Employee scheduling is an imperative process for any business if you offer project-based services on an hourly rate basis in multiple shifts. It can be very complex to deal with multiple employees working out of several locations or geographies, and at different times. And if not managed efficiently, it can have a negative effect on the productivity and profitability of your business. That is why it is very important to streamline your employee scheduling and management process right from the beginning. Let’s take a look at 10 best practices for efficient employee scheduling that will speed up the resource scheduling process and enable you to focus on more strategic and crucial tasks.
Top 10 Best Practices for Employee Scheduling
- Determine the exact staffing requirement
It is important to understand your organization’s operations and processes well to be able to create employee schedules effectively. The first step is to identify and understand the employees needed to complete your operational objectives. This includes listing the types of skill sets needed This includes listing the types of skill sets needed in the team and then how many employees in each role are needed. Further, you will also need to plan all the various services and all the tasks to be completed by each role and location and role to then finalize the number of personnel needed people required in each shift duration. This form of kind of detailed planning will ensure that you have a sufficient workforce to complete the work.
- Check resource availability
Before doing employee scheduling, the most important thing to remember is to check your team’s availability for the upcoming few weeks and months. AI-enabled employee scheduling app like eResource Scheduler makes it very easy to check the availability of employees who may be based in different locations. It also shows details such as what are they currently working on, their leave plan, and if they are over-booked and not available at all. Therefore, managing resource availability first helps you to make faster and well-thought-of decisions while doing employee scheduling.
- Know your resources well
An efficient schedule not only considers the company’s goals but also should work well for your workforce. To manage employee scheduling like that, you should be aware of the shift availability and also consider their competencies and interests. Employee scheduling issues can be avoided to a large extent if you keep in mind the preferences and skill sets of people. Though this may not be always possible, consider the best practice to schedule resources as per their preferred shifts and tasks. Though this kind of coordination may seem too confusing and cumbersome, there are various employee scheduling software available that help in streamlining the process. If you implement the right employee scheduling app, you can create schedules automatically while considering all these parameters in just a few simple steps.
- Dig into the historical data to forecast for the near future
Taking in lessons from previous projects always helps. The same applies to employee scheduling as well. If you have a similar project to what you may have done earlier, take a look at the employee scheduling plan that was made previously, what were the issues faced, and the solutions that were implemented. It is also important to analyze the peaks and lows that come with seasonal schedules. For instance, many businesses get more work during some seasons and face a lean time in other months. It is important to keep such seasonal demands and busy months in mind before you plan for an employee schedule. For global employee scheduling, cloud-based employee scheduling software is the best bet as it makes the staff scheduling process a breeze.
- Create schedules for at least a couple of weeks in advance
Doing employee scheduling is quite a time-consuming activity, thus it is best to manage it in sprints where you can allocate a specific time every two weeks to work on the upcoming schedules. An employee scheduling app can enable creating employee schedules for a minimum of two weeks in advance. Such a resource management tool even enables you to change or alter a schedule before you post it finally.
- Be compliant with labor laws and scheduling rules
It is important to make sure that you do not distribute the workload to employees in an imbalanced manner. If some resources are working longer shifts than others, then you won’t be complying with labor laws and guidelines made by trade unions. It is also important that your staff members are properly trained and certified as per the compliance guidelines so that their competency is aligned with the job or project they are doing.
- Implement an effective communication system
How can a team operate efficiently if they are working remotely and based out of different locations? You will definitely require an effective tool or solution for communicating and coordinating work with each other. In addition, it is also important to ensure that all your team members are on the same page and are aware of the business and organizational updates, and what’s going on in different projects. An employee scheduling software displays resource availability, utilization, and all needed data to create effective schedules. Such a tool also becomes a central repository of entire important information, and you can share documents, important files, etc. through it. If you’re thinking of implementing an employee scheduling app, then it would be an added advantage to choose one that also has a time-tracking feature.
- Be innovative
You may end up making a robust schedule, but there still can be unexpected issues that can crop up. TO deal with such unexpected issues, it is important to be innovative and creative and try new solutions. If you face some new issues that you’ve never faced before, it’s good to not be scared to test some innovative scheduling solutions. For example, if hiring full-time employees is seeming expensive, try scheduling freelancers or part-time staff. Or if you have some employees who are fine with working double or longer shifts, you can get approval for overtime or a bonus and go ahead with it. This way, you need to think out of the box and tackle coverage issues.
- Implement policies for time-off requests
If some staff members need to apply for their time off, they need to submit a request at least a couple of weeks in advance. This is a norm in most organizations as it enables the collecting availability data. Many employee scheduling apps have dashboards that help the employees to be accountable for their time-off request submissions. The tool also helps to categorize time-off requests into approved or denied.
- Implement a leading tool
To create a schedule, you should evaluate when the peak and low seasons of your business to gauge when there will be the highest volume of projects coming in. This will help you to assess your employee availability and other key factors, and then plan and create the schedule. This can be tough to do on a weekly and monthly basis. But the good news is that technology has advanced a lot and there are many tools available these days that can enable you to create efficient schedules. You can do away the Excel spreadsheets that are manual, tedious, and error-prone. Employee scheduling apps have features that help you to restructure and automate the end-to-end scheduling process.
Resolve Your Employee Scheduling Challenges with Top-Rated Employee Scheduling Software – eResource Scheduler
If you wish to avoid any incorrect or inefficient employee schedules, project delays, over-booking, incorrect hiring, or unhappy customers, then implement the award-winning employee scheduling app, eResource Scheduler. Streamline your employee scheduling, project and resource management, and many other processes with this AI-enabled tool. You can manage precise staffing, allocate work in a balanced manner, and get the most suitable and best-fit employees for various projects. eResource Scheduler offers real-time visibility into all projects and resources in an organization. You can also check the status of projects and raise the resource utilization anywhere from 18 to 30%. This tool also helps you with load leveling across various resources and doing perfect scheduling estimations with the help of previous actuals. So, to create a flawless employee schedule, try out a free trial of eResource Scheduler.