Employees play a vital role in establishing a company’s success. They can perform even beyond what is expected of them, so long as they are under the right circumstances. Each staff member has his or her own specific duties that affect the business operations but it is the responsibility of the employers to give the necessary support—this includes proper shift or employee scheduling.
In this article, find out more about the importance of shift schedules, the different types, and the best ways to practice them.
What is shift scheduling and why is efficient scheduling important?
Blue collar work can be challenging most times because the demand to deliver is extremely high. Multitasking has even become a requirement because there is prep work, customer relations, and team management that needs to be handled simultaneously, and though we’d like to avoid it, problems come up. All these factors can contribute to the lack of motivation and exhaustion amongst blue collar workers.
That being said, employers are accountable for guiding and supporting the employees in doing their jobs. It is essential for the employees to feel motivated so they can accomplish their tasks efficiently, otherwise, their underperformance can significantly damage the company’s reputation and sales. Fortunately, there are certain ways to provide the necessary support to the staff, including the implementation of a shift schedule.
Empowering employees to have a say in schedules will do so many wonders to the company’s operations. It allows the employees to have more control over their shifts; Instead of feeling enslaved, they might experience more responsibility and growth in managing the time that they render in their jobs.
An hourly worker research report conducted by Shiftboard revealed that 87 percent of hourly employees believe that it is important for them to have control over their work schedule. Additionally, 55 percent expressed their desire to leave their jobs if they are prevented from having any say with their work schedule. Having an organized work routine and schedule affects their attitude and behavior toward fulfilling their duties. For more depth on the subject matter, listed below are the following reasons why shift management is important:
It improves employee productivity
As mentioned above, some workers may experience burnout. If the work schedules are not organized and the employee works continuous shifts, it will lead to exhaustion and ultimately a toxic environment. The best thing to do is to ensure manpower is optimised and employees are not scheduled beyond their regular limits. Furthermore, this helps businesses save on OT costs by ensuring employees are not scheduled beyond regular work hours. It also paves way for other hardworking and goal-oriented employees to expand their skills and prove their capabilities by taking in more shifts, possibly leading to better career development.
It helps manage labor costs
Scheduling employees in blue collar work directly affects the labor costs of the company. To ensure labour costs stay within the monthly labour budget, managers must keep track of scheduled labour hours. By tying projected costs to shifts assigned, this can be easily done. Using a tool that can track time smartly will also help reduce early clock ins, late clock outs, and unnecessary overtimes.
Business owners can effectively manage their labor costs by knowing what they are paying their workers for.
It improves employee availability
Can giving workers more control over their time will lead to increased employee productivity and better employee attendance? It might be difficult to imagine!. However, being too controlling over the employees can also reduce their motivation to work.
Enabling employees to have a choice in the scheduling will increase workplace flexibility and potentiallyt reduces instances of absences. Flexible schedules such as having shift swaps can reinforce better workforce management.
It improves employee retention and satisfaction
The last thing to deal with at the workplace is confusion, or miscommunication. Blue collar work is labour intensive enough, and a messy work schedule can make your staff feel even more confused! When that happens, workers tend to feel dissatisfied with their jobs and end up resigning. Losing workers can mean delaying projects and wasting money that was invested. Instead of having to remove employees, managers can retain employees by helping them create a better schedule that fits their algorithm.
Types of employee scheduling
Fixed Shift Schedule
A fixed shift schedule refers to when the employees have specific work shifts—the routine, time, and days of the week are consistent. Other than the usual holiday or vacation leaves and overtime hours, the schedule is pretty much the same. This is similar to 9-6 office jobs. This is an ideal setup for those who prefer to have a predictable calendar.
Split Shift Schedule
Employees can experience splitting their hours into two or more periods on the same day in this type of employee scheduling. Although split shifts can be as consistent as fixed ones, it is also an ideal choice for those who prefer a more flexible schedule. Those who are juggling other commitments and responsibilities in their everyday life can opt for this type of employee scheduling.
Overtime Shift Schedule
To work overtime means to work for the exceeding number of hours one is expected to render. Sometimes, working overtime is deemed necessary in the blue collar industry especially if there is a higher demand or workload to be done. However, some employers try to avoid permitting overtime too much on their workers due to reasons of getting extra compensation without actually doing extra work. This is an optional choice for those who are in need of more income.
