How to Properly Manage a Staff Schedule
Different Types of Work Schedules
Staff schedule management often requires a business owner or manager to work with a large range of different work schedule types. Although some businesses only use the traditional 9-5 shift, other companies have incorporated many different schedule types.
Your schedule maker should seek to provide your business with the best employee and customer experience possible while understanding which schedules work best for your business needs. Different work schedule types include-
1. Fixed schedule- A fixed schedule contains an established number of work hours and days that employees are expected to work. Team members are then scheduled in accordance with these hours and days, which leaves little room for last minute schedule changes but can allow shift swapping as needed.
Many employees and employers prefer a fixed because of the stability and consistency it provides. Certain days and hours are assigned per employee which helps guarantee work hours from a week to week basis. Employee scheduling is simplified when there is only one fixed shift type.
2. Full time schedule- A full time employee schedule is the most commonly used schedule type for larger organizations. Full time employees are eligible for employee benefits, so the labor costs associated with keeping a full time staff may be higher than the labor cost for a part time employee.
3. Part time schedule- A part time employee has fewer work hours and more flexibility than a full time employee. Part time employment is a great option for college students or for employees who have another job.
Staff scheduling can be more complicated with part time employees who have other commitments to attend to, especially if their commitments change frequently over time. However, with the correct scheduling process in place, even a small business can accommodate both full and part time employees.
4. Rotating schedule- A rotating work schedule usually includes employees working various shift types over the course of a month. Although this requires more workforce management and shift planning for your schedule maker it can be well worth the benefit it provides your business.
Rotating schedules focus on staff skillsets and seniority in order to create the most optimized schedule possible. This has the potential to increase the consistency of positive employee and customer experiences.
An excellent way to mitigate the stress of this less predictable schedule type is to allow shift swapping for employees and the ability to volunteer for open shifts in real time as they arise. Both time tracking and team communication are crucial to making a rotating schedule work for your business.
Tips for Staff Schedule Management
The more effective your scheduling process is, the less workforce management is required and the better your customer service capabilities are. There are many best practice techniques that help make staff schedule management as seamless as possible, including-
1. Updated staff list- A major error in the scheduling process occurs when mistakenly scheduling employees who are not available. Whether an employee is no longer on staff or has different availability than before, keeping an updated staff list decreases the likelihood of making a major scheduling error.
Your staff list should include detailed information about each employee ranging from their contact information to their overtime restrictions. A staff list is valuable for understanding employee availability and can help manage last minute staffing emergencies.
2. Remote accessiblity- Even the best employee can occasionally lose a paper copy of their work schedule. To avoid this, make sure that employees can access their work schedule remotely via email or through a scheduling software program.
3. Technological investment- An employee scheduling software that includes proper scheduling tools can help manage time and increase team communication capabilities. Make sure that any preexisting task management and time tracking software are compatible with the new scheduling software before you purchase it for your business.
An employee scheduling software can include a variety of features ranging from an employee time clock to auto scheduling capabilities. Do not make a purchase based on the number of features it provides alone. It is important to not invest in a software program until you feel confident that it is the best fit for your business needs.
Contact the software company's help center or customer support line and request a free employee scheduling software trial. Make sure that your employees feel that the software has easy use capabilities in order to avoid wasting valuable employee time struggling to understand the program.
4. Establish protocol- Online scheduling protocol should be established well before employees are given access to scheduling documents. Make sure that employees understand how the scheduling process works and how schedule changes should be requested.
- Proper staff schedule management decreases labor costs and helps every employee work most productively.
- Shift scheduling is a complicated process that often requires consideration of many different work schedule types simultaneously.
- Employee schedules are vastly different depending on which employee shift types your business needs.
- Proper scheduling increases customer service capabilities and employee engagement levels.
- Investing in a great employee scheduling software that includes helpful scheduling tools can help a schedule maker create the most optimal work schedule possible.