Employee scheduling is a challenging and tiresome task for managers. It is essential to meet the needs of your employees along with maximizing productivity.
Employee scheduling should have a balance that is neither overstaffing nor understaffing. Both situations may turn crucial for business turnovers.
Due to the pandemic’s impact, managers should keep an eye on employee safety and business requirements at the same time during employee scheduling. It would help if you needed to account for health and safety needs like sanitizing, testing, and social distancing, along with capacity limitations on your premises.
All these factors underscore the importance of getting consistent with your employee scheduling. The right combination of employee scheduling software and strategic planning can give your employees flexibility and satisfying schedules, along with running your business smoothly.
Benefits of Employee Scheduling
- To ensure profitability
- To ensure quality customer service.
- To maintain employee satisfaction and loyalty.
- To comply with all applicable labor laws.
Best practices of employee scheduling
Below are the best practices of fairly scheduling your employees.
Your scheduling should stay ahead of time.
Proper planning ahead is significant to a successful employee schedule.
Go through your business’s historical data from the POS system and ensure staff scheduling is adequately done during the busiest hours.
With this in mind, think about whether you will want to schedule more employees during weekends, late evenings, or holidays.
Use Employee Scheduling software.
Leveraging digital scheduling software will minimize the effort and save time, especially when managing work shifts for a larger workforce. The scheduling software will have in-built templates and an integrated dashboard that will make your employee scheduling brilliant.
You can plot shifts for the entire week/month and send the shift information notification to all your employees in real-time. Minimizing human errors and getting rid of employee scheduling conflicts are the significant benefits of using employee scheduling software. This will ensure that the employees are being scheduled based on their necessary qualifications for each shift.
Evaluate your staffing levels and availability
A good employee schedule is one that not only works well for your business but also your employees. You will need to get crafty with your employees’ schedule requirements by considering their skills and work preferences.
If possible, you can schedule according to their preferences, in which time of the day they prefer to work. Some may choose to work early in the day, middle of the day, at night, during weekends, and during weekdays. If too many people wish to work during the same time of the day, make sure you give equal opportunities for all to work in those preferred shifts.
While all of this scheduling process sounds like a bit of a puzzle, many scheduling apps will help you schedule smarter. All you need to do is enter every piece of information regarding your employees and update as needed. You may have to enter the details once, but you will reap the benefits every time you build a schedule.
Make a list of employees who want additional shifts.
While some of your team members may need to take unexpected leaves, it is better to know those available to take extra shifts. Thus you can quickly fill in the gap if there occur any unexpected last-minute schedule changes.
There may be some team members who will appreciate taking extra shifts to make extra money, especially those with furloughs and layoffs. So prioritizing your employee preferences will lead to happy employees and higher retention rates as well.
Follow local rules and regulations.
Ensure your final schedule follows the local, federal, and state laws for staff relating to required breaks, overtime scheduling, extra pay for overtime, and holidays. Be aware of these rules and regulations before scheduling your employees.
Another aspect to look into is predictive scheduling regulations. Laws are stating to give early notice of expected hours, extra pay for late scheduling changes, etc.
Publish your schedule early.
It would be best if you plan your schedules as per predictive scheduling laws. Let your employees know in advance of their shifts before 7 to 14 days.
Though changes may evolve frequently, it is ideal for publishing and letting your employees know the schedule. Making use of a scheduling app allows your employees access and stays updated.
Communicate your scheduling rationale
Keep your employees informed about your rationale. Tell them when you are scheduling extra staff due to festive seasons, holidays, etc. and when you are cutting back because of sales dip, etc.
Proper communication with your employees can help you to create transparent and fair employee scheduling.
Be prepared for changes.
The pandemic has shown that change can occur in a blink of an eye. It is the same story with your business and employees. A sudden emergency like health issues, car breakdown, or urgent home repair may force your employees to change gear all of a sudden.
So, your scheduling must be able to do adequate backups in these circumstances. It will help if you prepare to handle the situation without affecting your business.
Review your employee schedule
Your business is always changing, so review the employee schedule regularly to ensure your business’s latest information gets reflected in the plan.
For example, suppose the business hours are reduced because of a pandemic or extended due to a big holiday promotion. In that case, you will need to account for these in your schedule while giving prominence to your employee needs.
Every time you make an employee schedule, make sure you strike a balance between consistency, fairness, and flexibility. Effective scheduling is vital in making your business flourish, increasing your team efficiency while reducing stress at the other end.