Scheduling employees, regardless of the industry you’re company operates in, is fraught with obstacles, challenges and even legal barriers. It’s not difficult to figure out why. For starters, you’re dealing with people and the lives they lead. Medical appointments, child care, paid-time-off, holidays, school and family responsibilities, and conflicting jobs are just the tip-of-the-iceberg when it comes to juggling schedules. And then multiply this by the number of employees you have. Employee scheduling is a delicate balance between understanding the importance of employee engagement within your company and understanding the needs of your company to be successful.
The following are a few best practice tips to ease the burden and difficulties of employee scheduling:
- Know Your Business: you’ll never schedule the right mix of talent and capacity if you don’t understand the ebb and flow of your business. Schedule too lightly and you’ll risk workforce burnout; too heavily and you’ll lose money, and plenty of it. According to experts at international workforce management company, Workloud, the most certain way to properly balance the right amount of workers, at the right time, with the right skills is through employee scheduling software and automation. Through years of providing employee scheduling solutions, Workloud has determined that employers can save up to 7% on their payroll costs when using worker scheduling software.
- Know Your Employees: depending on the composition of your workforce, this is a requirement, particularly if there are various nuances and characteristics you need to account for. If you have any sort of shift rules, union regulations, overtime policies and the like, the chances are high that you’ll need some sort of automation in your scheduling process.
- Avoid Scheduling Abuses: every month, Fair Work Week laws are being enacted in municipalities throughout the country. It’s the employer’s responsibility to keep current in any legislation that might impact any scheduling abuses. From an employee perspective, abuse is tardiness, requesting Friday and Monday schedule changes, avoiding difficult shifts and tasks, and many other instances. From an employer perspective, it’s higher propensities for on-call scheduling, cancelled schedules, last minute changes, and any Fair Work Week type of abuses. So, avoid abuses if you’re an employer and discipline abusers if they’re problematic and trying to take advantage of almost any situation.
- Understand How to Communicate: yes, it sounds so simple, but rarely is. Communicating employee schedules to your workforce in advance almost always involves some sort of scheduling software that allows two-way dialog. Many workforce management companies, including Workloud, have mobile applications that simplify communication protocols. With absolute certainty, you’ll want to enlist a mobile app for better communication.
- Make it Easier, Not More Difficult: there will always be some employees who are going to abuse whatever privileges there are in your organization, but for the most part, many are dutiful and enthusiastic. Making it easy for scheduling requests is part of reducing conflicts and challenges. Make sure you have systems in place for scheduling changes like a mobile app. Also, make certain you utilize your scheduling software to allow for swapping, volunteering, call-ins and smart backfill.
- Find Employees Who Believe What You Believe: as the saying goes, “If you hire people to just do a job, they’ll work for your money, but if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for blood, sweat and tears.” So, in the end, you’ll always have less scheduling problems if you work with people who believe in what you believe in.
We know that scheduling issues can lead to a disenchanted workforce, which can also lead to disenchanted customers. That’s a bad equation all the way around. Start with taking the time to understand your business and the mindset and nuances of your workforce. Know any legislation that might govern scheduling abuses like Fair Work Week laws. Be sure to properly communicate schedules and make scheduling requests easy through scheduling software, and hire employees who are believers in your mission and value statements. All of this will make a significant difference