Business size is irrelevant when creating an employee schedule, but even if you have a small work force, creating a schedule that truly works for everyone can be a nightmare. Your employee’s personal life is a key factor when whipping up a schedule - maybe they’re in high school and can only work so many hours, do they have night classes, or maybe their kids have a recital coming up so they’re not available. Whatever the circumstance, crafting a well-planned schedule is essential for operating effectively and retaining your best employees.
And while the task might be daunting and difficult, it doesn't have to be. So just what are the keys for efficient staff scheduling?
1. The use of an advanced scheduling software
Like Connecteam. Easily add shifts and publish so all your employees can view it with a single click. In addition, create single, multiple or team shifts, even upload shift bulks with an Excel file. With calendar view, drag & drop options, and by copying last week’s shifts, you will save so much time when creating a schedule.
Additionally, by having an online schedule, that’s also available on your mobile phone, your employees can access it at any time, from anywhere. Connecteam sends out shift reminders, employees can clock in and out from their own phone, and can use Connecteam to make schedule change requests (swaps, drops, and time off). Plus, it’s the only scheduling app that’s available at a fixed monthly price for up to 200 users, starting at $29-$72/monthly.
2. Build shifts around your best employees.
When you’re a manager, you know who your best employees are, so use that to your advantage! Ensure that your best employee is working to the shift they’re best suited for - schedule efficient employees during rush hour and your more personable, chatty employees when customers are more prone to lingering.
Plus, when you have an experienced employee working, it improves the quality of the short. Especially, as they’re prepared for any scenario and can act quickly. Also, they’ll show a rookie how it’s done - new, less experienced employees watch them work their magic and will learn from that and will then raise the bar for working at higher standards. All of this will help to engage your employees, keep them happy, and will encourage them to stay at your company - something everyone wants!
3. Honor work preferences and time-off requests.
When you honor work preferences and time-off requests, you build goodwill and trust, employees are more satisfied and happy, and you’ll retain your best employees. And while this is incredibly important, it can also be a bit time-consuming trying to remember everyone’s preferences. Store the information on an Excel sheet or a note on your phone, just as long as you refer to this information every time you create the schedule.
Be sure to lay down some ground rules though. You don’t want your employees coming to you a couple days before they want time-off, that’ll only disrupt the schedule! Make it clear when and when not employees can request time-off, how far in advance they need to ask, and anything else that’s specific to your business. This way you keep things running smoothly.
4. Let employees find their own substitutes.
Reduce your own workload by letting your employees find their own substitute. Instead of an employee calling you to say they’re sick and can’t come in, they can use Connecteam’s mobile app to send out a message asking for someone to cover their shift. This way, an employee who wants extra shifts can quickly claim the shift and save you the headache of calling everyone individually. However, make it clear that the person who acts as the substitute is someone who has done the work before. You wouldn’t want a server subbing in for a cook.
When you have scheduling issues, you’ll only become frustrated yourself and your employees won’t be happy. These are two scenarios no one wants. Remain open and understanding, this is the key to creating a schedule everyone is happy with. Plus, choose an advanced scheduling software, like Connecteam, to make the process easier than ever.
This is Renisa Barnwell a freelance writer and also a married mother of two, ages 2 and 6. Lives in Victoria, Canada Area. In the last few years I've been lucky to turn my passions into full-time work both online and offline in sales and marketing, writing and editing, with plans to leave the workforce and focus on working online and staying home with my children.