If you manage hourly employees, you likely invest time each week mapping out a schedule. Making sure your business is covered during the hours it’s open while dealing with employee requests can be challenging. When combined with all of your other responsibilities, it can become overwhelming.
Scheduling doesn’t have to be a burden, however. With careful preparation and the right system, you can set your schedule for the week with minimal employee drama. Here are a few tips that will help you create work schedules and get them to employees quickly.
Before you decide what processes you’ll use to create and manage schedules each week, you should have tech tools in place to make it easier. Through automating tasks like schedule creation and employee leave requests, you’ll reduce errors and make things easier for everyone. Instead of coming into work or calling in for their schedules, you can post your schedules online and invite all of your workers to view them from wherever they are, using a mobile device or PC. There are many free and affordable cloud options available that will help you become more productive without breaking your budget.
Gather Employee Preferences
When creating your work schedules, you should do your best to honor employee requests. If you have an employee who needs a specific day off for valid reasons, scheduling that employee for that shift won’t do much for morale. However, there’s a line that employees can cross when requesting days off. You may have an employee who needs every weekend off when it was clearly stipulated that weekend work would be required during the interview. Create a way to easily manage and track employee preferences without locking yourself into accommodating every single one.
Ask Your Employees to Help
One popular technique used by managers everywhere is to turn the schedule over to employees and let them do the work themselves. Choose a scheduling tool that lets you give multiple employees rights to add themselves to the schedule and edit as necessary. At some point you’ll need to lock the schedule in to avoid last-minute changes, but you could at least use this collaboration effort to get a rough draft of the schedule made up each week. Make it clear to your employees that you can’t guarantee they’ll get the shifts they choose in the end, getting them to get them to start the schedule will take some of the work off of you while also giving them a larger voice in business operations.
Have a Plan B
What happens when an employee calls in sick or quits without notice? Can your business absorb the extra work this creates? If your location relies on every scheduled employee to answer phones or wait on customers, you’ll suffer when the unexpected inevitably happens. Make sure you have enough employees on hand to fill in for those absences. Otherwise, sudden employee absences can leave your business ill equipped to handle your day’s workflow, leading to customer dissatisfaction and possible long-term reputation damage.
Scheduling can be a time-consuming, thankless process. Through the use of the latest tools, however, you’ll be able to make your employees happy while also freeing up more of your own time.