Creating an employee schedule is one of the many difficult tasks faced by supervisors in all industries. Anyone can plug names into a spread sheet, but it takes knowledge and skill to draft an employee schedule that works. A well thought-out schedule creates harmony in a chaotic environment, and increases productivity by making employees happier. Be sure to remember these important considerations when creating an employee schedule.

  1. Ask for Employee Input
    Your employee schedule should be good for your employees, and you’ll have no way of knowing what works for your staff if you don’t talk to them. Ask your workers for scheduling input. Find out what they like about their schedules, as well as what they would like to change. Some of your employees will have other obligations that may conflict with your schedule. Others may be itching to take on more shifts. Get to know your employees by asking for their input on scheduling matters.
  2. Minimize Overtime Hours
    On occasion, some of your employees will end up working overtime hours. It’s an inevitable situation, but you should strive to avoid it as much as possible. Employees working overtime hours cost your business more money, as pay rates increase when employees go beyond full time scheduling. Working too many hours also leads employees to burning out, whether they take on the extra hours willingly or not. Try to minimize this effect by spreading the work around. Reducing overtime hours is beneficial for everyone in the company.
  3. Schedule Employees According to Their Strengths
    Consider the strengths of each member of your staff when you create employee schedules. Pencil in your early risers for morning shifts, and bring on the night owls later. Different people are naturally more productive at different times of day. Think about your employees’ different responses to varied work situations as well. Find out who thrives under pressure during busy hours, and who performs better in a more relaxed environment. Take all these factors into account to come up with a schedule that puts your most capable employees where they need to be.
  4. Avoid Over-Staffing and Under-Staffing
    A business functions most efficiently when it has exactly the right number of employees on staff. Fill the workplace with too many bodies and you cause chaos and confusion, not to mention a loss of money from wages paid to the extra workers. Likewise, failing to staff your workplace sufficiently reduces productivity and morale by putting too much stress on each individual worker. Create a harmonious and productive work environment by avoiding the extremes of over-staffing and under-staffing.
  5. Institute a Reasonable Time Off Policy
    Whether you work in the service industry or spend your time on nurse scheduling, remember this important scheduling consideration. A business in any industry needs to have a clear and reasonable time off policy. When your employees are unable to meet their scheduling obligations, they need to know the proper procedure for arranging time off. Try to accommodate these requests as much as possible while implementing fair consequences for failure to abide the time off policy. This will bring much needed structure into the workplace.

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