Whether you’re in retail, food, or some other business where employees work shifts, scheduling is always one of the biggest challenges you face. In fact, if you could find a way to get better with scheduling, you’d most likely see a direct increase in productivity and profitability.
6 Tips for Eliminating Scheduling Issues
You aren’t alone in your struggles to figure out employee scheduling. It’s a universal problem that countless business owners and managers deal with. Thankfully, it’s not something you have to struggle with forever. Using the following tips and guidelines, you can improve your scheduling efforts and focus on more important things – like increasing revenue and growing the bottom line.
- Set Clear Guidelines
The first step is to set very clear guidelines. Employees need to know what the rules and expectations are so they don’t purposefully or inadvertently violate them.
For starters, you should sit down with each new hire and outline the specifics of your scheduling guidelines. If they don’t like the rules or refuse to agree to them, then you’re better off hiring someone else. But even after hiring, you should regularly revisit these guidelines with employees to make sure everyone remembers the rules and knows what the job requires of them.
- Use an Automated Solution
The good news is that you don’t have to handle employee scheduling on your own. There are a number of automated solutions on the market that allow you to streamline the mundane, time-consuming aspects that frequently hold you back.
The Humanity scheduling tool is an option worth considering. It’s one of the top-rated online platforms and includes features like SMS and email reminders that reduce the likelihood of employees forgetting or avoiding shifts.
- Hold Employees Accountable
Rules without accountability essentially have no meaning or value. While it’s not fun to penalize or punish employees for missing shifts or abusing freedoms, you have to hold them accountable for their actions. You should only have to do it once or twice before other employees take notice and straighten up.
- Give Employees Some Control
If at all possible, give your employees some control over scheduling. Allowing them to list convenient times, s
et preferences, and block out time for vacations and personal appointments is not only smart – it’s also healthy. While you have the ultimate say in scheduling, this little bit of control boosts employee satisfaction.
- Treat Employees Fairly
Don’t be insensitive with your scheduling practices. Recognize that these are people with personal responsibilities and social lives. Treat them like you’d want to be treated if you were in their position. This means not doing any of the following:
- Canceling shifts last minute
- Publishing last-minute schedules
- Frequently requiring employees to stay late or arrive early
- Implementing “on-call” scheduling
When you make an effort to treat employees fairly, they’ll generally respond by treating you with the same respect.
- Don’t Get Too Friendly
While there’s nothing wrong with getting to know your employees and developing a cordial relationship, avoid being too friendly. When employees view you as a friend – rather than a boss or manager – they’re more apt to take advantage of scheduling and expect favors from you.
Take Employee Scheduling Seriously
What’s stopping you from giving scheduling the attention it deserves? Is it the time commitment? The perceived lack of importance? An inability to understand how scheduling works? Whatever the case may be, it’s time that you start taking it seriously.
Better employee scheduling will not only put your mind at ease, it will also help you maximize output and profitability.