7 Tips for Creating an Effective Employee Work Schedule
Now that you understand the importance of creating and implementing work schedules for your employees, you may be thinking of the finer details and how you should go about creating your own. These seven tips should get you started:
1. Identifying Resources
Before getting bogged down in the task of creating your schedule, make sure you have a good understanding of the financial and staffing resources at your disposal. Determine how many hours you can pay your employees for each week, and structure your pay based on that. That way you’ll avoid any potential problems with overtime or costs that weren’t in your initial budget.
2. List What Each Shift Needs
When making a need list for each shift, consider the following:
- How will you handle requests for time-off?
- What type of shift schedule is best suited for your business needs?
- How flexible can you be with your scheduling?
Is your team made up of employees with different roles? If so, consider the roles that need to be filled during a shift. For example, a retail store would need a manager and sales assistants for each shift.
3. Collect Shift Preferences
It is important to take care of your employees and their personal lives. It shows that you care and respect not only employees but also as human beings. That said, to an extent it should be done, and accommodating their priorities should not compromise business.
We recommend conducting an employee survey to collect preferences. Also, the people who have worked for you the longest should get first preference.
4. Review Past Employee Schedules
Referring to past employee schedules is a great way to identify what works and what doesn’t. They are usually a good guide for creating a new picture. Once you’ve created your new schedule, compare it to the previous schedule to see who actually worked each shift. Make adjustments where necessary.
5. Make a Plan for Replacement
Before sending your new work schedule, make sure your teams know what the replacement policy is. For example, when someone is sick, do they need to call sick and find someone to cover their shift if they are unavailable? Do employees need management approval before changing shifts? Establish a written policy and communicate it clearly.
6. Use a Scheduling Software System
Are you still setting your work schedule manually? It’s time to automate this process with a digital schedule system like “Schedule Maker” or EasyRoster.
7. Ask for Employee Feedback and Input
Let your employees know they can expect to receive their draft roster on a specific day. And that response is required for a stipulated time on that day before the final program is communicated. Make it clear that any changes made after that time will not be considered.