Organising events, shifts and overtime for dispersed teams? Bridge the gap between your office and frontline workers with the new Thrive Planner feature! Product Owner, Daniel Gore, shares the details and benefits of the latest feature available for your Thrive employee app.
We are pleased to announce that the development of the new Thrive 'Planner' is well underway, and as we approach the soft launch in early 2023, I wanted to share some initial ideas about the tool and how you will be able to use it. Please note that the Planner functionality is a premium feature and not included in our core offering.
In short, Planner will allow organisations to bridge the gap between office and frontline workers when it comes to scheduling and planning calendar-based events. The tool will be built with flexibility in mind and will accommodate any variety of activities to help your organisation connect with employees that don't have access to online systems.
What can I expect from Planner?
Link events through Planner for easier reporting
One of the strengths of Planner is the ability to use our event-type field to create natural links between events.
To take a practical example, think about organising overtime shifts. These shifts do not necessarily happen in a sequence or materialise regularly. Overtime is available sporadically, and you can't typically map out a recurring pattern of overtime weeks or months ahead of time.
Using the Planner's event type feature, when you create your event, you simply add your event details, create a type for 'Day-Shift Overtime'... and that's it! When you then run a report for this event type, Planner will look for all the events labelled with 'Day-Shift Overtime' and compile all the responses from employees into a single report for you to review as part of your shift planning.
With conventional systems like Outlook, you must review each event to see who is attending. You would have to manually aggregate the employees that have RSVP'd across multiple dates to create a coherent report. The Thrive Planner does the heavy lifting here, and you can create any number of event types to help link events that aren't in sequence or happen occasionally.
Collect important extra details using event forms
We know that blanket 'yes / no' responses only go so far, and sometimes you need a little more information from employees when organising events.
Planner will let you add a form during event creation to help collect information from attending employees. If you are planning social events, getting an idea of dietary or special requirements or trying to work out shift start and end times, you can just add a form to the event. You can then download the responses into a single, digestible report. Don't forget, in conjunction with the event type functionality, you can continually track and report on related events at the click of a button!
When Planner is first released, we will create the forms for you as part of the set-up process. Our longer-term ambition is to add customisable forms and surveys into our content system, which can then be linked into the content and Planner feature itself. In addition, we are also investigating how we can support 3rd party products to help customers centralise their form responses if other tools are already in use.
How does this work across different teams and locations?
We know that small, medium and large organisations can't manage entire calendars through a single person or small content team. That is why we have added the facility to create and manage multiple calendars.
These calendars can be set up in any way you like. For example, you could create calendars based on different sites, have calendars per office location and create calendars based on team sizing and/or departments. In addition, each calendar is segmented using user groups. This ensures that employees only receive relevant events and won't get bombarded with events they can't attend.
When it comes to creating and managing these calendars, you will also have the facility to set different permissions. This means that different Planner Editors can manage individual (or multiple) calendars and won't be able to access other areas of your app, like the content or view user information.
Of course, there will be a lot more functionality added to Planner as development continues. For example, you will have the ability to restrict the total number of people that can attend an event, approve and deny responses, send reminders for events and much more. Given the size and scale of Planner, we will be adding functionality throughout next year as we examine more and more use cases.
We hope, in the meantime, that this post has given you some useful information with regards to the key functionality and has sparked a few ideas about how you use Planner to coordinate and organise frontline and non-networked employees.
Want to Learn More?
As always, please get in touch at email@example.com if you would like a demo of the feature or want to understand a little more as to how this could work for your business.