Shift Management: Flexibility for your Frontline

Shift Swapping Blog

Shift swapping happens because life happens. WFM labor planning and schedule forecasting are powerful tools, but it’s only the 1st version of your schedule. Flexible shift management is required to augment your WFM schedule output because your 1st schedule version isn’t the last — schedules change. The point is: Your frontline employees swap shifts amongst themselves.



How are frontline employees swapping shifts?


If you are not using WorkJam, your frontline employees have limited options. Even if they have a mobile shift management tool, they can likely only swap shifts directly with another employee, a 1-to-1 trade.


That leaves frontline employees to seek their own solutions. They might trade shifts via text message, WhatsApp, GroupMe, and phone calls. In all of these examples, there is no paper trail nor written record of the shift swap. Another option is that they lean on managers to do the difficult lifting. And in the worst-case scenario, they call out.


Absenteeism costs enterprises millions of dollars every year. Loss of sales and productivity are minimized when locations are fully staffed.


Ask us how WorkJam saved a global retailer $2,000,000 by reducing absenteeism — this single use case has a tremendous impact on the goals of HR and operations.

Flexible Shift Management: WorkJam offers 5 ways to swap shifts


WorkJam shift swapping reflects the way frontline employees work. Built to meet the needs of frontline employees, WorkJam provides flexibility for frontline workers while referencing WFM work rules.


Each shift management option WorkJam offers ensures compliance — only allowing transactions to occur if it meets your rules AND only displaying shifts to qualified workers.

Direct Shift Release

This type of release allows a shift to be transferred directly to another teammate. No trade takes place with this type of release. This replaces “Hey, Rachel. Here is my Saturday shift. Thanks!” This process happens manually today, so we make it as simple as a few clicks.


Direct Shift Swap

Swap shifts with a teammate. This is the 1-to-1 shift swapping that you might be used to with your WFM provider. This is a closed-loop compliant version of, “Rachel, if you take my Saturday, I’ll pick up your Sunday shift.”


Open Shift Pool Release

Broadcast the availability of my shift for the taking. This is a streamlined version of “Can anyone take my shift?” that happens inside of your organization. An Open Shift Pool is a virtual picklist of shifts that appear only to people qualified to work them. An easy comparison is gig-type work in terms of picking up new shifts — we call it an Open Shift Marketplace.


Open Shift Pool Swap

Broadcast the availability of my shift for a swap. Just like this option above, this feeds into the Open Shift Marketplace. The difference between this and the option above is that this includes a trade. WorkJam replicates “Can anyone take my shift? But I need the hours, so I’d like to swap shifts.”


Offer Shift

Alert specific teammates to take a shift. As simple as it sounds. It is a 1-to-1 shift offer inquiry.

Flexible Schedules WorkJam Workforce Management Shift Swap 5 Ways WFM
Flexible Schedules WorkJam Workforce Management Shift Swap 5 Ways WFM

In a WorkJam commissioned Forrester ROI study, WorkJam customers reported an average location manager saves 2-hours per week, 5% of their 40-hour work week, by empowering frontline employees with self-service shift management tools.


Additionally, WorkJam explored “The Economic Impact of Missing a Single Shift” in a 2019 study. The 1,000 hourly employees surveyed exposed the far-reaching implications of missing a single shift. Respondents cited the devastating effects of what happens when their paycheck gets reduced as the result of a one-shift difference:

  • The inability to pay utilities on time (49% of respondents)
  • Missing rent (27% of respondents)
  • Foregoing groceries for a week (25% of respondents)

Ensure shift coverage while empowering your frontlines to have more full employment.


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WorkJam is the platform industry leaders choose for true frontline orchestration: task management, training, communications, staffing, and more.