Live Rota View
RotaCentral provides you and your volunteers with a real time view of the state of your rota. If a volunteer wants to choose some shifts to help on then they will see the current, live view of what help is needed. This prevents some shifts being oversubscribed while others are under-staffed, without any effort from you to reallocate people to smooth the bumps. No more sending out lists and spreadsheets which are out of date as soon as they are produced!
Sign-Up Rotas and Allocation Rotas
RotaCentral provides you with two different ways to organise your rota and also allows you to mix them together. The two approaches are “Sign-Up”, in which your volunteers choose their own shifts from the vacant ones and “Allocation”, in which the volunteers are allocated shifts and then must decide whether to accept them or not. Sign-up is great for giving volunteers the flexibility to pick whatever shifts they want, from every shift available down to none at all. Allocation is a bit more ‘pushy’ in that it people are drafted into shifts leaving them to take action to accept, swap or cancel them as they prefer. Allocation can be done manually by you, but in the majority of cases rota administrators opt to have the RotaCentral system use its fairness algorithm to distribute the workload evenly among the volunteers and work out for itself who to assign to each shift. Both methods save rota administrators large amount of time.
You can pick whichever approach suits your rota best. You can even use the two methods together, for example you might initially fill in your rota through allocation and then seek sign-up volunteers to fill any remaining gaps.
Different Shifts With Different Roles
In most rotas there are different roles that need to be played by volunteers. For example, a charity shop rota might need a manager and a group of assistants at any given time. RotaCentral lets you specify the different roles in your rota and the different types of volunteers you have. When it comes to assigning people to shifts, RotaCentral can optionally ensure that each shift is occupied by the right type of volunteer. This role matching mechanism takes away the burden of ensuring that all slots are filled by people with the right capabilities. RotaCentral allows you to create as many different roles as you like and give them names that are appropriate for your rota.
When your organisation uses RotaCentral it can have multiple rotas so that you can organise different types of activity separately. This is particularly useful when the different activities happen at different times or involve groups of volunteers. For example, you may have a rota for collecting food bank donations and a separate rota for distributing the items. RotaCentral lets you create as many different rotas as you need.
RotaCentral let you have as many rota administrators as you need so that you can share the work. You can also give each rota administrator specific access to the individual rotas you want them to be able to manage. This allows you to control how the administrative work is delegated.
Cloud Based and Compatible
No software to install allowing you to work from anywhere that has an internet connection. RotaCentral is compatible with every modern browser and allows you to manage your volunteer rota from almost anywhere on either a desktop computer, tablet or mobile phone. Volunteers can do the same – they can see empty shifts, choose shifts, agree to help, swap shifts and receive reminders while on the go using a smart phone without needing to download any apps or other special software.
RotaCentral is designed to work well on mobile phones for access ‘on the go’. It is compatible with a very wide range of mobile devices and has been used by tens of thousands of volunteers in this way. It is a design priority for us that the screens used by volunteers are clear and quick to use so that it is as convenient as possible for them to participate in your rota.
Email and SMS Text Messages
RotaCentral can keep your volunteers informed using email and SMS. Messages can either be sent by you manually, or sent automatically by RotaCentral in accordance with schedules that you have set up. For example you might want a reminder message to go out each day to the volunteers who are helping in the following day’s rota. RotaCentral lets you create template messages and uses a mail-merge approach so that it is easy to set up a well-organised system that ensures that volunteers are always told the right things – without you having to compose the messages by hand each time. This saves you time and also keeps the volunteers engaged in the rota. You may set up as many email (and SMS) templates as you wish and use them for inviting volunteers to sign-up, allocating them to shifts, reminders, and even thanking them for their help. Any replies are collected in an inbox within RotaCentral, not your email inbox. This cuts out the clutter and also means that the rota system and the messages are together in a single screen where you can deal with them without having to switch views back and forth.
RotaCentral can do much of the rota administrative work without effort form you. It can even organise your rota while you are sleeping! Everything that RotaCentral does can be operated either manually or by using automated, scheduled tasks. It is your choice which parts of the administration process you want to automate and which ones are manual. For example you might choose to manually pick people for each shift in your rota, and then leave RotaCentral to automatically inform the volunteers of their shifts and remind them about them. Or you might let RotaCentral to automatically allocate people to shifts based on their role, availability and the need to share the work fairly. In some cases the rota management can be almost completely automated, but this is always your choice.
RotaCentral allows volunteers to swap their shift for another. If they are unable to help on your rota at a given time RotaCentral encourages them to pick an alternative shift so that they are kept engaged and your rota keeps moving.
RotaCentral can also be configured to allow volunteers to cancel shifts freely, or place constraints on the amount of notice they must give. When volunteers do cancel their shifts or swap them RotaCentral informs the rota administrators so that they are made aware of the staffing changes.
Volunteers' Availability and Preferences
RotaCentral allows your volunteers to set up availability preferences so that there is a record on the system of the holidays and similar periods of time when they cannot help on your rota. It also allows them to set up recurring times of the week (eg Tuesday mornings) when they are not available. RotaCentral can use this information to help it find the right person to fill each shift of your rota. It avoids hassling people who have already said they are not available for a specific shift.
RotaCentral can be used in many different ways. One option is to allow RotaCentral to allocate shifts to your volunteers using its built-in fairness algorithm. This takes into account the history of volunteering of each of your volunteers and determines the right person for each shift given the workload. It also factors in the individual’s preferences regarding holiday dates, times of day, days of the week and their suitability for the specific roles required by your rota. This approach ensures that volunteers are treated fairly and that you are spared the effort of having to solve the puzzle of satisfying all of these constraints.
Our UK based support is here to help you every step of the way. We provide telephone and email support as well as live chat on our website. Our friendly and helpful support is there to help you from the moment when your account is first set up. We enjoy helping our customers and we look forward to any questions that you may have.
Scalable and Adaptable
RotaCentral can handle any size rota from a handful of volunteers to many thousands. We have price plans to suit every size of organization.
RotaCentral is constantly being updated to offer new and improved features.
Fully GDPR compliant.