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The Benefits of Posting the Staff Schedule 2-3 Weeks in Advance


“A schedule defends chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time.” – Annie Dillard.

Posting the staff schedule 2-3 weeks in advance can be a great way to ensure a smooth and effective workflow for your business. This allows employees to plan their personal lives around their work schedules and gives managers more time to make any necessary adjustments to the schedule if needed. Moreover, employee scheduling reduces employee stress when they know the precise dates and times they are expected to work. It also helps managers plan for peak business hours and ensure enough staff members are available. Additionally, it provides that all employees are given equal opportunities for shifts, which can help with employee morale and engagement. In this blog, discover how posting staff schedules 2-3 weeks in advance can help reduce employee stress, provide adequate staffing levels, and ensure equal opportunities for all employees.

What is the staff scheduling process?

Staff scheduling is the process of planning and assigning employees to work shifts at specified days and times. A clear and concise shift schedule ensures work duties and responsibilities are completed, and employees know their responsibilities.

What is the purpose of staff scheduling?

The purpose of the staff schedule is to assign the right people to the right place at the right time so they can do the right work. Additionally, effective staff scheduling allows businesses to empower their employees to become more productive, and ultimately deliver better customer service. A well-planned schedule will enhance employees’ ability to align professional and personal commitments into their regular routines and activities.

Data on Scheduling in Advance

Shift uncertainty contributes to employee stress about pay predictability, conflict between personal-professional responsibilities, and employment stability; the sum of which reduces productivity and leads to voluntary turnover. So, it is important for scheduling to be as transparent as possible in order to reduce stressors. Recent studies have found that:

  • 38% of shift workers only know their work schedule one week or less in advance (EPI, 2015)
  • 7% of employee labor hours are scheduled but not worked (Kronos, 2018)
  • 10% of the workforce is assigned to irregular and on-call work shift times, and this figure is likely low (GSS Survey)

Therefore, posting the staff schedule in advance helps to alleviate employee anxieties about work hours, paid hours and personal responsibilities that conflict with work times.

Stability & Predictability

Key Benefits of Posting the Staff Schedule 2-3 Weeks in Advance

Reduce Employee & Managerial Stress

When the staff schedule is posted routinely in advance, it establishes a predictable routine that concurrently reduces employee stress and improves managerial efficiency. For instance, 2-3 week advance notice of staff scheduling simplifies scheduling changes and managerial decision-making regarding shift dates and times. This has the impact of eliminating employee and business uncertainties, and saving managerial time.

“TimeWellScheduled is very easy to use and well worth the low cost for the time it saves me. I can get in (to the system) quickly, do what I need to do quickly, and get off so that I have lots of time to attend to my clients.” – Colin R. Manager, Information Services.

Facilitates Adequate Staffing Levels

Posting schedules in advance enables managers to forecast, plan, and monitor staff numbers to match business fluctuations and staffing requirements. The aim is to minimize the number of periods of overstaffing and under-staffing. It is important to note that most retailers use the staff schedule to ensure the best employees work at the busiest times.

Provides time to Solve Scheduling Conflicts or Challenges

Posting the employee work schedule in advance allows employees to manage conflicting responsibilities and work with management and team members to find a work replacement if necessary. Furthermore, it provides employees ample time to learn their scheduled work times, reducing the possibility of lateness and tardiness.

Provide Stability & Predictability for Employees and the Business

When your employees feel they are treated fairly and under stable conditions, they are less likely to look for work elsewhere. Therefore, posting the staff schedule in advance promotes stable and predictable employment. A study by the University of Chicago found that giving workers stable schedules two weeks in advance and eliminating on-call schedules led to a significant 5% increase in labor productivity, double the annual average. 

Advanced Scheduling Notice, Legislative Requirements & Labor Regulation

Posting the Schedule in advance ensures that organizations comply with legal requirements: 

Canada: (Depending on the labor jurisdiction) employers must, unless indicated otherwise in (ie: via collective agreement), notify the employee in writing of their work schedule at least 96 hours before the first day of the schedule. The schedule must also include any of your standby or on-call shifts.

US Jurisdictions: fair workweek laws require notice of 14-21 days before the first shift starts. Employers who need to make sudden changes may have to pay the employee extra if they don’t give them advance notice. Employers who follow this one rule will prevent a host of problems. 

United Kingdom: seven days is the minimum notice period recommended to send out the staff schedule, even earlier than this. This way, you’ll have ample time to deal with any unforeseen problems with the schedule without annoying your employees with the changes. 

Notice of Changes to the Work Schedule

In the US, employers must provide employees with prompt notice of any schedule changes. Schedule changes can occur up to 14 days before the first day of the new workweek. In some instances, employees can legally refuse shift changes where reasonable notice has not been given. 

“Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, satisfied, and fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.” – Anne M. Mulcahy.

Posting staff schedules in advance is a simple but effective method for improving business operations. Advanced knowledge of staffing levels helps employers better manage their human resources and optimize their staff schedule process. Furthermore, it reduces employee stress levels and improves organizational morale, improving productivity. Ultimately, this practice can benefit all stakeholders; employers get better results, and employees are more prepared and satisfied with their jobs. If your business is looking to make the shift from manual scheduling processes to automated solutions, then implementing a practice of posting staff schedules 2-3 weeks in advance will be vital in helping your business reach its full potential.

About TimeWellScheduled

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