Open Shift Approval

What is shift approval, how to set it up, and what it looks like for admins and users

Shoshana Fleischmann avatar
Written by Shoshana Fleischmann
Updated this week

You have decided to create open shifts and let your employees claim them on a first-come-first-serve basis. That’s great, and will help you build your schedule much faster!

However, if you still want to have the final say on who receives which shifts, then no problem, the open shift approval capability allows you to do just that!

In this article we will go over:

What is Open Shift Approval and Why Should You Use It?

Open shift approval allows an admin to approve shifts that were claimed by an employee before those shifts are published on the employee's schedule.

When using open shift approval, all the users qualified for the job set will be able to claim the shift, and the admin decides who gets the shift. This gives you the ability to stay on top of who claimed which shifts and ensure that only shifts approved by you get published.

Using Shift Approval gives admins the ultimate flexibility to set up the schedule quickly, while remaining in complete control of how the final schedule will look. This is important if you want to ensure your employees don't claim too many hours and accumulate overtime, or claim two shifts on the same day.

How to Set Up Shift Approval Step by Step:

Follow these steps to set up shift approval:

  1. Navigate to the Job Schedule feature from the left sidebar and click on Access Schedule 

  2. Create a shift - be sure to set it as an open shift by selecting the Enable users to claim this shift box, and setting the number of available spots to claim.

  3. To enable the shift approval, check the Required admin approval for the claimed shifts box.

    Screenshot of 'require admin approval for claimed shifts' function in Connecteam's Job Scheduler

    💡Pro tip: Do you schedule this shift often? Be sure to save it as a template or as a repeating shift. This will save you even more time when scheduling.

The Admin Perspective: How to Approve Open Shifts

When a user claims a shift, their request is automatically sent for approval.

The requests appear in the job schedule underneath the open shift itself, but can only be approved in the request section found at the top of the schedule.

Please note: When looking at an open shift, you can first see the number of requests sent. Consider that there may be more requests than the number of available spots to claim. This is because, as mentioned previously, when using shift approval any qualified user can claim the shift. The admin, however, has the ultimate say on which users will get the shift.

In the example below you can see that the open shift has 2 requests but only 1 available spot.

Now let's get started on how to approve these requests.

There are two ways to arrive at the request section:

The first is to click on the request below the shift and the request section will open. The advantage of this option is that the requests section opens exactly to this shift and its request. You can approve or decline each request by clicking on the check or x or v buttons. Finally, confirm the assignment. Take a look at how it looks below.

The second is to click on the requests button. To the left, you will see all the open shifts created for the week. Click on the relevant shifts, and the request will appear.

To approve a decline request simply click on the x or v buttons. Finally, confirm the assignment. Take a look at how this looks below.

You can sort the requests to viewing in a certain order the options are:

  • Claims this week (most to least)

  • Number of shifts this week (most to least)

  • Claim time (who claimed the shift first)

  • User Name (A-Z)

Screenshot of options to sort requests in Connecteam's Job Scheduler

The Admin Perspective: What Information Can I See in the Requests Section?

In the request section, you can see various information giving you everything you need to make informed decisions about which shifts you should approve. Below we will go over these one by one. Let's begin!

Number of Requests and Number of Spots

At the top right-hand corner, you can see the number of requests you have for a shift as well as the number of spots you have filled/remaining, each time you mark a request as approved.

Please note: until you confirm the assigning the shift approval is not sent to the user, and the shifts are not scheduled - until then, you can always make changes.

User's Information

As an admin the are many factors considered when choosing to approve a shift request or not. At Connecteam we enable you to have a breakdown of this information in one centralized place.

With each request submitted you can view:

  • The number of shifts this week the employee has

  • The number of shifts claimed this week by the user.

  • The number of shifts this day the user has

  • The number of shifts the user claimed this day

Additionally, if you have set up limitations in your job schedule settings preventing users from being scheduled for more than a certain number of hours or shifts these will be taken into account when you approve a request.

Below you can see that when I approve Carlee's request it shows us that she enters overtime. Now as a manager, I can decide if I want to confirm the assignment anyway, or decline his request and give this shift to somebody else.

Before Approval

After Approval

User Availability

To make more educated decisions while taking into consideration all factors, you can see the availabilities of users: when they are unavailable or when they prefer to work. To view this, hover over the red or green corners at the bottom left of a shift.

Red indicates they are unavailable; green indicates they prefer to work. Hover over the corner to view if they're available 'all day' or have specified hours in the day.

How Does it Look From the User’s Perspective When a Shift is Sent for Approval?

When users claim a shift, they will see the shift status under the shift title. When the shift is accepted or declined a notification is sent letting them know. Only once the request is approved will the shift appear on their schedule.

💡Pro tip: Share this article with your employees so they can learn how to claim shifts

*Open shift approval is available from the Operations Hub Advanced Plan*

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