Employee Schedule: The Ultimate Guide for Managers in 2018

Three steps to help you turn your work schedule into a powerful business tool for attracting, engaging, and retaining employees.

Building your employee schedule is not easy. But, your work schedule is a core function of your operations. It’s important to make the best shift schedule possible. This guide will not offer quick-fix templates, or just promote a scheduling software tool that promises to solve all your problems. This guide provides three steps to transform scheduling into a driver of growth for your business.

Two Employee Scheduling Paradigms

If we’ve learned one thing during our seven years of building scheduling software, it’s this: managers do not look forward to creating the schedule.

And, we totally get it.

As managers, you spend hours of your week creating and refining the employee schedule. Every. Single. Week.

It’s really tough to find the right place to land on the paradigm between building an employee work schedule that is operationally focused, versus relationally focused.

Some managers take an objective operational approach to scheduling. Some favor a more relational approach that favors people over profits.

Maybe you’ve experienced this struggle for years? Maybe you’re sitting down to create your first schedule, alone in your office, staring at a blank excel employee scheduling template waiting for inspiration? It can be very intimidating when you’re just getting started. Where do you start?

You have to balance the needs of the business with the needs of your people. It seems like compromise is inherent in the process. It’s never perfect. Something always needs to be changed. Someone is always disappointed. Work life balance becomes a pipe dream. It can feel like the entire sentiment of your team hinges on the reception of your latest work known as “the schedule.”

Employee retention is at stake. Money is at stake. Your reputation is at stake. Errors on the schedule can harm customer experience, operational efficiency, and outcomes for the business that directly impact your bottom line.

So, what’s the best way to approach creating your employee schedule? Operational or relational?

This guide will help you make this decision and give you some useful employee scheduling tips. But, first let’s look at the basic difference between these two approaches.

Operational Scheduling vs. Relational Scheduling

Operational Scheduling The extreme side of operational scheduling is focused solely on the bottom line. It’s an objective approach that does not consider the human side of scheduling. It puts short-term gains before long-term success. Work life balance is not a decision factor. This is a live to work, not work to live mentality. Employees are looked at as a means to an end for your business, a resource.

Relational Scheduling On the opposite end of the paradigm, you have a radical relational schedule. This approach puts the human side of scheduling in the forefront when making decisions. The bottom line can suffer because of a heavy bias towards people over profits. Work life balance is paramount, so much so that your customer experience might even suffer because you give too much attention to allowing your employees extreme flexibility.

Is there something in the middle? Yes! Most schedules fall somewhere along the paradigm.

The question is: where does your schedule fall now? And, where should it fall to make your schedule the best it can be?

After reading this guide, you will know how to apply three steps in order to find the right balance and create the best schedule for your business and your team.

Ready to transform your schedule into a critical tool in helping you and your team protect your time, operate a successful business, promote work life balance, and invest in your people? Let’s go!

After learning about and applying the steps in this guide, you will:

  • Have a thorough understanding of why scheduling feels the way it does right now for you and your employees, and how to fix it.
  • Employ happier employees.
  • Have the mindset necessary to turn your schedule into a tool that drives growth for your business.
  • Have practical steps to make awesome schedules that you and your employees will love.
  • Save costs. It turns out happier employees actually cut costs more than any other labor- management tactics.
  • Save more time. We’ll show you how to make scheduling 75% faster.
  • Know which employee scheduling tool and technology to leverage related to scheduling and why.
  • Be less stressed out, worried, and flat out disgusted by your scheduling duties.

Employee Schedule: The Ultimate Guide for Managers in 2018

Three steps to help you turn your work schedule into a powerful business tool for attracting, engaging, and retaining employees.

Need more time to read this guide?

No problem! Let us send you the to-go PDF version of this guide. You can read it when you have some spare time.

Three Steps, Three Shifts

You won’t find any silver bullets here. Nor will you find a magical tool promised to fix everything. In order to fix the scheduling experience, you will have to fix the way you think about the schedule (and your employees). It’s a mindset.

Gallup reports that 53% of employees say greater work-life balance and better personal well-being is “very important” to them.

