How To Schedule Employees

Managing a business includes managing the employees. If you engage in a business that extends to longer hours of operation, you need to come up with schedules that will allow several shifts of task allocations among the workers. In scheduling employees, there are several factors you must take note of - which include their personal circumstances in life. For example, a working mother must be given due consideration and should be given a schedule that will allow her to go home earlier to attend to her family. On the other hand, you should also acknowledge the fact the workers must be grouped according to the nature of their work. Hence, the technical department in a shopping store has to work along with those who are in charge of manning the physical set up of the stores, and so on.

To schedule employees, take note of the following points:

  • Draw a list of all the employees from all departments and their schedule of duties. If the business establishment has a hired human resource head, there should be a list of employees ready at any time. Take a look at the schedules and segregate the employees who work part time and those who work full time.
  • Get feedbacks from the employees about their respective schedules. What you do not want is to have a set of grumbling workers complaining that they do not like their schedule. Work this out by discussing with the employees the reasons why they prefer other shifts. Also, ask the part time employees if they are willing to render more hours for work. On the other hand, the full time employees may also think of cutting some hours off their work load. Whichever is the situation at hand – deal with it the best way you can – with calm demeanor and objective reasoning.
  • Analyze the daily business activities in your store. At what days and time are there more customers? At what part of the day are there fewer buyers? Which department in your store is more frequented by customers? You need to bring out all of these in the open before you make a schedule for your employees. Compare also the bulk of buyers during weekdays, weekends and holidays as it is a big factor that can affect the schedule of the employees.
  • Make a schedule ahead of each week. So, as you go along with your schedule this week, there should already be a ready schedule waiting for next week. You can just make minor adjustments later on as the week progresses.
  • Allow the employees to warm up for a while to their schedules before changing the shifts. Do not change shifts every week or every three days. Two weeks is an ideal length of time for every shift. There is such a thing as ‘body clock’, which every person has in his system. It will be easier if the employees adapt to a 14-day shift schedule before assigning them to a new round.
  • Require the employees to fully cover for their shifts until the next group comes in. There will be a vacuum of workforce if the employees will just leave without anyone taking over the job. Ensure that the employees observe this rule strictly.

Make the employees aware of their schedules at the earliest possible time. They also need to make adjustments in their personal time hence they must be informed when their shifts will change at a particular schedule.


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