Workforce productivity matters the most for businesses because it ensures the best value from human resources. If you want to maximize the output of your staff, you need to schedule their time effectively. Having a proper scheduling plan in place is essential. It enables managers to allocate tasks and shifts to the workforce while ensuring that every single employee contributes to the organization. At the same time, effective employee scheduling boosts the morale of the workers. This is because they get to do tasks according to their preferences.
However, employee scheduling is tougher than it sounds. In fact, managers usually struggle with handling schedules properly. The challenges are bigger for large organizations where there are big teams and multiple shifts. Even a small error can cause the schedules to go wrong and affect productivity and efficiency. Is there anything that managers can do to reduce the complexities of employee scheduling? Let us share some tips that can simplify the process to a significant extent.
Know your team well
Knowing your team well enough is the first step of effective employee scheduling. Start by creating a list of people working in your department because they are the ones that matter the most. Include their contact details on the list so that you may get in touch with them whenever you need to. Beyond collecting the basic information, try to understand their skills and preferences. People are often more productive if you assign them tasks that match their skills. Similarly, you must know about the availability and preferences of the team members to decide the best work shifts for them. Also, find out whether they would be open to working overtime.
Communicate openly to understand the availability
When it comes to understanding the availability of the employees, you need to have an open communicating system. Give them a chance to communicate their preferences without hesitation. Keep a note of their availability and consider it while deciding their shifts. At the same time, make it clear that they should be available when you need them in contingencies. Have a clear absence management policy in place and convey it to your team. Also, ensure that you tell them about the incentives of working extra hours so that they do it happily.
Automate employee scheduling
If you want to optimize the employee scheduling process for your business, consider automation with a software solution. The conventional method involves maintaining tables and spreadsheets which can get complicated for larger teams. Instead, you can rely on employee scheduling software with smarts to make the process as easy as a few clicks. Automating the process not only reduces the workload on the managers but also eliminates the chances of error. Further, it eases communication of schedules to the team and gets them aligned with changes as well.
Plan for the worst
Employee scheduling is a complex task because unforeseen events may crop up at any point in time. Failing to consider the emergency factor is the biggest mistake that managers make. The entire workflow may get disrupted if some employees go on a sudden leave or get stuck in a traffic jam. The best approach that you can take to handle such situations is by planning for the worst. Make sure that your employees are available for extra shifts if there is an emergency. Consider part-time hiring if you experience sudden booms in demand.
Honor work preferences and time-off requests
The task of a manager goes beyond just allocating tasks and managing shifts. If you are managing the workforce, building their goodwill should be your prime concern. Go out of the way to honor their work preferences while deciding their shifts. Make sure that the employees get the work they would want to do and at the time when they find suitable. Similarly, align with their time-off requests as well because taking breaks is important for the physical and mental well-being of the employees. If they need to be absent due to an emergency, let them do it without any hindrance. At the same time, make proper rules and ensure that your workforce abides by them.
Employee scheduling is a major responsibility because it has an impact on the completion of processes effectively and on time. Additionally, a well-managed schedule keeps employee satisfaction levels at the highest. If you want your business to excel on the customer and employee front, you should have a good scheduling process in place. Don’t overlook it at any cost because this is something that can enhance the overall growth of your business.