One of the most difficult things business owners are faced with is effectively scheduling employees. As your business grows, this task only becomes more complex. This is why many business owners decide to use programs to help automate the process.
This post is going to explore methods that can help you determine the best way to schedule employees. We will cover things like managing time off requests, working with availability, and more.
Things To Consider When Searching For The Best Way To Schedule Employees
Consider The Importance Of Availability
One of the most important things to take into account when creating an effective schedule is the availability of your employees. On a smaller scale, you can often keep a binder that your employees can update with their available work schedules.
However, it may become necessary to have a more centralized solution as your business grows in size to save time and improve management efficiency. This is where staff scheduling systems come into play.
Using a scheduling system, you can do things like group employees together based on job responsibility, automatically access employee availability, and even identify areas where you are short a given shift type.
Have A System For Time Off Requests
Managing time off requests can prove to be problematic for larger businesses. One of the most important things to consider with time off requests is the importance of setting up a reliable system with set rules.
A great example most businesses use is a seniority based system. In these situations, employees belonging to different divisions are granted time off requests based on their seniority in their work groups. After seniority, requests are often granted on a first come, first served basis.
Another thing to consider when implementing a fair system is the importance of setting suitable time off request deadlines. You may also need to consider implementing blackout periods based on the needs of your business during busy periods.
One thing many businesses take advantage of to simplify the time off request process is employee self-service. These types of solutions allow employees to request time off at their leisure. This makes recording, tracking, and approving leave much easier for the entire business. They also allow employees to make availability changes whenever necessary.
Manage and Track Absences Effectively
No matter how perfect your schedule may be, it can be ruined by excessive employee absenteeism. Try to pay careful attention to absences and be on the lookout for specific patterns.
A prime example of a pattern to look for are absences that occur during business periods with difficult tasks like delivery arrivals. Another great example is absences that occur during slower shift times for employees that are tipped.
This is why appropriate absence tracking is crucial to for businesses looking to identify these trends. With an appropriate program, you can code the reason the employee was absent, review historical records to search for patterns, and generate exceptions for events like funerals.
Build A List Of On-call Employees
Another great strategy to consider when building a schedule is to always keep a list of employees that are available on-call. Try to separate this list based on the skill types of your employees for easier use.
You can often keep this list separate from the traditional work schedule. Try to only incorporate employees that have proven that they can show up for work on time and are reliable. In the event you have an absence during a shift, you can turn to one of the available employees on your on-call list for quick and efficient coverage.
Communication Is Key
Perhaps the most important thing to remember when scheduling employees are, that communication is key. If a supervisor notices a trend in absenteeism for an employee, it is best to have a talk with that employee as soon as possible to have the situation rectified.
A great strategy to implement is to have an open door policy between superiors and subordinates. This way employees can discuss any thoughts and concerns they may have regarding their schedule or the workplace in an open and constructive manner.
These open door policies can often help to identify underlying issues like workplace bullying, financial hardships, and employee engagement problems. Once identified, these problems can then be resolved to help get your employee’s schedule back on track.
Setting up an effective schedule can prove to be a daunting task for even the most experienced business owners. Fortunately, these tips can help put you on the right track by ensuring your business has the right policies and tools it needs to create productive schedules for the entire workplace.