Shift planning considers factors like shift overlap, shift change times, and alignment in conjunction with the clock—vacations and training shift differentials, holidays, etc.
5 of the best shift planning practices
Although shift planning may not seem like the most exciting job to be doing, however, it’s an essential one. It’s good to know that many planning tricks and best practices assist managers in streamlining the process.
1. Use of Templates
If it’s Excel or software for shift planning or a Word doc, the first rule of planning for shifts is to design an outline of the template and then adhere to it every week. A template for planning shifts will drastically reduce the time shift managers have to spend creating the schedule for their employees.
2. Make Sure You Have Everyone’s Availability
Before you can begin creating your official calendar, it is necessary to ensure your entire team’s availability is in hand. This information can be gathered through the onboarding process. Knowing when your employees will be in the office will allow you to make quicker decisions and fewer revisions to the schedule after it’s posted.
3. Shift Planning at Least Two Weeks in Advance
I know how crucial it is to provide your employees with prior notice of their working times. I worked as a restaurant server for many years, and our schedules for the week ahead were often sent to us on Sunday evenings. It meant that, should we have to open your restaurant early on a Monday, you had less than eight hours’ notice before the next shift started. This was a stressful method to plan your day.
Research has shown that showing your employees their shift schedules for the coming week at least two weeks before the shift will reduce the likelihood of absenteeism.
A well-shift planning schedule in the workplace also aids in better work/life balance since employees can plan their other obligations around their working schedules rather than hunting for an available position at the last second.
4. Avoid On-Call Scheduling
On-call scheduling is when employers expect employees scheduled to make a call before the time their shift begins to ensure they’re required. This procedure is widely used in sectors like food service and retail, where the number of employees needed for an individual shift is contingent upon how many customers they have in the company they serve.
In response to the ferocious regulatory pressure to stop this kind of stressful, demand-based scheduling, many major retailers have wholly halted the practice of on-demand scheduling. This includes Urban Outfitters, The Gap, Victoria’s Secret, and Bath & Body Works.
5. Streamline Shift Communication
Reduce confusion and stress regarding shift scheduling, and It’s crucial to have an easy, simple procedure to determine how you will inform your employees. A lot of companies use the software for scheduling shifts. Beekeeper offers a variety of shift scheduling software. Beekeepers provide several alternatives for communicating employee shift times to their employees.