12 Tips for Creating Employee Schedules Your Team Will Love
Developing a positive workplace culture should be a top priority whether you employ seasonal, hourly or full-time employees. Therefore, effective employee scheduling is a key skill that managers & supervisors should master. Having unorganized scheduling also causes frustration amongst employees, which could lead to high turnover rates.
To ensure that you create employee schedules your team will love, the following basics need to be covered:
- Every shift must have the adequate number of employees.
- Peak times and special occasions should be considered.
- Schedules must be 100% accurate and error-free.
According to a survey, managers stated that they spent around a quarter of their time scheduling their employees. Given the time and the complexities involved in conventional employee scheduling, it’s no wonder that errors are so common.
The 12 tips below will help you to avoid the most common scheduling mistakes while creating schedules that your team will love.
1. Take the time to understand your team
This tip not only applies to scheduling but to your business in general. Understanding your team’s needs and motivations will help you make informed decisions in relation to scheduling. Knowledge of your team members’ strengths and developmental areas will allow you to schedule employees with complementary personality types and skill sets. If you have a large team or multiple locations, you will need an efficient way of making notes about your employees.
Using Deputy to schedule your staff provides the additional benefit of including essential information, like qualifications and education level, when you add a new employee. If you want to add more general information, you can edit your staff’s profile to include further details. Deputy’s employees’ profile feature helps you to record the information that will help you to know and understand your employees better.
2. Consider your best employees
Whether you choose to have informal or formal performance reviews, you should have a proven method of identifying your best employees. Customer service, teamwork and communication skills are some of the traits that will help your employees to stand out. You can use a list of your best employees to build your shift. For instance, if you operate a boutique hotel, your most efficient team members can be given more shifts during busy holiday seasons.
There are clear benefits to identifying the best performers and creating shifts around them. However, it can be a challenge to find the time and a reliable way to accurately record your employees’ performance. This is where Deputy’s performance management functionality comes in. Using Deputy’s mobile app, you can make notes about employees’ performance from anywhere. For example, if you own a coffee shop, you can make notes about how your baristas are making and serving drinks in real-time. Our performance management feature also helps you:
- Get a snapshot of your team’s performance – You can build customized reports for a summary of how your team is performing.
- Personalize employee ratings – Make your employee performance more efficient, by adding a comment or a rating directly to timesheets when you approve them.
- Identify training needs – You can quickly see who needs help and provide the relevant training.
Click on the button below to see first hand how Deputy will work to optimize your employee scheduling and to understand why Deputy was the highest rated workforce management platform by G2 Crowd.
Your team needs to be able to access their schedules anytime and anywhere. Providing paper copies of schedules can be inefficient and bad for the environment. As most of your employees will have a mobile phone, their schedules should be available via this device. Deputy’s app is available on iOS and Android. Therefore, it’s simple for your employees to view their schedules wherever they are.
Read the reviews of Deputy’s app from satisfied employees (who always remember their shifts now!).
4. Create schedules ahead of time
Last-minute scheduling not only puts additional pressure on hiring managers but it may cause anxiety for your employees. If you’re a retailer, a fast food restaurant owner or operate a business in the hospitality industry, you may have a duty to schedule shifts in advance. Predictive scheduling laws dictate that some employers must provide their employees with their schedules in advance. If your business is affected by predictive scheduling legislation, use Deputy to become (and remain) compliant with these laws. Even when your business isn’t affected by predictive scheduling laws, you should still create your schedules in advance. Your team will love the fact that they’re able to plan their personal lives more successfully because of the advance notice.
5. Prioritize team communication
It’s a given that different issues will come up when dealing with your employees’ shifts. How changes and issues are communicated can have a big impact on your business. You should find it just as easy to communicate with one of your employees as you do with your whole team. Ideally, emails and instant messaging should be avoided as messages can get lost and conversation threads can become confusing. Your team members should be provided with the tools to communicate effectively with you and amongst themselves.
Deputy’s Newsfeed is our collaboration feature that makes it easy and simple to keep in touch on a one-on-one or team basis. Deputy’s Newsfeed is a collaboration portal that removes the need for using different types of platforms to communicate with your team. The attachment feature allows you to send documents with ease. You also have the option to get a read receipt when your employee opens a document. Whether you’re communicating with employees in one location or multiple areas, your team will be aware that you have messaged them because they will receive a push notification or an email.
6. List and allocate tasks
Being fully staffed is only one aspect of effective scheduling. Employees need to be aware of their allocated tasks in order for your business to run smoothly. For example, you can make a list of tasks that should be done when replenishing inventory in your bar. Making a list of tasks is also useful when running events. If you operate a non-profit, it’s likely that you’ll use volunteers to help out during special events. Coordinating volunteers becomes easier if everyone has a clear idea of what’s expected of them and when.
