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Tips for Creating a Perfect Employee Roster

An employee roster is more than a simple list of how many hours your employees have worked in a week. It is an effective tool to manage the employees’ productivity by providing an inside into their hours of operations and job responsibilities.

When utilized appropriately, a shift rooster can be a vital organizational tool for businesses to allocate resources and manage workforce availability efficiently. It would help if you had proper rostering to ensure the right employees are in the right place at the right time, enhancing productivity and employee satisfaction.

In this article, we will look at some ways of creating the most productive employee rooster to help your business meet its goals.

Commonly known as rota or roster, an employee roster is a list of employees and their tasks to perform. With a roster, you can assign a schedule of activities to every employee. For example, one can assign a schedule of meeting or a proper list of tasks to be completed. 

By using an employee roster, an organization can efficiently improve its workplace productivity and achieve business goals in a systematic manner. When employees have a roster, they are more alert regarding their tasks and duties to perform. It helps to keep them informed.

Types of roster

As a manager, your responsibility includes understanding different types of rosters that an organization can implement. Each type of online rostering tool provides certain benefits over others, and when managers are aware of each type, they can pick one which best fits the demand and supply goals. 

1. Duty roster

A duty roster is a scheduling method managers can use to ensure that the right number of employees are assigned the duties.

In this method, managers assign specific duties or tasks to employees based on their roles or skill sets. It outlines who is responsible for particular tasks, such as opening or closing a facility, managing customer service, or handling specialized functions.

Duty rosters ensure that essential functions are covered efficiently and each employee knows their responsibilities.

2. Flexible roster

If a company’s business operations allow flexible schedules, then HR can have a flexible roster that gives employees more control over their schedules.

This type of rostering accommodates the individual preferences and work-life balance of workers. You can allow employees to choose their start and end times in the flexible roster, provided they fulfill their required hours.

The above shift roster boosts morale and engagement by empowering employees to tailor their schedules to their needs.

3. Staggered roster

A staggered roster is the type of employee roster that creates shifts that start and end at different times to ensure coverage of all operating hours. Restaurant managers usually use this type of working roster to schedule more employees for dinner shifts than lunch.

Other industries using staggered rosters are healthcare, manufacturing, and customer service. It is excellent for resource utilization and allows managers to hire employees with different lifestyles.

4. Staff roster

A staff roster is the simplest and is designed to distribute work hours fairly among all employees. With a staff roster, managers can ensure an evenly distributed workload while maintaining appropriate staffing levels.

This type of roster promotes equity and prevents overburdening specific team members, ensuring every worker gets the same work and rest periods. Staff rosters are commonly used in industries with consistent work patterns.

5. Shift roster

A common type of roster in industries that have 24/7 operations, shift roster divides employees into distinct shifts, each covering a specific period. Managers can allow workers to take different shifts regularly or put them on the same shift depending on the requirements. Shift rosters benefits in many ways like help ensure 24/7 coverage and manage workload fluctuations.

6. Working roster

A working roster tracks regular working hours, rest days, and overtime. It outlines the days and times each employee is scheduled to work, providing a clear overview of their work schedule for a specified period.

This type of roster facilitates better workforce management allowing employees to plan their personal and professional activities and allowing managers to allocate resources efficiently.

As evident, each type of roster serves different staffing needs and varies according to industries. The choice of the employee roster type must depend on factors like business operations, employee preferences, industry regulations, and continuous coverage requirements of the company.

How To Roster Staff Effectively?

Follow these 6 tips for creating a perfect employee roster:

1. Purchase the roster software and plan its components

Automation is essential to perfect an employee roster for your business. Invest in reliable rostering software that suits your organization’s needs. Pick a software solution that provides a complete set of tools for rostering.

Plan out the components you’ll use within the software, such as shift templates, employee attendance, absence and time off management, and reporting features.

Picking an employee rostering software that can be customized to align with your business requirements will help streamline the workforce scheduling process and enhance accuracy.

