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Helpful Instructions and Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use ShiftGen with any browser? Based upon our most recent experience, Internet Explorer 9 (IE9), Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Opera are compatible with all functionality in ShiftGen. Oddly, there are some non-standard javascript elements of IE8 that do not work well with ShiftGen even though IE7 appears to work fine -- this is even after enabling Javascript and setting www.shiftgen.com as a trusted site. If you are using Internet Explorer, we strongly recommend upgrading to IE9. To download IE9, click here.

What kind of browser issues might I encounter? Even in this modern era, there are variations in browsers such that there is frequent variation despite having seemingly uniform standards. Consequently, websites are always tuning their code differently for different browsers. As a general rule, one should always make sure they do the following: 1) Use the most current version of whatever browser they are using (avoid old Internet Explorer versions in particular), 2) Make sure ShiftGen is listed a trusted site in the security settings of the browser in use (particularly important for Internet Explorer behind institutional firewalls), 3) Make sure javascript is enabled in your browser, 4) Try a "hard refresh". You can learn more about a "hard refresh" here.

Do you have 24/7 support available? We do not have 24/7 support. Support is generally available from 8 AM Pacific until 7 PM Pacific. If our support staff happens to be available outside of those hours, we will respond. Otherwise, we will respond in a timely fashion as you can be assured that your submission has reached us. On a daily basis, ShiftGen runs through Quality Assurance on common user functionality. Consequently, we are generally aware of issues before we hear from our users. However, we appreciate your notifications and feedback alerting us to any issues you may have encountered.

How do I enter or view schedule requests? Go to the "Schedules" tab and then select "Schedule Requests". You can then enter requests on any schedule listed as open to the entry of requests and view others that have been closed to requests BUT not yet published. Problems associated with request entry are often due to one of the browser issues mentioned above. If we are not available to help, please try and troubleshoot using the tips provided above.

How do I request a day or shift off? ShiftGen provides 3 ways to request a shift off. You can enter a request "By Time" where you can block off any shifts during a particular time period or you can enter a request off for a particular shift only by entering a request "By Shift". You can also enter a request that covers a span of days (see below).

Can I enter a request for a range of days? On the request page, when you select the box "Select Date Range?", you can pick a start date, an end date (any other date in the scheduling period) and all days between inclusive of the days selected will turn yellow. You can then enter a request "By Time" or "By Shift" that applies to all of these days.

Can my request be recurring (i.e., the 3rd Tuesday of every month)? Yes. You simply need to select a type of repeating pattern from the pull down menu when creating or modifying a time or shift request. For recurring time requests, you can set an end date for the recurring pattern. Setting a date limit for a recurring shift request will be available soon.

When I try to enter a request, I get a list of warnings saying that I must open up shifts before my request can go through. What does this mean? If you get this pop-up warning, it means that your site administrator has indicated that you are required to leave a certain number of shifts open for each shift you are expected to work. Talk to your administrator if you have questions about why this requirement has been placed on you.

If I create a recurring request, is my request page pre-populated for every future scheduling period? Yes. When you create a recurring request, it will be applied to any future schedule request entry automatically until you delete it or until a preset end date (see above) has been surpassed.

Can I make the request apply to all ShiftGen sites where I work rather than indicating the request separately at each site where I work? Yes. When you create a request by clicking on the "By Time" tab, you will see an option labeled "Apply to ALL of my ShiftGen sites". If you select this option, when you save the request, the request will be applied to all ShiftGen sites you work. When you delete the request, the deletion will take place at all ShiftGen sites where you work.

Can I request to be scheduled for a particular shift? Yes. You can request a shift off or you request to work a particular shift. Your schedule administrator and the constraints of the schedule for the particular scheduling period will determine the degree to which the request can be respected.

Can I view the app and use it on my iPhone? Yes. We have found that it runs fast on 3G and it is even fairly fast on the Edge network.

How do I request a certain number of shifts for a month? In ShiftGen, each of you has a defined maximum total shifts per month (a "ceiling") and a minimum total shifts per month (a "floor"). Month to month, it is easy for the scheduler to modify these numbers. Having said that, on the request entry page, there is a text-box to convey any particular message to your scheduler and you can request the number of shifts that you want to work in a particular scheduling period. That request is subject to approval by the administrator, but the administrator will have an easy way to view both your numeric request and any text based remarks you want to convey.

I used to mark "Unavailable for All" and then go clear myself for certain days as appropriate. How do I do that now? If you tend to have a highly constrained schedule, you can enter a "time based request" for the whole day off for each of the 7 days in a week and save that as a repeated request. Now, every time you select "Enter Requests" for a new schedule, this pre-populated state with all shifts marked off every day of the month will pop up. You can then individually enter a shift request indicating availability for those particular shifts on days that you are available

What happens if I do not enter a request for a particular shift? If you do not specifically enter a request to be off or on for a particular shift, the system assumes you are available.

