Scheduling employees takes logic and creativity, which means both sides of your brain can be involved in the process. Whether you’re a left- or right-brain type, these tips can help you wrap your head around creating staff schedules:
Hire Conscientious Employees
Conscientious employees care about showing up on time, give ample notice for doctor appointments and vacations, take care of needs like daycare ahead of time and won’t leave you in the lurch. A quick check of past employers is all it takes.
Clarify Availability Often
Employees, especially students, have busy lives outside of work. Check in with them periodically to see if anything has changed that might impact their availability. They may be too busy to let you know beforehand.
Get a Program
Do a web search of employee scheduling programs, and in seconds a multitude of options will be at your fingertips. For a side-by-side comparison of the most popular ones, check here. If you’re a technically inclined, hands-on type, it may be just what you need.
If you’re not a technically inclined, hands-on type, find an employee that is and give him or her the task of scheduling. For a slight bump in title or pay, you may relieve yourself of a sizable task and free yourself up for other work.
Consider giving employees the responsibility of working out scheduling conflicts by allowing them to trade shifts and make their own arrangements. As long as coverage takes place and you’re kept in the loop, things may work out on their own.
Turn One Employee Into Two
By cross training employees to do other jobs, you may alleviate the pain of an unplanned absence. One employee’s conflict may be another employee’s chance for a lucrative extra shift.
Change Your Hours
If you’re continually faced with employee absences due to outside factors, it might pay to rethink your hours of operation. For example, any blue-collar businesses in the upper Midwest run slimmer shifts or close down during hunting season to accommodate employees who hunt.
There are a variety of benefits to hiring a diverse staff, and scheduling is one of them. With a mix of employees of different cultural, religious and ethnic backgrounds, staffing over holidays may be easier to manage.
Logic and creativity come together in the powerful scheduling app When I Work, which fits conveniently on your Apple or Android phone. To learn more about this new way to solve an old problem, check here.
Scheduling employees is a fact of life for anyone who runs a business with more than one employee. But if you put your mind to it – both sides – it doesn’t have to be a daunting task.