Rotating Shift Schedule
In a rotating shift schedule, employees can change their shifts and maintain balance in the more likeable and less desirable work hours. They can take turns taking the early morning shifts and late-night shifts. This is good in a way that their schedule will not appear mundane and they will learn how to adapt to different types of environments.
On-Call Shift Schedule
While on on-call shifts, employees are not required to be present at the office or workplace. Instead, they are supposed to make themselves available at any given time their presence is needed at work. It ensures that there is someone who can do the job during emergency situations. This type of schedule is pretty common among those working in the medical field, tech, and service industries.
No-schedule shifts allow employees to operate without following a pattern at work. They can be flexible and work as they come, which is usual in the world of freelancers. Clients or customers who take in contractors or part-timers allow them to work on a no-schedule shift to let them accommodate other important matters in their life.
Best practices for employee shift scheduling: How to get started
Determine labor needs
First, you must understand what your labor needs are. Identify the resources that you require to achieve the goal of your operations which could be a specific sales target or a specific labour productivity metric. Items you must know before creating a schedule include:
- considering historical trends (sales trends which correlate to different manpower requirements)
- qualifications of employees
- types of employees required during certain hours
- tools to plan and disseminate schedule information
Scheduling can be quite a heavy task, with most of our clients spending around 2 hours on weekly schedules. With the support of shift scheduling software, you can not only save up to 70% time spent on scheduling, you get to schedule within your labour cost budget, maximise your manpower so nobody works unnecessary OT, manage workers across multiple outlets and best of all, enjoy error-free scheduling with our technology. A time attendance app also helps in tracking the employees’ attendance and rendered time which contributes to the efficiency of shift scheduling.
Assess the resources
After determining what labor resources you need, it is time to assess whether or not these resources are the right match for your objectives and needs. Making the right decision prevents waste of time, effort, and finances. It is best to have a roster planning software like StaffAny so that you can have a more accurate prediction of the resources needed.
Ensure compliance with regulations
By using an auto-scheduling and sales-based scheduling software, managers can ensure that created schedules are complying with the right standards and regulations. Employees who work overtime should be properly compensated. And as for the roles that require certain qualifications, it is up to the higher-ups to guarantee that the assigned staff on duty are certified to do the job. By doing so, it can avoid any problems within the management or worse—the law.
Consider bottom-up scheduling
Consider letting the workers choose the shifts they are available to work in, aka Grab Shift. Arranging shifts for workers is a thing of the past, letting them have part control can improve employee satisfaction and guarantee better performance. However, not every industry applies this policy because it is not always effective.
Have a standby staff
In cases of increasing demand, it is a must to have a pool of standby staff who can make themselves readily available for sudden shifts. This is a good practice of anticipation and preparedness. For businesses with multiple outlets, being able to pull in support staff from other sections can greatly help with manpower optimization especially during high key periods.
Be notified real-time
Having real-time notifications allows businesses to plan an action toward unforeseen circumstances. If any problems or changes pop up with the dynamics in the business operations, management can be informed right away and they can assign employees to tend to the issue immediately. Having an open and transparent employee shift scheduling software allows managers to have real-time visibility of staff availability so they can make adjustments right away.
Make use of accurate systems
To effectively manage employees’ schedules, turn to employee scheduling software. The advancement of digital modernization allowed big and small businesses to improve their operations, and that includes monitoring the schedule of employees. Smart attendance mobile apps like StaffAny prevent employees from clocking in and out outside of their scheduled hours will be helpful. Using an employee auto-scheduling app, managers can easily create sales-based scheduling, accommodate shift trade requests, and have real-time visibility on employee attendance using a time-tracking feature. Scheduling software is nearly the same as a time clock, but it has more extensive features and has an incredibly user-friendly interface. There’s more you can do with less hassle, that way managers and business owners can save time, effort, and money.
What you’ve learned so far
By understanding the importance of employee scheduling, it will allow businesses to prosper and reach greater heights! It is important to keep in mind the best ways to practice it because understanding should be partnered with proper execution. Scheduling might appear simple but its impact on a business remains huge. Manpower optimization, labour costs, and employee happiness are just some of the factors that affect your day-to-day operations. It’s important to have a tool that works for you and your employees so you can avoid stressful situations and free up time for more important matters in your business.
Navigate through StaffAny’s website and start learning more about how this tool can improve your team’s performance and your company’s day-to-day operations.