Creating employee schedules and ensuring that your workforce sticks to them is one of the critical business functions. However, this is easier said than done because a lot of effort is needed to allocate tasks to teams and manage shifts optimally. At the same time, it is something that you cannot survive without. Proper schedules determine the overall productivity of the employees, minimize the wastage of hours and optimize business operations.
But do you really know what goes into simplifying employee scheduling? Is it possible to prevent understaffing or overstaffing and ensure that there is no wastage of work hours? The answer lies in streamlining employee scheduling and software tools make the best bet for busy entrepreneurs. Also, here are some tips that can help you to create effective robust and time-saving schedules.
Tip #1: Know your business first
Even before you start creating an employee schedule for your business, you must understand its requirements. A good schedule goes much beyond putting the resources on the right tasks. Rather, it is making sure that the right resource is at the right place and at the right time. Investing in a software solution that provides a 360-degree view of your business is a great idea. Essentially, it should empower you to decide when you need to schedule more employees and when you can manage with less.
Tip #2: Review the existing resources
Once you are clear about your requirements and goals, you need to get a comprehensive review of the existing resources. Check the availability, suitability and exemption status of the staff members for each shift. Availability means whether an employee can be at a job location at a specific place and time. Suitability refers to the skills they must have to fit the role. Exemption status indicates if you need to pay the employee for overtime.
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Tip #3: Enable seamless communication
Communication keeps an organization running like well-oiled machinery, which makes it mandatory for the success of the business. Having a smart scheduling software solution is a good idea because it can handle this requirement well enough and serve as a powerful communication tool. For example, Deputy offers powerful scheduling tools that can be used to publish and share workforce schedules easily. They also enable you to send across notifications related to shift changes to the employees and managers with the help of SMS, emails and push notifications.
Tip #4: Provide flexibility for the employees
Another useful tip to simplify and streamline employee scheduling is by providing your employees a good degree of flexibility. Look for a solution that gives them the freedom of choosing the shifts when possible. Though you cannot give them the choice every time having control over their schedules motivates the employees and enhances their performance to a considerable extent. A software solution, like a scheduling app, that enables them to switch shifts subject to availability makes a good choice for businesses in this context.
Tip #5: Consider employee preferences
Providing flexibility regarding shift changes is vital for keeping your employees happy and motivated. But that is not where you should stop when it comes to effective and employee-friendly scheduling. Rather, you should take a proactive approach and consider individual preferences while preparing the schedules. Keep track of the kind of tasks that individual employees want to do and the shifts that work for them. Unless there is shortage of resources, try to allocate them work and shifts on the basis of these preferences. This ensures a positive culture and high levels of motivation and productivity within your organization.
Tip #6: Reward good attendance
Make rewards a part and parcel of your employee scheduling process. The system can go a long way in encouraging the employees to be regular with their shifts and always show up on time. At the same time, the reward practice drives workforce satisfaction and discourages no-shows and indiscipline within the organization. You need not spend a fortune on rewarding your best employees, even small but meaningful perks can be enough to make the scheduling practice effective and successful in the long run.
These tips can go a long way in simplifying and streamlining the employee scheduling process for any business. In addition to enforcing them as a part of your business operations, you should invest in a software solution that has the right set of features to automate the entire workforce scheduling process. If you don’t already have one for your business, the best time to get it is right now. Just be sure about choosing the right one because it will be a long-term asset rather than a short-term expense.