It takes time to take care of your company’s employee scheduling needs. As a business owner, you have to consider the needs of your business. However, you are an employer who is obligated to consider the needs of your employees. Sure, they work for you. But they also have to handle their families, extra jobs, and in some cases, school. If you do manage to pull it off, however, good employee scheduling will transform your company into a well-oiled machine.
Not sure where to start? Begin with the following five tips to make employee scheduling easier:
1 – Learn the strengths and weaknesses of your employees
Variety is the spice of life and it will be the thing that helps you get the most out of your employees. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. Some thrive under pressure and perform well when they are being pushed to their limits. Others are great in support roles and excel at keeping the back room running smoothly. They need a little help and need to work alongside people who are more experienced in their roles. Get to know your employees and figure out how you can help them perform at their best.
2 – Ensure that everyone can easily access the schedule
If you’re still printing schedules and putting them on the wall in the staff room, it’s time for you to catch up with the times. You want your employees to be able to access the schedule easily wherever they are. This way, they don’t have to come to work, ask their fellow staff members, or ask you when their shifts are. Make it easier for everyone by putting employee schedules online. Consider a time-tracking app or a scheduling software so that you can upload schedules for everyone to see. This will also make it easier when you have to change someone’s shift or add someone else on. Your employees can set up notifications so that they know when they’ve had shifts added or changed. This reduces the risk of missing shifts and employees getting confused about when they are expected to report to work.
3 – Choose employees who have different lifestyles
If your business has standard hours on standard days, this may not be much of an issue. But if your business needs to stay running for longer hours or for more days during the week, it would be beneficial for you to choose employees with different lifestyles. This will allow you to cover shifts while giving your employees the ability to work at hours that they prefer. If you have parents on your staff, chances are they prefer to work during daytime hours and get off around the time their kids do so that they can spend time with their families. It would be a good idea to get some university students on staff who prefer night and weekend shifts that can be fitted in alongside classes. Go for a good variety of staff with people who jump at extra shifts to make some more cash and some who are consistent and will always show up at their standard hours. This will allow you to schedule people to cover the hours needed while considering the lifestyles of each of your staff members.
4 – Recognize when you need more or less staff on duty
Another important thing to consider is the number of staff you need on duty. If you have too many, you’ll be paying people to sit around doing nothing while if you have too little, you won’t be able to meet demand. Get to know your business well so you know when you need more or less staff. In a restaurant, you may need more people reporting during lunch and dinner hours while a soft-serve shop may need extra people during those warm summer months.
Scheduling the right number of employees will help you save money and meet demand. In some cases, you may not even need employees to work at specific hours and opt for an on-demand service instead. If you need extra help figuring out how many people you need working at certain hours, try a scheduling app with an algorithm that helps you generate a schedule based on peak times and staff availability.
5 – Allow your employees to choose their hours
Sometimes the best thing you can do for your employee scheduling is to let your employees choose their own hours. This takes some of the pressure off you and makes them feel like they have more control over their work. Employees who are given the ability to choose their own hours often work more productively and are happier and more engaged at work. When you hire responsible people who you can trust to do their jobs well, you can often trust them with the freedom of creating their own schedule. That being said, this will only work for some businesses. A retail or service business with opening and closing hours will certainly require more structure compared with businesses doing office-based work.
When you are able to schedule employees effectively, your business will run more efficiently and effectively while improving employee satisfaction. Apply these five tips to your scheduling habits and see how they work for you!