3 Tips to Help You Schedule Your Employees

How many employees do you manage? Do you have a hard time creating schedules to make everyone happy? Your employees might be juggling school, families, additional jobs, and other things that they are trying to fit into their schedule. As a manager, it is your job to create a schedule that not only works for you but also your employees. Although it can be hard to achieve the perfect schedule, it is possible. Whether you use a scheduling app or stick to the old pen and paper method, there are tips that can help make scheduling easier for both you and your employees.

Be Aware and Identify Scheduling Abuse

Scheduling abuse comes in many different forms. The most common is  “on-call scheduling”. On-call scheduling means that employees are scheduled to potentially work a certain time. This means that employees must block those hours out of their day so that they are available if their employer calls them and tells them to go into work, but there is no guarantee that they will actually work during that time. This prevents employees from doing other things during that time such as running errands, going to the doctor, and so on.

Scheduling abuse not only comes from employers or managers but also from employees. There might be times when an employee asks for the day off, or to change shifts with someone else, which is not a terrible thing to do, as long as it doesn’t become a weekly issue. Other examples of schedule abuse are the following:

  • Asking to leave early multiple days in a week.
  • Asking for Fridays or Mondays off.
  • Switching shifts with people to get shifts that bring higher tips.
  • Avoiding shifts with harder tasks, such as opening and closing times.
  • Cancelling your employee’s shift last minute.
  • Making the schedule a day in advance.
  • Updating the schedule too frequently with no warning or without giving employees enough time to plan ahead.

Identifying schedule abuse is possible as long as you have the right employee scheduling software. In addition to that, managers should adhere to what their handbooks state. Most companies include scheduling rules in their handbooks, which is good because it allows employees and managers to look back and make sure that they are not victims of schedule abuse.

Establish a Good Communication Method

It is no secret that communication is important. When it comes to scheduling your employees, it is important to communicate with them 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, they 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 flexible to change. Lastly, you must understand and keep in mind that although a lot of people own a smartphone, about 92% of Americans own one. 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.

Find a Scheduling Software that Works for You

Employee scheduling software makes scheduling easier by allowing you to see the whole week, the hours your business is open, the availability of your employees, and how many hours you can schedule without going over budget. All of this is laid out in a clean, organized, and user-friendly manner. Dominion’s Group Scheduling allows managers to easily create and edit weekly schedules in a fraction of the time it would normally take. Our software can quickly gauge employee availability and fill open shifts with the click of a button. It also allows you to create static schedules, which means that you can have ‘standard’ time slots that you know you will use every week. For example, if you run a cafe and your hours on Monday are 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM, you can split the day into a few shifts and continue to use that same strategy every week. This will make it easier for managers to schedule employees because they don’t have to to figure out what times need to be worked and the shifts will be stored in our software, easily accessible every week.

Once you have your time slots set up and you know how many employees you need for each shift, you can begin scheduling out those employees. Your time and attendance software should allow you to see what employees you have available, letting you simply click and drag an employee's name and place it on the schedule. In Dominion, once you add an employee to a given time slot, you will conveniently see the number of employees needed for that time decrease.

Finally, once you have filled up open shifts and are happy with your schedule, you can save and publish it for employees to access. If you are working with another manager to create a schedule and need approval before publishing, simply save it and you can go back at a later time to publish. Saving a schedule doesn’t make it viewable by employees, only publishing will. Keep in mind that all time and attendance softwares are different, so if you have questions about your software, it is best to contact your provider.

If you are interested in learning more about Dominion’s Time & Attendance software and how it can simplify your scheduling process, request a personalized demo below!