Microsoft has launched a new cloud-based platform designed for employees whose job requires them to be on their feet or on the go. Dubbed as StaffHub, the solution is designed to create and manage work shifts, share files, and communicate important information with team members. It’s available to Office 365 for business subscribers and comes with a web app for managers and mobile app for employees. The mobile app supports both iOS and Android.
According to the software giant, there are an estimated 500-million frontline staff workers around the world in retail stores, hotels, restaurants, manufacturing and other service-related industries. These employees typically don’t have their own office, desk or computer—making it hard to access and share information important for the workday. Far too often, these workers rely on manual processes and outdated tools—cumbersome creation and printing of paper schedules, bulletin boards crammed with notes and a flurry of phone calls and text messages to cover shifts. Hence the introduced Microsoft StaffHub.
Microsoft StaffHub aims to make it easy for managers to create, update and manage shift schedules for their team, streamlining what has been a labor-intensive process.
Employees have access to all their shift information, including the ability to easily swap shifts with others right from the StaffHub mobile app. This means no more having to go into the breakroom at work to look at the bulletin board.
The app home screen provides a summary of upcoming shifts as well as any important notes. Employees can also see who else is scheduled for the day, which is useful if they want to know who they’ll be working with or if they want to swap shifts.
When schedule conflicts come up, one can swap a shift or offer a shift to someone else using the app. Requests are always routed to the manager for approval, and updates and notifications are automatically sent to the team.
With Microsoft StaffHub, Microsoft explains that managers can quickly distribute important information to their team, such as policy documents, news bulletins or videos. Managers also have a fast and reliable way to send quick messages to team members. Employees can also send messages directly to each other or to the entire workgroup.
The app also enables admins to define custom links for workers to view in the mobile app, which can point to important resources or sites, such as HR systems for reporting time off, or to custom applications, built with tools such as Microsoft PowerApps. Managers can also export team schedule information to a .csv file for use in other systems.
Microsoft further announced that StaffHub will support connections to Kronos, a provider of workforce management and human capital management cloud solutions. Initially, this integration will enable managers to import individual and team schedule information from Kronos’s Workforce Central platform directly into Microsoft StaffHub. This functionality will initially be in private preview to a small group of Office 365 and Kronos customers.