In this episode of The Power Up Project, we cover:

>a new feature of the Microsoft Teams’ suite: the Shifts app

>How the Shifts app can help with rostering your frontline staff


In this episode of Power Up Project, we talk about using Microsoft Teams to roster and schedule your frontline staff.

Welcome back to the Power Up Project. I’m your host, Ben Love. And today we’re going to be talking about a great new feature in Microsoft Teams, which is called Shifts. Now, this is a fairly new-ish feature to Teams. It used to be a separate product from Microsoft called Staff Hub, but they’re kind of phasing that one out and integrating the functionality into Microsoft Teams. As a side note, they are doing with a whole lot of other stuff as well. So if I haven’t said it before, I know I have, but for the sake of repeating myself ’cause it’s important: Microsoft Teams is getting a huge amount of attention from Microsoft. So if you haven’t had a look at it yet, go and have a look. Pay attention because this is turning into a bit of the focal point for what they’re doing over the next few years. But look back to the topic at hand. We’re talking about a feature in Microsoft Teams, which is called Shifts. Now, Microsoft used the word Shifts, and they refer to frontline staff and how you can use Shifts to schedule your frontline staff.

Now, that’s the Microsoft. It’s a little bit American with the lingo there. To my way of thinking, I kind of think of a more, for those businesses who are using casual and rostered workers, particularly maybe around industries like retail and hospitality where you have different staff coming on at different times of day to meet different peak loads in your how busy the store’s going to be and so on. So what this feature lets you do is roster or create the shifts, I guess, for these particular team members. And it really is a very simple tool, but it does seem to work so, very, very well. So if you are in Microsoft Teams already, you will find it there, down the left hand side is one of your options there. If you can’t find it, give me a call. We’ll find it for you. It’s in there, okay? So what you do is you go into Shifts, and the first thing you do is you create a schedule. And this schedule is for a particular team and covers particular data ranges. And then plain and simple, you can allocate or assign certain employees to different shifts on that schedule. So once it’s on there, the team member themselves will see that appear on their calendar within Microsoft Teams.

But more than that, from within there, they can also manage some of it themselves. They can update their own availability. They can request shifts. They can request time off. They can make shifts available for swapping and they can swap shifts with other team members who are also part of that schedule, part of that roster. So it’s available in the Microsoft Teams desktop interface, so the version that you use on your computer, on your laptop or desktop computer. It’s also definitely there in the mobile app for Microsoft Teams because that’s a big focal point for how it’s really intended to be used. A lot of shift workers, a lot of rostered workers wouldn’t necessarily have their own computer that they would sit down at to access these tools, but they would probably have their own mobile devices, their own smartphones. It really is becoming such a ubiquitous way to communicate and coordinate amongst all of our staff. So if you are in the sort of business that works with rostering your staff, maybe have a look at Microsoft Teams Shifts. Have a look if it will suit your purpose. I think it will in a lot of cases. It is quite simple but it does seem to tick a lot of the boxes that you need in that particular scenario.

I’d love to hear how you go with Microsoft Shifts. I’d really love to hear if it does suit your business and if so, how effective you have found it. I’d also really be interested to hear if you do look into it, but you decide that it doesn’t suit your business. And I’d really like to understand from you why it doesn’t suit your business. What is it about how Microsoft have built this particular feature that doesn’t quite match the way you operate? Let me know.

Thanks for listening to this episode of the Power Up Project, brought to you by Grassroots IT and Digit IT. Please, leave us a review wherever you get your podcasts, and until next time, keep powering up.

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