Scheduling   ·  

The Reluctant HR Manager: You’ve Been Asked to Improve Employee Scheduling – Now What?

Ideas to improve employee scheduling.

It’s not your full-time job responsibility, but you’ve been assigned the task of finding a better way to manage scheduling, thanks to recent conflicts during busy cycles.

Welcome to the club, and know you’re not alone. Many small business owners seeking to improve the bottom line assign the responsibility to an employee.

Fantastic. But where do you start? Well, you’re in luck, because we have a few tips that will help you earn honorary HR guru status in no time.

Take advantage of existing resources

Because you’ve been tapped on the shoulder for this responsibility, that means you’re a trusted employee and you know the business. That’s good news. You’re in the driver’s seat, so delivering useful information to management and staff will only increase your value. (See, it’s a win-win after all!)

Chances are good you have a paper system for managing schedules, shift availability and employee time off. It’s common but not necessarily efficient. For starters, it’s a good idea to streamline the process by centralizing data in one place instead of someone’s head. It’s best to use spreadsheet software, like Excel, to help manage scheduling. And, you don’t need to start from scratch. Microsoft provides a variety of templates to meet any need. This link provides several options that will get you up and running immediately.

Here are some proven tips on how to schedule employees.

By centralizing information, you have a go-to document to share with employees and managers. Providing a documented process helps you achieve two significant goals:

  • Confidence. Staff will see you’re serious about managing scheduling more efficiently. Paper systems are easily mismanaged or misinterpreted, depending on who is responsible and how many managers are involved. With a spreadsheet in play, you may even hear comments like “Wow, and I thought they didn’t take this stuff seriously” or “Nice to know they have a system instead of relying on scribbled shifts tacked to a bulletin board.”
  • Accountability. Employees will believe their time is monitored more closely than before, and that’s a good thing. With the perception of higher accountability, performance should improve. Underperformers will step up their game, and all-stars will feel that underperformers are now held to a higher standard. Another win-win.

Electronic scheduling enhances efficiency

The primary benefit to electronic schedule management: information resides in one place. By centralizing information, you won’t need to check with managers about who’s available when. In addition to the fields included in scheduling templates, it’s a good idea to create employee profiles in the same spreadsheet file that includes availability, flexibility, family/personal commitments, willingness to work overtime, shift preferences, etc. Include any information you think is pertinent to enhancing efficiency.

Having this information in one document means you can hand it off for review or feedback or notes from other managers. It’s also a valuable resource at review time, because everything is at your fingertips. And, better yet, it means you can delegate the responsibility to someone else once you’ve perfected it! Can I hear a “win-win!”?

Using spreadsheets also moves your business a step closer to using scheduling software. Jumping from paper to software isn’t always an easy transition, but if you condition your team to using spreadsheets, the move to software will be that much easier. And, when you’re ready to make that jump, TrackSmart Scheduling may be a perfect fit. Imagine the smile on your owner’s face when his reluctant HR manager suggests an even better way to improve profitability – you guessed it: win-win.

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