The most common problems with your rota and how to solve them

by | 26.10.2016
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If you’re a manager putting together weekly, fortnightly or even monthly rotas then this will sound very familiar to you.

 

Picture the scene...you’ve spent hours, maybe even days, creating your rota. You’ve taken into account when your staff have said they’d like to work, you’ve paid consideration to the days they’ve said they don’t want to work and you’ve found the perfect blend of putting the right people together to form a dream team for each shift.

 

The chances are you might still be using a simple spreadsheet to create this schedule and when you’ve finally put those finishing touches to it you take a step back and admire it, in all its untouched beauty. Because you know, as soon as your staff see the latest schedule, there are going to be things you need to change. All of a sudden your work of art becomes a scribbled mess and it’s all you can do to stop yourself from banging your head against the desk in frustration.

 

We feel your pain. In fact, we know the following is likely to happen…

 

1. Your staff will still ask you what hours they are working regardless of whether the rota is finished or not.

 

Whether it’s a restaurant with 50 waiting-on staff or a superstore with hundreds of employees, staff always want to know when they’re working next.

Now think of the time it takes to answer that question for one employee. Let’s say it’s 5 minutes. Now say 50 employees ask the question. That’s 250 minutes – or a little over 4 hours. 4 hours of your time you’ll never get back, solving a problem that, with a workforce management tool, never exists in the first place.

Instead of seeing the rota on a spreadsheet when you print it off and stick it on a notice board wouldn’t it be easier if your staff can see it wherever they are from any device as well as receiving a notification as soon as it’s published?

And wouldn’t it be great if they can use the same system to say in advance when they want to work alongside making themselves available for any shifts that might become free? Automated rotas are a game changer and a must for any business with more than 50 employees.

 

2. Your staff will want to swap shifts.

 

And most of the time staff do so without asking or forget to tell management. This causes even more of an ‘admin burden’ sucking up more of your valuable time while you make the changes to your schedule. Think of all the phone calls, texts and queues into your office you get when your employees want to swap shifts. It happens a lot, right? 

And don’t forget shift swapping can also have an impact on the number of hours an employee is working potentially bringing extra cost if it triggers any overtime payments which will have a direct impact on your budget. What you really need is a rules-based system where this can all be managed in one place and shifts that need to be swapped can be done so within your workforce management system.

 

3. Your staff won’t be happy with the shifts they’ve been allocated.

 

Whether it’s not being able to work a certain shift or wanting more hours they’ve been allocated, there’s a good chance with manual scheduling a certain percentage of your workforce will find cause to complain. And unhappy employees are unproductive employees. Web based rota management systems like Quinyx allow staff to use an app to say when they can and can’t work. Not only does this give them a higher degree of control over their work-life balance, it leads to happier staff and less schedule changes.

Our challenge to you is to try it for yourself and see the difference rota software can make. We make sure our customers measure the number of changes they make to their schedules after they start using Quinyx so they can see how this trends downwards.

 

And as an added bonus you’ll save yourself time, money, energy and a great deal of frustration. So what are you waiting for?  

Tommy Tonkins

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