Working for peanuts, literally
Taming a beastly scheduling situation
The Phoenix Zoo has been utilizing WhenToWork for scheduling its staff since (before) I first got hired three years ago as an instructor in the education department. A year ago I got hired on into a new position, as the Animal Coordinator. My new position requires me to schedule our entire education animal collection which consists of two hundred plus insects, arachnids, amphibians, lizards, snakes, turtles, tortoises, small mammals, raptors, and parrots. Their job is the educate and entertain our guests in a variety of programs including daily shows, camps, outreaches, media events, weddings, and birthdays to name a few.
For a year I have struggled to find the most efficient way to schedule all of our animals while at the same time balancing their physical and psychological well-being. And this is no small feat. Every animal in our collection has to be managed at an individual level, because all animals handle situations differently. On top of how often an animal can work I have to take into consideration visits to the veterinarian, feeding schedules, and snakes shedding. And finally, we have to monitor their behavior on a daily basis to make sure that they are fit for doing our educational programs.
This is a lot of information for one person to keep in their head (and various documents) which is why we have made the switch over to WhenToWork! Our employees are our two hundred plus animals and we can set their usage limits by shifts per day and week, we can set the preferences for the snakes so we don’t schedule them on a day they are feeding, we can schedule time off for annual veterinary exams, we can block out their schedule if the animal is sick or injured, and much, much more! While we have to be innovated in our approach of using WhenToWork, we have found this program to be the most efficient and easy to use for our unique circumstances. So I highly recommend this program to any zoo that has need of scheduling animals for their education department, any company that schedules staff, and I urge everyone to be innovative, creative, and think outside the box!"
Making scheduling decisions while out shopping
Schedule flexibility is one of the top reasons employees enjoy and remain with a company. Managers find with WhenToWork they can accommodate more requests since finding replacements is easy, even when not in the office.
An employee asked to be off for her Birthday. So I gave her August 5th off which was her birthday. However, what she really wanted off was the Monday after her birthday. So when she got her schedule she sent me a When to Work message on Sunday to ask if she could have Monday off.
We are closed on Sundays so I would have had no way to find coverage for her area had it not been for When to Work. In fact I would not have even gotten her message. However, because I have my W2W messages sent to my Phone...I received it on Sunday afternoon as I was shopping in Wal-Mart with my family.
I went home and adjusted the schedule and found coverage for the time she needed off for her Birthday. So she was able to request a schedule change...I was able to get the message and make the adjustment and notify her and the affected employee all without coming into work or even calling each other. All because of the access we have to When to Work and its great ability to enable me to communicate with my employees whether I'm in the office or not or whether the store is even open. I know Birthday Girl really appreciated When to Work that day."