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How to create schedules automatically
How to create schedules automatically

This article explains how you, as a manager or admin, can create schedules automatically using auto assign.

Berry van Waarden avatar
Written by Berry van Waarden
Updated over a week ago

What is auto assign?

Auto assign is Workfeed's automatic schedule feature and lets you assign your employees to shifts with just one click. Here's how: Auto assign carefully assigns your employees to the shifts in the schedule based on impacting factors like your team's reported availability, roles/capabilities, minimum and maximum weekly hours, and scheduling regulations to ensure an ideal distribution. On top of that, you can also customize our algorithm to meet your needs as closely as possible.

Before getting started with auto assign.

It is important to verify that you have set minimum and maximum hours for employees and/or that you have assigned employees as primary in the department where you want to auto schedule.

How to define minimum and maximum hours for employees.

You can define the minimum and maximum hours of each employee by clicking on auto assign in the schedule overview and selecting 'Adjust min. and max hours'. This opens an overview of the minimum and maximum hours of all your employees where you can make adjustments.

Adjusting hours for an individual employee.

Navigate to the team list by clicking on the '👬' icon at the top right of your screen. Here, find the employee you want to edit and click on 'Edit profile'. After clicking 'Edit profile' you will find the 'Labor' tab. When you click here you will be able to define the employees' min. and max. hours per week. Make sure to click on 'Save' in the top-right when you're ready.

How to mark employees as primary in a department.

Auto assign only takes a department's primary employees into account when assigning employees to shifts. When you mark an employee as primary in a department you indicate that this is their main area of work and ensure they are included in auto assign.

You can mark an employee as primary from the department drawer. To access the department's drawer, click on the name of your department in the upper left corner and select "Manage departments. When you click on a department, you can mark employees as primary by clicking on 'Primary employees' in the bottom right. Simply tick ☑️ an employee if you want to mark them as primary.

How to customize the auto assign algorithm.

Once you have assigned min. and max. hours to employees, assigned primary departments and created the schedule, you can proceed with customizing the algorithm to meet your needs. You can do this by clicking on 'Auto assign' in the top right of the schedule view.

Once auto assign is opened, you can start to customize the algorithm in the following ways:

  • Which employees and roles should be included by auto assign.

  • The minimum break an employee should have between two shifts.

  • The maximum number of consecutive work days an employee can be scheduled.

  • Whether employees can be assigned to multiple shifts on the same day.

How to use auto assign.

Once you have assigned min. and max. hours to employees, assigned primary departments, created the schedule and customized the algorithm, auto assign is ready to fill out your schedule. All you have to do is click on the big blue 'Auto assign' button.

From here you just have to sit back while Workfeed is assigning the shifts. Note that the more shifts you fill, the longer it will take.

Once auto assign is done assigning employees to the shifts you can save the schedule (it will not be published yet) by selecting 'keep and save changes', or you can have auto assign suggest another option by selecting 'undo' and starting auto assign again.

After auto assign is completed and saved, you will see movement in the circles on the left side of the schedule. The circles represent the extent to which an employee's weekly hours have been met. Orange means an employee has fewer hours than their minimum, green means the employee is somewhere between minimum and maximum in terms of hours, and red means they have been assigned more hours than their maximum (this does not happen with auto assign).

How does auto assign ensure accurate distribution?

Workfeed's auto assign algorithm takes the following factors into account when assigning your employees to shifts:

  • An employee's reported availability. Employees can submit their availability in the Workfeed app, this is systematically honored by auto assign.

  • The minimum and maximum hours specified that are set for an employee. An employee will never be assigned more hours than their maximum hours.

  • An employee's role. An employee will not be assigned to a shift if they are not assigned the role.

  • Absences like vacation and illness. When an employee is registered as absent they will not be scheduled.

  • 11-hour rule. Auto assign takes into account the 11-hour rule and never schedules anyone within 11 hours of the end of their previous shift (or the customized amount filled out by you).

  • 5 working days. No more than 5 days per week (or the customized amount filled out by you) are scheduled for an employee.


Auto assign does not fill all the shifts in my schedule, why?
Auto assign can leave shifts unassigned if there is no suitable employee available based on the factors mentioned in 'How does auto assign ensure accurate distribution?'.

Can I make changes after using auto assign?
Yes, auto assign is in essence just a draft and you can make your own changes before publishing your shifts.

Is it possible to undo auto assign?
Yes, once auto assign is ready it will ask you whether you want to keep or undo the schedule

Nothing happens when I click auto assign, why?
The most common reason is that there are no primary employees assigned in the department where you want to use auto assign. Alternatively, it can be that there are simply no available employees based on the factors mentioned in 'How does auto assign ensure accurate distribution?'. Feel free to contact us if you can't work it out.

I get an error message when I click auto assign, why?
There may be an error in the schedule within the selected period, a shift with an assigned role that no longer exists for example. You can check the schedule and reload it or try to auto assign a few shifts in another week to see if the error message goes away. If the error message persists please contact us via the support chat.

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