2. Decide schedule options, then fill your shifts

Managers sometimes think of the staff names first before determining the schedule options, skills, or types of roles they need to fill. It leads to inefficient rostering and a mismatch between required staff and available employees.

Determine the required shifts types, such as morning, afternoon, evening, or overnight shifts, the length of each shift and any specific requirements for each role. Once you clearly understand these scheduling needs, fill the shifts in the roster software based on employee availability and skill sets.

3. Allocate busy shifts to skilled staff

Use data analytics and alerts to identify peak or busy periods such that you are well-staffed when the requirement for skills arises.

Assign the most experienced employees to cover these shifts, as skilled staff can handle increased workloads more effectively. It ensures that high-quality service is delivered during demanding times. This is how managers can maintain productivity and customer satisfaction during busy periods.

4. Have a proper schedule for absence management and unavailability

The success of the shift roster is also affected by how easy it is for employees to request leave of absence. Managers must establish a clear and organized process for employees to submit time off requests or communicate their unavailability. This is another reason to use roster software like Truein that accommodates absence management.

5. Assign tasks to the best team who works well together

Always consider the dynamics among employees when creating teams or assigning shifts. When put together, groups and individuals that work well together and complement each other’s strengths can be highly productive. A proper employee roster can lead to effective teamwork, enhance productivity, improve communication, and create a positive work environment.

6. Allow your employees to check their roster

Another way to create a perfect roster is to allow employees access to their schedules through the rostering software. Allowing employees to view their work schedules in advance helps them plan their personal lives, such as managing doctor appointments. Transparent access to schedules promotes better employee engagement and reduces confusion.

How To Make A Staff Roster In Excel?

It is easiest to make a staff roster in excel. Furthermore, find the steps to follow which helps create a staff roster:

  • Open Microsoft Excel
  • Under the tab “File”, click “New”
  • Inside search bar, type “Schedule” and then press enter
  • Scroll through the number of templates to find one that suits your business
  • Click “Create” and your roster in excel is open

Otherwise, you can also use our readymade staff roster template.

Weekly Employee Roster in Excel

Screenshot of Staff Roster in Excel

How can Truein help with employee rostering?

1. It saves time to record attendance manually

Truein eliminates the need to record attendance on manual excel spreadsheets. It provides a complete employee rostering solution with its AI-powered features for employee attendance and time tracking. 

It has a shift schedule management option that managers can use to create an employee roster to share with employees. With central attendance and leave data, managers are aware of the availability of employees.

2. Prevent Clock In Clock out spams

As a cloud-based face recognition attendance system, it’s highly accurate and protects against attendance spamming and buddy punching.

3. Keep employees informed about their attendance

It also encourages productivity and satisfaction as employees have transparent access to their attendance and shift data. Employees can anytime check their attendance, work hours, leaves, etc using Truein.

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A perfect employee roster leverages technology to strategically allocate shifts by focusing on employee needs and skill sets. With roster software like Truein, businesses can optimize their scheduling processes, improve workforce management, and enhance overall operational efficiency.


1. How to make a good duty roster for staff?

Creating a good duty roster for staff starts with allocating shifts and responsibilities, allocating busiest periods of shifts to most-skilled employees, etc. This way, each employee stays aware of their responsibilities.

It would help if you had strategic planning, effective communication, and flexibility to create a good staff roster. Start by analyzing your organization’s workload patterns and match them with employee availability and preferences. Then make a roster that complies with labor laws and provides flexibility for work-life balance. 

2. What parameters must you consider before creating an employee roster?

You need to understand the organization’s demands at different times. Consider each employee’s availability and skill sets, labor laws, time-off requests, and preferences.

3. What are the principles of good rostering?

Fairness, efficiency, skill-based task allocation, transparency, compliance, flexibility, and open communication are the principles of good rostering.

4. What is the purpose of rostering software?

The purpose of rostering software is to improve workforce efficiency & save costs with careful planning of employee shifts. Proper rostering planning can help optimize labor costs, reduce absenteeism, boost productivity, boost staff morale thereby improving retention. Optimally utilizing your rostering data can also assist in headcount forecasting for future business needs. 

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