Okay, now that we’ve covered how the current way of thinking about the schedule can be improved, and why it matters, let’s take a look at how scheduling can be transformed into a tool for growth for your business. Here are the three shifts in thinking successful managers make in order to make this change and become expert managers of people instead of employees.

Step 1: Focus On Your People

To become great at scheduling, you need to know and understand your team. Why? Because scheduling is primarily about people–creating the best environment for your team to flourish. Knowing your employees’ preferences about when they work and what tasks they work on will help you build the perfect schedule and get the best performance from your team. Do not allow your schedule to be separated from the PEOPLE it is supposed to empower to do great work. This step begins with one foundational requirement: You must care about your employees and their lives outside of work, and strive to know them as people.

Your schedule is a tool to attract and retain talent.

Work is not life. Humans are not resources. If you can nail this, you will be miles ahead of most other scheduling managers. Too often the schedule is viewed only as a tool for controlling resources. Think of the schedule as a tool to attract and retain the people you need for your business. You and your employees should work to live, not live to work.

Focusing on your people will help you get away from the short-term dollars and resources mentality, and more towards real change that will have big impacts on the long-term success of your business. Treating your team like people boosts intrinsic motivation, leading them to be more productive on your company’s behalf.

Do you find it easy to find talent? Wish it was easier? Recruiting is one reason why this shift makes a lot of sense. It’s a lot easier to attract talent when employees help you recruit because they love working there. Your schedule can be a tool for your business that will boost recruitment, improve retention, create happier employees, better products, better experiences, and happier customers.

Create and leverage a roster.

One of the best ways to make this a conscious and organized effort is to create and maintain an employee roster. Be sure to include the typical employee info like name, number, relevant skills, certifications/training, FT/PT status, overtime restrictions, availability, etc.. But, we recommend going a little beyond this by having a special notes section that is where you put notes about them as a person. What’s their personality like? What are their goals and dreams? What do they care deeply about? What do they do for fun?

Discover what motivates and inspires your people.

The best way to discover what motivates and inspires your employees is to ask them. Even the process of asking them will dramatically improve your employee engagement because it will show them that you care. Once you’ve found this out, consider how you can make their schedule support this. Sometimes this isn’t obvious. If it’s not, you can ask them directly if they can think of ways the schedule might support their dreams and keep them motivated. Connecting scheduling to what motivates and inspires them will make them feel like there’s purpose behind the schedule you create for them and provide tangible evidence that you care about them as people.

Protect and encourage work life balance.

Some people like to have something called a social life or family life. We hope you’re one of them!? Most of your employees are probably these people, too. We all have financial needs that need to be met. But, work should not be life. For anyone.

Identify work life balance as a value and make it known to your employees. This is good for your people and good for business. Tell your employees it is a priority that you all can protect using the schedule. This will make your employees feel more comfortable to make decisions related to the schedule that will promote their own work life balance. This creates happier employees and less burnout. Make sure you give your employees time for physical rest away from work. Work life balance is one of the most desirable working conditions that hourly employees seek. It will do wonders for your recruiting and retention.

Create schedule policies to support your values and share them with your team. Here is a list of things to consider while creating your policies:

  • Establish basic shift rules. Will you allow someone to close and then open the next morning? Close three nights in a row? Always open? Always close? Do you require a certain ratio?
  • Have a policy not to assign overtime to emphasize work life balance.
  • Create a shift claiming process where employees aren’t pressured into working more than they want to.
  • Set a minimum number of weeks advance notice that you give your employees after the schedule is published.

Don’t waste the onboarding process.

The onboarding process of a new employees is your second chance to make a great first impression. Retention starts before day one. Before your new employee shows up for their first shift/training, you should have their day well planned to make sure it’s a good experience. Check out this onboarding guide for more great tips on building your own program.

Make onboarding a getting to know you process. Take the time to really get to know what they care about outside of work. The relationship you start with that employee on this first day will become one of the strongest retention tools in your toolbelt. It’s what will make you “sticky” for good talent. It’s much easier to leave a company where you have no strong ties. We recommend creating some basic checklists for onboarding to make sure nothing is neglected and to help you stay compliant.

