Scheduling problems are consistently referred to as a top reason for why employees quit. Actually, there is a shortlist of what causes manager the biggest headaches and creating a working schedule is perhaps the biggest stressor in 2019.
Running your business smoothly and profitably, keeping employees engaged, and nailing customer satisfaction all start with making scheduling a top priority. We share our top five best practices for creating an effective schedule that works across the board.
1. Use an online solution.
Using an online employee scheduling app makes it easier to create accurate and timely work schedules. Scheduling shouldn’t be a daunting task, that’s why a modern scheduling app is your superhero – you will save time, resources and your own sanity! A scheduling app centralizes tasks so everything is one place, instead of scattered in schedule sheets and having to follow up with employees via text or phone calls.
Most scheduling apps have similar features that make scheduling a breeze, such as a calendar view, automated notifications, GPS status updates, in-app chat, employee notes, timeclock, and workflows. It has easy, drag-and-drop templates so you don’t have to start from scratch every time.
2. Get it done ahead of time.
Timing is everything. Did you know it’s possible to reduce absences and absence requests just because your employees receive their work schedules ahead of time? When employees have more time to prepare and swap shifts, they have the flexibility to change things around in order to coordinate their work and private life effectively.
We get it, it’s daunting just thinking about planning the schedule two or three weeks in advance. However, when you have a system where employees can enter their shift preferences well in advance then can view the planned schedule a few weeks ahead of them, you will help reduce stress and tension that last-minute schedule poses.
Saving time on preparations means you save time in the long run and if changes come your way, you’re ready. Plus, a predictable schedule keeps employees engaged and happy with the company because they can maintain a healthy social life outside of work.
3. Accurate projections are key.
When creating a good schedule, you have to anticipate how many work hours your workforce needs in order to get the job done and. Look up past data, business growth, holiday peaks, sale events, and fluctuations in sales so that you can adjust your projections. Make sure that you fine-tune the job schedule as the situation changes.
Accurate projections are tied to our first point, get it done in advance. By anticipating your store’s foot traffic, you are able to create a schedule that meets these demands and works for your employees as well.
4. Scheduling changes should be easy.
When it comes to scheduling changes, your employees need this to be an easy process instead of a hassle. Your employees should be working instead of being accused of schedule abuse because of shift swapping.
To avoid confusion and frustration, have a clear procedure in place. An employee handbook is a great way to outline step-by-step actions – who to contact, how much notice is required, the consequences if employees don’t comply, and so on.
Make sure you use a specific program and not multiple channels, for instance, your scheduling app makes shift swapping easy to do as it’s all tracked on the app and employees can clearly see who is available. When employees are aware of the procedures and know that punishment won’t be colossal when asking for a schedule change request, the workflow will only improve.
5. Taking on additional shift options.
When there is an option to take on additional shifts, you should be able to easily find the right fit. Remember, employees have lives outside of work so be sure to acknowledge that as not every employee is created “equal” in this sense.
There are employees who have no problems picking up additional hours, in fact, they’re willing to. What you want to avoid is someone on shift who just doesn’t want to be there – that creates a negative vibe that affects the company, fellow coworkers and definitely your customers.
There may be employees who have a more flexible calendar so they’re able to take on additional shifts without problems. Just make sure you acknowledge that you will have willing employees who may not have such a free calendar but are interested in picking up more hours.
Finally, you need to know which of your employees are qualified to take on additional shifts. If you work in a restaurant, you don’t want the hostess taking a shift in the kitchen as a cook – this just wouldn’t work.
Avoid scheduling problems, unhappy employees and disgruntled customers by creating a schedule that works for everyone.
Maintain healthy and good relations with your employees. This rapport makes it easier to make a schedule that is aligned with your employee’s needs. Plus, having an environment that is open and transparent with clear procedures in place, helps keep the work environment enjoyable. Additionally, a scheduling app eases the burden associated with scheduling problems so review all your options when it comes to choosing a solution that benefits you, your business and your employees.