Unexpected staff absences are a fact of life in every business. People get sick. Cars break down. Public transport grinds to a halt. Whether you’re running a hospital or a hotel, managing staff rosters manually can be acutely time consuming – especially if you are whipped up into a frenzy of frantic phone calls and emails to find appropriately skilled staff to cover last minute shift changes, every time someone calls in sick.
Of course, having a structured and well-organised roster is a cornerstone of any successful business – particularly when you’re managing a mix of casual, part-time and full-time shift workers.
Rosters provide a schedule of your employees’ working hours – generally for a week, fortnight or month ahead, and help your staff monitor their shifts, see start times, advise of availability and more.
But these days, rostering doesn’t have to be confined to a spreadsheet and pinned to the staff lunchroom notice board. Instead of manually writing up rosters and spending countless hours making endless updates to accommodate shift change requests from staff, you can leverage automated rostering and work scheduling online.
Making rosters that work well for your staff
When you are preparing rosters for your employees, it’s important to keep in mind each employee’s ordinary hours of work, break entitlements and the minimum hours of work for part-time and casual employees.
It’s also good practice to plan in advance. While it gives you and your staff a degree of predictability, it also means that weekend and public holiday work requirements can be managed well in advance, and can be altered to suit your workers’ existing commitments.
Without doubt, the biggest juggling act with staff rosters is typically around ensuring you have the right number of staff with the right qualifications working when you need them. Sufficiently qualified staff must be rostered to maintain a standard of service that protects the reputation of your business. Rostering too few qualified staff can put your business at risk from a customer service standpoint and in terms of compliance. Rostering too many will be expensive as you will be paying for skills that you don’t need. An automated work scheduling system saves you time by efficiently processing the many varied factors such as productivity or service standards that are set by management that you need to consider in the staff roster.
Giving staff 24×7 access to rosters
Rather than pinning up the roster in the lunch room and then fielding calls from staff about their shifts, with online rostering tools, you can automate SMS and emails to go out to staff once the roster is published.
Simply by making the roster accessible to every person in your business to check at any time, you’ll have fewer last minute scheduling shift changes to manage. At the same time, your workers will be more empowered with full details of their schedules, so there’s no confusion over start times.