iStock_000035639720LargeThe old way: Take an employee’s call and get the bad news that he or she needs to have a shift covered; scramble to find someone to take it, usually through trial and error.

The new way: Using mobile scheduling that every employee can access at any time, an employee changes his or her shift status, all employees receive notice that the shift is open, and an available employee picks up the shift with the tap of a button.

No, I’m not overselling it. And your employees want it—especially those who work seasonally or part-time. That is, the employees who require flexibility to make their job with you fit into their lives. It’s already happening in nearly half of the businesses that use scheduling software, and the great majority of employees want it.

The managers who do the scheduling in industries like retail, restaurant/hospitality, education, health care, and manufacturing are putting a significant portion of their time into handling shift trades and absences that could be managed by smartphone or tablet. Taking those functions online gives everyone who needs it anytime access to the scheduling process. Which in turn keeps managers on the floor and focused on more immediate needs.

Mobile scheduling also supports employee dedication. Here’s what I mean: Rather than falling into a fixed schedule in order to keep things easy, then correcting as requests come in, mobile scheduling better enables managers to provide the flexibility that draws so many employees to hourly or part-time jobs in the first place.

In short, it’s a win-win for busy managers and employees, which is a big check mark in the win column for business owners. It’s also the way the industry is going. Now’s a good time to get there.