Scheduling is an integral part of any business operation. It’s a process that seems like it’s a given — something that just happens in the background, allowing the business to run smoothly. In practice, it can often present itself as a time-consuming, laborious, daunting activity. It even has the potential to stint productivity, threatens profits, and impact employee and managerial relationships.
However, there is another side to all of this. With well-defined processes, consideration for the people in an organization, and a willingness to adapt to technological advances, scheduling can prove to be a valuable asset rather than a stumbling block. Below are 5 smart scheduling tips for organizations to implement in order to improve the scheduling process.
- Set Down a Clearly Defined Schedule
- Deal with Schedule Changes in a Formal, Systematic Way
- Ensure Easy Schedule Communication with Staff
- Forecast Schedules Successfully
- Implement a Scheduling Software Solution
1) Set Down a Clearly Defined Schedule
Make scheduling easier by laying down the rules early and often. This ensures that current and future staff will be aware of how scheduling works in your organization, right from the get-go. Set down rules and criteria for schedules, when they will be published, and which employees are available or not. This not only makes things easier for the scheduler, but it also benefits employees directly. With clear, definitive instruction guidelines, employees know what to expect. It also allows them to achieve a healthier work-life balance, a hugely important consideration in the modern workplace.
2) Deal with Schedule Changes in a Formal, Systematic Way
Regardless of the industry a business operates in, there will always be schedule changes. This is distinctly true in organizations that have part-time, hourly, and temporary staff. When employee availability changes on short notice, the negative impact can be felt quickly within an organization.
No-shows, lateness, and last-minute changes can cause lower job satisfaction, decrease the level of service provided, and impact the bottom line due to overtime and understaffing issues. When a process is implemented to deal with schedule changes, and all staff and management are aware of it, it helps to eliminate these problems. It adds a layer of accountability, removing any vagueness or confusion when it comes to the schedule. This is tough to do, but with modern technology (such as staff scheduling software) it becomes noticeably easier.
3) Ensure Easy Schedule Communication with Staff
The importance of communication has been well documented. In organizations with part-time staff working irregular hours, communication is particularly important. Miscommunication can lead to profoundly negative results for a business, such as over/understaffing, unnecessary overtime, and consistently unsatisfactory service delivery due to a lack of direction or leadership. On the other hand, there are countless benefits from effective communication, some of them listed below:
- An improved bottom line, owing to a reduction in missed shifts, no-shows, and lateness
- Increased efficiency, with fewer overtime and staffing level mishaps
- Higher productivity due to improved task/responsibility delegation
- Empowered staff, resulting in higher job satisfaction
- Happy staff providing great service, leading to happy customers/clients
4) Forecast Schedules Successfully
Without knowing upcoming demand trends, scheduling is done without any real direction. It’s effectively educated guesswork as to when a business will be busy or quiet. The ability to forecast future trends in footfall and staffing levels ushers in greater value for an organization. By looking at historic data, it’s easy to recognize peaks and valleys in demand, and therefore set a schedule that accurately reflects this. The use of sophisticated software is needed to achieve this level of business forecasting.
5) Implement a Scheduling Software Solution
In order to effectively schedule in today’s workplace, a successful business needs to have scheduling software that is dynamic and adaptable. The scheduling techniques mentioned can mostly be done without scheduling software, but they are nowhere near as effective without it.
Workforce management software allows an organization to set a clear schedule that works for employees and management, easily accommodate employees’ personal lives by allowing for schedule changes, communicate effectively with staff, and accurately forecast for future staffing levels. When using the Celayix workforce management software platforms, you have the ability to combine all of these different aspects into one easy-to-use software package.
Smart Scheduling with Celayix
At Celayix, we specialize in best-of-breed employee scheduling software, with a whole host of additional workforce management functionality. Every day we help businesses solve their scheduling problems while adding significant value to their organizations as a whole.
If you’d like to find out a bit more about who we are, what we do, or how we can help, our attentive support staff is always happy to help. Contact us here!