outcomes that deliver enhanced scheduling for teams and businesses. AI will not only improve schedule performance but also ensure more flexibility and minimize any possible errors or clashes.
Better company resource management
Resource management in any organization can, at any given time, imply human and nonhuman attributes, which can effectively help drive business functions and overall operations.
Smart scheduling, in this instance, can ensure that schedulers can now spend less time setting up schedules and arranging meetings and focus more on completing productive tasks. AI infrastructure can help to discover patterns from historical data to understand better how the company can distribute resources more efficiently and recommend more suitable shift assignments.
These and other practices ensure that valuable resources are more efficiently utilized across all business levels and that schedulers are no longer required to spend working hours on developing solutions.
Develops nonpartisan scheduling
One of the main characteristics of AI is that it’s an unbiased and objective tool that primarily uses data and information to provide a workable solution. AI is focused on metrics rather than personal employee traits that can influence the outcomes of schedules.
AI-driven tools are proactive in their approach, extracting information from existing datasets to deliver outcomes based on metrics rather than intuition.
This presents employers and companies with the ability to set up AI tools that follow workforce protocols and labor codes implemented by unions or authorities. Scheduling will now be unbiased, and companies can abide by local employment jurisdictions.
Although companies and employers will have full control over their scheduling, smart AI tools will simply help recommend more fair and equal opportunities for all employees based on their qualifications and company needs.
Managing company and employee data effectively
Across multiple levels, AI has been developed to read and utilize large sets of data, which in turn helps to make recommendations based on metrics.
With AI infrastructure, companies can safeguard employee information yet, at the same time, ensure that the right data sets are being used to improve overall scheduling.
Extracting this data will help AI systems determine typical solutions for occurrences such as paid time off, vacation days, legal amount of working hours, required overtime, and employee attendance.
Using this data, combined with other information such as employee qualifications, experience, and overall achievements, AI will help create more optimized schedules that focus not only on company needs but that of employees as well.
The advancement is to enable managers or schedulers to have more convenient access to employee information but also to establish a more unbiased yet formal schedule for all staff members.
The bottom line
Managing workforce optimization has for decades required effective human intervention, which in some instances can lead to errors, mismanagement of resources, and lower levels of on-job productivity.
With smart scheduling and AI infrastructure, companies can create unbiased and impartial employee scheduling that recommends outcomes based on company and employee needs.
Having AI-optimized scheduling solutions for the workforce would mean that companies can optimize their operations across several spheres. These efforts, in return, can help teams improve their productivity, boost performance, and lower risks, saving both time and money in the long run.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Craig Adderley; Pexels; Thank you!
Carma Khatib is a passionate innovator and product manager with significant experience driving digital products from conception to launch. My mission is to find and create solutions to real-world problems that ultimately impact a company's triple bottom line: People, Planet, and Profit.