Managing your staff members is a complex task.

It’s time-consuming and can drain your resources if you don’t manage it correctly.

So, it’s really important you establish an effective employee scheduling procedure. And in this article, we’ll let you know how to do just that.

What’s staff scheduling?

First up, let’s clear up what this is for you.

A work schedule (rota or roster) features a list of your employees. The information available on this list includes:

  • Working locations.
  • Shift times.
  • Responsibilities of employees.
  • Staff responsibilities.

Why do you need one? Well, it’s essential for your daily functioning. Businesses such as retail stores, offices, and restaurants need to have an understanding of when, and where, their staff members will work.

As a result, it’s important to establish a daily agenda to understand the times your team will begin attending work.

Making an effective workplace timetable is part of any sound business procedure, so we’ll now go into how you can approach setting up your process.

Posting your schedule in advance

If you’re wondering, “How far in advance must a work schedule be posted?” Well, it’s a simple answer.

You have to post your rota at least one week before any work is to take place.

If you’re to change it, then you must also provide one week of notice for your staff members.

How do I make a work schedule?

You should go about making a daily chronological timetable. To do this you have a layout that details which employees arrive into work first.

But before you start, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Know your team: Take time to talk to your staff and understand where everyone fits into your business. You can then work the schedule around all of the staff members’ needs.
  • Focus on your key employees: Depending on your industry, you may want to ensure your best team members have shifts built around them. This ensures you have your best staff on at key times to support other employees.
  • Always have your schedule out early: Staff members always want to know what their shifts are as soon as possible. So provide them with as much time as possible to make sure.
  • Develop goodwill: Your business will function a lot better if your staff get on with you. So consider talking with your employees to meet working preferences (such as an evening shift) and honouring time off requirements.
  • Involve your staff: Finally, with new technology (such as a work schedule app) you can involve your employees and encourage them to monitor your agenda in real-time. This can include finding their own substitutes, should they have to miss a shift.

As for making it, you can actually use the likes of spreadsheet software if you want a basic set up.

This is essentially a type of free employee schedule maker, but there are also tools for online scheduling you can use. Plus, there are apps to automate all of this for you (more on that further below).

But in the meantime, let’s take a look at how you can make the process easier for your business.

5 ways to make scheduling easier

You can approach your scheduling in a way that makes life simpler and more efficient.

Modern technology is behind many of these approaches you can take. And here are five examples that you can consider trying out:

  1. Automate: When an employee updates you on when they’re available, instead of wading through a tonne of paperwork you can refer to an automatic system that processes it at all for you. Simple but effective.
  2. Have a flexible staff availability policy: Provide your team with the chance to pick and choose the work hours they prefer. This can support their work-life balance and contribute towards over happiness at work, which can lead to better productivity.
  3. Plan ahead for over/understaffing: If you run a restaurant, this is particularly important. You can use your scheduling system to ensure you don’t have too many, or too few, staff members on at peak times.
  4. Align veteran staff with trainees: This one doesn’t require technology, just sound planning. Make sure you team new employees with your experienced staff. This can ensure they are up to speed as soon as possible.
  5. Stop last minute changes: With the right software, you can make sure employees don’t cancel on you at the last moment. You can have a policy that means staff have to make a shift, which helps to avoid late shift cancellations.

Shift schedule app

You can also use scheduling apps such as work shift calendars to make your scheduling life easier.

The best employee scheduling app can depend on your business requirements, really, so you can consider for yourself what suits your industry best.

You can even try the likes of a staff holiday planner with an online employee schedule maker. Through this, you can even find an automatic schedule maker.

But there are plenty to choose from and the apps provide benefits such as:

  • Your team checking the rota at any time on their smartphone devices.
  • Automatic notifications to staff members added to your timetable. Everyone can now be in the know in real-time about your plans.
  • Time off requests. Keep up with when your employees want to take time off.

Of course, you should always give a, employee scheduling system a demo run before deciding to use it for your business. That way you can make sure if the approach it offers is the right one for you.

Need our help?

Are you looking for a work schedule template or scheduling software? We can help your business setup the process it needs: 0800 783 2806.

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