About 70% of businesses have employees that work on unset schedules. Depending on how many employees you have; it gives the manager a huge burden to make sure he/she gets everything right. One of the biggest challenges is trying to juggle the different restrictions, time off requests, holidays, preferences, training days, vacation, personal days, sick, short staffed, etc. into the schedule and making sure they fit everybody. Before we go into how to create an employee schedule efficiently and fairly stress-free; I must, of course, shout out my software that can take care of all this for you. =) Check out Fendza scheduling software and see what it can offer you.
Now let’s get into it… first grab a sheet of scribble paper; preferably one that has a week or month format already. Or you can download and print these that we quickly made for you; by Week or by Month. (you’ll need Microsoft Excel or Google Docs <--Free)
Your most basic foundation is the operating times and shift hours of the business. Make sure to include any special hours that are needed for the week or month for holidays, etc. Now you have to have to lightly right down the range of time for the shifts somewhere by the day or week. You’ll also want to include any number that is needed for a “minimum” amount of employee per shift.
Now you have to jot down all the positions and departments that need to be there on certain days. You’ll also want to jot down the minimum amount of employee(s) that is needed for each position or department for that particular day.
We have to now start incorporating requests, and preferences of work hours, availability, etc. The very first that takes priority is approved requests. These can include anything a manager has already given the okay and approval for vacation days, sick day, personal day, comp. day, etc. So grab all those sticky notes you have of different requests that’s come in and go ahead and jot down on the day where they apply. Also include any training days or other things that will not make an employee available and cannot cancel to shift them around later. These restrictions listed on this step are fairly concrete.
Next on the priority level is employee availability; these include any days that an employee cannot absolutely work. Most times, employees will let their managers know before hand about obligations they have where they need days off with no room or possibility on scheduling this shift for them if you have to.
The least important and final icing to the cake is preferences each employee may have. Preferences are hours that they would like to have off if available, but if not, they can work it.
<< For steps, 3 through 5: go ahead and jot these lightly down by the days so you don't forget. >>
We are going to start filling in the schedule now. Take your list of employees and begin taking each and plug them in. Keep in mind the notes that you scratched down, try not to plug any employee in that doesn’t fit. Hint: also keep in mind while filling each employee in if they are part-time or full-time; if you are slightly over, you can tinker in step 7. Once you’re done with filling these in..
We are going to review the schedule and make sure all shifts, positions, and departments that are needed to be filled are plugged in. If not, see if any of them are preferences by employees (remember, these are not mandatory off days like approved requests and availability), then juggle around. The schedule should be adequate now; if not, it may be you don’t have enough employees and hours, and will need to put some in overtime. Note: Fendza will do steps 1 thru 7 week in and week out automatically for you. Just saying.. =)
Now take setup the times each one needs breaks. This is usually easy to do with keeping in mind how many positions or departments are needed during each break time. Breaks can also be changed quite spontaneously on that day if needed.
There you are ALL DONE! Hope that helped, you can print this off and use it every time. If you know some other managers that could use this, feel free to share or post it on your website.
Are there other things that you do that would help? Want to add more tips? Comment below and I’ll add your tips into the article..