Tips for Creating a Strong Employee Work Schedule


Let's be honest, creating a weekly employee schedule is never a fun task that management looks forward to. Nevertheless, it is of the topmost priority because it helps ensure that your restaurant is appropriately staffed and that the business is running smoothly on a daily basis. Furthermore, effective scheduling ensures that your employees are happy and content with their shifts.

You need to be explicit about your policies for shifts or time-off requests. You need effective communication with your employees so that they are comfortable to let you know their preferences.

You should also keep in mind that you can't make everyone happy, but there are precautions you can take and tips you can follow to set a good foundation that can get you closer to that feat of implementing a strong and fair employee work schedule.

Remember - Effective Communication is Key

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We can't stress this point enough that effective communication is a primary solution to many problems in any workplace.

Provide your employees with a handbook of time-off and scheduling policies and make sure that you convey this information verbally too. Inform your employees the preferred standard of procedures when it comes to schedules like having your employees to submit their requests at least two weeks in advance, so you can avoid last-minute scheduling headaches.

It goes without saying that strong and open communication channels will lead to fewer scheduling conflicts in your organization and will give rise to a harmonious workplace.

Be Fair to All of Your Employees

This can be challenging because you need to decide who gets the time off during the popular vacation season like during the summer months, as multiple employees will want the same days off.

In order to remain unbiased, you need to keep in mind the reasons behind the time-off request are irrelevant to your decision and that the final verdict should be based on which employee submitted their time off request first.

One employee may need to attend class at various times, another may be a parent who needs specific days off to tend to their family. Whatever the reason may be, your primary concern is that you followed your employees' availability and that your employees remain reliable once a schedule is in effect.

For example, one of your employees requests two weeks of vacations to stay at home and recharge, while another employee requests time off to travel with family. It doesn't matter that one wants to relax at home and the other one wants to travel; you can't give priority to either one of them based on their reasoning.

The best way to ensure fairness in this process is to place the first-come-first-serve system where your employees can't complain about requesting time off after another employee. Utilizing a calendar scheduling app will also aid in keeping track of your employees' time-off requests, as everything is logged digitally and requests can be submitted in real-time, expediting the process.

Group All PTO Days Together

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It is now becoming common practice to offer all PTO (paid time off) days into one package, including both vacation and sick leave.

Bundling the vacation and sick time will make the PTO process simpler and will give your employees more handle over their schedules because it allows flexibility. This method also increases fairness because it takes the guesswork and judgment out of the equation.

For instance, if one of your employees runs through the allowed number for paid vacations in January and then gets sick, that employee will know that he/she will not be paid during sick leave.

When all's said and done, it doesn't matter how your employees are using their vacation days.

Maybe they are vacationing or staying home due to poor health. Whatever the reason, they will understand that they are responsible for the paid vacation quota and most importantly, they will appreciate the latitude you have given them to control their schedule, which will eventually make them happy and loyal to the organization and their work.

Above all, you won't have to spend your valuable time screening time-off requests or wondering whether your employees are really out due to a legitimate reason or because they simply did not feel like working that day.

Clearly Define Overtime and Comp Time

Overtime is a very common workplace component, especially during busy peak times, and we often find ourselves asking the question of whether or not to offer employees the option to work overtime.

Well, it mainly depends on you and the type of organization.

If your staff typically works a lot of overtime in the year, due to not enough coverage on a regular basis, you may have to hire new employees to balance the workload. However, if working overtime is just during certain peak periods, then you are better off paying your current employees for the overtime.

It all eventually boils down to risk versus reward.

For specialized jobs, you should go with your existing employees rather than spending revenue on new employees. This reasoning is due to the fact that it makes more sense in relation to labor costs because you won't have to dedicate hours just to training.

When it comes to comp time, employees are paid compensatory time off for hours worked more than 40 per week. It is recommended to steer clear of this practice because of its complexities and complications it can cause in the workplace.

Lastly, use the best available technology like a calendar scheduling app and programs that make scheduling way easier.

Zip Schedules is a cloud-based calendar scheduling app that integrates the best scheduling processes with a simple user interface design. This makes the lengthy tasks of scheduling easier for the managers and ensures your employees are being scheduled fairly and accordingly.