We recently built and deployed a controversial new feature. The ability for a staffer to decline a shift that they have been booked on. It’s a simple feature, when a staffer has been booked they receive an email that details the booking and asks them to either confirm that they are committed to fulfilling the booking, or the opportunity to decline the booking. Read more about Booking Confirmations here.
‘Staffers can decline a shift after they’ve been booked on it! Outrageous!’
I understand the consternation, why would you want to be able to give the staffers that option? Well, the option already exists. If a staffer wants to decline a booking they either email the manager or call in to the office…or worse still, they don’t turn up to the activity at all.
This is the difference, an agency that doesn’t use the ‘confirm shift’ feature will see their staff schedule like this.
They are none the wiser as to whether all of these staffers are actually intent on fulfilling the booking or not. They’re also not measuring the booking reliability of any of these staffers.
The agency that uses the shift confirmation feature has much more information:
They can easily see that two of their staff have confirmed that they will fulfil the booking whilst one of them has rejected the shift. The manager has been informed of the shift rejection and will be able to action a change before the job goes live.
We believe that it’s better to have a structured communication in place that requires the staffer to double check the date of the booking and gives them the option to decline the booking early, giving your team the time to rebook the activity. Furthermore, by having a structured workflow in place you’re able to measure the reliability of a staffer when they are booked, gradually building an accurate risk profile against a staffer.
This is immense power and very exciting for the future of staffing. With this new data field we’re going to be able to blend the staffers ‘booking reliability’ (how committed they are to bookings) with their activity performance scores (how they perform on a job) and give you the clearest insight in to the risk profile of a staffer.
So far, using data generated by our trialists (early adoption customers who have this feature turned on), 3.6% of shifts have been declined this way with an interesting variety of reasons given.
- “I think I made a mistake when selecting the days I’m available to work. I’m only available the 20th of November, and the 2nd and 4th of December”
- “Hey guys I’m so sorry I’ve made a mistake and am not available on the Friday 22nd Nov.”
- “have a two day training event on the 19th and 20th that has just come up , very sorry to cancel”
- “I could not be present because I planned an event on this date five weeks ago”
- “I don’t have childcare for that day so wont be able to make it”
- “I am afraid I am unable to work this shift as I have an urgent and important university meeting which I cannot miss. Sorry”
We’re very excited about what this feature means for the future of booking staff. Imagine being able to book staff knowing that Watu has stacked the search result based on the risk profile of your staff, the lowest risk staff first, and as a result, increasing the compliance on your work (reducing down dropouts, late shows etc.) and ensuring that you deliver excellence for your client. Awesome.