Make the schedule a part of their onboarding training. If you use scheduling software, make sure the employee joins your team and gets the app installed on their phone. Show them the ropes. Highlight any training videos or employee guides for using your software. Teach them how you approach the schedule and your mindset about it. Demonstrate the importance they must also put on it in order to be happy at your company.

Consider their financial needs.

Some of your employees might require a certain number of hours to make ends meet. This has a big impact on their emotional and physical well-being. Try your hardest to understand and match these needs to your schedule and resource planning.

Create a fair and level playing field.

Does Johnny always get the “best” shifts? Is Miranda always feeling shafted? Consider how you will make the schedule fair in how you distribute the highly desired shifts, and the not-so-hot shifts. Define qualifications and training requirements of your positions. Make sure these rules and policies are known to the entire team and follow them. Considering things like training, certifications, seniority, overtime, part time/full time, locations, etc.

Employee Schedule: The Ultimate Guide for Managers in 2018

Three steps to help you turn your work schedule into a powerful business tool for attracting, engaging, and retaining employees.

Need more time to read this guide?

No problem! Let us send you the to-go PDF version of this guide. You can read it when you have some spare time.

Step 2: Establish a Single Source of Truth

Communication is important for any business. It is absolutely critical for creating the best schedule possible. After the schedule is created, you must be able to effectively communicate the schedule to all your employees. A no-show or being understaffed during a rush time can be very damaging to your company’s reputation, your bottom line, and employee morale. The best way to prevent communication breakdowns is to create a central hub for everything related to the schedule.

Collect all scheduling information in one central hub.

Make it crystal clear that there will only be ONE place where you and your team will collect and track information and communication related to the schedule. It will be the one source of truth for everything related to the schedule.

When it comes to gathering information that informs your schedule from your employees, being able to direct towards one central hub will make your life and their life so much easier. No matter what the question, request, or update is related to, you will be able to point them to the same spot, every time.

Need to update your availability? Request vacation? View the schedule? View last week’s schedule? Go to the one place. Build the schedule in this place. Post it in this place. Make updates and changes in this place. Communicate it in this place. Everything in one central place.

Empower collaboration and real-time access.

Work everywhere is shifting from being done in a silo to being done collaboratively and in real-time. Lower barriers of entry to cloud technology and smart devices are driving this revolution forward. It has changed how information is accessed and democratized.

The schedule is core to the operation of your business. Ensuring that it is easy to access and and always available is extremely important. Leveraging the latest cloud technologies allows you to do this.

Millennials in the workplace have been vocal and are actively driving these changes. Maybe you have a lot of millennials working for you? Maybe not? One thing is for sure, no matter who you have working for you, they probably use a smart device as their primary way of communicating with anyone.

Make sure you consider the pervasiveness of these smart devices in our world today as you decide where to have your one communication hub live. Ensuring it is somewhere that each of your employees has access to on the go empowers them to make sure your schedule process is dynamic, real-time, and constantly improving.

Avoid having your hub live somewhere that is not easy to access. For example, a wall of sticky notes in your breakroom is not easy to access. You have to be physically present. Even an email inbox is not ideal since the entire team cannot see all the emails being sent or received about the schedule. Also avoid having the hub somewhere that is difficult to organize and search to allow you and your team to find the conversations they need to quickly and easily.

Communicate during the entire scheduling process.

When thinking about your central hub, think about how this will support communication during the entire scheduling process. Too often communicating the schedule is looked at as a separate challenge to deal with after the schedule is complete, instead of something that is part of the process the entire time.

When selecting a place for your hub to live, consider how it is going to support communication during the entire scheduling process. How will it handle things like:

  • Time off requests
  • Availability updates prior to you sitting down to create the schedule
  • Feedback on how last week’s schedule went
  • Who’s on vacation this week
  • Who has important life-outside-of-work events happening
  • Communicating the upcoming schedule
  • Communicating changes to the published schedule
  • Shift swapping
  • Available shifts to be claimed

Maybe just reading through that list makes your palms sweat?

