Your employees need to be sure of the timeframe they’re required to work. Similarly, they have to look out for available spaces they can swap with others if need be. So, drawing up a schedule makes it easier for everybody to have an idea of the roles and time expected to complete them.
For businesses, it could be wise to invest in scheduling software to assist in creating your employee schedules.
If you’re a smaller business just starting out and not sure if a digitalized program would be a good fit for you, then the best thing to do in such a situation is to look for a free employee schedule maker or at least software that allows for a trial period to test the product before committing to a contract.
Employee scheduling tools should factor your business needs with employee availability to a considerable extent. If done properly, your organization will benefit in the grandest of ways.
In this article, you will discover all there is to know about incorporating an employee schedule maker into your business.
Before determining if an automated scheduling program is right for your business, you must consider what features and non-negotiables you are looking for that will improve the employee scheduling process.
These should align with your business in a way that their applications would help in expanding the outlook of your market. Here’s an idea of key features that we recommend every scheduling program should possess.
In many organizations, there are typically employees that are only assigned to specific certain roles or tasks, which isn't to say that they cannot perform those tasks well, but they are limited when it comes to executing other various duties.
Likewise, there are other employees that can do a variety of jobs well. So, it is important that you consider the different categories of each employee’s work portfolio when scheduling them, and log those notes into your scheduler.
When making your selection into which software to go with, ensure that it corresponds to the duty designations of your staff. It should also be editable, so that you can simply make changes if need be.
You’ve likely experienced the high surge in traffic during peak hours, as well as the occasional desolate lows, and it may feel like preparing for both occasions is nearly impossible.
As a business owner (especially one that operates in a restaurant), you must monitor and attempt to predict which days and hours will require more employees working, versus when less are needed. In most cases, weekends are the typical busy days, meaning you would need more staff working or on call.
In this regard, the employee scheduling software should work in tandem with the varying needs of your business. Whether you are using a free employee schedule maker or committed to the specified plan, these features are incredibly valuable, because it allows you to customize the scheduler to assign more tasks and more employees/workers on specific days when the number of clients would potentially increase.
It’s one thing for an employee to request swapping a shift with a co-worker, but it’s another thing when the employee who is seeking time-off hasn’t done their due diligence in finding a proper replacement.
The latter is more devastating if you are caught off-guard and haven’t planned ahead.
On that note, and as a matter of urgency, the selection of an employee scheduling system should also have the ability to handle time-off requests within the application. This allows employees more options and measures to take when looking to get a shift covered.
The last but not of the least importance is the viewable availability of employees.
You need to understand that not all of your workers would be available at the same time. Some would prefer taking an evening shift as compared to others that would prefer to work opening shifts.
The handling of such disparities in the workplace demands scheduling software that can verify the availability of employees before being scheduled. With that information, you can then assign preferred shifts that do not conflict with employees’ availability.
Many business owners tend to steer clear when the word free comes into the mix because there is the belief that the only features offered are limited and potentially not worthwhile. While that is true in some cases for some companies, you also have other options to explore when weighing your options of both free and paid software. With a “free” or trial version, you can check if the software can handle all your scheduling needs without any pushback.
Some of the conventional free employee scheduling software you can use are
1. Microsoft Packages
Microsoft Inc. has made life easier for people. You can now create a schedule using any of the packages, such as Word, Spreadsheet, and Excel. These are not only free but are also flexible, making it easy for you to create the schedules in good time.
The primary downside to Microsoft, however, is the limiting options for output. You would have to either transmit the schedules by hand after printing out a number of copies then handing them out to each individual employee or posting the schedule in a common area of your restaurant, assuming everyone has taken notice of the schedule.
You do have the option to email your staff, but that also breeds a problem because you would have to not only ensure you have the most current email address, but you would also have to wait for confirmation that your schedule was in fact received.
In the case of disparities in their availability, you would then have to make modifications, re-send the schedule, and hope it pulls through that time.
2. Online Scheduling Software
Finally, you may want to join the growing numbers of business owners that are already using online scheduling software like Zip Schedules to create, distribute, and track employee work schedules.
As you can see, you wouldn’t stop at the creation and distribution, but would also extend to the tracking of the individual performance/activity of the employees.
Online scheduling software is becoming the favorite of business owners that are looking at being kept abreast of their employees’ activities. The mobile phone and Personal Computer (PC) compatibility makes it easier to set up and track the schedules on the go.
When you’re ready to be part of this innovative free employee schedule maker, then the Zip Schedules would be glad to make your scheduling dreams become a reality.