Why Public Safety Agencies Should Leverage Scheduling Data

Wellness in public safety agencies is a complex issue to address. And it’s even harder to solve without the proper data and insight. Without visibility, it’s challenging to know where to start. To effectively address staff wellness, data needs to be at the forefront.  

One of the best sources to help drive agency wellness is scheduling data, as staff scheduling practices have a direct impact on fatigue and other wellness related stress factors.  In particular, scheduling data holds a comprehensive view of all hours worked and leaders can leverage this information to identify problem areas in the department related to wellness and officer safety. These scheduling insights support:

  1. Employee Wellness – as it gives insights into staff fatigue and stress levels.
  2. Department Wellness – as it identifies resource allocation and work-related trends that could be contributing to poor department health. Some examples of these trends include fund allocation, staffing shortages, and resource deployment.
  3. Community Safety – because a well-functioning department helps support a safer community.

Below are some key scheduling insights that help drive decisions related to wellness.  

Hours worked in a given time - are employees overworking?

Gain insight into scheduling that causes staff to work excessive hours beyond agency fatigue thresholds. Identify excessive overtime hours and areas where resources can be optimized to reduce staff fatigue.   

Shift work, location type, and frequency – are employees repeatedly working difficult shifts? 

Learn how often staff are working day and evening/night shifts. Evening/night shifts are known to result in higher stress levels and a greater chance to report depressive symptoms compared to day shifts. Additionally, scheduling data tracks and identifies staff members who may be working particularly challenging shifts repeatedly or are too often stationed at a location that is known to be especially stressful. 

Qualifications to work – are you putting staff in positions of vulnerability?

Scheduling tools can identify when staff are scheduled to work shifts that they do not have the qualifications for. This includes working an activity, location, or handling a particular asset that requires a certificate, or course. Putting staff in situations that they are not qualified or trained to handle, endangers the employee, their peers, and the community. Furthermore, this adds additional stress to your staff. 

Leave time – are staff taking the proper time to rest?

Identify staff who are not taking the bare minimum vacation time by analyzing scheduled leave and employee time banks. This also assists in identifying overworked staff or staff struggling with health issues through sick and injured leave trends. This can help in reassessing which units or teams may need additional resources and/or which employees could do with a change in their work environment.   

Finding a scheduling solution that can provide agencies with these insights is crucial in addressing wellness with a data-driven approach. Thankfully, the InTime Scheduling solution provides all these insights and more. To learn more, visit the Intime Wellness page or contact us here.  

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