Intro: Efficient communication and always up to date

Here we introduce you to the ways in which you can communicate with your colleagues in Smartplan and how our notification system works.

Many companies have their communication spread out over several channels, such as Facebook groups, email, SMS, or billboards at the workplace. But we think that in the same system that you use to schedule your rotas you should also directly be able to communicate and discuss about those rotas. That is why we implemented different ways of communicating information and changes to your Team, and vice versa. We want to reduce your stress by having everything in the very same place.

Let’s see which options you have:

Shift notes

Whenever you create a shift, you have the option to add a note to it. This note will be generally visible to everyone in the rota:
Week overview with a shift note
Regular users can also leave a comment at the end of their shifts, whenever they register their attendance manually or through the Punch Clock. Here they can explain, for example, why they had to work overtime that day. These kinds of shift notes, however, will only be visible to the Admins on the account.

Day messages

Instead of writing a note regarding a single shift, you can also create a note for the whole day. This message can be created and viewed from the day overview of your rota. This comes in handy if you have general announcements or instructions for all of the people working that day.
Day overview with a day message in the making
Everybody who has a shift assigned to them for that day in the rota, will be notified of your day message and will have the possibility to comment your message as well.
More about the topic here.

The message centre

Our message centre can be found in the “ Messages” tab of your account and works just like any other regular messenger would.

Here you can compose messages with one or several recipients. When starting a group message, you can either create a public message for everybody or you can specifically choose the group of people, that the message is intended for (like all the people who have been assigned the “Bartender” job position, for example). These recipients are then following the thread, meaning that they will be notified about any activity in the thread and that they can participate by commenting on your message.

Two other great features about the message centre:
  • Day messages from rotas are shown in your inbox, too. This way your communication is fully concentrated in the message centre instead of being spread out on the whole account.
  • Messages that contain important information can be pinned to be shown at the top of everyone’s inbox. The same way that you would put up a paper note on the billboard in the break room of your workplace. It will be impossible to miss.

You can learn how to compose messages in the message centre here.

Contact shortcuts

Sometimes you might want to get in touch with a specific person directly. As an Admin in Smartplan, you can then simply go to that persons Smartplan profile and use one of the contact shortcuts to either email, text or call the person. That comes in very handy if you are under time pressure and don’t want to spend lots of time on finding the correct contact information somewhere on your phone or computer.

You can decide via the settings, whether you want regular users to have the same opportunity of accessing each others contact information.

Stay informed with Smartplan notifications – where and how you like

When changes occur in your account or your decision as an admin is required in a certain matter, Smartplan will make sure to notify you. In your notification settings you can specify, what exactly you would like to be notified about.

This could be things like:
  • A new shift is available in a rota you are part of
  • Someone asked to swap a shift with you
  • An employee created an absence request

While you are logged in, you can access those notifications via the notification tab (the “bell” symbol). However, when you should not be able to see these notifications within your account, Smartplan will send them out to you.

Our two main notification channels are email and push. In your notification settings, you can decide where you would like to receive your notifications. Of course, push notifications are only available if you are using the Smartplan App on a mobile device.
Another notification channel is SMS, however this can only be applied for a single notification type, namely “Remember you have a shift tomorrow”. You can also send your own messages via text, if it is set up in the settings accordingly.

More on the topic of notifications here: How to edit notification settings
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