How to make staff rotas even easier
Scheduling all your employees, the full timers, the part timers, the night shift workers, and the ones who love to do lots of overtime, can be a never-ending headache.
Plus, with 80% of spreadsheets containing errors, creating rota that’s both reliable and effective can seem impossible at times.
But there’s no avoiding it—it’s a job that needs to be done. Fortunately, we’re here with some super time-saving scheduling tips to make the scheduler’s job that little bit easier.
Publish as early as possible
Ensure that you publish your schedule as early as possible. This may sound like a no-brainer but it’s a simple and effective tip.
By publishing a rota as soon as it’s ready, your employees can let you know if they have any problems with it, or if they have spotted any mistakes. The sooner you know about shift clashes or problems, the more time you will have to rectify them.
Have a contingency plan ready for emergencies
All businesses have contingency plans, but not many do so just for their rotas. In times of short notice, jury duty, office epidemics, or resignation, it can be extremely helpful to have a backup plan.
Ensure that your contingency plan helps you to source workers quickly, adjust shifts appropriately, and has job advertisements written and ready to be sent out. A little bit of extra time spent creating an effective contingency plan will save hours of disruption further down the line.
Allow employees to manage their own shifts
The increasing popularity of flexitime means that staff are now starting to manage their own shifts. In fact, 41% of managers now allow employees to set their own hours.
With smart shift planning software—such as Findmyshift—you can allow staff to easily request changes and swap shifts at the click of a button. In doing so, your staff will be empowered to maintain a healthier work-life balance, leading to greater productivity and ultimately more profit for your business.
Delegate holiday approval responsibilities
One way of significantly saving yourself time on your scheduling duties is to appoint assistants to handle time off requests. By delegating such a task, you can help employees to grow as they incorporate extra responsibilities into their role.
This strategy will allow you to free up some time to focus on other aspects of your business, whist still maintaining a managerial oversight on the rota.
Know your staff and their roles
When creating the rota, think about the types of roles you need to fill. For example, in the restaurant industry, you may need more kitchen and bar staff when scheduling a weekend. Similarly, you will need to ensure that you have both supervisors and assistant managers scheduled correctly to protect the chain of command.
Additionally, it may also be sensible to pair employees who work well together. Taking advantage of employee combinations in such a way will ensure that you have a more positive and productive team on shift—as well as fewer swaps and rota adjustments to make.
Create shift templates
Creating and storing shift templates will enable you to schedule faster and smarter. Start by creating a template that accommodates the patterns of your permanent staff and use this as a basis. With smart shift technology, you can easily edit templates with a drag and drop editor. This will allow you rota with speed, accuracy, and ease.
It is also a good idea to create templates for periods of high demand, such as Christmas. This will further speed up the process, save you time in a busy period, and help to get the rota published as soon as possible.
Make communication a priority
Even if you have the perfect schedule that’s published early, it won’t matter if your staff haven’t seen it. Ensure that you communicate clearly with your staff and request that they respond and let you know that they have both seen and accept the rota.
This can be easily achieved through group messaging and notice boards. By effectively communicating with your employees, you can minimise the risk of missed shifts, scheduling mistakes, and time-consuming drama further down the line.
Schedule with confidence and save time
As a manager, you will always need to have oversight of the rota. However, by incorporating these time-saving scheduling tips into your workplace, you can schedule your staff with confidence, whilst simultaneously freeing up more time for yourself and other aspects of your business.