You have landed on our US/Global Site.

The key ingredients to an ultimate schedule

Prepare for this holiday season with schedules that help your staff to perform their best.

The beautifully simple recipes usually rely on a handful of great ingredients while the super complex recipes have an ingredients list that spans four pages of a cookbook.

Some recipes are beautifully simple. Others require you to take at least three weeks off work and have a degree in biochemistry to make (we’re looking at you Heston Blumenthal!).  

The beautifully simple recipes usually rely on a handful of great ingredients while the super complex recipes have an ingredients list that spans four pages of a cookbook.

When it comes to scheduling, there’s a simple recipe for success…but we know how complex it can be when you take all the different elements into account. 

The art of good scheduling is all about getting the right people, in the right place, doing the right thing, at the right time. It should be simple, but you’d be amazed at how easy it is to get wrong. 

But we believe the perfect schedule does exist. Just add flexibility, business and employee needs, and data to the mix. Here’s how you do it:


Give your employees more control over when they work. This matters to your business because, according to State of the Deskless Workforce, 30% of frontline workers say they have no control over their work schedules. On top of that, 42% of frontline workers say their personal care suffers due to their work schedule.

This isn’t going to work wonders for your employee engagement - meaning your business takes the punch. Engaged employees generate 81% higher customer satisfaction and reduce employee turnover by 50% - it’s why it makes perfect sense to give them some more power!

The past two years have made the importance of employee engagement even more obvious. Companies that invest in and prioritize employee experience, understand their workforce culturally and strategically, and deploy tools and tech accordingly, haven’t seen the same talent drain during The Great Resignation in 2021.

With the right tools and technology in place, flexible scheduling can help save time, reduce costs, improve productivity and employee retention, and boost employee engagement. It’s what your frontline workers want, and it helps your managers to get more work done - yet only 13% of frontline workers change their shifts straight in an app.

But if you're serious about offering flexibility, you need an app to… 

  • Enable your employees to easily swap shifts and allow them to find a replacement in minutes in case the schedule doesn't suit them (or last-minute emergencies come up).
  • Fill empty shifts with the click of a button–both from an employer and employee point of view.
  • Open up extra employee shifts (that employees easily can sign up for) as soon as your business demands it.
  • Allow your employees to book time off or block out times where they can’t work.
  • Let employees punch in for their shifts straight on their phone within proximity of the workplace–using geofencing (GPS). That also means that you can wave goodbye to "buddy punching".

Business & employees needs

What does your business AND your workforce need? Now there’s a question. 

Businesses need to ensure compliance with scheduling rules, legislation changes, contractual requirements, union limits, meal breaks, and rest periods. And your managers need to accurately monitor employee skills and certifications required to perform each role, as well as publish schedules well in advance. 

Employees want to avoid understaffing, have control over their schedules, easily request leave, and change shifts without any hassle.

An example of a company that got this right is Roadchef–one of Britain’s leading roadside service area operators with 30 locations across the country, hosting several brands including McDonald’s, WHSmith, Costa Coffee and Leon.

Iain Thomson, Operations Planning Manager at Roadchef, explains the secret behind their success: “Employees don’t have standard 9 to 5 jobs here, but we can make schedules that incorporate certain wishes and still meet demand well. As an example, we’ve been able to offer shorter and longer shifts than your typical 7 to 8 hour day in some areas, which allows employees to combine their schedules with their lives better. In all honesty, the general feedback of employees has been hugely positive.” 

Shaped around data

If knowledge is power then understanding how your business works—and the data behind it—is the way to create better schedules. 

You should know when your busiest times are; when your customers need the most hands-on assistance; and the staffing levels needed to keep everyone happy.

By identifying ‘dead’ hours and idle staff, you can make sure you have the right people, in the right place, at the right time. You’ll then likely increase sales while spending less on your staff cost, simply by moving your resources around.

The good news is it’s simple to get right; when you balance your planned costs against your results, you create the most profitable resource plan. But, to do this, you'll need historical data and knowledge of any events, public holidays or promotions that could affect your business demand.

Here's an example:

You run a bar around the corner from a sports stadium. There’s a big game taking place during the weekend, which means you’re going to be super busy and need more staff. But your head bartender asks for the night off (because, hey, they also want to go to the game!). You then check the headcount you'll need in your forecast and voilá! You'll have the answer for the leave request!

The charm here is that your tech assistant (aka your WFM solution) will calculate the required headcount for you—based on your forecast. You'll be served with the optimal labor hours you need to make your business perform at its peak. On top of that, you'll make sure that you have the right staff with the right skills for each shift, and that no labor standards are broken.

Scheduling through a WFM solution also opens up global analysis of labor data –something that’s simply not possible to do on a local database. Running large flexible organizations with this type of feature could save you millions! 

Want to find out more about how better scheduling can help give your business success and employee engagement lift off? Then download our Playbook For Optimized Schedules to find out how.

Download Playbook

Get in touch for a free walkthrough

Enter your details below and we’ll be in touch to book in a free, no-obligation demo with you. Is this a support related question? Please visit our Help Center.