Whether your business offers digital services or retail goods, your workforce remains the lifeblood of your operations. If you have a dependable team to consistently support your activities, you can ensure long-term success with minimal issues. But if you are constantly short-staffed, you can run into massive problems far too frequently.
That’s where optimal employee scheduling comes in. By scheduling employees with a careful approach, you can ensure that your available workforce delivers the required level of efficiency at all times. This allows you to steer clear of several hurdles and lets you fully benefit from your available resources.
Top Tips & Techniques for Scheduling Employees
1. Make Long-term Plans
Long-term scheduling employees has many advantages when compared to last-minute scheduling. For instance, if you roll out your employee schedule a month ahead, it gives everyone a chance to easily air out their concerns or plan shift swaps. On the other hand, if you only reveal your schedule a day before it goes into effect, it can cause panic among your workforce and make it harder to accommodate for last-minute changes.
Depending upon how everyone reacts to each staffing suggestion, you can change or swap certain shift blocks without affecting your bottom line. If you are social media savvy, you can view this approach as being similar to the benefits of scheduling your Instagram posts ahead of time.
2. Use Specialized Software
Using staff scheduling employees software can work wonders towards arranging your workforce’s activities. In addition to helping you resolve conflicts and remove contradictions, it also lets you adjust schedules quickly. Due to this ease of use, these programs work exceptionally well for the service industry or rotating shifts.
You can easily email these schedules to your employees, share them online, or stick them to a bulletin board. This allows you to disseminate the information easily, which keeps everyone in the loop about scheduling changes as they take place.
3. Listen to Your Employees
Anyone can throw together a few names and work hours to create a so-called employee schedule. The real challenge is developing a schedule that works for everyone and ensures employee satisfaction. At the same time, it has to be beneficial for your business, otherwise, your efforts can go in vain.
Once again, the approach is similar to using post scheduling on social media, where disregarding audience feedback can deliver disastrous results. When applied to workforce scheduling, the same thing can happen with your staff. Keeping this in mind, make it a point to note employee concerns, and take them into account while making your schedule.
4. Make Room for Emergencies
No matter how great you are at managing your workforce, emergencies can happen at any time to anyone. This is all the more true in the post-pandemic world, where avoiding customer service slumps is a critical point for many businesses. If one of your employees calls in sick or becomes unavailable due to unforeseen reasons, it can affect your whole shift.
To make sure that your business doesn’t fall into this predicament, make sure to always have stand-ins and on-call employees at hand. Hiring additional staff and investing in their training can help in this regard, and lets you plan for emergencies if and when they take place.
5. Show Your Flexibility
Whether you make your schedule through the latest digital solutions or take an old-school approach via manual practices, it’s important that your employees are comfortable with their schedules. When you roll out a schedule that concerns someone, they should be able to openly ask for changes. Otherwise, you can run into issues such as high turnover or disgruntled staff.
With this in mind, show your flexibility towards changing the schedule when an employee really needs it. Using the tips mentioned above, including posting schedules ahead of time, communicating them via emails, and even outlining them on a wall organizer can encourage your employees to ask for modifications when required.
6.Create an Absence Management Plan
An absence management plan is a set of policies that govern time off. It addresses planned time off such as vacations and family leave. Similarly, it handles unplanned absences such as sick time. When employees follow the proper protocols, there is less of an impact on productivity and workflows.
7.Publish your schedule early
Predictive scheduling laws require preplanning as well. For example, you must notify employees of their expected shifts seven to fourteen days in advance.
Though situations change all the time, it’s best to publish your schedule ahead of time so that everyone is aware, even if things change later. A scheduling employees app is an efficient way to keep this information current and accessible to all. It also saves you from having to manually print, post, or email schedules, which increases the likelihood that an employee will miss them.
8.Review your employee schedule regularly
It can be tempting to simply copy the schedule from the previous week when creating a staff schedule, but this assumes that nothing has changed. Because your company is constantly changing, you should review your schedule on a regular basis to ensure that it reflects the most up-to-date information about your work and the needs of your employees.
For example, if your opening hours are reduced due to the pandemic, or if they are extended due to a large holiday promotion, you must account for this in the schedule.
With the right scheduling approach, you can lead the way towards a happier workforce and a more efficient workplace. This benefits both you and your employees and ensures that you are able to get the most out of your time and efforts that go into your business.