Employee Scheduling Techniques | 4 mins read

Best Employee Scheduling Techniques

best employee scheduling techniques
Mary Kate Morrow

By Mary Kate Morrow

Benefits of Proper Employee Scheduling

Proper employee scheduling techniques are essential for any successful business. The top benefits of effective scheduling include-

1. Time tracking- The time employees spend on the clock should be used as productively as possible. Thankfully, scheduling tools including a time clock and time tracking software that records extra hours worked will help managers make sure their employees are on track.

Whether you hire part time hourly employees or full time staff members with salaries, time tracking can help business owners adhere to labor laws. Workforce management including avoiding overstaffing and understaffing is simplified with time tracking capabilities.

2. Shift swapping- Burnout leads to higher employee turnover and less motivated employees. Allowing staff members to make schedule changes such as swapping shifts that other employees want can help keep your staff from burning out.

If an employee wants to take on extra hours then shift swapping and volunteering for an open shift is the best way for them to show initiative. Including employees in the scheduling process will help make sure every shift is covered by a motivated and productive employee.

3. Labor cost control- There are many ways that proper staffing techniques decrease labor costs for a business. Overtime, understaffing, and overstaffing are all costly scheduling errors that could be avoided with a proper scheduling system in place.

Make sure that work hours are in accordance with labor laws in order to avoid additional labor costs incurred. Whether you are a small business or a large corporation, labor costs are an expense that you want to keep as low as possible.

Top Employee Scheduling Techniques

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Predictive scheduling and scheduling employees at least two weeks in advance are two employee scheduling techniques that can optimize your process. Best practice tips for optimizing your scheduling process include-

1. Accessibility- Make sure that work schedules are available online for employees to review as needed. Previously, employees had to contact management or visit the office to obtain their work schedule, which wastes time that could be used more productively otherwise.

Online accessibility through scheduling software can help when employees need to make a change to their schedule. Schedule changes are reflected in real time and available on a cloud based platform from anywhere with internet connectivity.

2. Avoid abuse- Keep an eye on scheduling abuse, whether from a scheduling manager or another staff member. Signs that there may be scheduling abuse occurring include staff members-

  • Requesting time off too frequently
  • Only volunteering for shifts that other employees want
  • Repetitive excuses for tardiness
  • Last minute absenteeism
  • Frequent unnecessary overtime
  • On call or not predictive scheduling
Of course, business owners should check in with their employees if they notice tardiness or absenteeism patterns developing. There could be a very valid reason that an otherwise effective employee is struggling to make their shifts, ranging from transportation issues to child care responsibilities.

3. Business needs- Scheduling employees should focus first on your business needs before anything else. Consider which effective employee would best serve every shift and attempt to schedule them accordingly.

Underscheduling creates negative customer service experiences and employee burnout. Overscheduling creates low motivated employees and labor costs unnecessarily. Scheduling software is great for analyzing trends and creating the most ideal schedule possible.

4. Employee needs- Understanding what your employees need is important to create schedules that are realistic. For example, if your small business has part time hourly employees who are mostly college students, they may not be able to take on extra hours during finals week.

Employee time is valuable and providing shifts employees want will help keep them productive and motivated. Ask about any child care responsibilities, other jobs, or any other time commitments that employees may have before you begin creating schedules.

Not only will getting feedback about employee availability help with your scheduling process, but it will also make your staff members feel valued and appreciated. Consistently scheduling time to meet with employees to check in is the best way to make sure your business and employees are having their scheduling needs met.

5. Software investment- Management software including scheduling software is the best way to make sure that you produce the most ideal work schedule possible. Scheduling software provides a schedule template and a cloud based work schedule that business owners and staff members alike can access remotely.

Schedule changes are updated in real time and employees will receive notifications of any updates through mobile apps. With the proper scheduling software your business will be able to keep employees informed and updated about their work schedule.