Managers are often caught with the dilemma of how to effectively arrange the schedule of employees. Employee scheduling isn’t as easy as one-two-three. It all depends on the nature of the business or industry as well as the availability of employees, their skill sets, capacity, and workload.
While on-the-spot employee scheduling may work temporarily, this approach, however, would do more harm to the company than good. Like in any endeavor, an organization with a defined employee scheduling approach is more structured and easier to manage as compared to those with none.
In this article, we will outline the correct employee scheduling system that could help managers in their day to day business operations.
Implement a Workforce Management System
It’s no secret: employees are demanding. The human tendency of each employee is to adopt a schedule that is favorable to them and take on a workload that is of lesser burden. Imagine if this is the mindset of all your employees – it will cause tremendous chaos which could result in financial losses.
The chaos which could result in financial losses.
By implementing a workforce management system, this problem could be avoided if not—eliminated. Workforce management ranges from applying a proven internal process within the organization; or implementing a field-tested software that could manage and maximize the performance level of each employee, their competencies and capability to take on a given task.
Consider this; you should not assign a plumber to do electrical work—that is precisely the function of a workforce management system. The employee is evaluated according to his or her capability and is assigned to do a job that is suitable to their skill set. Having a workforce management system, either through a manual process or automated software, increases employee engagement, which in turn could make them happy and contented, given that there’s a sense of fulfillment in what they are doing.
Schedule in advance
Unless you are a start-up with a small workforce, preparing an advanced work or shift schedule of your employees promotes continuity, uniformity, and smooth operation in the company. On the spot work or shift schedule, often creates more tension and frustration among employees.
The unpredictability of the work schedule may lead to frustration. And we all know that frustrated employees may look for something better elsewhere, which could lead to a higher churn rate or employee turnover. If the employee is notified of his work schedule for at least a month or a week in advance, you can expect that he would come to work prepared and motivated.
Advance scheduling benefits both the company and the employee. The former, for smooth operation without any interruption. And the latter, for better planning of other things apart from work which, in most cases, are of equal importance.
Use a staff scheduling tool
In almost every company, the duty to prepare the work schedule of employees belongs to the manager. Planning and preparation of employees’ work schedules could be cumbersome and may take days or even weeks to finalize.
Apart from planning and preparation, the most difficult aspect of staff scheduling is the actual implementation. Normally, the implementation of the work schedule should be consistent with what has been planned. But, often, a lot of things may change during the implementation.
A good example of a worst-case scenario will be if the entire schedule will be affected due to some unforeseen changes that could transpire during the implementation. For instance, the schedule for the entire pay period is already finalized, however, an employee needs to go on leave due to personal matters. With this small change in the schedule, the possibility of revising the entire schedule for the rest of the team may not be remote.
In the past, companies would use calendars and other manual means to keep the employee schedule organized. While it is easy for employees to copy or take note of their schedules, this may have a lot of downsides, which may cause havoc to the company. Furthermore, implementing manual scheduling is never ideal, especially for a large organization. This type of problem can be avoided with the use of an employee scheduling tool.
A staff scheduling tool has several powerful options that could be customized according to the demands and requirements of your company. Below are the major benefits you’ll gain from the use of staff scheduling tool.
A staff scheduling tool will ensure the continuity of business operation by optimizing your resources and prevents unnecessary overtime. The comprehensive feature of the tool can inform you, which employees’ should get overtime assignments and which ones have rendered too many overtime hours. Thus, saving money for the company.
Manual employee scheduling can consume too much time and may not be ideal for a large organization. The comprehensive feature of the tool handles these headaches. Rather than having to revise the schedule every time there’s a change, you’ll have a real-time tool that can be adjusted on your computer or even on your mobile device.
Implement effective absence management
Absence management refers to the implementation of a company’s internal policies, which aims to reduce employee’s nonattendance at work. Effective absence management involves the use of all channels to communicate the policy to the employee. It could be in the form of Human Resource conducting talks to all employees or a manager discussing absence policy during meetings or one-on-one sessions with the concerned employee.
When an employee is hired, he is required to sign an employment contract whereby he is expected to render his service to the company regularly, attend to the assigned work and be punctual in exchange for a salary. This contractual obligation on the part of the employee is often challenged by high absenteeism.
There are a lot of different reasons for an employee’s missing work. Most common are due to sickness, personal errands, family matter, scheduled vacation, or even emergencies. These absences come with a cost. Absence is detrimental to the company as it can lead to loss of revenue.
This could also mean that another employee must cover more work, and it could result in project delays, including unhappy clients. Moreover, the employee who covers the work of an absent colleague is at risk of stress and exhaustion. Even your best employee could feel the pressure and frustration if all they seem to do is cover for their absent colleagues. In short, absence may cause havoc to the company if you are not ready for it.
Below are the pointers to consider in implementing effective absence management:
- Absence policy in an employee’s manual – the company’s absence policy must be threshed out in the employee’s manual. The discussion around the absence policy should be made upfront during the onboarding of the employee. This will ensure that the employee is aware of the policy and the possible repercussions around absenteeism.
- Return to work interviews – ensure that the policy allows you to conduct return to work interview every time an absent employee returns to work. This interview should focus on offering empathy, care, and wellbeing of the employee and not as an avenue to interrogate them.
- Promote the wellbeing of your employee – as part of best practice to reduce employee’s nonattendance at work; you should offer wellbeing benefits to your employees. This could include company-sponsored team building events, subsidized healthcare, gym membership, a short course of healthy living, and so on.
What can you cover with the AMG employee scheduling system?
With the AMG workforce scheduling package, you satisfy all the basic needs of employee management as a manager. Now let pass point by point:
- Arranging schedules with an auto-scheduling or fill shifts with the Best Candidate option.
- Auto-scheduling to pick up the best candidate(s) based on the required qualifications.
- Availability preferences to publish the schedule to help the employees to set the maximum number of hour(s) and day(s) to work.
- Set job requirements to require the employees to pass the specific certification, training, or get the needed skills based on needs.
An effective employee scheduling system is an indispensable DNA of a successful organization. To have an effective employee scheduling system, every manager should implement a workforce management system, arrange the employee schedules in advance, utilize staff scheduling tool, and implement an effective absence management policy.