7 Steps to Make Staff Scheduling Easy.

Every business manager has to be concerned with scheduling staff. An organization without an effective scheduling process can create tension among employees. Some schedulers have dedicated days or weeks developing and publishing employee schedules.

To make matters worse, the manager in charge of scheduling has to wade through availability information, time off/PTO, and other large spreadsheets to develop a first draft. Then comes the backlash of complaints from the employees and necessary revisions. A well managed scheduling process resolves many of these issues and improves employee morale. Let's take a look at 7 ways to make this process better.

1. Know your team
Before you can get started scheduling, you must know your employees and their roles. Gathering contact information, usual work locations, part-time or full-time, and overtime restrictions will make it much easier to get them on the schedule for days and times that are mutually acceptable.

2. Understand Staff Availability
Having information regarding their part-time, full-time and overtime restrictions are only the first part of being able to place someone on the schedule. A staffing manager must also know when an employee has requested for time off(PTO). They must also account for employee preferences. Not taking these into account will cause a lot of back and forth between the staff and the staffing manager while the staffing manager attempts to complete the schedule with trial and error. It is much more efficient to have that information on the front end.

3. Understand Business Needs
Knowing when your business will have peak times which will need more resources is critical to ensure you have adequate staff coverage without over-staffing. Over-staffing can be very expensive and has some of the same employee morale issues as under-staffing.

4. Plan for Emergencies
Even the best schedule can leave you understaffed in an emergency. When you design the work schedule, keep in mind what will happen if you get slammed.

5. Schedule the Right Person
By using your employee list, you can make sure that you are scheduling staff with the right skills or certifications.

6. Staff access to the schedule
Having a well designed schedule does not matter if the employees do not have access to the up-to-date schedule to know when they are working. You could print it out and post it on a bulletin board but that will quickly get out-dated and require the scheduling manager to constantly be printing updated calendars. You could email a spreadsheet and hope the employees keep up with it; however, with modern technology, we can do much better. According to PEW Research in October 2014 64% of adult Americans own a smartphone. Give them access to their schedule on their phone, and they will always have it with them.

7. Use the right tools
Paper and Spreadsheets are great for quick and dirty schedules; however, as schedules get more complex they become a liability. Using a specially designed tool for scheduling addresses all of the issues listed.

Time360 was built to put the right information at your fingertips and make the process of scheduling simple. Employees use smartphones to access their schedule from anywhere. Find out how you can improve your scheduling process with Time360 today.

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