3 Rookie Scheduling Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

March 6, 2019 | 1,473 views

3 Rookie Scheduling Mistakes You Don't Want to Make
3 Rookie Scheduling Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

You can’t be everywhere at once when your business is doing well, so you decide to bring on some help. However, if you’ve never managed staff before, you may quickly learn that it’s not always easy to keep everyone happy with scheduling. To get the most out of your new employees and make them want to stick around a while, avoid these three rookie mistakes in scheduling your employees.

1. Not Including Employee Input on Hours

If you’re just getting started, be sure to listen carefully to your employees’ preferred schedule when hiring. Flexibility and work/life balance have become very important to nearly all employees.

Their requests for specific shifts are important to them, so cooperate as much as possible to give them consistent work schedules. By showing a willingness to work with employees’ needs for specific days off, you’ll be rewarded with higher employee morale and dedication.

2. Failing to Schedule Efficiently and Consistently

Having too many or too few employees on a shift is frustrating for them and hurts customer service and business revenue. You never want employees on the clock while contributing little to the bottom line. And you also don’t want to understaff busier shifts and create a customer service problem. Monitor your revenue flows to determine when you most need employees and eliminate hours when it is not profitable to have an employee there.

Then use a scheduling software that establishes consistent processes for when schedules are available, how employees receive them, how they can swap shifts, or request time off. Even if you’re not big enough of a company to have an employee handbook, written procedures will eliminate confusion and resentment.  

Labor expense is often the single largest business expense, sometimes as high as 70% of revenue, and it directly reduces your profit. Of course, employees are necessary, so understand your business needs by time of day to eliminate unnecessary labor expense and overtime costs. If you approach the scheduling process with a clear set of needs for various shifts, the time spent scheduling goes down, and labor efficiencies on each shift go up.

3. Letting Compliance Ignorance Go Unchecked

Wage and labor laws are complicated aspects of running a business, and the ramifications of non-compliance are serious indeed. Your specialty is not labor law, and yet a business is expected to know the legalities of scheduling hours, rest times, overtime, breaks, and lunches even though these concerns are not your business focus.

Failing to learn, understand, and recognize your payroll and scheduling requirements can cost a company dearly — even putting a company out of business if an employee sues or opens a class action suit. Arm yourself with information on employee scheduling requirements for each city, county, and state where employees work.

A reputable PEO (Professional Employment Organization) or attorney who specializes in labor law can guide you. They are knowledgeable regarding all aspects of employee rights, and they can definitely provide guidance on requirements and limitations for your business employees so you can schedule hours like a pro.

Even if you’re new to hiring and managing staff, knowing these common mistakes can keep you from making them.

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. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007, and 2010, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017. 

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