Staff scheduling can present various challenges. However, every problem has a solution.
Here is a look at four staff scheduling challenges and how you can handle them.
1. Employee Shortages
For your business to run efficiently, you need to have the right number of employees working on any given day. Being short-staffed will put extra pressure on other employees as well as managers and it will mean your company cannot operate as smoothly as it should.
However, employee shortages can be avoided by ensuring staff scheduling is done correctly. As long as your schedule takes how many staff members are needed each day into account, you can avoid the shortfall.
For instance, if your business is busier on Saturdays, you will need to make sure you have more staff members working on that day.
2. Employee Absences
Following on from the last section, when employees are absent, either due to an illness, an emergency, or planned vacation time, it can cause chaos to the efficiency and productivity of operations.
Therefore, planned time off like vacation time must always be considered when creating weekly schedules.
And you should always have a plan in place in case employees cannot turn up to work due to unforeseen circumstances like illnesses and emergencies. That means having stand-by members of staff ready to work when others do not turn up to work.
Overscheduling can refer to one of three things. Firstly, you could schedule too many staff members for a day, in which case, the company is paying much more than it should do for that given day.
Secondly, while there is nothing wrong with overtime, you should be wary of giving out too much overtime, as it can result in employees being overworked and therefore becoming burned out and stressed, and unable to perform as productively as they would otherwise.
Thirdly, the same point about overtime applies to overscheduling by scheduling one employee to work the last shift of one day and the very first shift of the next day.
4. Shift Swapping
Shift swapping itself is not necessarily a bad thing. It gives employees the opportunity to work more flexibly. If someone needs time off at the last minute, it does not have to disrupt your schedule if the person can find someone else to take his or her shift.
However, you should always agree to any shift swap ahead of time. Otherwise, if you leave it in the hands of the employees, you could end up with someone working in a position that they are not experienced in or have the right skills for.
And that can end up harming efficiency, productivity, and revenue. Substitute members of staff should never be inexperienced in the tasks that they are handling. But as long as you avoid shift swapping problems, you can ensure tasks are completed by the right people.
Indeed, when you use the best scheduling software, you can create schedules with minimum effort.
Here are some other areas in which you can improve your business with minimal effort.
How to Deal with Scheduling Challenges
We have given you some ideas on how to deal with specific scheduling challenges, but you can deal with all of them better by using paid time off tracking software.
Indeed, by using time off tracking software features, you can prevent most scheduling problems from happening.
In addition to employees being able to send time-off requests digitally for approval, time off tracking software enables you to do many different things, such as know how much vacation time has been taken and have an overview of which employees are working on given days.
At the end of the day, challenges like employee shortages, employee absences, overscheduling, and shift swapping are easily overcome when you use the right time off tracking software and remember to be diligent in your scheduling.