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How to Create the Perfect Employee Schedule

Creating the perfect employee schedule isn't easy, but getting it right is worth the effort. Employee scheduling software can help, by automating processes and managing data for the scheduler. Take a look at how!

Have you ever gone through a week of no issues with your employee schedule? All of your employees show up for their shifts on time; they’re energetic and not feeling overworked. For any employer or any company, that’s paradise. However, it’s not always the reality. Employee scheduling can be a significant challenge when certain aspects of the company lack organization or backup plans. The task of employee scheduling may not be rocket science. However, it requires a considerable level of experience, a little bit of planning, and an employee scheduling tool. ‘Perfect’ might never be achieved, but with this set of skills and tools, any scheduler can achieve a hassle-free week. If you’re still not convinced with learning or having this set of skills or tools, let’s delve into the benefits of having the perfect or the near-perfect employee schedule.

Benefits of having the Perfect Employee Schedule

Reduce unnecessary overtime:

One of the inevitable problems that organizations go through is using overtime. Why do organizations schedule overtime? Overtime is a last resort option for many organizations that require to fill unwanted gaps in their schedule. These unwanted gaps are the result of poor scheduling or poor planning. They are unnecessary because they are easily avoidable, and they cost more than a regular shift to the organization. A sense of urgency is necessary for this issue because such costs slow organizations against their competitors. With the help of the right employee scheduling tools and experience, organizations have identified overtime and scheduling gaps as the most significant problem to solve. 

Avoid last-minute no shows:

“Proper preparation prevents poor performance”

James Baker, former Secretary of State

Schedulers often forget to prepare for unexpected absences and consequently get understaffed for shifts. When employees are missing work at regular intervals, it is a sign of absenteeism in the workplace. Celayix identifies absenteeism as a huge issue that organizations should tackle immediately. Why so? Such absences harm the company’s productivity significantly, which might lead to customer/client dissatisfaction. Working overtime or having an extra workload often are the cause of absenteeism. As a result, such last-minute no-shows are dangerous unless organizations keep a standby pool in hand.

When organizations plan correctly, they can fix the cycle of missed shifts and employees having excessive workloads. They could have a list of qualified, reliable, and available employees on file as an “on-call pool”. They could also use employee scheduling software that helps them find a replacement for an employee immediately. Maybe even both! The benefit of doing this extra planning would be increasing productivity as a result of reducing workload. 

Better Employee Morale:

Have you ever identified any of your employees displaying organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) in your company? Or have you seen them being counterproductive or a hindrance to the organization? This behavior is directly linked to employee morale. If an employee is engaging in OCB, by going beyond expectations for the company, they are most likely happy. However, an employee can only be pleased if they have a degree of freedom in choosing their schedule. Flexibility in scheduling is vital in boosting employees’ morale. They can work as per their availability and not just the company’s requirements. If schedulers prepare schedules that fit employees’ availability, it’s more likely that employees show up for work (and not make excuses for their absence). 

Customer satisfaction:

Customer satisfaction - perfect employee schedule

As mentioned above, there is a direct correlation between productivity & customer success. A company that isn’t efficient with its work or is late for deadlines will not have excellent customer reviews. A company should create its employee schedule based on employees’ availability and clients’ needs. After all, an efficient schedule puts employees in place to meet client needs and even surpass them. This may significantly exceed expected results in the client’s eyes, which will help create a better relationship between the company and clients. 

Now that you have read about the benefits of an effective employee schedule, let’s look at how you could create the perfect schedule for your organization! 

How to Create the Perfect Employee Schedule for your Organization

Collect availability for all employees:

If you have recently had a job interview, you were likely asked about your availability. The interviewers that ask this question know the importance of ‘knowing your team’. While information such as skills, status, and personality are brought up in the interview, it’s not always that employees’ availability is asked. By asking your employees’ availability beforehand, it’s more likely that you’ll have a dataset of potential candidates that can work the shift that you require them to work. To take it a step further, using employee scheduling software that allows employees to input their weekly/monthly availability will really help. You can use this data when building your schedule to further reduce the risk of no-shows and absenteeism! This is the first ingredient for the making of the Perfect schedule. 

Select shifts based on organization requirements:

Every company’s main priority is efficiency and profitability. The requirements for an organization to reach these goals are by minimizing their costs and maximizing their revenue. Companies more or less know these requirements. However, poor scheduling can often hinder these goals. How so? Different employees work differently and are most productive during their preferred hours. Therefore, if your company requires more staff for a shift, you must get the correct number of employees and the right employees. The perfect schedule here would ensure that you have employees that suit your organization’s requirements, whether based on customer demand, employee experience, or productivity levels. 

Have a team-wide communication method:

The importance of communication in businesses and scheduling is well-known, without which decision-making for any employer is impossible. With software and applications like Slack available to provide a team-wide communication platform, the goal for a business is to use it for any logistics problems that occur, such as scheduling. The perfect schedule here would allow employers and employees to communicate and confirm any shifts changes that occur instantly. Ideally, an organization should make use of employee scheduling software that has communication features that contribute to schedule creation and distribution.

Allow employees to schedule themselves for some shifts:

Some employers might be very new to this, but employees are seeking more autonomy over their schedules than ever before. Self-scheduling is a modern solution to various scheduling problems that also saves time for employers. Organizations can get the employees interested in working the shift by giving employees the control to select their shift. Features such as shift bidding allow employees to bid for the shift that employers make available for all the qualified staff. Through self-scheduling, the schedule is more flexible, employees are less likely to miss their shifts, the organization saves time and effort. 

Keep in mind time-off requests and excused absences:

Companies that aren’t very stringent with time-off requests or excused absences promote a more flexible schedule. Not only would it help with employee health and morale, but this would also necessitate employers always to have back-ups for all of their shifts. While time-off and excused absences are expected in a company, having back-ups at all times, help in the situation when the absence is not justified, and the company requires staffing for a particular shift. The perfect schedule gives opportunities for companies to make decisions swiftly regarding any absences.

Use a scheduling software rather than manual scheduling:

Last but certainly not least, move over from manual scheduling and get your workforce scheduling software. Why so? Modern scheduling software incorporates all of the above points and does much more for your company than something like spreadsheets can’t. The only way any company can reach a near-perfect schedule is through software & automation. Employee scheduling software identifies the ideal employee for any shift, based on the employee’s qualifications and the organization’s requirements. Scheduling software companies like Celayix provide automated schedules with a compliant schedules rules engine that allows employers to get schedules the way they like. As a result, schedulers can have as much control as they had in manual scheduling and can use features that make their lives way easier during uncontrollable situations. 

Many schedulers have learned over the years that one of the most challenging aspects of scheduling is to handle last-minute changes. The perfect schedule not only requires you to eliminate overtime as much as possible, but it has to meet your employee and organization requirements constantly. These benefits are spread out to the entire workforce and often help make scheduling easy and make the company more productive. Celayix is here to analyze all the information you provide regarding your organization and provide you with the tools you need to build the perfect employee schedule.

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