How can I stop the daily reminders to enter my schedule requests? These daily reminders have been requested by your administrator. The process of gathering requests from all users on the site is critical to timely schedule generation. You can stop these reminders by entering your schedule requests for the schedule in question, clicking the "I'm Done Entering My Requests" button on the page. As long as you select the "I'm Done Entering My Requests" button, the schedule request entry reminder messages will stop. Remember that anytime before the schedule request due date (which is displayed at the tope of the request entry page), you can always modify your schedule requests even if you have already selected the "I'm Done Entering My Requests" button.

Can I change my schedule requests after I hit the submit button? Yes. You can change your schedule requests as many times as you like up to the date the administrator closes the schedule to any further requests

Can I opt out of shift reminders and other messages? For the large part, no. If that is an option amenable to your modification, it will appear on your settings page. Generally, this is a parameter set by your schedule administrator so you will have to direct such a request to your administrator.

Aside from email, how else can I receive messages? You can indicate a preference for text messaging for messages that have to do with items like a shift reminder. You enable this by altering your profile. You will have to not only give us your mobile number, but also your service provider (i.e., ATT, Spring, Verizon, etc.). Certain messages, such as when a schedule is published, are not amenable to view in a standard text message due to the additional information embedded in the message or attachments.

How do I change my password, preferred name, contact information? Yes. Generally speaking, under the "Settings" tab, anything that you are allowed to change is available for you to modify. You can also change this through the login page that sends a secure message to your registered email account.

How do I view schedules for a particular scheduling period? Go to the "Schedules" tab and select "View Schedules"

How do I document a shift swap or change after a schedule has been published? Under the "Schedules" tab, select "Shift Changes". You can then select whether you want to initiate a "swap" or simply give away or take a shift without a swap. The application will then march you through the appropriate steps sending out a notification to involved parties as appropriate (i.e., an email to reject or accept the proposed swap to the other individual involved in the swap). When the other party involved in the change acknowledges the change by accepting or rejecting it, you will be notified by an email.

How do I clock in and clock out for a shift? Under the "Schedules" tab, select "Clock In/Out". ShiftGen will present you with shifts that you have not clocked in for and shifts that you have clocked in for, but have not clocked out. If you clock out on a shift at a time that exceeds the duration of the shift, you will have the ability to submit a comment to your supervisor explaining why. The supervisor will then have the option to approve the overtime request, modify it and approve it, or reject it outright.

Where can I see a listing of existing swaps and changes? Under the "Schedules" tab, select "Shift Changes". You will see a list of proposed swaps or changes where you either initiated them or you are involved in the change and are, therefore, expected to respond. A link on the page will allow you to quickly respond to the ones to which you are expected to respond.

Can I split a shift with someone else rather than doing the whole shift? If so, will it be tracked appropriately? If you contact your supervisor about splitting a shift, the supervisor can enter the split for you. You will receive credit for the fraction of a shift you worked and that will be tracked accurately in ShiftGen. You can split a shift into whatever portion of the full shift that you choose. If desired for some reason, the sum of hours over all of the splits of a shift can exceed the total time of the original shift itself.

Can I print the schedule? Under the "Schedules" tab, you select "View Schedules". Any schedules available for view will have an option to print and you can even select a particular print range of days over which to print the schedule. The default is to print the whole schedule. The printing utility will generate a simple black print on white background version of the schedule that is formatted to generally fit on one page, but may exceed one page depending upon the number shifts at your facility.

I just swapped a shift and my calendar feed isn't updating my calendar correctly? What's happening Each calendar application has an internal update frequency. On your smart phone, this is often a setting on how often your phone or calendar application pings our servers for updates. Default time delay is at least 15 minutes and may be more if you have battery saving settings on that prevent frequent updates. There is another known issue that is specific to Google Calendar where changes to your schedule do not show up even after waiting a generous amount of time. This is a known issue with Google calendar and it has to do with caching. Caching is basically a way to speed up web page delivery by remembering what it looked like before. Since the calendar feed is essentially a web page returning an iCal file for Google calendar to parse, it is storing the web page results for all Google users. That's why even if you delete the calendar feed calendar and try to re-add it, the missing event will not show up, but loading it in Apple iCal or Outlook, will show that it appears as expected.
Work-Around Solution for Google Calendar Issues:
First and foremost, this is a Google issue that they have to fix. A workaround is to periodically add "?[random string of characters]" onto the end of the url string whenever an event fails to display. So, for example, it would be: [Your calendar feed url]?[any string of characters of any length]. You would do this only when you see a failure of an expected event to load even after waiting at least a few hours after the shift change has occurred. You would ideally change the random characters after the question mark and try not to rotate the string of characters that you use -- which should not be hard because the characters you add can be any random set of characters which includes numbers and letters. One easy option is to choose the current date using dashes instead of forward slashes. For example, you might use: [Your calendar feed url]?12-30-2013 The reason this works is that it makes Google calendar think this is a new url that it never has seen before so this essentially thwarts Google calendar from serving up a previously cached calendar page. IDEALLY, Google would fix this problem. However, it has been a known problem on the forums for many years and has yet to be fixed. So, in short, don't hold your breath.