“Did you not see my note on your desk?” “Did you get my email about next Monday?” “Did you get my text about swapping shifts with Matt on Tuesday?”

You’ve probably experienced the headache of trying to find all of these pieces of conversations spread out across many different channels (including napkins and notes on receipt paper). It can make your head spin. Establish a hub. Keep it organized. Require that all of this happens in that one spot.

Setup a notification platform to keep everyone in the loop.

Storing all of your scheduling information in one location is only half the battle. The other half is making sure that everyone knows when new schedules are posted and changes to the current schedule are made. You should not expect your team to constantly be checking. Instead, they should be getting notified so they know when to check.

You should consider setting up notifications and reminders for your employees for events like:

  • A new schedule published
  • Your shift is starting soon
  • There are open shifts you can claim
  • Another employee wants to swap a shift with you
  • Your availability or time off request has been approved/denied

These notifications and reminders can be sms text messages, emails, or even push notifications on their personal devices. This all depends on the features of the tool your company is using to establish this communication hub. Make sure you consider your options here before selecting a home for your hub.

Consider using employee scheduling software.

Perhaps up to this point you’ve been wondering if your trusty excel scheduling sheet, or your whiteboard, or your google calendar can take your schedule where it needs to go. We’ve seen some awesome excel templates, the coolest whiteboards, some genius Google calendar hacks, and even some who hack other to-do or project management apps to create some great schedules.

Maybe you’re wondering if switching to software designed for scheduling like a shift scheduling app is worth the switch? The answer is a resounding yes. It’s worth making the switch to an employee scheduling app. For the reasons we’ve already discussed and for many more that we have yet to cover in this guide, we highly recommend you consider ditching your excel spreadsheet, your printed schedule, or your whiteboard.

It’s 2018. There are some incredibly powerful tools out there. The cost is nominal compared to the impact they will have on your scheduling experience. Do your research and seek out which employee scheduling software matches up with your scheduling approach and process.

Finding the right employee scheduling solution can be daunting if you don’t know what you need. Here are some key features we recommend looking for:

  • Fast and simple schedule building capabilities
  • Overtime and wage calculation on the schedule
  • Availability and time off tracking with manager approval options
  • Shift swapping with manager approval options
  • A discussion platform for everything related to shifts, changes, requests, etc.
  • Built in notifications for email, push, text etc. (both automatic and manual options)
  • Automatic shift reminders for employees and managers
  • Mobile apps for both iOS and Android that are FREE for your employees

Technology can be effectively used to motivate employees by providing them with an easier, streamlined way to work and go about their day.

Just remember one thing. Mobile. You don’t need us to tell you, you already know all your employees are on their devices constantly, while at work and at home. Roughly three-quarters of Americans (77%) now own a smartphone

Scheduling software will free up your time and streamline the entire process. It allows everyone in your company access to a user-friendly system that keeps things organized. Scheduling software lets you make changes on the fly and from anywhere. It ensures your employees are on top of their schedules with notifications and the ability to login to the system from their phone, tablet or computer.

Make everyone accountable and leverage historical data.

Too often, availability, time off requests, PTO, and vacation are looked at and tracked in a separate process. This adds unnecessary complexity to the scheduling process. Accountability is lost when your team can drop you a message in any way shape or form and there is no record of it.

Accountability is improved when it’s clear your team is responsible for keeping their own availability and requests up to date. All these requests are trackable. As availability is updated the schedule can be adjusted in real-time. This takes accountability off of you and puts it on the entire team. Your source of truth is what you all answer to. Not an individual who creates the schedule.

Having all your historical scheduling data in one central hub also helps with things like:

  • Compliance risk assessment
  • Creating better schedules based on historical data
  • Having records to back up disputes regarding when employees did or did not work
  • Comparing schedule performance with sales performance
  • Resource planning for future schedules to help align needs with budget goals

Employee Schedule: The Ultimate Guide for Managers in 2018

Three steps to help you turn your work schedule into a powerful business tool for attracting, engaging, and retaining employees.

Need more time to read this guide?

