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    Nine Staff Scheduling Arrangements to Help Attract & Retain Key Talent


    “Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else.” – Peter Drucker.

    At TimeWellScheduled we know that staff scheduling is an integral part of any successful business. It helps ensure that the right people are in the right positions at the right time to maximize productivity and efficiency. In addition, it can also help attract and retain key talent by offering innovative and flexible scheduling arrangements.

    This blog explores nine different staff scheduling arrangements that can help attract and retain key talent or to help facilitate specific business needs. Examples include flexible scheduling, job sharing, telecommuting, staggered shifts, compressed workweeks, rotating shifts, on-call shifts, shift bidding, etc. In addition, this article discusses how each of these arrangements can benefit employers, employees, and organizational morale. 

    “Work–life balance is not just a buzzy, self-help term that real business people laugh at. You need it.” – Stephanie Ruhle.

    What are alternative or flexible scheduling arrangements?

    Alternative employee scheduling refers to non-traditional work arrangements that differ from the standard full-time, fixed-hour schedules commonly found in many organizations. These alternative scheduling options aim to provide employees with greater flexibility, work-life balance, and autonomy while accommodating business requirements.

    Types of Scheduling Arrangements

    There is no set number of employee scheduling arrangements; they can be highly variable depending on the organization’s needs, the industry, and the employees’ roles.

    I) Fixed Scheduling

    In fixed scheduling arrangements, employees work the same weekly schedule, with consistent days and shift hours. This type of schedule is common in traditional office environments or roles where consistency is essential. The main benefit of fixed employee scheduling is predictability and consistency. In addition, this type of scheduling provides employees and the organization with a stable and regular work schedule.

    II) Rotating or Cyclical Scheduling

    Rotating schedules allow employees to cycle through different shifts or work hours regularly (e.g., weekly or monthly). This type of schedule is common in industries like retail, hospitality, and healthcare, where round-the-clock coverage is needed. Rotating staff schedules evenly distributes the workload and less desirable shifts among employees. This type of work schedule can be advantageous in industries that require 24/7 coverage, such as hospitality, retail, tourism, or service-based businesses.

    III) Flexible Scheduling

    Flex schedules allow employees to choose their work hours within certain limits set by the organization. This scheduling arrangement allows staff to balance their professional and personal responsibilities more effectively. Moreover, flexible scheduling can be particularly valuable for employees with caregiving responsibilities, those pursuing further education, or those with other commitments outside of work.

    IV) On-call Scheduling

    On-Call schedules require that employees are available for work during specific hours but are only called in when needed. The main benefit of on-call scheduling is that it allows organizations to respond efficiently to fluctuating workloads, emergencies, or unexpected staffing needs by having employees available to work when necessary. On-call scheduling is standard in industries with unpredictable work demands, such as healthcare, utilities, maintenance, or IT support.

    Retain Key Talent

    V) Part-time Scheduling

    Part-time employees work fewer hours than full-time employees, typically less than 30-35 hours per week. The main benefit of part-time scheduling is that it provides employees with greater flexibility to balance their work with other commitments while also allowing organizations to manage labor costs and accommodate variable workloads. Part-time scheduling can be particularly beneficial for students, caregivers, individuals pursuing multiple jobs, or those in specific life stages where full-time work is not practical or desired.

    VI) Compressed Workweeks

    Employees work the same number of hours per week but on fewer days. For example, an employee might work four 10-hour days instead of five 8-hour days. Moreover, compressed workweeks allow employees to maintain full-time employment while enjoying additional time off by working longer hours on fewer days. This arrangement can improve work-life balance, enhance job satisfaction, and contribute to employee well-being.

    VII) Job Sharing

    Job Sharing is when two or more employees share the responsibilities and hours of a single full-time position. Each employee works a part-time schedule, covering the full-time hours together. Job-sharing arrangements offer greater work-life balance and flexibility for the participating employees while still fulfilling the organization’s staffing needs. Job sharing can particularly benefit employees with caregiving responsibilities, those pursuing further education, or those seeking a better balance between work and personal life.

    VIII) Remote or Telecommuting

    Remote employees work from a location outside the office, such as from home, on a full-time or part-time basis. Remote work can be combined with other scheduling arrangements. Remote work arrangements, also known as telecommuting, allow employees to work from locations outside the traditional office, such as from home or a co-working space.

    IX) Shift Bidding

    Shift Bidding is when employees bid on preferred shifts or schedules based on seniority, performance, or other factors. This type of scheduling is often used in unionized environments or industries where employee preferences play a significant role in scheduling.

    Shift bidding gives employees more control over their work schedules based on availability and personal preferences. What’s more, the bidding system can improve employee satisfaction, engagement, and work-life balance by providing them with more autonomy in selecting their work hours.

    These are just a few examples of the many types of employee scheduling arrangements. Organizations can mix and match these arrangements or develop unique scheduling structures to help meet specific business or individual needs and goals. 

    “It is about workplace flexibility. It’s about giving our associates the opportunity to be who they are as an individual, whether that is a community member, a spouse or parent, or anything in between.” – Amy Freshman.

    Staff scheduling is a crucial element of any successful business. By providing innovative and flexible staff scheduling options to the workforce, companies can create a better work environment for everyone involved. This blog post discussed nine types of staff scheduling that can help employers, employees, and organizational morale. These arrangements provide employees with more autonomy over their schedules and can also be used to address specific business needs. With the many possibilities available, employers should explore what type of arrangement could best enable their company to thrive.

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