3 Tips to Help You Schedule Hourly Employees Better

When you are managing a business that has hourly employees, things can get a little tricky when trying to put a schedule together. Even if you are using a scheduling software, there will always be schedule changes for different reasons. Let’s focus on the restaurant industry, for example. For some reason, there are still a lot of restaurant owners that rely on the pen-and-paper method for creating their schedules. Often, even their method for distributing the schedule is old school and low-tech; for instance, taping the schedule on the wall. Surprisingly, even those who have introduced computers to their scheduling process still struggle. This is mostly because they are using methods like Excel spreadsheets and email to create and distribute their schedules. What they fail to realize is that there is a solution to their problems, and implementing the following 3 tips can help them out.

Use Technology

This might seem pretty obvious, but as I mentioned before, many restaurants are still relying on the pen-and-paper method. As far as technology goes, there are many different software options that can help a business run better. Some of these options include payroll, onboarding, applicant tracking, and yes, time and attendance. Employers are slowly but surely moving away from putting up a spreadsheet or even a hand-written schedule on a bulletin board.

When scheduling your employees, it is important to take into account the direction that the US is heading toward. With 68% of adult Americans owning smartphones toward the end of 2015, it simply makes sense to meet employees on the mobile platforms where they’re already engaged. Similarly, when managers have the ability to make schedules and changes on the fly from their mobile devices, that ease of use certainly improves their daily workflow.

See how Dominion’s Group Scheduling feature can help you build better schedules for your hourly employees!

Allow Changes

It is important to allow flexibility for your hourly employees. Emergencies pop up and conflicts between work and personal life happen and it is sometimes hard or impossible to avoid. When employees have control of their schedules, they are happier and more productive workers. It is important to allow change. If an employee needs a specific day off, try to accommodate their request. It is a good idea to keep a list of employee shift preferences that you can access when creating schedules. Allow your employees to change their preferences as time goes on. For example, if an employee is going to college, their class schedule might change every quarter, thereby changing their availability. In order to keep your sanity, make sure that you set specific deadlines for all schedule requests with enough time in advance before it is time for you to sit down and create a new schedule.

Establish a Good Communication and Distribution Method

When it comes to communicating schedules to your employees, it is important to do so in an efficient and effective way. One of the most common operational problems that a lot of organizations face is communicating schedules to their employees efficiently. Before deciding how to communicate schedules to your employees, consider their needs first. For example, young adults are up-to-date with technology and expect to have everything at the tips of their fingers on their mobile devices. Therefore, the most effective way to communicate schedules with younger employees is on a smartphone. Whether it is by text, email, or an app, those employees will appreciate it. Older generations are less likely to expect their schedules over the web or in an app, however, and might like to get their schedules via email. Using an automated email system to send out schedules is very common and available in most scheduling software. However, you must keep in mind that once the schedule has been sent via email, it is not as easy to change. Lastly, you must understand and keep in mind that a lot of people own a smartphone, about 92% of Americans do so. Along with this, not everyone has internet access in their homes, so you must find an effective way to communicate schedules to those employees. A solution to this might be an interactive voice response system (IVR) which can automate the phone call process to communicate schedules. This allows employees to call in with a landline or standard mobile phone to hear their schedules automatically.

Because every organization is different, your workforce might not fall under one specific generation and how they prefer to be communicated with may not be the typical generational style. Be sure to select an employee scheduling system that can accommodate the needs of all your employees. If you are interested in knowing how you can use Dominion’s Group Scheduling feature to maximize your manpower, read here, or request a demo below!