No problem! Let us send you the to-go PDF version of this guide. You can read it when you have some spare time.

Step 3: Build Your Employee Schedule Collectively

Don’t allow the scheduling duties to fall on one person.

When your employee work schedule duties fall solely on the shoulders of one person of authority, the schedule inherits a role of authority and dictation. This strains the relationship between manager and employee. It also impacts employees’ sentiment towards the schedule. The schedule happens to them, they have no hand in it.

The responsibility of making a schedule that everyone is happy with should fall on everyone. Not just one person. Think of creating the schedule as a collective and shared task amongst your entire team. This changes the name of the game. If you win, you win together. If you lose, you lose together. “Winning” is a great schedule that works for everyone. “Losing” is one of your team members having to make a major work life balance sacrifice for the sake of the schedule.

Okay, you like the idea of the schedule not falling on just one person’s shoulders. But, what does it take to pull this off? How does this actually look? Here are some ideas to help you with this step.

Two is better than one.

At the very least make two managers primarily responsible instead of just one. This is an instant way to make a huge difference. If you don’t have another manager to share these duties, select an experienced or trusted employee instead.

At the very best, you will have to find tools and processes to put in place in order to make the entire team responsible.

The previous two steps are important precursors before taking this one. Without have a central place for all communication and information to live, collective scheduling is much more difficult.

Provide avenues for direct contribution.

In order to take this step, you will need to find a way to allow each employee to contribute to building the schedule. You will need to empower each employee to have direct control of their schedule when and wherever they want to make changes and adjustments. This means communicating this clearly to your team. Tell them this is the expectation on them. The, give them the ability to communicate about it whenever and wherever they are using technology. Without this ability, your team won’t be able to create a true collective scheduling experience.

Make it clear that you want each of your employees to be happy with their schedule and allow it to work with their lives outside of work, so they can be happier at work. Then, explain how this means it’s up to everyone to make sure their availability is up-to-date and they constantly communicate about.

Your employees should have the ability to update their availability quickly and easily on their own. Simply tell them when the next schedule gets generated. Then, tell them to have their availability updated by that time. Then, when you go into your single source of truth everyone knows that it’s the most current and up-to-date information. If their info is not updated, it’s on them. The entire team takes more responsibility this way. You also have availability info in the same place you’re creating the schedule this way. Having this side-by-side while creating the schedule is a huge speed boost.

Give your team more control.

Consider implementing things like open shifts. Often referred to as shift claiming, self-scheduling, and other terms. Having open shifts as part of your scheduling process is where you allow employees to pick the shifts they can work. You can use this as your primary shift type or blend it with shifts that are pre-assigned and some that are open to claim. You should identify potential issues with this, like needing to make sure all shifts are filled with the most qualified people, or if you need anchor employees assigned to certain shifts. But, if you can swing it, it can free yourself from the chains of the schedule!

Also, consider allowing swaps without requiring manager approval. This isn’t a new concept, but more of a hands-off approach. This is another step towards trusting employees and investing in them instead of trying to rule over them.

Paper based scheduling tools can create roadblocks when trying to make these changes. Policies where your team constantly needs prior approval to make changes or swaps. The goal is to have no bottlenecks in your process, to pave the way for fast, dynamic, team powered, collaborative scheduling. Sometimes there just has to be bottlenecks. It’s the nature of your business. That’s okay. Just remove all you can and move on.

There you have it. Three steps to help you turn your schedule into a powerful tool for your business that will help you attract, engage, and retain your employees.

Employee Schedule: The Ultimate Guide for Managers in 2018

Three steps to help you turn your work schedule into a powerful business tool for attracting, engaging, and retaining employees.

Need more time to read this guide?

No problem! Let us send you the to-go PDF version of this guide. You can read it when you have some spare time.

Bonus Tips & Tricks

Where to Begin?

