6 Scheduling Mistakes to Avoid

May 5, 2021 | 192 views

6 Scheduling Mistakes to Avoid
6 Scheduling Mistakes to Avoid

A common scheduling strategy is to divvy up the human resources by the hours and slots you need covered. It seems simple enough that way. But a good schedule also pays attention to key factors of productivity. When you overlook these factors, you probably make one of these common scheduling mistakes (that you should avoid).

Sticking to One Pattern. Consistency can be a good thing, of course, but scheduling has to flex based on real data. A schedule that doesn’t change when business needs change will become inefficient and more costly. Instead, review your peak hours, employee performance, and other things that are fluid. A limber scheduling pattern will improve shifts to suit your business’s ever-evolving demands.

Not Including Employee Input. Employees will grumble about scheduling issues without ever telling you, so you must query their ideas for improvement. Employees do care about your success because it ensures their success—let them contribute. Their input will usually reflect efficiencies and scheduling problems that you cannot see from your office chair.

Catering to Employees. Gathering employee input is important, but assigning shifts based on their preferences can be disastrous unless it also serves your business. Some shifts are better than others, and not one person will be happy if you treat any single person more favorably. High performance levels, skill sets, or team dynamics can guide your decisions, not individual preference. 

Running Too Thin. Labor expense is costly, but some redundancy in your employees is necessary. You will have an occasional flurry of activity on certain days of the week or times of the day, and you will need staffing. Also, mix of skills is critical to managing unexpected changes and providing the right services to meet customer needs. Even more important is the long-haul view over weeks and months. If your turnover runs at 25% annually, then a buffer of extra employees with duplicate skills will cover the expansion and contraction in your labor force.

Relying on Long Shifts. If you are running too thin or prefer fewer employees, long shifts become a common error. Using fewer employees to work longer shifts is not more productive; rather, it will cost you more in the long run due to a fatigued and inefficient staff. Add the cost of overtime pay, and you’ll be in a financial hole. Hire appropriately and schedule employees so you get the best out of them at a lower cost.

Failing to Automate. Trying to remember employee input, daily details, timeframes, and special projects will lead to mistakes. Automated scheduling software saves time, improves communication between employees, and helps ensure that the right person is scheduled for each position. Software is consistent when it needs to be, and it’s flexible when your scheduling routine changes.

Using your employees to the best advantage means creating an employee shift schedule that is efficient and provides the best benefit to your organization. Keep productivity high and your operation running smoothly by avoiding commons scheduling mistakes.

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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