A staff roster has become more than a simple way to list the hours your employees work. Based on hours of operation and job duties, the type of roster that you use has become a productive business tool.
Its once singular use has now expanded to ensure each shift has enough employees available and on the job. This helps to keep operations running smoothly so you can meet customer demand and business goals.
Working with an efficient staff roster system can be a powerful solution to attracting smart employees.
Types of Rosters
The following represent some of the more commonly used rosters across different industries.
- Duty Rosters. This type is used by some managers to avoid scheduling more employees than needed on the same shift with the same duties. For example, a duty roster might work for a hotel manager who usually schedules employees based on the number of occupied rooms.
- Flexible Rosters. For some industries and positions, the option of working a flexible schedule is directly related to the needs of the company. In practice, this would be allowing work schedules of 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday thru Thursday, and on Friday from 8 a.m. to 12 noon.
- Staggered Rosters. Companies that experience fluctuations in customers throughout the day often prefer a staggered roster. An example of this is when restaurant managers schedule more employees for lunch and dinner hours than lunch.
Managers will stagger start times and shift lengths so more staff is available to shorten the time customers wait to be served.
9 Tips for Creating a Staff Roster That is Good for Business
Get started with these tips for building a roster that supports your business goals.
1. Plan the roster before adding individual names.
While this is opposite of the traditional roster method, it puts the business first. Managers and supervisors should begin with allocating shifts and responsibilities based on hourly rates. The next step is to add names who are skilled to build the roster around individual requests.
2. Share schedule options with the entire staff.
To avoid a perception of favoritism, managers should share schedule options with all employees. When there is flexibility, some people just feel more productive at certain times and certain days.
Ultimately, the final schedule depends on business needs, but this will allow employees to play an active role in deciding when they must report to work.
3. Fill busy shifts with the most experienced and skilled staff.
Alerts to know whenever a day or shift is understaffed enables managers to fill busy shifts. This will help to prevent a gap in coverage. Typically, employees know which days are the busiest, but may not always volunteer to be available.
Managers guarantee coverage is met by filling time slots with the most skilled workers.
4. Automatically handle availability and time-off requests online.
Even employees with the most experience want a few days off. Managers would be wise to grant those days, especially if they rely on these employees to fill schedule gaps. The ability to handle time-off requests online is an advantage for everyone.
Although the needs of the company are important, denying or forgetting requests can impact daily attendance negatively. Some employees may begin to call in sick or one day hand in their resignation.
5. Show wage cost as you build the staff roster.
Combining wage and staff rosters give managers a heads up before wage costs exceed the department budget. This practice provides accurate forecasting and budget controls.
6. Begin the roster week on a busy day.
Most managers create the roster based on the standard Monday to Sunday work week. However, if the busiest days for a service-oriented company begins on Thursday, then that is the day scheduled hours should begin.
Otherwise, managers might begin cutting hours on the slow days. When this occurs, there may not be enough employees working when business picks up.
7. Make sure everyone receives two days off.
Burnout and loss of performance is inevitable when employees work for more than five consecutive days. Notwithstanding the time double shifts or extra days are necessary to meet deadlines or service customers. Managers should avoid constant long hour shifts.
8. Allow your staff to check their roster.
Preparing the roster online also gives employees the opportunity to view their schedules. They can do this without contacting HR or their managers. Self-service options also includes making change requests.
9. Give your staff enough time to plan for obligations outside of work.
An effective roster should be planned as far in advance as possible. This gives employees time to plan around different schedules or see if they can swap schedules with other employees. Automating swaps and time off streamlines the process.
Key Things to Consider to Build an Effective Roster
The appropriate scheduling technique can increase efficiency with low payroll costs and turnover rates. Familiarity with state and federal labor laws ensures hours, breaks an overtime pay does not violate regulations.