Start with definitions. Begin by taking a complete and thorough inventory of all your unique scheduling requirements for your business. You need to define the basic scheduling needs and requirements and make a list. You have to start somewhere. Here are some areas to consider as you make your list:

  • Hours of Operation: What are your business hours? Start there, and then consider how many hours/shifts are required before or after your business closes to the general public? Consider these hours as the basis for beginning to create the schedule. You need to have this window of time well defined in order to move forward.
  • Roles and Positions: What are the various roles and positions that you will have to schedule for? Make a complete list.
  • Skills/Experience Required: Once you have all your positions listed, begin to fill in what skills, training, certifications, or experience is required for employees that fill that position.
  • Shift Coverage: Figure out the hours/shifts that need to be covered for each of the roles you defined. Now, take that list and consider the shift coverage for each position/role. How many part time and how many full time employees will you need?
  • Busiest Times: Start with your busiest time, on the busiest day. Take an inventory here and define which days are the busiest and most critical to get right. Begin by building strong schedules for those days and then work backward from there.

Scheduling Around Anchor Employees

Every business has employees that are just rock stars. We recommend strategically using these employees to anchor shifts. Have some new employees that need to see how it’s done? Maybe some unmotivated employees? A rush time that needs someone with the right experience and personality? Use these anchor employees during strategic shifts in order to set an example for other employees and to maintain a calm and productive work environment for the shift by example. Look for employees that others rely on in this way. They can teach or just lead by example. Your less experienced or skilled employees can watch them and learn. This helps create stability. They won’t let things fall apart and keep everyone level headed when things get stressful.

Scheduling Multiple Locations

Multiple locations are tricky. You can think of your roster as separate entities that do not overlap a lot. Or, you can share a single schedule–a single source of truth. Questions to ask yourself. Do you have managers who can help you oversee multiple organizations? If so, you may want to split these into two separate orgs and keep the schedules split. Manager A is responsible for everything in org A. Manager B is responsible for everything that happens in B. This is useful when the organizations are treated as separate entities.

Planning Ahead

The schedule impacts people’s lives. You people schedule their entire social lives around it. You will want to give them as much time as possible to adjust after the schedule is published. Post the next schedule as early as possible for this reason.

Give yourself a time buffer to get the schedule out as well. Don’t wait until the last minute. A great way to do this is by taking advantage of tools that allow you to setup unpublished shifts. Using this feature you can build an entire month of the schedule, have it ready to go, but only publish one week at a time when it’s time. This helps you look at the entire month at a time, but only worry about communicating about one week at a time. And, since you really only sit down to create it once a month, when it’s time to publish the next week, it’s less stressful and takes much less time.

We recommend giving your employees at least two weeks advance notice after the schedule is published. This is a fair amount of time for people to adjust. This can be especially important for employees who are also students.

In general, the earlier they get the schedule the better. This helps with work life balance. This can also help with recruiting! Telling prospective employees you give two weeks advance notice on the schedule will really help recruiting efforts.

Plan ahead for peak seasons, busy days, and unique events that could require special attention when it comes your schedule. Begin communicating with your employees about these periods as early as possible to allow them to help plan.

Aptitude Research Partners states that organizations with predictable scheduling are 53% more likely to experience lower turnover than their industry average.

Avoiding Schedule Abuse

Don’t cancel your employees’ shifts last minute. Maybe you think it’s nice you’re giving them a surprise day off, but most hourly workers do not have the budget to be losing hours, especially hours they counted on.

Don’t update the schedule only days (or hours) in advance, and then not communicate the changes. Don’t require your employees to stay past the time they were scheduled without asking if they are ok with it. Find more tips to avoid schedule abuse here.

Staying Compliant

No one is a fan of people who break the law. Don’t allow your schedule to get you in trouble in this area. It’s important to know the basic laws in the states you are operating in related to having employees and the hours they work. Make sure you build these laws into your scheduling policies. A multitude of lawsuits could have been prevented if this was considered before that schedule was ever published.

Know your labor laws. To ensure you don’t over-schedule your employees, be cognizant of your state labor laws when it comes to work hours, overtime, leave and age limits. The DOL provides detailed guidelines to help in this area here.

Pay attention to how your schedule protects you from overtime. If you have employees work over 40 hours in a week, you are required by law to pay them overtime pay. Read more about FLSA guidance on overtime here. Don’t ever dock pay for violation of your overtime rules. If they worked, you have to pay them. You can treat it as a disciplinary issue, but do not dock their pay. This will get you in hot water fast.

