Planning work schedules for employees can be a time-consuming process. Planning schedules for hourly workers can be even more frustrating, like trying to solve a never-ending jigsaw puzzle of scheduling in which the pieces are constantly changing.
You spend hours developing a schedule that works for all of your staff, and at the end of the week, you’re left to do it all over again. Right? So, don’t just jump in and start filling in shifts. The more time and energy you devote to preparation, the smoother the end process becomes.
So, how to schedule employees effectively?
You’ll come across the essential information on creating the schedules for your employees using an online platform and some of the critical tips for the same. So, let’s get started.
Table of Content
Basics About Employee Scheduling Software
Employee scheduling software is a scheduling management platform that helps you to administer the hourly workers. The prime responsibility that you can fulfill with employee scheduling software is to provide consistent results, manage labor costs, increase productivity, and improve workforce satisfaction.
It uses an online calendar that helps you to view the employee’s work schedules and availability. Nowadays, you are getting more and more involved in using such scheduling software solutions for maintaining the employee’s record to a great extent.
Let us highlight some of the great uses of such scheduling software solutions:
- Streamline the organization’s HR efficiency
- Removes the guesswork policy of employee
- Prevention from double-scheduling an employee
- Ease in collaborative scheduling
- Full remote access
- Better communication
How to Make an Employee Schedule? – 7 Easy Steps
It’s a time to highlight some of the essential steps that will help you to make a scheduling process for your employees.
Initiate with Making a Record of Employees
The first and foremost step is to record all employees’ details based on their working position and experience. Then, you can even make a group of employees who possess the same skills, making it easier to create future work schedules.
The working hours play an essential role in staff scheduling for many industries, and you need to identify the same. You need to report the work schedule that an employee needs to take approval for daily.
Consider the scenario that you are managing your grocery shop. You can look at how many customers your salesperson handles at a specific time as a part of best practices. However, you can also repeat the same task for every job role that your business operations possess.
If we talk about the same grocery shop example, the accounting department needs to verify each item purchased, check tags, and finally make invoicing. So, again you need to specify the employee work schedule for every job.
You need to assess the employee’s performance by checking all the records and identifying the employees who fulfill the task on time.
Make a Chart to Define the Current Activity of Employees
Once the employees’ record is ready, you need to analyze the current activity levels. What is that?
Current activity levels typically define the employee’s schedule on a specific job to perform. So, you will be aware of whether your employees are busy, free, or waiting for any following jobs.
Using such challenging analysis, you can easily control and decide something on the staff schedule for that working hours.
You can create a chart for all your employee’s workdays. With this chart’s help, you can quickly grab what your employees are doing and know the period to complete the running task. So, just note down the work hours for everyday jobs in the master schedule, and you are good to go.
By creating the chart, you can easily set the time hourly for part-time and full-time employees. Then, once everything is ready, you can take a printout of this chart and keep it in your office.
Forecasting the Future Activity Levels of Employees
By making use of the previous step, work on the future activity of employees. It means that you need to share the work schedules with your senior team members to be aware of their future tasks to perform.
The employees will have to sign the slots from the chart assigned to them by the senior team manager to operate. So, it will be relatively easy for you to determine the next available time-slots of employees.
One important thing to note is that there should not be any enforcement for scheduling employees if he/she is not available to perform because the relationship with employees is much more valuable than with customers.
Such a prediction will help the employees know the list of changes to perform and be ready to make further adjustments with ease, whether daily, monthly, quarterly, or yearly.
Make a Decision on the Number of Employees You Need to Incorporate
Now, it’s high time to decide the number of employees you need. It should not be any bluff value; you have to perform some mathematical calculation to determine the exact number of employees.
For calculating the exact number, you must be ready with the production standards and customers you currently have. Then, just by dividing the production standards by customers, you’ll get the exact number.
Always remember that every employee possesses different productivity levels. For example, if your organization has highly skilled and expert professionals, you might need fewer staff working on a specific shift.
