1. Collect Information
If you intend to have a smooth and straightforward future employee scheduling, it would be best to start collecting all your information now. Essentially, this means you should start talking to all your employees.
It helps to figure out who is available, at what time and on what day, and if they would be willing to take an extra shift or work overtime. Find out whether they have particular days where they must be off and if you can count on them to cover sick leaves and call-outs. Collecting all this information now will significantly help with your scheduling effort later. A staff holiday planner is an excellent tool for managing employees' leaves.
Knowing what your staff members are capable of, what they will do willingly, and what they need and want makes your work that much easier. You will have a comprehensive employee list and the schedules they prefer to work with. You will also have shown your employees that you care and you listen.
Your employee engagement will increase significantly when your staff members know that you care. However, it would help if you did more before considering yourself one of the best bosses.
2. Use The Past To Make Future Plans
Looking at a past schedule allows you to access helpful information you can work with and input into your schedule maker. You can review it to determine what can work and what cannot. Go over the past couple of weeks and months and compare your staff’s absenteeism and engagement with your sales logs and productivity. Find out whether there are any overlaps.
For instance, are there any particular shifts where productivity drops? Suppose they do, go over your employee interviews and logs and check if any less-happy employees conventionally work during these particular shifts. If they do, consider adjusting their schedule to a shift they will be happier with.
Additionally, bring this up with them and show them the logs to have a clear picture. Ask them if they may be happier if they worked a different shift. While you may have already collected your information, it does not mean you should not talk to them again. Doing so reinforces the effort you put in collecting the information and shows them you would like to make things better for them. Knowing you want to improve their schedule can significantly boost employee engagement.
3. Creating New Templates
Once you have collected feedback from your employees and reviewed their past schedules for bright spots and issues, you need to create new templates. Fundamentally, they help make scheduling super-fast and pain-free in the future, meaning putting in the effort now will save you money and time.
If you have great templates, you could delegate the scheduling duty to an employee you trust, as all the vital information will be in place. Great templates equal scheduling for success, and in return, you have better employee engagement, happier employees, and fewer mistakes.
The template you choose will be specific to your scheduling needs, although we could help you get started with some basic ideas. Start by creating a template that shows all the shifts that require filling. If your schedule fluctuates, do one weekly, and if the shifts are relatively stable, you could have one for monthly use. It would help if you resolved to use a digital scheduling solution for the best results.
On employee engagement with scheduling, it is worth noting that most staff members often prefer having a set schedule to a fluctuating one. Therefore, it would be best to keep your schedule changes as minimal as possible. The first hack comes in handy here as you can ask your employees what they prefer.
4. Have A Backup Plan For Sick Days And Call-Outs
One of the things most managers tend to overlook when scheduling is coming up with a backup plan. A single call out during dinner rush can be:
- Irritating to the employee who will receive your unpleasant call requesting them to come in
- Pretty stressful for you as you try to find their replacement
- Stressful for the other employees who are working that shift
For this reason, a backup scheduling plan is pretty important, and it will go a long way. The next time there is an emergency or a call-out, it will help improve employee engagement and productivity while also improving efficiency.
Remember, the most important hack is collecting your employees’ information. If you have collected their information and compiled a list, you can quickly call the staff members willing to be backups when there is a call-out or those who can work extra hours. Additionally, if you created a template, it makes it that much easier to access them.
The whole process is straightforward as you only need to call the people willing to work extra shifts and backup people, and they will show up. You do not have to make awkward phone calls, staff members will not grumble behind your back for making them come to work on their off day, and employees do not have to come and work an extra shift grudgingly.
Having a solid backup scheduling plan shows your staff members that you can plan and care about them. The result? Happier employees and employee engagement.
5. Have The Proper Tools For The Job
Charts and paper logbooks have always been the go-to for scheduling in the past. While it is functional, it is not the most effective way to perform your scheduling duties. It is not pretty either.
Paper scheduling sheets are prone to loss and damage, and they are also relatively cumbersome. Besides, it is inconvenient for employees who have to go wherever the scheduling sheet is or come into the office to check it daily. Regrettably, most will only check the schedule once weekly. As a result, this causes you headaches as you have to deal with understaffing or overstaffing and missed scheduling changes. Employee engagement drops when you do not offer an easy, simple, and fast way for staff members to check their schedules.