If you’ve ever been in charge of scheduling employees, you know one thing, it’s hard.
Your employees have lives and other commitments outside of work such as families, another job or two, or even taking their kids to the school. Taking your employee’s other commitments into account makes it tricky.
You can’t avoid scheduling employees since it’s a vital part of your business. It becomes an even more frustrating, disorganized, and even aggravating task when your business starts to grow.
Scheduling is also hard on your employees since they want a flexible schedule that allows them to serve their other commitments.
For many growing businesses in Ireland, owners have decided to use automated programs to make the process easier for them and their employees.
In this article, we’ll discuss the different strategies to help you decide the optimal way to schedule employees.
Factors to Take into Account When Determining the Optimal Way to Schedule Employees
Think About the Significance of Availability
Availability is one of the most important things to consider when you’re scheduling employees. You wouldn’t want to schedule an employee right after they get off work or school unless they want that structure.
When you have a small business, one tactic is to keep an Excel worksheet for when your employees are free. Give your employees access to this document so they can update it as much as they need to.
When your business begins to grow, an Excel worksheet won’t be effective when you’re dealing with fifty employees.
At that point, it becomes necessary to implement a more concentrated strategy to your business. This will keep your business efficient and saves you time and money.
Using an automated staff scheduling system is your best option. This system makes it easy to keep track of people’s availability, and even shows you what shift needs more employees.
An automated system can even group employees together based on skill level, skill set, availability, and what department is lacking staff.
Managing a System for Time-Off Inquiries
Managing time-off requests become harder to manage once your business grows and you supervise more employees.
To keep things from getting too disorganized, have a dependable system in place with rules to follow.
Most businesses use the seniority rule, where employees with the most years with the company are given more time off. After the more tenured employees request time off, then a queue starts to the next person.
Instead of the seniority system, you could implement a system that has a fair set of rules and procedures employees have to follow to request time off.
Just as mentioned in the previous section, you can use an automated system to process employee’s request for time off. This makes tracking and granting time off much easier business owners.
The system also allows employees to change their availability when needed. It makes it easier for employees to ask for time off on their schedule. As opposed to waiting in a queue if going by the seniority system.
Organize and Record Employee Absences
Even if you create the “perfect” employee schedule that accommodates for everyone’s other commitments, employees can damage it with their absences or show up late to work.
To avoid this, record when employees call off work and look for any repeat examples.
You can set-up an automated system that tracks and categorizes employee absence patterns. A rigorous system can not only record when the employee is absent but also program the reason for the absence, search records for patterns, and program exceptions.
Create a Directory of Stand-By Employees
Having a list of reliable stand-by employees makes a big difference when you critically need someone last minute. It helps to categorize the standby employee list according to skill set.
Have this list segregated from the regular work week schedule. Only use employees who have proven they can come to work on time and are dependable. If a death in the family happens for one of your regular employees, you can look at the list and quickly find someone to fill in.
Contact Method is the Vital Key
It’s hard to overlook this detail: communication. This goes for both the scheduling supervisor and the employees he oversees.
The best method for this is to have open communication between supervisors and employees. In this situation, employees can comfortably talk about any worries they have with their schedule or what’s happening during the shift.
Having open communication can uncover issues rarely talked about such as employee culture, what’s happening outside of work, and conflicts between employees. Once the supervisor deals with all the issues, it can help them create a regular schedule for the employee.
Creating and implementing a productive employee schedule is hard, but luckily with these tips and using automated scheduling systems will make it easier for you.