For any organization, employee scheduling is one of the core tasks. It is essential to ensure business operations are not affected and productivity is high. HR managers must know how to make a schedule for employees as it helps accurately anticipate staffing needs.
It is also necessary to maximize productivity by scheduling correct shifts. Since the pandemic, companies are witnessing a flux in employee schedules as businesses need to account for health and safety while scheduling the workers. As capacity restrictions became a norm for businesses, shifts had to consider safety requirements.
When you are faced with a situation like you suddenly have to operate with 50% of the workforce strength, you have to make a firm schedule for employees to ensure productivity and revenues are not hit.
A combination of employee scheduling and strategic planning is required for any business to run smoothly. In this article, we are about to discuss how to create a schedule for employees that gives them flexibility without compromising revenues.
What makes a great employee work schedule?
Before we discuss how to make a work schedule for employees, it is crucial to understand what makes a great employee work schedule. Certain qualities of an excellent schedule for employees are standard irrespective of the industry and the size of the business.
Here are the features of a great employee work schedule:
- It fills every shift without leaving any significant gaps in the schedule, ensuring that the business operates around the clock without understaffing.
- It ensures that an appropriate number of workers are available in all shifts to complete the tasks. An excellent work schedule fills the needed positions.
- Ensures that managers can see where each employee’s schedule prevents accidental double shifting, that is, the same worker put in two shifts simultaneously.
- It is also mindful of the limitations of the workers and shows managers and supervisors all the information they need to know to not over-schedule or under-schedule employees.
- A quality employee schedule ensures each employee is working in the positions they are hired to do without any mixups.
These are vital considerations you must remember when making a schedule for employees. Now let’s explore how to make a schedule for employees that can benefit your company and the workers equally.
How to make a schedule for employees
The tips we are about to share will help you steer clear of the common mistakes made while preparing a schedule for employees. A perfect work schedule maximizes efficiency and profits and keeps your staff happy. So, how to create a work schedule for employees that’s a win-win?
Here’s how you do it.
1. Plan what you need in the schedule ahead of time
When making a schedule for employees, anticipating and planning are the key. Checking the historical data ensures that an appropriate number of employees are available for the shifts when the production is high.
Also consider leaves, holidays, weekends, and overtime to understand whether you will need more or less staff. It is a great way to conserve resources and save HR time that can be better invested in business growth and management.
2. Check old data and see the availability of staff
Staff availability is necessary to make employee scheduling work. You must review the old data and compare it with present attendance data to know when an employee is typically available for work. It will also help you understand when a team prefers to be scheduled. You can allow workers to choose their regular shifts or create open shifts through a scheduling app like Truein.
Truein helps managers to create shifts automatically based on the availability of the workers. It considers the leave data to ensure enough employees can fill the shifts’ positions. It also allows creating overtime shifts. Managers can create and share shift schedules directly with the team through the Truein app on their phones.
You can avoid two major pitfalls when you ensure the staff’s availability. There is never understaffing affecting productivity or customer service. Also, never too many employees report for duty affecting the bottom line.
3. Create a list of employees who can work extra shifts
Overtime scheduling is also an integral part of employee scheduling. While it is essential to know who is unavailable, you must also track who is available to work extra shifts. When you are already aware of who is available, it becomes easier to fill in the gaps whenever there are last-minute changes in the employee schedule.
Employees who are available for the extra shifts are usually the people who appreciate the chance to make extra money. You don’t have to force workers who were not available to work overtime shifts. With this knowledge, you can prioritize your team’s scheduling preferences and make them happier, boosting retention.
Creating and maintaining a list of employees and their availability makes a staff schedule efficient. It will also help if your planned schedule changes due to some emergency or a worker calling in sick.
4. Follow local rules and regulations
Labour laws and local regulations must be considered when creating the employee schedule. The local laws and regulations can affect how to create an employee work schedule. It would help if you considered the federal, state, and local laws regarding staff scheduling, such as breaks, overtime scheduling, overtime pay, and leaves.
For instance, in India, employers must pay workers double-pay for the additional hours if they work more than a certain number of hours a day. Some countries have laws restricting employers from scheduling shifts unexpectedly and imposing additional pay for late schedule changes. HR managers need to know the local rules and regulations regarding employee work schedules.
5. Use scheduling software to automate the process
There are too many variables to consider to create a schedule for employees. Manually keeping track of all the variables is tedious and time-consuming. A better alternative is to use scheduling software. Time tracking and attendance tools like Truein offer scheduling capabilities that can automate the entire process.
Truein is an AI-based facial recognition attendance system. It is designed to allow companies to track whether workers are working within the campus or on-site through GPS geofencing. Truein features employee time tracking and leaves management that enables managers to monitor the availability of workers at all times.
It also has the option to customize 70+ policies like the overtime policy, attendance policy, and leave management rules. Workers can record attendance, report availability, and check shift schedules directly from their smartphones.
6. Publish it early and ask for changes
While predictive scheduling can help ensure the availability of the workers during shifts, it still needs planning. Also, it would help if you let employees know as early as possible about the shifts change. It is necessary to allow them enough time to adjust to the shift change.
The work situations evolve constantly, but you have to ensure that you publish the schedule in advance, so workers have a chance to review and share their feedback. Truein allows HR managers and supervisors to keep scheduling information up to date and accessible for all workers.
It allows them to check the schedule changes as soon as they are made and prevents any requirement for manual print or emailing schedules. Also, employees are automatically notified whenever schedule changes, ensuring they are aware of the change.
7. Give your employees the ability to change their schedule
When you think about how to make a schedule for employees, you must consider the workers’ participation. It is a straightforward way to allow employees to access and change their schedules and make things much less stressful.
As managers, when you allow participation of the employees in shift scheduling, you don’t have to worry much about whether shifts are covered or if there is some confusion. Workers can check and accept schedules on their own. You must set some ground rules when you allow employees to alter their schedules.
For instance, employees should provide a 24-hour notice for nonemergency schedule changes. In an emergency, you can pick the staff from the list of available workers. This approach ensures workers feel in control of their time and are not stressing about unexpected or frequent schedule changes.
Using applications like Truein is effortless as it allows managers to change and manage the worker’s shifts. As workers can access shift schedules through the Truein app on their phones, they can easily keep track of shift changes or notify supervisors about any discrepancies.
8. Review employee schedule regularly
Often it is tempting to copy the schedule from the month or week before when no changes are expected. Businesses frequently change, so HR managers must review employee schedules regularly to ensure that they reflect the latest information and accommodate the needs of the work and employees.
For example, when there is a change in production around a certain period, you will need to add it to the schedule to inform workers about it. You create a balanced employee work schedule with fairness, consistency, and flexibility. Effective scheduling not only increases the efficiency of the workforce but also reduces stress among workers.
An employee work schedule is an essential requirement for any organization. We hope this guide explains all the requirements and considerations you must take to make a schedule for employees. Truein is an excellent tool for automating employee work schedules and it eliminates manual time tracking and leave management.
Furthermore, it easily integrates with most payroll software making it easier to calculate salaries and expedite paychecks.