Moreover, proper balancing must be maintained for every need for an optimized schedule. In simple words, you must be ensured of the following things:
- Advance notice should be given to the staff of schedule changes
- The team must be provided with the correct employee shifts
- Provide an amount to employees for working shifts
- Roles must be defined clearly to avoid confusion
- Employees must be provided with the essential option to switch shift scheduling
- Workers must be ready even to work in pandemic situations
- The senior management team must create marketing strategies
- Employees should be allowed to manage time-off requests by themselves
An employee might need to leave for some emergency. It becomes apparent to make appropriate shift planning for the absent candidates and ready to deal with the last-minute shift swaps to drive the business running smoothly.
Make a Selection of Best Shift Scheduling Method
This step is one of the most important as you have to create a schedule for your employees. In general, there are three basic methods available to create a schedule: pen and paper, Google or Excel sheet, and employee scheduling apps/software.
Before selecting the best method as per your business needs, you need to understand the pros and cons of each method:
- If you use a pen and paper methodology, creating a noticeboard or paper schedule is cost-effective and time-consuming.
- Excel spreadsheet is an advanced version of pen and paper method, requires a little bit of time investment for creating employee schedules, and even automation is impossible.
- Employee scheduling software is the essential method that makes it easy for you to create your staff members’ schedules. This platform is solely responsible for saving your time, especially on labor costs and other employees’ needs.
Moreover, you can also opt for a work schedule template for a specific activity to perform best practices.
Finalize and Distribute the Schedule to Your Employees
Once the employees sign up for a specified slot, you can quickly finalize the schedule. If the schedule overlaps, you have to discuss and negotiate with other employees to develop the perfect solution.
Now, the good news is that your schedule is finalized. It’s time to distribute the schedule to your employees to be aware of their work area.
In Excel, you can distribute the schedule using email or by providing cloud access to another resource. In the specific case of noticeboards, you need to inform every employee once the schedule is ready and check for regular updates.
You can easily publish the software’s schedule for scheduling tasks, and notification via phone or email will be sent directly to the employees. And even the changes at the last minute are notified to employees.
Periodically Evaluate Your Schedule and Process
Once you have created your schedule, the work continues without any obstructions. It becomes the prime responsibility of the company to analyze the work schedule regularly.
The primary reason for analyzing is that you must identify the problems and find the perfect solution for improving.
7 Simple Tips to Help You Schedule Employees
By following each of these steps mentioned in the previous section, you can efficiently build a perfect and robust schedule for your employees. However, the specific tips discussed below will help you schedule employees in your business.
Know Your Business
When you plan to build your employee schedule, you need to make sure of the business factors. You need to consider both the employees’ needs and business needs as well.
Employee rates, budget, and timing you’ll need the most that need to be considered when building a schedule. These factors play a vital role in creating your scheduling and may vary based on the business type.
For scheduling employees, you must know your business very well. This is because you are not only managing your employees but your business as well.
So, you need to keep in mind the following things to make your schedule great.
- For the busy schedule, you need to define more slots to complete the task on time. Even you must be ready with the most active hours, days, and months.
- You need to consider scheduling the employees who possess the robust capability to cover the task and its reporting with ease.
Know Your Employees
A well-defined and well-maintained schedule is not only concerned with business needs but also benefits your team members. So, you need to be very careful in making the employee’s schedules a top priority.
Nowadays, many tools are available in the market that efficiently streamlines your business process with ease. So, you must possess a solid capability to deal with an employee scheduling software by considering the employee’s highly qualified skills, employee morale, and work scheduling preferences.
Scheduling apps have become a boon for many business owners as it allows them to generate employees schedules with ease by taking into account a lot of business factors. However, they can even opt for an internal system to allow employers to share their inputs on schedule or shift trades.
One of the significant constraints for scheduling staff for any business is to know employees’ life schedules. However, if you know your employees well, scheduling becomes relatively easy, and there are no chances of any other schedule replacement.
