Managing time is perhaps the toughest challenge. The task gets even tougher if you need to do it for others. No wonder, employee scheduling comes ahead as one of the most challenging aspects of running a business. Things can be even more complicated if you have a big workforce and multiple shifts to manage. You would not want to face situations like understaffing and overstaffing in shifts because both can be detrimental for your business. Further, sick leaves, absenteeism, and high turnover rates are some other issues that you may come across. Despite these hindrances and challenges, fortunately, it is still possible to minimize the hassles of employee scheduling if you take the right approach. Here are some tips to help.
1. Know your team and their expectations
First things first, you should know your team and understand what they expect. Every individual has personal preferences in terms of the tasks they want to do and shifts that they prefer. Try to allocate them tasks and shifts according to their expectations and preferences. This will go a long way in boosting their productivity and motivation levels. At the same time, the chances of absenteeism and turnover are reduced to the minimum when you bear the team’s preferences in mind.
2. Be aware of the scheduling laws
Besides the business considerations, scheduling strategies are also governed by certain legal implications. Therefore, it is vital to be aware of the scheduling laws of your state even before you start creating the schedules. The fact is that you may be doing what is best for your business or employees but it may not be in line with the law. Hence, you should get all the information about the prevailing laws and keep track of any updates in it as well.
3. Schedule according to your business needs
Every business is unique and so are its challenges and requirements. Instead of taking a cookie-cutter approach with scheduling, manage according to the needs of your business. For example, if you are running a restaurant, your requirements may increase during the festive season with high demand. You will need to hire temps to match the demand or even ask the workforce for overtime. It is best to schedule well in advance so that you have no last moment bottlenecks and hassles.
4. Invest in a software tool
Another important tip to limit the hassles of employee scheduling significantly is by investing in an automation tool. Look for a software solution that is easy to use and has a rich set of features to offer. Take a smart approach and get one that covers every single challenge effectively. For example, you can easily manage fatigue and overtime with Deputy in addition to taking care of regular employee scheduling, which makes it an amazing employee scheduling tool. You can pick this software solution even without a second thought.
5. Anticipate uncertainties and emergencies
You may have a well-planned employee schedule in place but you cannot control unforeseen emergencies such as bad weather and traffic jams. The best way to manage this hassle is to anticipate the uncertainties and emergencies and have a backup plan in place. Unless you have one, you will always be stressed out and things may go haywire when an unforeseen situation does come up.
6. Prioritize communication of schedules
Beyond just focusing on creating effective employee schedules, you also need to have a communication system in place. Make sure that the team is constantly connected and gets updates regarding any changes in schedules. Once again, a software tool can go a long way in streamlining communication and simplify the hassles involved. Look for one that can get employees notified on the fly via SMS, emails and push notifications.
7. Schedule strategically
Whether you are scheduling manually or have a software tool to manage everything, ensure that you handle everything strategically. Start by staffing the busiest days and then work on allocating shifts for the slower ones. Track special events and peak seasons so that you are prepared well in advance to handle the increased workloads. Try to create a schedule in such a way that you have well-balanced teams in each shift. The right approach is to allow shifts to teams that have a balance between new resources and seasoned ones.
These tips can surely take you a long way in preparing your employee schedules effectively and resolving any difficulties that stand in the way. Above everything, step into the shoes of your workforce and keep them at the center of the scheduling system if you want them to be at their productive best.