How to Schedule Employees
Managing employees can be time consuming. But if you’re good at it, it can be very rewarding. One of the most critical tasks in managing your employees is to create a strong schedule. To achieve this, you need to carefully balance both business and staff needs. For example, focusing solely on business needs such as having a mix of the right shifts, without considering whether some employees will enjoy a particular shift may kill employee morale and performance. Here are a few tips on how to schedule employees.
How to Schedule Employees
If you’re looking for ways on how to schedule employees, you should first look into the employee needs, business requirements and more.
Your employee needs will differ depending on their job role. These include:
- Knowing what their job role is, so they understand what’s expected of them. This will in turn boost employee engagement as well since they are clear of their expectations.
- Wanting advance notice on issues such as shift changes
- Knowing their job role so they understand what’s expected of them
- The ability to acquire or switch extra shifts on short notice
- Being able to self-manage time-off requests, something that’s possible with employee scheduling software. This will also help in improving employee attendance.
Your business scheduling requirements will typically cover:
- The right mix of shifts for your business. Fixed shifts, for example, work well for businesses that mainly hire career staff. Whereas rotating shifts are ideal for 24/7 operations.
- Accessibility to scheduling software that integrates with your POS system
- Optimal working schedules that ensures you always have the right number of employees working.
- Being able to better manage employee turnover rates.
How to Schedule Employees Effectively
Establish Your Work Production Standards
This involves two main processes. First, determine the amount of work an employee with a specific job is expected to complete within a certain number of hours. Next, specify the tasks of every job role.
Plot the Current Activity Levels
Once you’ve established your work production standards, examine your current activity levels. Analyze how busy you are on certain days and at specific times of the day. This information will help you determine the optimal amount of staff to schedule throughout your working day. The trick here is to schedule employees based on analysis from sales and labor reports.
Predict Future Activity Levels
Use your current activity levels to predict future activity levels. Consider periodic sales cycles and use the data to predict activity levels and plan accordingly.
Determine the Exact Number of Employees You Need
It can be tempting to follow you gut on this one but try to determine the exact number of staff you need for things to run smoothly. Simply divide the production standards by the number of customers. You can even use an employee time tracking or attendance management system to help you determine this number.
Incorporate Staff Needs
Your next step is to balance employee needs against the needs for an optimized schedule. When doing so, don’t forget to have contingencies in place. For instance, plan for expected last minute shift swaps and absenteeism.
There are several other factors to consider when learning how to schedule employees. Select a shift scheduling method, obtain approval from top management if you need it and finally distribute the schedule to employees. It’s also important to periodically evaluate your schedule and process.