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Implementing Fair Scheduling for Employees

As a scheduler, maintaining fairness and transparency in the shift assignment process is key. Having a fair scheduling process ensures employee satisfaction and can even reduce turnover. Read on to learn how to make a fair shift assignment policy.

At Celayix, we know how complex creating a fair schedule is. There are a huge number of factors to take into consideration such as multiple locations, overtime cost, staffing numbers, and what shifts are needed when creating the perfect schedule for your business.  

Even when you have considered all these areas, a question you should always ask yourself is… is this schedule fair for my employees? Although a schedule meets your business needs it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be right for your team.  

Keep reading to find out some simple ways to implement fair scheduling for your employees as well achieving your business needs! 

Components of fair scheduling: 

A fair schedule should consist of the following 4 components: 

1. Consistent: Where possible keep schedules consistent as this helps with maintaining a good work-life balance. 

2. Predictable: Employees should be able to anticipate when they will be working so they can better plan their own personal schedule.  

 3. Adequate: Employees should be getting an adequate number of shifts and should be able to pick up more if they want to work more hours.  

4. Input: Employees should have input into when they work and when they don’t.  

Check out Work-Life Law’s study on Stable Scheduling for more.  

Why is fair scheduling important? 

Reduced employee turnover 

Fair scheduling has a big impact on how employees feel about their job and workplace. In fact, a good schedule can be the difference between someone liking their job or not. A poorly put together schedule means employees will likely look elsewhere for employment. Retain your best workers by ensuring they are getting fair schedules well in advance.  

Increased Productivity 

fair scheduling - productivity

Fair schedules will ensure your employees have adequate time to rest and recuperate between shifts.  It allows for an improved work-life balance and will reduce the potential of burnout. This is crucial as it means you have happier employees who are more productive while they are in work. In fact, the Stable Scheduling Study Report highlights how labor productivity increased by 5% when a stable schedule was put into place. Employees show up to work refreshed and ready for a good days work. If employees are working longer hours than usual it can lead to fatigue which will impact their work. Check out our previous blog post on fatigue management here! 

Smooth Operations 

A fair schedule means you have the right number of employees working in the right place at the right time. Ideal! You aren’t being left understaffed which means your business can run smoothly and its one less thing on your list to worry about. With the right scheduling tools, you will have peace of mind to know where your employees are and their clock in/ clock out time for accurate reporting too! 

Here’s how to implement fair scheduling 

Keeping everyone happy with their schedule 100% of the time is next to impossible. However, there are so many great tools available nowadays that takes the hassle out of scheduling. They’re great as not only do they save you time but they also eliminate any human bias that can occur when creating a schedule. The AI technology involved in a lot of the tools means it is completely fair and dependant on business rules and requirements rather than preferences for certain staff members! 

Here are 5 easy tools you can use to start implementing a fair schedule today! 

Use AutoFill 

fair scheduling - autofill

A scheduling tool like Autofill allows you to set up certain rules and preferences for scheduling. You can save a huge amount of time with this one and simply create all the empty shifts you need to be filled. Autofill takes care of the rest and will use your previously set up rules to assign the shifts to your employees. Only employees who meet your preferences and requirements will be assigned the shifts so you know you will always have the right people working! AutoFill Rotation allows you to repeat the same shifts over and over again if you need the same shifts each week/month. What a time saver! 

Self-scheduling 

Put the control into the hands of your employees with self-scheduling. You can create the open shifts required for a specific time period and team members can pick them up on a first-come, first-served basis. Like the feature above you can still implement certain rules and requirements for the shifts so only qualified team members can pick them up. Or if you would like to reduce the amount spent on overtime you can include this as a rule and if a team member is going to exceed their overtime they won’t be able to pick the shift either!  

Shift bidding 

fair scheduling - shift bidding

This works similar to self-scheduling above whereby you post your available shifts. With shift-bidding, your team members then have a set time to “bid” on them. The same applies as self-scheduling in terms of setting rule requirements for team members to be able to bid on shifts. Another great thing about shift bidding that ensures a fair schedule is that you will always have the final say on who is going to the work shift.  

AI 

As mentioned, a lot of these tools use AI. Certain scheduling tools, such as Celayix, will use AI in other areas too. For example, Celayix AI can actually recommend best-fit employees for your empty shifts. It will use previously captured data from your schedules such as who has worked previous shifts, attendance behaviour and qualifications. This means your best employees will be rewarded with more work opportunities and this in turn will help with your employee retention

Communicate, communicate, communicate! 

Did we mention communicate? Communication is the key to a fair schedule. You can have a great schedule prepared but if you are only giving it to your workers last minute, it won’t be fair. We get it, last minute changes can happen with scheduling. The important thing is to alert your team as soon as possible so they can get organized themselves. Make sure you are notifying your team when the schedule is published through email or text. You can also send them instant notifications about their schedules so they see it instantly on their phones.  

Implementing a fair work schedule is a win-win for your business and your employees. It creates a better work environment and gives your team that all-important work-life balance.  It also means that your business is covered with the correct number of productive, qualified staff.  

If you would like some more information on how you can start implementing a fairer schedule please get in touch with Celayix here. 

Check out the video below to see some of these tools in action! 

Video: Implementing Fair Employee Scheduling Practices

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