Managing Availability and Time Off Requests

This is one of the most important and challenging parts of the schedule to track and manage. We recommend finding a tool like ZoomShift that will allow your employees to dynamically update this on an ongoing basis from a simple to use app on their smartphone.

It’s incredibly important for you to have this availability updated in real time and to have it side by side with your shift planning process. Preferably this availability will exist in the same tool and in the same place as your schedule. This is also something that ZoomShift will help you accomplish.

According to Bersin by Deloitte, employee turnover is 174% more likely without real-time scheduling capabilities.

If you are using an excel sheet or some other tool to create your schedule that doesn’t have the luxury of helping you align your employees’ shifts and availability, you will need to create a system of tracking this information as you receive it from your employees. Most managers create a key on an excel sheet where they keep track of codes like R for Requested off, V- for on vacation, U for unavailable etc. Obviously, not the most simple and easy, and this requires more time and attention to detail, but it will get the job done.

Managing Costs

When it comes to managing costs, leverage data. Another advantage of using employee scheduling software is the historical data you will have to help you forecast your scheduling needs. You can also use sales historical data to try and predict your scheduling needs as well.

You could try using a quantitative approach to scheduling rather than going off your gut. This is often referred to as activity-based forecasting method for labor costing.

Yes, overstaffing is real money down the drain. But, understaffing is just as damaging to your bottom line. Be careful not to error too much on the side of understaffing just to save a little money. This will cause burnout and turnover, which is much more costly.

Summary

The punch line is simple. Improving your scheduling experience is worth it. Here is a quick overview, from the key influencers of your businesses succeess, as to why focusing on your scheduling process is worth it:

  • It’s worth it for you. If you make a few adjustments to how you approach the schedule you can cut the amount of time it takes you to create the schedule, tweak it, and communicate it by over 75%. That’s a lot of hours saved over the course of a week, month, year.
  • It’s worth it for your employees. Let’s just say this has a tremendous impact on the relationship you have with your employees. That relationship impacts their satisfaction, productivity, and whether they will stick around.
  • It’s worth it for your customers. Scheduling blunders cause bad customer experiences. From long wait times to poor experiences. If employees show up unhappy because of a scheduling error, this can also translate into a bad experience for your customer or just lesser quality of work.

The expectations and needs of hourly workers are changing quickly. There’s a major shift in the employer/employee relationship happening right now. The businesses that adjust to these changes are much more likely to succeed in the future. Adopting an efficient, transparent, and collaborative scheduling process is a key part of this transition.

Today, finding and retaining talent is one of the major challenges businesses face. Finding great hourly employees is even more difficult. Improving your scheduling process and showing your employees that you value their life outside of work is a very effective way to atract talent.

The hourly workforce is telling you what they want. Will you listen? More specifically, will your business be one that creates a schedule that falls into this new paradigm? We hope you choose to be part of the growing movement of managers that opt-in to this idea. Lead the pack by caring about your employees and being driven by people-first values. Our wish is that you are wildly successful because of it.

This guide has given you a different way to approach scheduling and some valuable tools to help you take the steps necessary to make your schedule a part of that strategy. Do you agree with this approach? Do you disagree? Either way, we’d love to hear from you!

About ZoomShift

ZoomShift provides scheduling and time tracking software to teams that treasure time, invest in their people, value simplicity, and foster communication. Our software provides a central place for teams to plan, communicate, and track their schedules. We place a high value on minimalism and always focus on the features that matter most to our customers. Scheduling shouldn’t be complicated. Your scheduling software shouldn’t be either. The result is an enjoyable scheduling experience, happier and more productive teams, less time spent scheduling, and more time doing what you love and helping others do the same.

We’ve designed ZoomShift to be a tool that is incredibly simple and easy to use, but powerful enough to customize for your business. We could spend all day telling you why other businesses love it, but nothing beats trying it for yourself.

You can start a free 14-day trial without a credit card, or you can learn about our flexible monthly pricing.