But how do you know those employees well?
- You can ask some of the questions mentioned below to know them very well.
- Which shift do they prefer the most: morning, afternoon, or evening?
- Are they comfortable with a part-time or full-time working environment?
- Are they comfortable working with night shift or overtime restrictions terms?
- Are they planning any family holidays this year?
Develop an Effective System for Communication
Communication plays an important role when you plan to build an effective schedule for your employees. Employees and the senior management team can communicate to discuss any issue or features related to schedule changes.
As a dictator, it becomes your prime responsibility to organize the meeting with workers to share the work process to perform at a specific time. Even the workers can share their opinion on the topics like a schedule change, shift change, or any other point.
By having a robust communication system, you and your team members will work together to enhance business performance and productivity to a great extent. For example, you may need to know the current status of employees working on running or completed tasks.
For small businesses, you need to offer sticky notes or pen-and-paper to your team members to write the details about the work they performed on the previous shift or night.
An alternate solution can be for workers to communicate via SMS or text messaging. It is possible by just swapping the employees’ phone numbers and creating a group to enhance employee satisfaction.
You can also opt for the various communication tools available in the market to communicate with other team members from any workplace.
Identify List of Employees Willing to Work in Additional Shifts
You will come across many employees in your company that might be having complicated lives and busy schedules. Such employees may not be interested in changing or working with the extra shifts.
For such cases, you cannot even penalize them. However, you can opt for employees that are:
- Willing to work on extra hours
- Flexible in dealing with additional shifts, if available
- Highly-qualified and experienced
You can even manage such data in a spreadsheet or as a list on paper, which can be further referenced to use on phone or text message.
Allow Your Employees to Deal with Flexible Schedule Changes
In your organization, you might have several employees, and each of them works in different areas. Therefore, you must provide them with complete freedom to make changes in their schedule if someone opts for shift trading.
An alternate option is to create a policy that allows a particular team member to manage their schedule accordingly, mostly an hour or two if some emergency occurs.
Allow Your Employees to Contribute to the Schedule
One of the best ways to request a lot of changes is by giving more responsibility to life events rather than on job duties.
You can implement an interactive system for your employees in the company where employees possess complete freedom to do their work. In addition to it, they can even provide the shift timing details they cannot work.
So, your workers and managers are on the same page, which enhances communication with each other.
If you are already using scheduling software, it provides some in-built functionality allowing employees to post shifts in which they are not working.
Make the Schedule Easy to Access
The schedule must be accessed by every employee more easily. Even you need to make sure that your employees don’t miss their shifts. The schedule must be given to staff in advance before their shift initiates.
You can even post the schedule just a couple of weeks before. So that employees are aware of the schedule and plan their activities for the rest of the time.
You need to post your schedule in such a location to view it and it is available everywhere easily. The best example is using the app with automated scheduling features.
With this feature, you can generate the schedule without worrying about the next week’s schedule being created at the last minute.
After looking at creating a schedule for your staff members and the essential tips to keep in mind when you plan to schedule employees, some more questions come into mind. Therefore, we have come up with some questions that might be striking in your mind.
- Create a new schedule file mentioning complete details about work
- Create files for four employees and four teams. Assign one employee to each team
- Create one 8-hour shift to meet your expectations
- Using the Manage Shift Patterns command
- You can even opt for work scheduling templates for every employee
Generally, there are five standard types of scheduling that many businesses use to schedule employees.
- Time-slot scheduling
- Wave scheduling
- Wave scheduling + walk-in
- Open booking
- Double scheduling
So, just take care of the essential steps and tricks mentioned in this article, and you are good to go for scheduling your employees in a well-defined manner.
By adopting employee scheduling software in your business, enhance your employees’ performance and your business. The best possible solution is to adopt FieldCamp in your business. FieldCamp is a premier field service management software that helps you schedule your employees and keeps track of their job status.