A staff roster system, also known as an employee scheduling system or workforce management system, is a software tool designed to help organisations efficiently manage and schedule their workforce. It is commonly used in industries such as retail, hospitality, healthcare, manufacturing, and many others, where employees need to organise and coordinate shifts and work hours.

The primary purpose of a staff roster system is to streamline the process of creating and maintaining employee schedules. It offers several benefits, including:

1. Time Efficiency: Automating the scheduling process reduces the time and effort required to create, modify, and distribute employee schedules.

2. Accuracy: A roster system helps minimise scheduling errors, such as double bookings or shifts without coverage, by providing real-time visibility into staff availability and working hours.

3. Labour Cost Management: Roster systems can help organisations optimise labour costs by ensuring the correct number of employees are scheduled during peak and off-peak times.

4. Compliance: In industries with strict labour regulations, roster systems can help ensure that scheduling practices adhere to legal requirements, such as maximum working hours and rest periods.

5. Employee Satisfaction: Allowing employees to view and request their schedules, swap shifts, or request time off through the system, can improve employee satisfaction and engagement.

6. Communication: Staff roster systems often include features for communication among team members and managers, making it easier to handle shift changes, time-off requests, and other updates.

7. Visibility: Managers can easily see the overall staff coverage and identify gaps or overstaffed periods, helping them make informed scheduling decisions.

Staff roster systems usually have features such as a centralised calendar, shift templates, employee availability tracking, time-off management, shift swapping, and notifications. 

They can be cloud-based, allowing access from anywhere with an internet connection, or installed locally on a company's servers.

A staff roster system's specific features and capabilities can vary based on the provider and the organisation's needs. The goal is to make scheduling more efficient, accurate, and employee-friendly while helping organisations manage their workforce resources better.