Deputy’s My Task feature helps you and your team to assign tasks for easier workload management. You can keep track of the status of different tasks, as well as identify mandatory tasks. We have also provided industry best-practice templates so you can choose the format that’s best for your business. With My Task, you can choose to create one-off or recurring tasks. You will also get real-time updates of when tasks are done. This gives you the peace of mind that things are being done the right way when you’re away from your business.
7. Take into account availability
Your team should find it easy to let you know when they’re available. Allow your employees to state their preferences for the hours they want to work. You will need to stress that it may not always be possible to schedule according to your employees’ needs. However, it’s important that you do your best to fit their preferences.
8. Create schedules according to skill set
Although you can create schedules based on your best employees in relation to performance, there may be times when you need specific skills for different shifts. For example, you may need qualified first-aiders to work at a particular event. Deputy gives you the option to schedule employees according to their skills. You’re able to track your employees’ skill set and create a schedule to account for these skills.
Your team will love the use of skill set as a basis for scheduling because employees without the necessary skills will not feel overwhelmed by the work they are doing. Additionally, the employees with the necessary skills will feel that their qualification or experience is being recognized when given work that fits their needs.
9. Give employees more autonomy
There may be times when employees have to call in because they’re unable to attend work. Empowering your employees to swap shifts themselves removes additional work for your managers and also shows your employees that you trust them. Instead of using the traditional telephone call to report an absence, your employees can message you through Deputy, which works to facilitate your workplace communication.
Your absent employee will have the responsibility of filling their shift. As with everything in the workplace, shift-swapping should be subject to guidelines and regulations. Using Deputy’s Shift-Swapping feature, you can set the parameters of swapping shifts and specific criteria like pay scale and skill level can be selected. In order to protect your bottom line, Deputy provides you with a notification if a shift swap will cause an employee to trigger overtime pay. You can then approve or reject this request. Furthermore, you also have the option to require that all shift swaps are pre-approved by a designated manager.
10. Make every attempt to accommodate requests for leave
Just like taking your teams’ shift pattern preferences into account will have a positive effect, carefully considering leave requests will also have a positive impact on the employer and employee relationship. Before your employees start to request time off, they should be familiar with your leave policy. This policy should include details about how much leave employees are entitled to, including the seasons where leave will be limited. Scheduling your employees’ time off manually or using Excel spreadsheets can lead to mistakes and also takes up a great deal of valuable time.
With Deputy, you can manage your team’s leave requests with ease. We provide the functionality to manage every stage in the leave cycle. Your team can ask for leave and you can approve the request through Deputy. To save you the time of trying to find staff to cover shifts, you can backfill the shifts of your employees who have taken leave.
11. Create accurate schedules quickly
Your team will always want to receive their schedules as quickly as possible in order to arrange their lives outside of work. Ideally, your team will receive timely schedules that are also accurate. Rushing through schedules can result in errors and your team losing confidence in your ability to schedule them properly.
If you are looking for a hands-off and accurate way to create employee schedules that your team will love, consider using Deputy’s Auto-Scheduling feature. Our auto-scheduling uses artificial intelligence (AI), which studies your past data like foot traffic, bookings, sales, etc. that’s been gathered from your business to predict how many employees you’ll need at different times so you never have to worry about over or understaffing and can save on labor costs.
12. Utilize the best tools
The tools you use to schedule your staff will largely determine the amount of time you spend on this activity and will have a large impact on the accuracy of your team’s schedules. Keep your team happy by using Deputy for your scheduling needs.
Use the latest technology to streamline your scheduling process. Deputy gives you all the functionality you need to create quick and accurate schedules every time. Our features not only create schedules that your team will love, they also save you money as you spend less on labor costs.
Deputy is trusted by more than 90,000 business including Nike, Amazon, and McDonalds. Whatever the size of your business, Deputy has the functionality to help you schedule staff simply and efficiently.
Click on the button below to start your free trial and to see for yourself how Deputy can help strengthen your business.
The information contained in this article is general in nature and you should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs. Legal and other matters referred to in this article are of a general nature only and are based on Deputy's interpretation of laws existing at the time and should not be relied on in place of professional advice. Deputy is not responsible for the content of any site owned by a third party that may be linked to this article and no warranty is made by us concerning the suitability, accuracy or timeliness of the content of any site that may be linked to this article. Deputy disclaims all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded) for any error, inaccuracy, or omission from the information contained in this article and any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.