How To Save Time and Money by Optimizing The Team’s Work Schedule?
Reducing your employee turnover – which is one of the biggest issues organizations face in 2022 – can be as simple as optimizing your team scheduling practices.
If this didn’t get your attention, some of the other benefits of schedule optimization include increased employee efficiency, increased employee satisfaction, and better operations – no longer will you have to scramble to find replacements or have your employees show up at the last second.
In this article, we’re going to talk about all the reasons why optimizing your team’s work schedule should be a priority, and explore the ways to make it happen.
Why Should Optimizing the Team’s Work Schedule be a Priority
Improve Employee Retention
One of the best ways to improve employee retention is to make employee schedules predictable and consistent. This makes it easier for your employees to manage lives outside of work, particularly employees who are parents.
Consistent schedules show that you care about your employees and are well-organized. This means happier employees who care more about their job and have a desire to stay with you for longer.
Better Employee Work-Life Balance
Once employee schedules are more consistent and predictable, employees will be able to plan their days better. This will allow better work-life balance for your employees and put an end to them having to show up at work on short notice.
Problems can occur at work places where employers notify employees of an upcoming shift a day or two in advance. Employees can quickly grow tired because they might start feeling like they’re never off work and secretly start looking for a new place of employment.
Avoid Last-Minute Schedule Changes
Last-minute schedule changes aren’t just inconvenient for employees – no manager wants to be sent scrambling to find a last-minute replacement, especially for holiday shifts and busy days. These last-minute schedule changes might even result in poorer service to your customers, which is never good for business and can irreversibly damage reputation – a major threat especially for the newly established businesses.
Spend Less Time Planning Schedules
According to research, managers spend more than 3 hours a week on average making staff schedules. This excludes the time you spend arranging new employees when someone can’t make it, or you face any other similar problems.
Allocate More Time to Other Managerial Tasks
Once you have more time on your hands, it can be better spent on a number of things like
- Reviewing team performance
- Creating new ways to improve performance
- Implementing new policies to improve work conditions for employees
- Gathering employee feedback and acting on it
Employee Scheduling Practices You Should Follow
Schedule in Advance
One of the biggest scheduling mistakes managers make is to leave it till the last minute, at which point employees and the managers themselves all need to be rushing to make sure the establishment keeps running smoothly.
This causes huge problems when employees either fail to show up, or when employees grow unsatisfied with their work conditions due to spontaneous shifts and inconsistent workloads.
Always schedule shifts at least one week in advance to give employees plenty of notice. It will also give you time to move the schedule around if some of your employees are unavailable on that day.
Distribute Shifts Equally
You might be tempted to give a certain worker the closing shift, or not notice it when you’re giving an employee less or more hours of work than they were promised – but you should. Consistently giving certain employees harder and busier shifts is not the way to go, neither is it a good way to do business to keep the number of hours employees are working inconsistently.
It might not be possible for you to make truly consistent and equal schedules, but you can find this kind of help in scheduling software programmed for these tasks. Most come equipped with AI and Machine Learning algorithms that learn over time and can help you keep your team’s schedule on track.
Plan for Emergencies
Things can often go wrong when you’re running a business, and there are too many variables for you to fully control. Planning for a rainy day is always a great idea, which can mean a lot of different things when it comes to scheduling practices.
First and foremost, it’s important that you have enough employees to replace someone who can’t come to work as planned. You also need to have a plan in place in case your establishment gets more attention than usual. For example, a celebrity spotting around your area that has people flocking to your store.
Keep Busier Shifts in Mind
Not all shifts are equal, and you don’t need to have the same manpower at hand for the midnight shift as you do at peak rush hour. You can save a lot of money and time on your employees’ parts by making sure you call them in as needed.
When you have more hands on deck for rush hour, employees will have an easier time keeping up with the work, and your business will be able to perform better.
Avoid Wasting Time on Meetings
Meetings aren’t all the same – some do need to be an hour long, but a weekly check-in and update can be wrapped up in just 15 minutes too. When you schedule your meetings with this in mind, you will be able to plan more efficient days.
At the same time, you need to be careful about not rushing your meetings. Doing this will do more harm than good, and a balance needs to be established. You can also save company time by avoiding unnecessary meetings altogether. If the topic of a meeting can be discussed via email or in the employee group chat, you might want to save everyone’s time by writing up that email instead.
Employee Feedback is Key
Most employees will not be able to communicate if they’re unhappy with certain work conditions or wish something was better until they’re asked. For continuous improvement and a better employee turnover rate, it’s important that you regularly check in with your employees and ask them if they’re satisfied with their work environment.
This can be done with the help of employee surveys, or by asking your team for feedback in team or one-on-one meetings. You might be able to help employees improve the way they work by making small adjustments in their project schedules, which can only be beneficial for the business.
Once you have a happy well-performing team working at its best, your business will show a drastic increase in revenue, and might even see a decrease in costs. Investing in scheduling software can help arm you with the tools you need to save yourself time and make life easier for both yourself and the other members of your team.
Just a few simple steps might put you ahead in the game of maintaining low employee retention and keeping employee engagement high in a time when it has never been harder to do so.