Making schedules may sound like a simple task, however, there is a lot of information a good manager must consider while making one. You need to bear in mind key information about your business, and your employees, all the while trying to make the best schedule possible. We have come up with some advice on how to make your task a bit easier.
Know your business
When making a schedule for your employees, there are things to consider other than which employee will work which shift. You have to think about the type of business you run, and whether or not there are periods that require a particular workforce. For example, some companies, depending on what their business deals with, have certain shifts that are busier than others. Coffee shops are usually busier in the mornings, so a smart manager would schedule more workers for that shift, than in the afternoon. Restaurants have their busiest hours around dinner time, so it would be impractical to have most of your workers come at 11 in the morning. Also, think about the busiest times of the year, when you may have to bring in extra part-time workers. In order to keep all of this in mind, you have to know all the ins and outs of your business.
Know what your employees want
Just like knowing well how your business operates, you also have to know your employees. The goal to making a work schedule is so that everyone benefits from it, not just your business. The safest way to make sure that there will not be too many alterations to the schedule is if you assign each employee to their preferred shift. While it is sometimes impossible to give everyone what they want, you can at least go out of your way to consider your employees’ wishes when making a new schedule. If you know that some of your staff prefer to work during busier shifts, let them. Also, if there are employees that prefer the same shifts, make sure you provide equal opportunities to all.
Build the schedule around your employees’ skills
Also consider what each employee brings to the table, and how they can be combined into teams. Each employee has something useful to contribute, a particular skill you can use. Think about your employees’ strong points and shortcomings, and try to combine them so they complement each other. You should also think about scheduling more experienced employees with newcomers. Ideally, you would want strong workers working every shift, but that is not possible in reality. However, by scheduling strategically, you can ensure you have a strong team overall.
Use the best software
While making a good schedule may seem a bit difficult, given everything you have to keep in mind, with good software, you should have no problem. With an effective scheduling system, you will be able to keep track of your busiest hours, pay rates, your employee’s hours, and staffing changes. Luckily there is a software adapted to different businesses, and if you are in construction, there is even specially created scheduling software for builders. More and more managers are choosing to pay for software rather than risk making a mistake, since schedules require more complex tasks than ever before, especially for big corporations.
Develop an effective communication system
A businessman is having a phone call in his office
It is possible that your schedule would have to be subject to some changes. In case someone gets sick, or if there is an emergency, some of your workers may need to change shifts or request time off. You could mitigate the problem by implementing an effective system of communication between all employees in your business. That way, if someone needs to change shifts or a replacement, they can immediately let you and the rest of the staff know. Moreover, you will want your team to be able to communicate about what is going on at work so they can come prepared for their shift. For example, if you are a closing manager and one of your employees called in sick, then you will want the opening manager to know that there are things you could not complete due to staffing issues.
Allow your employees to contribute to the schedule and ask for schedule changes
This is where software helps you a lot. Most systems allow your employees to see real-time changes added to their schedules and they can act accordingly. This is also where an effective communication system comes in handy. We would all prefer if everyone worked their assigned shift, but unfortunately, that is not how life works. People get sick or have life emergencies, so you have to be prepared for schedule changes. A great idea would be to have a degree of flexibility in your schedule so that your workers can adjust their schedule by an hour or two if they have an emergency, or at least always have someone set aside as backup to fill in for others.
If you want to be successful at making a practical schedule, there are a lot of things to consider. Always keep in mind your employees’ input, since they are the ones that will be using it. Find a system that works for you, and you will have no problems whatsoever.