Should You Let Employees Manage Their Own Schedules?How giving employees control of their shifts can benefit your business

Even if published early, a well-constructed schedule can be subject to multiple shift swaps and last-minute changes, making it a never-ending headache for managers.

But what if there was a different way?

Allowing employees a say in their schedules is a growing trend—41% of managers are now giving employees the freedom to choose when they work.

With managerial oversight, allowing employees to control their own schedules can be an asset to your business.

Here is what you need to know, the advantages, and what to watch out for.

How is it possible?

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.

Whilst retaining a managerial oversight, your employees will be empowered to maintain a healthy work-life balance whilst your business needs are still accommodated.

The benefits

The process of allowing employees to manage their own schedules provides many advantages. From which, employee’s lives will ultimately improve, managers will have increased time for other demands, and your business will be elevated.

Greater productivity and profit

Employees are more likely to agree to cover shifts when it’s organised amongst themselves. Therefore, bestowing them with the ability to do so shows a level of trust from the employer and creates a culture of collaboration.

This trusting relationship will boost mutual respect and will be met with an increased productivity, and in turn, a heightened profit.

Lessen the risk of error

The practise of manually inputting information when creating rotas can be incredibly tedious and error prone. In fact, a recent survey found that 80% of spreadsheets have errors in them, potentially haemorrhaging money from businesses.

Utilising shift planning software can limit mistakes—such as unmanned shifts—and decrease budgeting headaches. In turn, this will allow managers to devote more time to other elements of their job roles, enhancing additional aspects of your business.

Better work-life balance

Many employees will be working multiple jobs, have dependencies, or have other responsibilities outside work. By allowing employees to manage their own schedules, you are acknowledging the fact that they have lives outside of work and are willing to support their needs.

Creating schedules with open shifts will provide employees a level of control as to when and how often they work. This freedom will give employees a healthier work-life balance, increase their job satisfaction, and will potentially reduce their stress levels.

Attract new employees

When polled, 67% of people considered work schedule to be the most important factor when evaluating a job prospect.

Therefore, awarding employees the power to manage their own schedules will not only increase employee retention, but it will also act as an attractive element when advertising a job role. As a result, your business will receive a highly competitive advantage.

Considerations for employee-managed schedules

When it goes well, offering your employees scheduling empowerment sounds great. However, as with any adaptations in a business, there are some elements managers will need to be aware of.

Skills of staff on shift

As shown above, there are many benefits of shift swapping for employees. However, it is important to maintain a managerial oversight.

Take care to ascertain the skills and level of seniority of staff on shift. This will avoid any skill gaps that could negatively impact your business.

Such issues can be combated by implementing an approval system within your shift planning software, ensuring that any shift amendments support the needs of everyone.

A clear policy

A clear written policy will bring balance to the level of trust you have installed into your employees. It will ensure a smooth transition where all employees understand the process and follow the guidelines—maintaining their flexibility whilst respecting the company.

Excessive overtime

As with any shift swaps, it is important to keep an eye on the covering employee’s working hours. This can be more challenging as employees manage their own schedules. However, it is easily tackled with the right software.

Findmyshift allows you to track timesheets and clocking systems for payroll, allowing you to have the knowledge and, therefore, the final say when it comes to approving overtime.

When handled correctly—with a balance between employee freedom and managerial oversight—allowing employees to manage their own schedules can be the asset that your business needs.

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