Staff Roster Tips That Every Forward-Thinking
Manager Should Use
Managing your business roster isn't as easy as people tend to believe. Based on the situation, you must, oftentimes, plan the roster well in advance and consider your employee needs at the same time. The more employees you have to more difficult the task becomes.
If you poorly schedule your employee shifts, you'll be facing a decrease in productivity and morale among employees, as well as a decrease in overall business performance. However, resourceful managers are able to anticipate various scenarios in advance and plan accordingly.
That way you ensure that no one is overworked and that there are always enough employees ready to take on the tasks at hand. Fortunately, you no longer have to do this manually.
Nowadays, you can harness the power of technology that will ensure a seamless staff scheduling process. With that in mind, here are a few staff roster tips that every forward-thinking manager should use.
Nothing is set in stone
A lot of managers tend to stick to one strategy and one strategy only. This is a huge mistake because one approach isn't viable for every situation or scenario you might face. The reason behind this behavior usually resides in believing that the method the company has used for years or decades has to be used all over again.
The mindset, such as "This is how we've always done things around here" will set you back, not allow you to move forward. Therefore, try thinking outside the box for a change and don't be afraid to be creative and innovative when it comes to staff scheduling. You can't know for sure if some other method suits you more unless you give it a shot first.
Here's a simple example. Some of your employees may prefer 10-hour shifts, while others may prefer 8-hour shifts due to some personal issues. Place the 10-hour shift group to work the busiest days of the week, while the 8-hour shift group can work the rest of the week. You can switch them accordingly to avoid overworking employees.
Understand your employee needs
Staff scheduling isn't something that should be taken for granted. Don't think that you know what's best for everyone else. Managers tend to place business needs before all else but that is a double-edged sword you're dealing with.
You have to take employee needs into consideration when planning a staff roster. If not, your employees may quickly become dissatisfied and overworked. That said, communicate with your employees and interview them one by one if need be so that you can learn more about their needs. Let's go back to the aforementioned example for a second.
The 8-hours shift group may have some personal errands or issues to deal with, which is why they'd prefer an 8-hour shift. By allowing them to work the shorter shift this week you're actually helping them out with their work-life balance. A bit of flexibility when it comes to staff scheduling can do wonders for you in the long run. Your employees will be happier and more engaged knowing that you'll meet them halfway
Plan your schedule well ahead
Effective staff scheduling requires careful consideration and a lot of planning. Planning a staff roster today for tomorrow is not planning. You have to prepare a rooster at least a week ahead if not more. For example, a restaurant has the most guests during dinner time, while lunchtime isn't as nearly as crowded.
You can plan your staff rooster for the next week where the majority of your employees will be present during dinner time. You can then rotate shifts every week to ensure your roster is well-optimized. The same can be applied to specific situations.
Let's take a restaurant as our example again. You can probably guess that your restaurant will be full on special occasions, such as Valentine's Day, for instance. You can plan a staff roster months ahead for this special occasion if you really need to.
What that means is that you'll take the possibility of absentees on that day into account. That way, you can either hire extra staff for the occasion or have some of your employees on standby as extras, ready to jump in if things get frantic.
Use technology to your advantage
As mentioned before, you no longer have to plan staff rosters or schedule shifts manually. It would be next to impossible to do so the more employees you have. Fortunately, technology is here to aid you and you should take advantage of it as much as possible.
You can find reliable employee roster software that will make the entire process as seamless as possible. Nowadays, modern tech solutions have numerous customization options and various futures that allow you to schedule employee shifts with ease.
That way you can take everything into account ranging from business to employee needs and preferences. You no longer have to rely on obsolete tools, such as paper and spreadsheets to plan staff shifts or organize employees. Today, tech solutions are available on various devices so that you can remain on top of your game even on the go.
Consider shift trading
One thing that managers simply dread is shift trading between employees. You plan a shift and organize the rooster and employees make modifications amongst themselves. This is not a bad thing at all. As mentioned before, you have to take employee needs into consideration.
Therefore, instead of forbidding shift swaps altogether, you can manage them instead. What you can do is create a shift trading policy. That way if employees want to swap shifts between themselves, they can do so by following simple instructions.
For example, you can swap shifts with someone who has the same skillet as you do. Moreover, you can swap shifts as long as you avoid overlapping shifts. That way you can actually have control over how employees swap shifts and when.
Creating a well-optimized staff roster is more difficult than you think. The nature of how people work doesn't allow fixed rules and strict guidelines. You have to be flexible if you want to make the best of the situation at hand. That's why it's important to be a forward-thinker so that you can organize your employees the best way possible.
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