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4 Tips For Scheduling Employees More Effectively

Correctly anticipating your business’ staffing requirements while maximizing productivity is not an easy task, especially when you factor in your duty to provide fair treatment to your employees, who all have specific scheduling needs. To make matters worse, businesses are highly inefficient when it comes to scheduling. According to Quickbooks, just 18 percent of employers in the US use an app to create their employee timetables, and 68 percent of shift plans are handwritten. These archaic practices are liable to cost your business money in the long run.

Scheduling Employees

On average, employers spend 2.4 hours per week writing schedules. Paper punch-in sheets are also responsible for 16 percent of US workers committing buddy punching. It is the practice of clocking in a friend who doesn’t work that day.  By now, we can likely deduce that making schedules is a lot of work, especially in states that have implemented laws mandating employers to provide employees with their timetables with at least two weeks’ notice.

With that said, technology has come a long way since the days when the only scheduling options were to write it by hand. Now you can take advantage of the various tools at your disposal to make your life easier, allowing you to increase scheduling efficiency significantly. With all the other tasks that need your attention throughout the day, automating employee scheduling is the easiest way to get back to doing what matters. On that note, if you struggle with effectively scheduling your employees, here are four tips to get you back on track.

Scheduling Employees – Know Your Team

Get to know the people who work for you. Understand their strengths and weaknesses, and use that to build effective schedules. For example, if you run a restaurant and know one of your workers is very personable and likes to chat. Then schedule that person for the evening shift, when people stick around and talk. Then, organize your hardest workers to come in for the rush. That way, you are utilizing both of their strengths.

Implement Scheduling Software

As mentioned, writing schedules by hand is time-consuming and expensive. On top of this, the cost of hiring a dedicated group of people to create and manage employee scheduling is vast, especially when there are more affordable options available. Enter scheduling software. In most cases, the entire interface of these software solutions will be on toward making the organization of employees’ timesheets and internal meetings more efficient and straightforward. The guesswork is removed and replaced with easy creation, deliverability, and accessibility by employers and employees alike. What does that mean?

Well, most scheduling apps allow employees to see their timetable, request time off, and make specific scheduling changes. The benefit for the employer here is that by eliminating scheduling conflicts, overall employee satisfaction will increase. Additionally, minimizing errors will save time, money, and the headache that comes from finding someone to cover missed shifts. So if you’ve been having problems keeping your timetable organized, maybe it’s time to try using a scheduling app to see if it will serve as an easy fix.

A fairly unknown tool for employee scheduling and notices is digital signs. Digital signs allow management to show upcoming company events and available shifts or overtime. A growing number of businesses are using digital signs to increase their company culture and liven up their offices.

Create a List of Employees Who Want Extra Shifts

Let’s piggyback on that last idea. Covering shifts can be one of the most challenging parts of an employer’s duties. Whether the cause for the open shift is from scheduling mistakes or someone calling in sick, covering an available shift is difficult. And for nearly two-thirds of US businesses, a shift will need to be filled at the last minute at least once per week. The only way to stay on top of the inevitable is to plan ahead – and hoping your employees won’t call in sick doesn’t count!

Consider talking with your employees individually if you’re a small business, or sending around a survey if you have a lot of employees. Ask if they have an interest in picking up extra shifts. There will be lots who say no, but many will say yes. Having a list of people you know who are interested in new shifts can save you a lot of time and effort, which will make your life easier.  That’s because you will only need to call people on the ‘yes’ list when someone calls in sick or a scheduling error occurs. What’s more is that by filling out the sheet and saying they want more shifts, you won’t catch the employee off guard when you call them asking if they can fill in, which increases the chances of them accepting the last-minute shift.

Make It Easy for Employees to Change Their Schedule

One of the best ways to get on top of scheduling matters is to open up your flexibility. Rigid rules and lack of transparency almost assure that you will have problems down the road. You need to strike a delicate balance between not giving your employees enough power and letting them run the show.

You can implement a 24-hour nonemergency shift change deadline. Employees can make all their changes up until the cut-off. Doing this will save you time and empower your employees. For all emergency call-offs, you can resort to the list you made of employees who want to pick up extra shifts. Using a scheduling app makes this process even smoother. Many apps allow employees to trade their shifts and make scheduling changes on their own directly on the platform.

Scheduling Employees – Final Word

For many businesses, outdated and improper scheduling methods get in the way of their efficiency. And as we all know, efficiency is vital for companies that want to succeed. That’s why it’s so important to use the ideas you learned in this article to enhance your business’s productivity. If you want to take scheduling to the next level, consider using an app. Applying technology to solve your scheduling issues increases your efficiency and improves worker satisfaction. If your workers are happy and your scheduling is under control, you can focus more of your brainpower on tasks that matter.

Zoey Peregrine
Zoey is a skillful content manager and SEO copywriter. She is interested in digital marketing and also writes informative articles on web development. In her free time, she prefers reading and taking part in quests.
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