Best Practices in Employee Schedule Management


Managing employee schedules can often be complex. But whether you only have a few employees or hundreds scattered across different sites, when you follow the best practices for employee schedule management, everything will run much more smoothly.

Use a Schedule Making App

If you’re not yet using a schedule making app, it’s about time you did.

The multiple features of employee scheduling apps ensure your schedules always run smoothly and efficiently.

In addition to looking for an array of useful features, employee schedule making apps should be easy to use for both employers and employees.

They should also go beyond scheduling by providing useful features like payroll tools.

Determine Your Needs

Whichever tools you use to manage employee schedules, one of the key things you need to do is determine your resource needs.

You must be able to understand and identify the labor resources you require to meet your operational objectives.

So, you will need to determine the number of workers that are needed for the duration of each shift. Do that by mapping out the employee services you need for each shift by both role and location.

Get Your Employees’ Availability At Least Two Weeks in Advance

It’s best to get your employees’ availability at least two weeks in advance. It’s usually best to have your employees tell you which days they are unavailable rather than vice versa, as that will save time.

In addition to finding out the general availability of your employees, you could also ask them which days they could potentially work, in cases where you may need replacement employees or workers to complete some overtime.

Plan Ahead

It will be much easier to plan ahead when you look at historical data. For example, if you have a new project coming up that requires the same resources, skill sets, and number of employees as a previous project, it will be much easier to plan the new project; based on the historical data. Getting crew scheduling software is one easy way to do this as it will have the analytics and data that you need in order to plan ahead effectively.

Planning ahead also involves analyzing things like seasonal schedules. You need to be aware of when your busiest and slowest months are so that you can plan your staffing accordingly.

Introduce Time Off Request Policies

Make sure you give your employees a set timeframe in which they need to apply for time off. Most companies request leave requests to be put in no less than two weeks in advance. Many companies require the timeframe to be greater.

It’s vital you keep tabs on how much leave employees are entitled to, in order to plan your schedules accurately. It’s also important that each employee knows exactly how much leave time they are entitled to and how many days they have left for the year.

Comply with Labor Laws

There are labor laws in place, as well as trade union rules and industry guidelines, to ensure employees do not work longer hours than permitted.

Therefore, it’s essential that you know what those rules are and stick to them when managing your employee schedules.

You also need to ensure you comply with overtime restrictions.

Communicate Effectively with Your Employees

Lastly, there’s no point in following the best practices for employee schedule management if you do not effectively communicate with your employees regarding their schedules.

It’s vital that you have open lines of communication so that you and your employees are entirely in sync in terms of scheduling.

With open communication, things like availability, shift swaps, finding replacement employees, and understanding employee preferences all become much easier. In turn, that will enable you to run your employee schedules very efficiently.