Employee Scheduling

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The new generation of workforce is demanding extra transparency in work schedules and a better shift experience. 

Whether they are working from the office or offsite, they want to feel in control of their schedules and avoid last-minute hassles. That is why many are paying attention to how their schedules are created, published, and changed over a shift cycle. 

With such intense scrutiny from the workers, facility managers have been left in a pickle. Today, they are bearing the burden of aligning company goals and employee preferences on their shoulders.

If you are one of them, below are seven employee scheduling facts to help you navigate the changing work landscape better.  

7 Facts About Employee Scheduling You Need to Know

After two grueling years of long hours and unstable schedules, workers are lobbying for better shift experience. This has changed the way shifts are scheduled and work is allocated. Here are seven ways how. 

  1. Staffing Availability and Needs Change Every Single Day  

This is no secret, yet few managers think about reviewing current workflows before creating new schedules. 

Regular schedule reviews will help you balance staffing demand and supply. You can avoid understaffing and overstaffing while staying on the budget. And better track employee output, leaves, and preferences. This method of employee scheduling can limit inefficiencies and boost satisfaction. 

Studying the blueprint of old shifts and how they actually went will help you see the gaps in your planning. So, the next time you assign schedules, your employee scheduling process will have fewer blind spots and improved efficiency. 

  1. Unplanned Work Shifts Can Cause Unnecessary Stress

Most workers thrive on consistent and smooth workflows to get the work done. But unexpected changes are common in every industry, and can occur at any time. It could be due to a no-show or last-minute leave of absence. 

In any case, taking up unplanned shifts is usually a frustrating experience for the workers. And in a state of hurry, if you send a barrage of emails and Slack pings to resolve the issue, you can make workers even more stressed. 

Such unpreparedness will make employee scheduling a chore sooner or later. Here is the better approach:

  • Have a standby pool of workers you can call, preferably those who want to work extra hours
  • Use a employee scheduling software so you know which worker is available to swap shifts

This can elevate your scheduling process and ensure workers do not feel wronged or treated unfairly.

  1. Inefficient Employee Scheduling Causes Burn Out

If workers are hogging away weeks on the same tasks, feelings of monotony and frustration are bound to rise. In the worst case scenario, they may feel burned out, start to lose confidence, and switch jobs. 

This is sadly what is happening in the corporate world today (The Great Resignation!), and poor employee scheduling might be the reason why. 

Heard of the saying, out of sight is out of mind? Well, the work schedules of hybrid employees seem to carry the same bias. 

Yes, time sheets and productivity software have helped managers track employee output. But the lack of visibility has led to instances of overtime and unfair workload distribution. And when combined with a tedious leave approval policy, it is only fanning the flames of employee burnout. This is why efficient employee scheduling is the need of the hour. 

  1. Scheduling Shifts in Advance Results in Better Employee Experience 

Planning ahead is the key to effective employee scheduling. You can publish work schedules from a week to 14 days in advance and inform workers of their shifts early on. This will help you set the right expectations with the workers. 

But, at the same time, you should account for last-minute shift changes or leave requests as well. And inform the workers who may need to step in. For managers, such advanced employee scheduling can help kill two birds with a single stone:

  1. It allows you to prepare for both expected and unexpected work beforehand. If there is a sudden influx of business or a worker calling in sick, you will know exactly what to do and who to call as a substitute. 
  1. Employees get a clearer visibility of their work pipeline and expectations. So, they are less likely to feel frustrated even when they are asked to take on a last-minute shift. 
  1. Employee Scheduling is More Effective When Employees are Involved

The lack of transparency in the employee scheduling process is often the number one cause for employee dissatisfaction. On the contrary, involving workers in the scheduling process or explaining your rationale behind a workflow can make them feel more engaged with their roles. 

So, communicate your staffing needs clearly. Allow them to swap or exchange shifts with other workers as per convenience, albeit within set limits. 

By giving schedule flexibility to workers, you can curb conflicts, manage no-shows better, and bring more accountability to the table. This way of employee scheduling can help you engage shift workers better and boost productivity. 

  1. Shift Experience Decides If Employees Stay or Leave

Poor shift experiences are a common cause of employee turnover.  Frequent instances of unplanned work, delayed requests, fewer time offs, and on-call shifts can harbor feelings of unfairness and degrade morale. This is inflexible employee scheduling practice 101. 

At a time when workers worldwide are demanding more flexibility from work, you cannot remain stuck in old ways. These practices can wear workers out and force them to look for another job. 

To add to the misery, many managers are still using inefficient ways of staffing. However, tedious Excel sheets and unreliable pin schedules can cause uncertainty among shift workers. 

For better schedule management, managers should invest in tools like employee scheduling software. Not only can they automate monotonous tasks, but bring enhanced clarity to workflows as well. 

  1. Employee Scheduling Software Works Better Than Manual Scheduling  

Every year, facility managers waste around 140 hours on manual scheduling. But despite the effort, those work schedules are subject to change even at the last moment. Surely, implementing employee scheduling software is a far more efficient way of creating work schedules.  

This is not to say machines work better than humans. But judging by the benefits, they do act as handy tools for the schedulers. 

They can use the solution to:

  • Automate schedule creation based on staffing needs and availability 
  • Track shifts of different employees without getting overwhelmed
  • Predict current and future staffing requirements
  • Document extra shifts, time offs, vacations, and shift swaps

Unlike common misconception, using employee scheduling software does not complicate the process. In fact, it improves employee management with precise data. And helps you stay on the budget while avoiding common bottlenecks. 

Parting Thoughts

At the outset, creating work schedules may seem like a chore. Especially with the added pressure of the pandemic and increased employee expectations. But the solution is just as simple. 

To start off, you can involve workers in the scheduling process and adopt employee scheduling software to boost workflow efficiency. This is the best way to keep your employees engaged, satisfied, and productive in the long run. 

WorkInSync employee scheduling app is simple and user-friendly. It comes with various scheduling features that allows you to manage employee shifts. The workforce management and scheduling tool will make life easier for you. 

You can opt for a demo to learn more about the same.