Scheduling employees can be a time-consuming job for managers. There are many factors to consider such as ensuring everyone has enough hours, employees are given enough time off between shifts, and all shifts are filled well to provide an efficient workforce. To make the scheduling process a little easier, here are five things you can do.
1. Share the Schedule Weeks in Advance
Employees want ample time to go over the schedule and trade or swap hours if necessary. By posting the schedule early, this gives them the opportunity to do so. It also gives employees enough time to make necessary arrangements if they can’t be at work during their scheduled time. The earlier you can post the schedule, the fewer excuses you will receive about employees not showing up to work.
2. Notify Employees of Changes
When managers make changes to the schedule, employees need to know about it. Some employees may not see the changes to the schedule until it is too late due to vacation time or they are not scheduled for several days in a row. If there are changes, or even after a new schedule is posted, text messaging is an excellent tool for notifying employees. By using text messaging as an internal communication tool, you can reach your entire workforce immediately. It is a much more effective method to reach and notify employees rather than email or a phone call — particularly if many employees are teenagers and young adults.
3. Use Software
If you want to make the scheduling process as simple and hassle-free as possible, consider employee scheduling software. These programs can do most of the work for you — just simply upload the information. It can help point out any potential scheduling issues you may have such as giving some employees too many hours or scheduling their shifts too close together. It can also help you manage time-off requests.
4. Create an Efficient System
One of the challenges most managers face is trying to create a work schedule around the multiple time-off and change requests from employees. To make the entire scheduling process a little less stressful, you need to find a system that works. You need to establish a way employees can make these requests and ensure they aren’t forgotten. Whether you need to have a designated box that employees can use to turn in requests or even require them to send all requests via email or text, think of a system that works best for you.
5. Allow for Flexibility in the Schedule
You need to remember that you aren’t perfect and that changes will be made to each schedule. Plus, things may come up for your employees, requiring them to trade or offer shifts to others. Be flexible with your schedule and allow employees to make the changes they need. However, you may need to approve all changes to ensure you have a fully-staffed team and that nobody is collecting too much overtime.
While scheduling employees is certainly no easy task, by utilizing the right tools and technology, you can make the job easier and help your business run a little more smoothly.
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