Creating schedules is a key task in every business, regardless of the industry, number of employees and internal regulations. While each company faces its own unique challenges, the goal is common to all of them: to always create the exact schedule that allows you to accomplish the tasks required to maintain your ideal level of service, and all within the established timeframe. As you read this sentence, you may have thought that it's impossible to achieve this every time, and that's the core of the problem: do you know what stops you from creating an error-free schedule every week?
We want to help you see more clearly through the process of creating your schedules so that your daily inconveniences become a thing of the past! We invite you to answer this list of questions to get a global view of the situation. The difficulties you encounter could be due to three factors: your company's structure, its internal communication and its organizational system.
Do you create the schedule for numerous employees (over 100)?
Are you facing a labor shortage?
Do employees stay in the company for at least 1 year?
Do employees regularly work in multiple locations?
Do employees regularly work on multiple contracts?
Does your company face an unpredictable volume of demand?
Does each employee work the same number of hours each week?
Is your company unionized?
If so, does unionization make it difficult to create schedules?
Do you deal with these situations on a regular basis: Last-minute absences / Regular lateness / Unofficial shift swaps / Unexpected overtime?
Are you able to manage schedules without going over budget?
Do you use a mass communication tool to contact employees?
If not, how do you communicate with your employees?
Does this means of communication allow you to be at your full potential?
Do employees communicate their availabilities / vacations / delays / absences to you via this means of communication?
Do employees communicate their availabilities / vacations / delays / absences at the last minute?
Do employees have easy access to their schedule?
Do you know the qualifications of the employees (positions to which they can be assigned, on which sites, on which projects, ...)?
Do you know the specifics of each employee's contract? (full time, part time, seasonal, on a particular site, with a particular customer, ...)
Is all employee information documented in one place?
Do you use a scheduling tool? (Excel or software)
If not, how do you proceed?
Does your scheduling process allow you to be at your full potential?
Do you modify each schedule at least once?
Generally, what are the reasons for these modifications?
Do you rush to create schedules because you have other important tasks to do?
Do you consider that in the current context it is even more complex to manage schedules (government measures, closures, layoffs or overstaffing, absences, hygiene measures...)?
After evaluating how you create schedules, you may have raised issues that could have serious consequences in the future: employee dissatisfaction, due to unpredictable scheduling, and customer dissatisfaction, if service or production is delayed. It can also lead to loss of time and therefore financial losses, for example by calling employees one by one to fill in a single absence. Finally, the more the schedule is modified, the more errors are likely to occur in the schedule, leading to payroll problems. To learn more, read our article on the impact of workforce management software on a company's finances.
The first one is to listen to the employees. Understand their dissatisfaction in order to reduce turnover, lateness and absences. Get to know them so you can make the most of their qualifications. You are a team and employees who feel valued at work are happier and more productive.
The second is communicating with other managers to determine if they have problems similar to yours and especially to find common solutions. Cooperation is the key in this type of situation.
The third is to equip yourself with a versatile tool adapted to your needs. This software will be able to create a schedule for you that respects the availability of employees as well as your internal rules. Thanks to automation, this software collects data in order to predict peaks of activity in the company and thus forecast the necessary manpower.
In addition, it can be your main communication tool to contact all employees at once, whether it is to inform them of their schedule or to fill the shift of an absent employee. The software will automatically update the schedule so that you don't waste time doing it yourself. And all this information will be in the same place, so there's no need to run after employees to ask for their availability anymore!
We hope that after answering these questions, you have been able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your schedule creation. Do not hesitate to contact us to find the solutions adapted to your needs, it will be our pleasure to share our expertise to make your scheduling more efficient!