It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it.
Employee scheduling is a core task for companies where complex shift work is the order of the day. From call centers to hospitals, hotels to retail outlets, many public and commercial operations rely on multiple shifts to provide coverage and generate revenue.
If you’re in charge of your team’s work schedules, you should have a robust, reliable and scalable system in place to assist you with the task. Without a thorough framework within which to work, you will not only make rota planning harder work for yourself, you may be doing your employees a disservice.
Here are five reasons to optimize staff scheduling.
Drawing up work rosters is a delicate task that take the needs of the business as well as those of your employees into account. You need to be aware of and respond positively to preferred methods and hours of working in order to draw up effective schedules.
It is well known that staff are more productive when their shifts fit with their home life. Whether someone prefers to work in the morning, or has family commitments that allow them to work nights only, or they need to be available to do school runs, or have another job in the evening, your staff will be able to do a better job when their needs can be accommodated.
Not surprisingly, rota planning has a big impact on job satisfaction. If there is a constant struggle between an employee’s home and work life, it is likely that their morale will suffer greatly, and they may not be sticking around for long.
Reliability and stability are key – staff need to know that they can rely on their work rosters without unexpected changes and unreasonable demands throwing their often carefully planned home life into disarray.
Shift planning is a complex task with a seemingly endless amount of variables needing to be taken into account in drawing up the daily and weekly schedule. From staff availability and job requirements to performance targets, budget considerations, logistics and even legal implications, it’s a time consuming job.
With so many things to factor in, manual rota planning can be a real nightmare, while using Planday staff rota software or similar tools is a godsend. The software will help your management team schedule effectively and use templates from week to week that automatically contain many customized rules.
Scheduling abuse and ‘unfair scheduling’ has attracted a lot of attention recently, particularly in the US. Considered sharp practice, it involves routinely making last-minute shift changes or cancellations, or demanding workers be on call with no guarantees. Clearly, this puts employees in a tough position, making it almost impossible to reconcile their private and work lives.
Scheduling abuse typically occurs because managers are under pressure from all sides to stay within their payroll budget, but it may also be a bad habit that has formed out of a lack of organization. The net result for staff is low morale and high turnover.
Staff costs are the single largest recurring investment for many businesses, which is why it is so important to get the best return. This is where strategic and intelligent scheduling can really help to employ your human resources to best effect.
With the help of the latest scheduling software, it is possible to keep on top of all the diverse factors that go into planning work schedules for your staff. With all demands met, you can look forward to a happy and productive workforce performing to the best of their abilities.
Photo courtesy of Pexels user Lia Leslie.