Employee scheduling: 5 best practices you need to know

employee scheduling

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Employee scheduling is a crucial business process for any large or small business that provides services based on hourly rates and shifts. Managing the complexity of having different employees, across several locations, at different times is often stressful and, if not managed correctly, can negatively impact your business and bottom line. This is why getting your employee work schedule process right from the get-go is essential. We look at the top 5 best practices for employee scheduling and how technology, like Adapt IT EasyRoster, simplifies this process for businesses across the cleaning services and security sectors.

employee scheduling

Employee scheduling landscape

To understand how employee scheduling affects your business, it is essential to define what this process involves. Employee scheduling, which is also often referred to as workforce scheduling, is defined as establishing the schedules of the hours workers require to meet the demands of a particular workplace. This process also schedules different shifts and transitions from one shift to another.

From the above, it may sound like employee scheduling is a simple process where you schedule shifts and staffing, but in reality, it is incredibly complex, especially when managing a large number of employees across multiple locations and different shifts. This is why you may see many various free online tools like employee shift schedule templates, employee training schedule templates, free weekly employee shift schedule templates excel, free employee schedule maker, monthly employee schedule templates in excel, free online employee scheduling and the list goes on. Everyone is looking for the perfect way to schedule their employees across different jobs and locations.

These free templates are often not detailed enough to be effective. This is because an employee schedule also needs to include managing labour costs, taking into account predicated workloads, the resources required to complete a job and ensuring that your customers have a great service experience.

When correctly managed, employee scheduling will allow you to:

  • Effectively balance workflow supply and demand
  • Boost productivity at each shift
  • Track and manage the complexities of a flexible work environment, including human resource management, payroll, labour costs, time off etc.
  • Efficiently manage employee attendance issues and overtime
  • Enhance employee job satisfaction and retention
  • Ensure a great customer experience

Employee scheduling is a critical process that will enhance your overall business operations, productivity and profitability. There are several best practice principles to follow for this process to be successfully implemented into your business, which we discuss below.

Employee scheduling

The 5 best practices for employee scheduling 

There is no doubt that employee scheduling plays a significant role in businesses. Still, several best practices should be followed for this process to become as impactful as possible. These include:

Determining your resource needs

This links back to how well you know your business and operations. For employee scheduling to work as efficiently as possible, you need to identify and understand what labour resources you need to meet your operational goals. This will mean that you will need to map out the different services required by location and role to determine the number of employees required for each shift duration. This type of labour planning is necessary to ensure you have the right staff to get the job done at the correct location.

Planning ahead – look at historical data and utilise forecasting

They say learn from the past and apply those lessons to the future, and this sentiment applies to employee scheduling. If you have a repeat customer, for example, providing security for a large event, then take a look at your previous scheduling plan, the challenges encountered and aim to solve these. Don’t forget to analyse seasonal schedules, for example, when running a cleaning company. Plan ahead and look at what your busy months are compared to quieter months. In this way, you can effectively plan your schedules as well as forecast the resources needed and your profitability during these times.

Ensure labour law compliance and that you are in line with scheduling rules

It is essential to ensure that your employees are not working longer hours or shifts than allowed by labour law practices, trade unions or other industry guidelines. You also need to ensure compliance with overtime restrictions and pay. It is also essential that your employees are correctly trained and certified. This ensures that their capability matches the jobs they are doing.

Create open lines of communication with employees about their schedules

When scheduling several employees across locations, it is essential to have open lines of communication so that you and your team are completely in sync and aligned in terms of scheduling. In this way, you can manage effective communication around employee preferences, work schedules, shift swaps, availability, open shifts, available employees, organise shift replacements and create employee engagement. For this to run optimally, it is essential that your employees have access to their schedules and that these are done well in advance to allow for contingency plans. It is also important to have an employee work schedule agreement in place so that all employees are aware of what the procedure is to change schedules.

Optimise employee scheduling with technology

With so many complexities surrounding rotation schedules for multiple employees, many security and cleaning services companies, retailers and healthcare and manufacturing organisations have turned to innovative employee shift scheduling software and technology to streamline the scheduling process.  There are many desktop and mobile device scheduling options on the market, ranging from a simple employee scheduling app that allows you to track and export timesheets to more comprehensive solutions that cover the full range of employee scheduling requirements. The more comprehensive solutions are often considered the best employee scheduling solutions. They answer the question, how to create a schedule for employees? Quickly and easily while simplifying the scheduling process and amplifying workforce management through auto-scheduling, schedule templates, labour forecasting, payroll processing, employee monitoring in real-time, and more. This allows for efficient employee shift management and tracking, increasing productivity, reducing administrative burdens, and optimising these processes. One such example of this technology is Adapt IT’s EasyRoster solution.

Employee scheduling

Improving employee scheduling with EasyRoster

From the above, it is clear that technology is shifting how we do things, especially where employee scheduling is concerned. The customisable EasyRoster solution was specifically built with employee scheduling challenges in mind and aims to simplify the complexity related to this process, allowing you to spend less time scheduling employees and more time growing your business. This technology facilitates the following elements related to employee scheduling:

Contract management- Details regarding each site or location are captured and maintained in EasyRoster.  When roster and attendance hours or shifts are registered for a site, they are compared to the requirements of the contract or site –  providing you with a bird’s eye view of all jobs and operations requirements.

Personnel management– Details regarding each person to be managed are captured and maintained in EasyRoster.  This allows you to choose and assess the right employees for the project, site or job.

Staff scheduling per location – Scheduling (rostering) of personnel shifts is done per location and may be done manually or automatically. This allows you to ensure that the right employees are at the right locations, enables you to track and get overtime alerts, monitors non-productive time, and provides sales data that you can use to determine the profit per site. In this way you can easily create an employee weekly schedule and employee work schedule templates to reuse for different jobs, employee day off schedule as well as employee schedule sheet saving you time. 

Time and attendance per location – The capturing of actual attendance details is done per location and may be done manually or automatically. This allows you to pull reports and make the necessary adjustments to attendance to ensure that sites are correctly covered and that wage costs are kept to a minimum.

EasyRoster makes the process of employee scheduling simpler, faster and more efficient. This allows you to reduce the administrative burdens around scheduling your employees, provides a holistic view of all employees and their schedules across locations, offers integration, and assists in identifying profit margins and opportunities to enhance productivity and revenue.

Free Shift Roster Excel Template Download


There is no doubt that employee scheduling software is becoming essential to a business’s bottom line, which is why you need to have all your boxes ticked to ensure that you are managing this process as efficiently as possible. This is why employee scheduling systems and employee scheduling tools like the EasyRoster solution is so essential. This software helps you manage the complexities around employee scheduling and ensures operational efficiency, ultimately driving business success. Book a demo today to see how EasyRoster can simplify your employee scheduling.

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