How to Become an Expert Shift Scheduler
Author: Yair Lehrer
You’ve hired the team, handled the service calls and assigned the jobs. That’s all there is to it, right? Wrong. If you work with shift scheduling, then you know there is much more to it than that. You have to account the job skills of employees, staff types (i.e. part-time, full-time, or temporary), shift types (i.e. morning or night), tools needed and so on. It can be a daunting task trying to fit all these pieces together, but it doesn’t have to be that way! Here’s how to make it easier.
First, identify the medium that’s best for you and your business. Some organizations go with the paper and board approach, but most choose to go with an electronic medium for better convenience. Identify the shift types, business rules, skills needed, plus absences and holidays, then build your schedule. Remember that this is a trial and error process. It may take more than once to get it just right.
Make sure the members of your team are able to view the schedule you made. Whether it’s by company email or by printing it and posting it in a common place, make sure the schedule is easily accessible. Be sure to have it available to employees far enough in advance to give them time to plan their week. This also helps in case you need to make any last minute changes.
Even after the schedule is completed, changes are bound to happen. Whether it’s shift swapping, vacation time, or special events, it’s important to have a documented process that is agreed by everyone on the team. By having a set process for those types of changes, scheduling will become less of a hassle later on.
By tracking ‘clock-in/clock out’ times, you’ll be able to ensure that the right people are there at the right time. This can be done manually (e.g. timesheets) or electronically (e.g. fingerprint scan). It’s important to have a proper tracking system that coincides with your chosen method of shift scheduling and HR departments.
A continuous review of the schedule is important for maximizing its efficiency. Ask for employee feedback, and adjust the schedule accordingly. Also make sure to evaluate how you can make the schedule better.
To learn more, download: The Definitive Guide to Shift Scheduling