Saving money is always at the forefront for companies who want to grow – not just survive. As the adage goes, success is often about working smarter, not harder. One area of business logistics in which working smarter can work to your advantage is shift planning. Workforce communications company Workerbee shared some best practices for saving money through shift planning, but first …
What Is Shift Planning?
Most people are used to a 9-to-5 business day. Certain businesses, however, need to keep their operation moving more than 8 hours a day. In fact, depending on the industry, facilities may need to be open 24/7, creating the need for employees to work in shifts. Shift planning means taking time to consider who should work what shifts, accounting for customer needs, vacation schedules and employee availability.
No matter what process you use to plan your work shifts, here are four tips for using the practice to maximize your productivity.
- Use a Template
Whether you use special software or an “old-fashioned” spreadsheet, set up a framework for your schedule and stay consistent with it. This will streamline the week-to-week work of building a work roster and make onboarding managers easier.
- Get Accurate Availability Information
Before you implement a shift plan, make sure you have complete details of your employees’ schedules. If some employees have flexibility in what shift they can work, that’s good to know. More importantly, knowing exactly when your team members are available to work will help you deal with unplanned absences.
- Plan Shifts Well in Advance
Posting shifts with plenty of notice isn’t just considerate toward your employees; it’s smart for business. Giving employees at least two weeks’ notice of upcoming shift assignments helps lower last-minute absences and can also reduce employee stress and turnover.
- Avoid On-Call Scheduling
Businesses that use on-call scheduling publish shifts in advance but then order their employees to call in before reporting to work to confirm they are needed for a shift. This is the opposite of planning shifts in advance. The stress team members can experience not knowing on any given day whether they’ll be working is a productivity killer.
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