Last Updated On October 17, 2019 / Written By Michelle Jaco

6 Important Tips for Handling Employee Scheduling

To ensure that you do not face any challenges while scheduling your employees every week, follow these 6 important tips when outlining a schedule template that can be used from week-to-week.

Introduction

Employee schedule creation can sometimes be a daunting task, because as a manager, you are required to balance between 2 important needs - employee satisfaction and running the business.

As the manager of the restaurant, employee scheduling should be a priority. There is no way your business is going to run smoothly if you fail to schedule your employees in the most appropriate manner.

You need to set aside hours within the week to work on the employee schedule. By creating a schedule, you have the ability to ensure that your business is flowing while at the same time controlling the labor costs to offer great service to your customers.

To ensure that you do not face any challenges while scheduling your employees every week, follow these 6 important tips when outlining a schedule template that can be used from week-to-week.

One - Be Clear From the Start

It is important to make expectations very clear from the beginning, starting with the hiring process.

Inform potential new hires of how you carry out employee scheduling at your restaurant to avoid any future issues. The parameters should be understood by everyone.

You can also get feedback from the new employees about what they think about the scheduling.

Also, make sure you are aware of everyone’s availability, whether they are part-time or full-time status. Scheduling can be difficult when you have more part-time employees staffed because part-timers are typically students. So, you may face the challenge of creating a schedule that meets everyone’s needs.

The solution would not be to avoid hiring part-time employees - that’s unrealistic - but you just need to ensure you have enough coverage for every shift.

It is also important to inform how often you create a schedule and if you intend to make continual changes through the coming weeks or recycle the same schedule every week.

Two - Balance Business Needs

This can become quite difficult when you are creating a template.

As an experienced manager, you should have the ability to anticipate when you will be free and do your scheduling appropriately.

There are 2 important things you need to take into consideration when looking at the business needs of your restaurant - quality of customer service and labor costs.

If there is not enough employee coverage, customers will not be happy, as they are not being tended to in a timely manner.

On the other hand, if you have too many employees scheduled, but not enough customers, you will incur more labor costs. If this happens, then you will be forced to send some employees home earlier than scheduled, thus creating animosity among the staff.

Balancing the business needs with employee needs can be a challenge. It requires that you take many factors into account.

Creating this balance is important for your business. Carry out an analysis of the labor costs of your business and the service that is needed in order to improve your business.

Communication is important during this process.

Three - Enforce Guidelines

Employees work well in an environment where their needs are taken into account. No one likes working in an environment that feels like a dictatorship.

Let your employees know that you will take their availability into consideration, but clarify that their availability cannot affect the restaurant’s needs.

Also, give everyone a chance to determine and state how many hours he or she would like o average per week.

Once both areas are confirmed, you can move on to creating a free weekly schedule template or any other standard template.

While making the template, create a section where employees can fill in new availability times.

There should also be guidelines in the template about important information such as how they should submit time-off requests and updating availability.

It is also important to inform that submitting availability does not guarantee being scheduled for that shift every time.

Four - Create Multiple Categories

After you have received the employee requests, it is now time to write them in your schedule template. You can use different tools to make the template.

Employee scheduling can take up a large amount of your time. Therefore, try to make the process as simple as possible.

Create an outline containing the names of all of your employees, type of task, days of the week when they will be available to work, shift hours, worked hours and the labor costs. Indicating the labor costs will play an important role in keeping the business budget on the right path.

Five - Use Your Best Judgment

When making the schedule, you can also take into account your own predictions by using your business records. For instance, during the early fall seasons, you might foresee that there will be more incoming customers, since school typically starts around that time and families fall short of time when preparing dinner.

Ensure that these predictions are in line with the business budget and the customer requirements to ensure you are meeting their needs.

Six - Make It Easily Accessible

It is important to always make sure you have placed the employee schedule in a location where it can be easily seen by everyone.

If you are using scheduling software, there is no need to post the schedule because you can instead send the schedule digitally through the application. This can be achieved using cloud services.

Not only is this efficient, but it will be more noticeable, and this option is environmentally friendly.

Creating a good schedule for your employees is easier if you master the art of balancing the business needs and employee needs. Since most of the restaurant employees work on a part-time basis, it is important for the scheduler to ensure the employees are getting adequate working hours.

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