Creating a schedule or a rota to keep everyone happy is no easy feat. In fact, in can be such a tricky balancing act, it might be easier to ride a unicycle across a tightrope while juggling fire...while blindfolded.
The perfect schedule can seem like something you always strive to create but, in reality, feel you rarely get it right. And it’s not hard to see why. There’s so many different elements to consider; employee requests and availability, budgeted hours, times of peak business, shift patterns, employment law...it’s no surprise that in larger organisations creating a schedule can take days if not weeks to get right. And then, without fail, it will always be changed.
Whether it’s a rota for 6 or 60 people, there will be requests to change shifts, absences and changing hours to deal with. We know how frustrating this is. When we talk to the people responsible for creating complex schedules we can see it in their eyes. This frustration stems from the fact that they are losing valuable time on a regular basis managing a rota rather than managing their people and their business.
The good news is, increasingly, companies are recruiting dedicated schedulers, responsible for handling the whole operation, from making sure the schedule sticks to budgeted hours to keeping staff happy.
In order to make the scheduler’s life as easy as possible, and to give them the best possible chance of creating amazing schedules that deliver for all stakeholders, it’s important to ask yourself the following four questions before appointing a new scheduler.
What KPIs matter most to your business?
There are many different KPIs you can measure to judge whether or not your schedules are working. It’s important for your new scheduler to know what the biggest drivers in the business are and what impact you want your new schedules to have.
As an example, good metrics to measure are:
- Employee engagement
- Customer satisfaction
- The percentage of salary cost compared to sales
- Payroll cost
- Absence percentage which includes statistics on sick leave and vacation days
What do you have in place to allow you to optimise your scheduling?
It might be 2018 but some businesses will still use spreadsheets or pen and paper to create their schedules. It becomes much harder to optimise your schedules if they are created in Excel. There are many easy to use and easy to implement business optimisation tools available which will hugely benefit any new scheduler joining your organisation.
The right business optimisation tool will give you:
- An overview of your business at anytime, from anywhere.
- Managers who have more ‘customer-facing’ time.
- The ability to make good decisions quickly.
- A simple way to communicate with your staff.
- Integrated task management.
- An easy way for your staff to see when they are working, change when they are working, submit leave requests and ask for more shifts.
- An unprecedented level of control over your schedules, budgets and forecasting.
As a result, you’ll save time, money and energy while having happier employees and happier customers.
How will your schedules be communicated to your employees?
The same tools mentioned above can also be used to revolutionise the way you communicate with your employees. As Millennials flood the workplace, it makes sense to communicate with them on their terms - like through an app. When employees can see when they are working, switch shifts and apply for leave all through one app, it makes their lives easier and removes unnecessary admin from the role of the scheduler, allowing them to instead focus on creating killer schedules that maximise your resources.
What matters most to your customers?
While different tools to optimise your business are wonderful, they aren’t a magic wand. To get the most from them and see the best results, you need to understand your business. A great place to start is asking the following questions:
- When will your customers show up?
- What are your busiest times?
- When are your customers eager to buy?
- When do they need the most hands-on assistance?
The better your knowledge of your business, the easier it will be for your new scheduler to create better schedules and have a lasting impact on your business.
If you’d like to find out more about how you can optimise your business with workforce management software then we’d love for you to view our free webinar where we’ll be discussing how to cut labour cost, without cutting staff.