How to Prevent Overscheduling Your Employees

Improve employee shift scheduling

Every business owner and manager knows how difficult it is to create employee schedules. Lack of proper scheduling can lead to negative effects on your business including inaccurate payroll and timesheet tracking, overscheduling, and much more. One of the leading reasons for employee turnover is scheduling issues. If you’re experiencing an elevated employee turnover rate from bad scheduling then it’s time to fix it with a shift scheduling software. Besides, the process of hiring new employees is not only expensive but also time-consuming. Hiring a new employee can cost up to double the amount of a current employee’s salary.

So, how can you avoid scheduling issues with your employees and boost their productivity? It’s all about developing an accurate scheduling plan that keeps your employees’ information secure. Before we start discussing the solutions to this problem, here are some of the common problems facing employee scheduling in the workplace today.

1. Lack of Enough Employees

No one can accurately predict what the day will bring. For instance, in a construction project, you can receive a call from an employee who has a personal issue that needs to be resolved. Now, you have one less employee to complete the tasks on time. Or, perhaps you aren’t sure about scheduling your staff at the retail store since there is an influx of customers due to a large event in town that you weren’t prepared for. Regardless of the nature of your business, understaffing can lead to poor customer service and experience.

2. Overscheduling

On the other hand, scheduling your employees for too many hours will lead to payroll budget issues, stressed employees and poor time management. You need to maximize your schedules so that everyone in the organization gets the hours they need while limiting unnecessary overtime and employee burnout.

3. Unfair Scheduling

While there are laws on work schedules in certain countries to minimize burnout, not every industry requires scheduled breaks or some time off. This means that it’s up to the business owner to analyze the schedules and avoid the unwanted effects of unfair scheduling. The US Department for Labor has all the resources that you’ll need when it comes to complying with the Hour and Wage Division. 

Construction companies may have different regulations when it comes to hours compared to healthcare organizations. However, finding the appropriate guidelines can be difficult. Not to mention how state and city laws keep changing all the time. Being fair and consistent with shifts can help you avoid inconsistent work schedules which can harm your business.

According to a Workforce, predictive scheduling laws are meant to provide stability to individuals so that they can attend to their child care, health, education, and second jobs if necessary. 

The law may direct managers to offer extra hours to existing part-time employees before hiring help or guarantee employees the minimum hours promised during the hiring process. Some laws also require managers to pay employees extra for any last-minute changes.

View state minimum wage requirements.

4. Lack of a Formal Schedule

This may sound obvious. However, if you’ve been in business for some time now, you might be using the same system that you started with. For instance, you own a cleaning company that you started back at home. You might have used a piece of paper and pen to create a schedule that you use today. However, using a shift scheduling software will eliminate the messiness that paper schedules can create. 

5. Unexpected Absence and Sick Days

A common scheduling challenge is when an employee takes time off. For instance, an employee falls sick or has to pick up his or her child early from school during work hours. It’s not always planned when an employee has to take a day off. Such cases lead to changes in work shifts and managers need to conveniently access their scheduling system to make accurate adjustments. 

6. Employee Turnover

As a manager, you’ll do your best to avoid employee turnover. However, people leave organizations. And some circumstances are beyond your control. Employee turnover will lead to scheduling issues which will affect your business in the long run. Disgruntled employees are prone to leave negative reviews about your company and their experiences for the public to view. Although this may not be how you want your company’s perception to be, it’s important to provide the resources necessary to make your employees most productive and happy to avoid backlash. 

Preventing Employee Overscheduling

Now that you know the most common scheduling issues, here are some of the best ways to manage staff scheduling for a smooth workflow:

Invest in a scheduling app

Scheduling issues are common across all industries. Therefore, it’s important to have a solid system in place. The system should be easily accessible and digital to help you track employee time and evaluate it. Most of these time tracking shift scheduling apps are available in different versions with a variety of settings to suit your company’s needs. This means that you can access them on your mobile phone, desktop, or tablet devices. 

Streamline vacation days

One of the common issues facing managers is planning for vacation days seamlessly. When employees want time off around holidays, it can be difficult to schedule properly. By investing in an employee schedule app, you can approve, track and deny an employee time off. Plus, employees can easily make plans in advance.

Hire enough employees

If you have scheduling issues due to a lack of enough employees to perform the tasks, you’ll need to hire more. Sometimes, it’s difficult to know how many employees are needed when starting a new business. If you are a small business you don’t want extra expenses. The last thing you want to happen is to drive potential customers away for not being staffed adequately. It’s important to look past the sales and traffic patterns to avoid hiring employees at the last minute. Seeking out a professional writer to help create a hiring guideline could be very beneficial.

Be clear about hours

Business managers should follow these guidelines to ensure that their employees stay motivated and productive at the workplace:

  • Provide an estimate of the person’s working hours when hiring
  • Make appropriate changes to shifts as soon as possible
  • Provide a work schedule at least 2 weeks in advance

Offer time between shifts

Nobody likes to be overworked. You need to ensure that your employees have plenty of time between shifts. You also need to communicate this while hiring new employees. You need to let your employees know that you value your company’s culture and that you are on the same team. For instance, if you are in retail and open every day of the week, you need to give employees some days off during the week. 

Offer incentives

When you have a scheduling system in place, you can easily know the employees who are not working. When you have to call them to cover any added shifts, consider offering them incentives. Consider giving your employees some overtime pay or extra vacation days.

Prepare for staff change

Employees move from one job to another for different reasons. However, you can lessen the effects of turnover by implementing several employee retention tips such as communicating last-minute changes in advance, being clear about expectations, and building trust between you and your staff.

Conclusion to Preventing Overscheduling 

Every industry and organization has employee scheduling issues. However, using the tips that we’ve discussed here will help in minimizing employee turnover, solving communication problems, and planning for a seamless schedule year-round. Do you have any extra tips that you’d like to share with your fellow entrepreneurs?

Time Tracking With Shift Scheduling

Improve employee hours and schedules.

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