Other than in the manufacturing industry, most employees don’t work more than forty hours a week on average. This is due to the fact that when an employee works more than forty hours, they have to be paid time and a half for their work.
But some businesses get stuck in the habits of bad scheduling and end up having to pay out overtime frequently. Their employees may even come to rely on overtime in order to pay their regular bills.
But if you create a well-managed work schedule and hire enough people, then you can avoid this unnecessary cost. Read on to learn the steps you need to take to balance your team’s time and have an effective workforce.
Determine Your Needs as a Company
The first step in creating the perfect schedule is deciding how many employees you truly need and what kind of availability they need to have.
Then, you can hire staff members that have schedules that align with your needs.
Be Impartial and Nonjudgemental
Some employers will give their employees time off if they want to go on a vacation out of town or have a major event going on in their lives. But the same employer might be a little less likely to give someone time off if they know they will be in town and just want the time to relax.
Try not to be judgemental about how your employees spend their time off and treat all requests as equal if you want your employees to be honest with you and dedicated to your business.
Identify Scheduling Abuse
If you have employees that are scheduled for a closing shift followed by an opening shift, then they will be much more likely to call out or find a way to reduce their hours.
Try to not abuse your employee’s time and think about how tired they might be when they need to come in.
View here for a time clock wizard that can help you sort out your schedule and identify errors.
Consider Your Overtime Practices
If you schedule people for a lot of overtime, then you may need to hire more staff. If you have an underrepresented workforce, then you may end up inadvertently disappointing your customers and overworking your employees.
Try to bring on enough staff that your employees can easily find someone to cover their shifts that is trained and ready to work.
Use Work Schedule Blocking
The easiest way to design a schedule is to bock out the time that your employees are not able to work, and working backward from there.
This kind of scheduling is called blocking and it’s a great way to ensure that everyone gets the time off that they need while your business’ needs are still being met.
Publish Schedules Two Weeks Out
Try to make schedules at least two weeks out so that your employees have enough time to plan around them and find people to cover their shifts if they need to.
Then, post the schedule on your company intranet so that everyone will know immediately and can make plans.
Create Flexibility and Predictability Within Your Schedule
Schedules should be predictable enough that your employees can plan around them far in advance for making plans for things like birthday parties and anniversaries. But they should be flexible enough that if someone needs to request a day off, they can.
To ensure your schedule stay flexible yet predictable, talk to your employees often about what their needs are often. That way, you can find out about changes in scheduling that need to be made well in advance of the day you make the schedule.
Trust Your Employees
Giving your employees your trust empowers them to make better decisions. Let your employees decide for themselves that they want to be dedicated to your company.
Don’t drive yourself crazy trying to make things work. Allow your scheduling to weed out the employees who refuse to work hard to help you take your business to the next level.
Identify Problematic Staff
When you hire someone to do a job, there is an expectation that they will show up on time and ready to work. If you have an employee that is abusing your schedule, then it can make it impossible for you to create a balanced schedule that works for everyone.
So how do you know if someone is abusing their schedule?
- They constantly ask for schedule changes.
- They need to leave early several times a week.
- They are constantly trading shifts with other employees.
- They don’t show up for work when they can’t find a replacement.
- They ask for you to change the schedule last minute.
- They consistently have emergencies that require them to leave work during business hours.
If you have an employee acting like that, then it’s time to have a serious talk with them about whether they want to continue working for you.
Consider On-Call Scheduling
Many businesses have some sort of on-call scheduling system that can help them ensure someone is coming to work no matter what. But is that really a great way to treat your employees?
If you are paying your employees minimum wage, you shouldn’t expect them to drop everything to come in for a shift last minute because someone else was a flake. Instead, why not try implementing an incentive program for the employees who choose to pick up those shifts?
Your employees will feel much more valued and you won’t have to worry about calling someone to ask them to do you a favor on their day off.
More Helpful Advice
The advice in this article can help you design a work schedule that fits the needs of your business as well as your employee’s.
For more helpful advice for business owners, check out our other articles today.