They are various reasons as to why a business may not be making any profits. It could be that the manager is not putting enough effort towards managing the business, or perhaps its marketing plans are no longer effective. But for the better part, the loss of profits can be linked to ineffective workforce scheduling.
Efficient workforce scheduling in any business organization is usually evident in its operations, profit generation and employee satisfaction. On the other hand, inefficient workforce scheduling can be seen in form of increased absenteeism, lack of collaboration, poor retention of employees, reduced profits, etc.
Unfortunately, most business owners and managers often fail to understand the importance of proper workforce scheduling. As a result, they end up losing huge benefits that usually accompany an effective scheduling process. Skill utilization and meeting business demands are just a few of the many benefits of effective workforce scheduling that eventually lead to increased profits.
Every company or business organization has a bottom line – success, and it can only be achieved when project objectives are met on time and with as little expenditure as possible. When it comes to achieving project success, the importance of an efficient workforce scheduling process cannot be undermined. By creating efficient schedules, a business is better able to forecast its labor costs so as to plan its budget more efficiently. Inaccurate schedules are in most cases the number one reason why most businesses lose money. Under-scheduling and over-scheduling shifts are two examples of scheduling inefficiencies that can cause a business to lose a lot of money over the years.
A good shift schedule makes sure that every shift has an adequate number of employees to run things as smoothly as possible. Understaffing a shift creates substandard services and damaged reputations, all of which contribute to decreased profit margins, especially in the hotel and restaurant industry.
A good schedule also ensures that no employee will suffer a burnout or get into an accident at the workplace as a result of exhaustion. Overworking employees demoralizes a workforce, lowers their productivity and eventually leads to poor employee retention. In the same way, a great schedule prevents wastefulness, disorganization, boosts productivity, and raises profit margins in the long run.
Managers and scheduling personnel in different retail and service businesses spend a lot of time trying to come up with efficient work schedules. If you are among the managers who can’t seem to get it right with your workforce scheduling processes, below are some guideline to help you along:
- Qualification and experience – if you want to ensure that each department or shift gets allocated an optimized team of workers, qualifications and experience are two important factors you should always consider when creating your schedules. Make sure that every shift has at least one fully qualified and highly experienced employee to guide and mentor the rest of the crew. Classify your employees based on qualification to make it easier for you to identify a relevant replacement in case of an absence.
- Low seasons and dead hours – consider low seasons and dead hours too when allocating your employees their shifts. This will ensure that your clients get the attention they deserve. Understaffing can cause you to lose both your customers and employees, while overstaffing will create unnecessary expenses.
- Vacations, holidays, and time off – don’t wait until last minute to plan for vacations, holidays, and time off. Create a policy that requires employees to request time –off days or weeks in advance. Employees enjoy working for employers who care about their personal time.
- Employee preferences – employees have different shift preferences – some prefer weekend shifts, other night shifts, while others don’t have a problem working overtime to earn more if necessary. Taking these preferences into account during your workforce scheduling processes will reduce tardiness and absences. It will also boost their morale and increase their productivity in the process.
- Emergency schedule – prepare a list of workers who don’t have a problem being called in abruptly. That way, you will always have someone to call upon whenever an employee fails to show up for a shift.
- Training days – if you offer seminars and training courses, remember to make allowances for these days too as you prepare your schedules. Have a list of employees who are registered for seminars and training programs close by so you can factor in their absences.
- Posting the schedule – if possible, post your schedules at least one month in advance. This will give you ample time to correct or update any errors or misunderstandings.
Employee scheduling software
Since managing a company or business of any size is not an easy undertaking, you may want to consider using employee scheduling software to handle all features of the scheduling procedure for you. Traditional scheduling systems often lead to a wide range of inconsistencies, which include scheduling conflicts and other errors that cause a lot of problems for the daily operations of a business.
Since scheduling software takes care of all scheduling factors, including the more complex procedures, it will leave you with more time on your hands to address other issues that require your attention as well. Because of this, a lot of successful managers are turning to improved resources to fine tune their scheduling skills.
Some of the most recognized advantages of employee scheduling software include the following:
- Establishing effective employee schedules
- Reducing the amount of paperwork in the workplace
- Keeping accurate records of employee attendance
- Managing holiday and vacation time
- Making the payment process easier and more efficient
- Availing schedules to employees easily
- Reducing human errors and other common scheduling mistake
- Increasing management productivity and employee productivity as well
- Producing fair schedules
- Reducing employee conflicts
- reducing employee turnover rates
Efficient workforce scheduling enables a business to meet its needs, maximize its resources, and improve its daily operations, all of which almost certainly translates to improved profits. With employee scheduling software, you can be assured of developing employee schedules that save labor costs, boost productivity, and increase profits gradually.