An Easy Guide to Better Rota Management

by | 02.03.2016

We know creating a staff rota can sometimes feel like trying to solve a Rubik’s cube with a blindfold on and your hands tied behind your back.


It can be impossible. 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 first meet new clients we see it in their faces and hear it in their voices. The frustration come 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 it doesn’t have to be like this! The frustration can be taken away and we can help you solve that Rubik’s cube through better rota management.


To do this, we first need understand the three elements we need to consider when creating a rota:


Staff

Let’s start with the obvious one. Your rota has to work for your staff. Whether your business is a hotel, a retail store or a gym, if you run a shift-based business you’ll need a rota that works for your staff. Employees are demanding; they will have set hours they want to work, they’ll want to know these hours in advance and they’ll want to change them if they don’t work for them. To avoid time spent changing the rota speak to your staff and find out what hours they want to work. Work with them to find a solution that benefits both them and the business. This will ensure your staff are happier and, through enjoying work, they’ll be able to deliver more. Staff want consistent schedules, they want them in advance and they want them to be fair and reasonable. The repercussions of failing to do this can be significant, as Starbucks found out.


Time

Time is money, so the old saying goes, and this is never more true when it comes to rotas. The majority of labour costs will be controlled through the rota. Hit the sweet-spot and revenue will be maximised while costs are kept within in budget. However, over-staffing or unnecessary overtime can quickly see costs spiralling out of control. When it comes to hours, good rota management involves allocating hours to each employee, for each shift and for each week (or more if you are scheduling blocks of time in advance.) It’s imperative to know how many hours you are using and how much it is costing the business.


Customers

It might seem strange at first but customers are integral to creating a good rota. Bars are a great example of this. No one likes to be in a bar where there are more staff than customers, equally, no one wants to wait an age for a drink if there aren’t enough staff to deal with the volume of customers. To gain this insight, you need to use data to understand the nuances of your business and customers. Through this understanding you’ll be able to optimise the rota so everyone is happy and have the right people in the right place at the right time.


When it comes to creating the schedule, communication, visibility and ease of use are all key. As Quinyx has evolved as a product, we’ve learnt just how important these aspects are. That’s why employees are now able to swap shifts, send leave requests and see when they are working through the Quinyx App.


Jonatan Moreno, a GANT employee who uses Quinyx, says: “From an employee’s perspective is fantastic because it’s live and we see updates immediately. We can see our schedule up to 6 weeks in advance which makes it much easier to plan our lives outside of work.”


By automating the process involved in creating and managing a rota our customers are able to see a telling difference in the way they operate. Not only are they able to more effectively control costs, keep their employees happy and provide a better service to their customers, they are able to get their managers back to doing what they do best.


As Gudrun Sjödén store manager, Aino Sackemark, says: “Using Quinyx is a great change. Instead of sitting in my office I’m now on the shop floor. Quinyx has given me my time back. I’m no longer sat in front of a computer getting irritated, I’m doing what I love to do best.”  

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