No matter what business you’re in – retail, restaurant, services, professionals, healthcare – proper scheduling of your employees is paramount in guaranteeing the best experience for your clients and staff, leading to the best results for your bottom line. It creates an order and a flow to your business. Everyone knows when they’re supposed to work, so they can focus on their job and make sure the important tasks are covered at the right times. Nothing gets missed or overlooked. A good schedule should address the following questions:
- Do we have the right mix: staff, supervisors and managers?
- Are all our time slots and shifts covered?
- Are we properly staffed for our busiest periods?
- Are we ready if someone calls in sick?
Proper scheduling also helps in other, more specific ways.
- Helps with employee attendance issues
if a particular employee is continuously coming in late or taking too many leaves, a proper schedule can track this and alert a manager of the problem.
- Lets the boss/manager
see what work is being done by whom, and how well. This will help with decisions about who is scheduled together to maximize performance
- Helps plan ahead
knowing well in advance when employees have booked time off, for example, will let the manager know who is needed at particular times and ensure you have enough staff during busy periods, and don’t overstaff during slower times. Both scenarios can impact the bottom line
- Helps keep policies clear and transparent
good scheduling ensures that all the employees will be treated fairly with regard to leaves and other time off. Management can take a look at the schedule reports and determine leaves accordingly. The system can set up how leave is handled, whether on a first come or seniority basis and make the policies clear to your staff
- Effectively manages overtime hours
a proper scheduling system allows management to fairly allocate overtime hours to the employees and keep track of them
- Can give you a competitive advantage
your small business may not be able to compete with larger companies on salaries and benefits, but if your scheduling includes forward-thinking ideas like flex hours and remote work, you can still compete for and retain top talent who prioritize work/life balance over just salary
What is flex scheduling and what are the benefits?
Essentially, anything outside the 9 to 5, 40 hours at the office work week is considered flexible. This might include summer hours (get every second Friday afternoon off), telecommuting (work from home, save time on the commute), compressed work weeks (work your 40 hours in 4 days instead of 5), job sharing (a number of part time people to fill one role) or any other idea you can come up with to keep employees happy and work happening. This makes employees feel empowered and, with this sense of empowerment often comes:
- Reduced turnover
- Increased productivity
- Fewer absences
- Easier recruiting
- Less overhead cost
- Better company morale
- Improved customer service
Flexible scheduling doesn’t work in every industry, and it must work for both the employee and the employer. If you are going to give your staff options, you, the employer, must maintain control with well-documented policies and procedures like establishing core hours when employees are expected to be present and creating permanent schedules. For example, an employee who works a compressed workweek can’t be allowed to arbitrarily decide to work a couple of extra hours each day so he can take off early on his fourth day. Unauthorized schedule changes can become a nightmare, especially in companies where the absence of just one employee can potentially shut down an essential part of the company’s operations.
There are any number of factors involved in proper scheduling for small business. And there are any number of platforms that can help you deal with them. At Time Well Scheduled we have the apps necessary to help you turn your scheduling issues into a competitive advantage. And we’re happy to speak with you about it any time.