scheduling | 5 mins read

5 Simple Ways to Ease the Process of Staff Scheduling

Michelle Jaco

By Michelle Jaco


Regardless of the type of business, you're in, the argument can be made that the most desirable trait of a manager is effective time management, including management themselves, as well as their employees.

Employee scheduling is a vital component of every manager's job, and due to that very reason, every manager dreads the pressure that also comes along with the task. The reception of any work schedule is measured by how happy employees are with their schedules, how it serves their needs and requirements, and how little scheduling conflict (which can include a multitude of factors) arises during the course of work.

Managers that deal with the employee scheduling duties often have to work with a great number of individual preferences, which can include scheduling according to availability, time-off requests, and timetables to work out an effective schedule that ideally works for everyone in the restaurant.

Some managers spend days and weeks figuring out their employees' schedules, developing them into a visual record, dispersing that information to the entire staff, then verifying and signing off that everyone did, in fact, see their upcoming work schedule.

During the course of designing an effective schedule, managers run into many problems, which then require due attention from both managers and employees. An effective scheduling software program helps the organization solve these problems.

Managers can make use of these resources to design their weekly/monthly schedules. Not only will these tools simplify your work processes, but employee scheduling will be more effective, as well.

Before implementing an app into your scheduling practices, it would go a long way to take some facts into consideration. Here are some tips to consider, which will go a long way in easing this process of scheduling.

Know Your Staff

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The first step to any effective schedule is to write down the names and roles of every employee who is currently employed by your organization.

In order to have all the necessary information available to you, you should also take note of the preferred contact phone number, relevant skills, any certifications, etc. This will help you narrow down the suitable employees for a certain role and/or shift. All of this information should be stored in a secure digital database that can be accessed only by management. The best types of software applications will offer this feature.

In your notes, you can also include each employee's working status or either part-time or full-time, as well as whether there are any overtime restrictions, like for minors for example.

All of this information will also come in handy when you have shift become available due to an absence or last-minute emergency and need to call in the replacement on short notice.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

Encourage Staff to Voice Their Opinions & Preferences

As a manager, it is your duty to keep your staff happy and content with their schedules because happiness boosts the morale of the workforce.

In order to do so, you can give your employees a chance to communicate their preferred shifts with you. This will help promote a collaborative environment in the organization and will also generate a sense of ownership in your employees. Moreover, knowing the preferences of your employees will allow you to make a schedule that will be convenient for both the parties involved. This will also cut down on missed shifts or late revision requests.

You can also post an open calendar with various shift times listed either in hardcopy form in your restaurant or through your scheduling platform where employees can sign up for the days and times they would like to work. A schedule maker Excel spreadsheet would be a viable option for the hardcopy form.

This method is interactive and employees are also able to pick their preferred shifts. However, it's important to remember that with this process, you need to make sure that you assert your authority by approving the final schedules. Also, communicate to your employees that signing up for a preferred shift does not mean that they are promised this time slot and that all final versions must go through management first.

Ease of Schedule Accessibility

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Once the schedule is ready, you need to make sure that your staff can easily access the schedule and review it. If the schedule is not easily visible, your staff may forget to look at it.

In addition, your employees may lose or misplace the copies of their schedules. When that happens, they should be able to view the collective schedule or else they will often show up late to work or won't show up at all.

It's also important to plan for the worst-case scenarios because even the best laid out plans sometimes fall through. Whenever you are designing a work schedule, you should always factor in emergencies. Always have a plan b so that you don't get caught off guard when some employee doesn't show up due to emergency or negligence.

The availability chart discussed before will help you in rescheduling when some emergency does occur.

Choose the Right Person for the Job

Use the list to ensure that you are scheduling employees according to their skillset and experience. Always find a suitable person for the required job because it is not uncommon for an employee to be mistakenly scheduled.

A great example of this is scheduling a new employee for a busy peak time shift. This is even a great cause of concern if you are understaffed at that time, which may greatly hurt the business and also hurt the morale of your workforce.

Managers often use scheduling software to get the scheduling process done right, and in today's tech-driven era, utilizing the advanced resources that are available will surely increase productivity and save you time and money.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

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