3 Questions to Ask When Redesigning Employee Schedules

October 20, 2020 | 588 views

3 Questions to Ask When Redesigning Employee Schedules
3 Questions to Ask When Redesigning Employee Schedules

Coronavirus is changing employee scheduling. Our industry is in high demand as organizations reimagine workplace demands, safety issues and staffing needs. For hourly workers, especially, scheduling has become a daily dance with legal restrictions, illness, and limited employee availability.

It is difficult to know how to prioritize employees and business needs when scheduling becomes nonstandard. When redesigning schedules, we suggest asking yourself these questions to help focus your decision on new schedules.

  1. How is employee effectiveness affected by scheduling? Every organization wants labor hours to be productive, and employee effectiveness changes based on scheduling. What works to improve effectiveness? Flexibility and compressed workweeks rank high. In a non-covid world, flexible work hours are the most highly rated non-salary benefit desired by prospective employees. And flex-hour schedules or compressed work increase job satisfaction resulting in fewer absences and longer tenure. What sours employee productivity? Late nights, overtime and rotational shifts. Sometimes, the reason for reduced effectiveness is caused by poor sleeping and eating habits on later-night or overtime shifts. Try to avoid them; strive for employee well-being and happiness that will improve productivity.
  2. What do your employees need and want? Everyone is different. Some people are early risers (and some not so much). Some employees want to work around family demands or prefer non-standard shifts. Whether it is circadian rhythms or childcare demands, an employee who is pleased with the schedule will demonstrate greater loyalty and productivity. If you can personalize schedules to individual preferences, it will pay off in multiple ways. And if you really want to experiment with what works best, give your staff the option of scheduling their own hours. This won’t work in all industries, of course, when you need a whole team in place at the same time, but it will give employees a sense of control and engagement that will benefit the organization (even if it’s a bit more work for their manager).
  3. Can we balance employee needs and organization needs? If an organization can meet staffing needs and satisfy employees, it is a match that bodes well for production and profitability. Of course, it is not always possible. Essential workers may not be able to have as much consistency and flexibility as they would like, for example, and certain core functions might be needed round the clock, even though that is not ideal for the employees. Regardless, this pandemic period may the best time to deeply analyze where scheduling changes can satisfy employees’ desires and organization needs.

The key to overhauling schedules is finding a balance between business needs that will continually change as the pandemic evolves and the needs of employees. Partner with your team to consider the wide variety of scheduling options available that are right for everyone involved.

Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. For many years, Atlas Business Solutions has been named one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies.

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