Workforce scheduling: top 9 tips to get the best from employees

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Your employees are your greatest asset. 

They are the machine that drives the company’s purpose.

They’re also the biggest expense, so it’s worth it to get the best value from them.

Workforce scheduling is only one part of high productivity. These top tips are proven to get the most value for the number of hours worked:

Use insights to motivate

#1: Use insights to motivate

Workforce management software is the only way to get valuable insights into employee performance, in order to enhance employee satisfaction and motivation, and therefore efficiency.

Management must focus on performance, as this is a primary factor in creating an organisation culture that develops high engagement. Employees who are highly engaged are more productive.

If companies do not use workforce scheduling technology, it results in information gaps that are critical to employee productivity.

What insights can be gleaned from workforce management solutions? Examples include:

  • Individual performance measurements
  • Bottlenecks
  • Negative trends and problem areas
  • Absence trends
If companies do not use workforce scheduling technology (1)

Image Credit: SHRM

#2: Find out what employees need

It would be a mistake to think that salary alone should motivate employees. In fact, countless studies indicate that money is ultimately not a driving factor for staying motivated and productive.

Find out what employees need (3)

Google’s Sydney offices inspire creativity to keep Google a top performing business.

#3: Build relationships

It’s a well-known fact that strong employer-employee relationships foster loyalty. The more relationships employees develop at work, the more hard working they’ll become, because not only do staff start caring about the company and its people, but they’ll also care more about what others think of the work they do.

In addition, loyalty from strong relationships results in:

  • Improved conflict resolution
  • Equality and fairness
  • Enhanced communication

#4: Communicate often

When a marriage between two people dies, it’s almost always attributed to poor communication.

This is true for companies too.

Where there are grumbling employees, you’ll always hear them complain that management “never tells them anything”. Ask them a question about the company, and they’re likely to respond with “I don’t know”.

To be a high performing business, companies need to build solid, strong units of community, and that begins with communication.


#5: Hold team building events

Collaboration is powerful. It stimulates creativity, may enhance productivity, builds a sense of community and one-ness, can be an exceptional problem-solving method and can lead to groundbreaking innovations and ideas. 

And yet, it remains a commonly underutilised tool.

Most people who leave their place of employment within the first year, cite feeling “disconnected” to the company, and this is due to lack of collaboration.

Hold team building events to build teamwork and collaboration, as this also ties into building strong relationships which come with a host of other benefits that amplify efficiency.

#6: Provide feedback and recognition

On the whole, humans are motivated by feel-good experiences.

Recognition in the workplace, for a job well done, or “catching” employees at doing something worth praise, is important. Think of recognition as a drug: once you get it, you want more because it feels so good. 

Therefore, employee recognition increases productivity, reduces employee turnover, and improves customer satisfaction, especially when employees are customer-facing.

#7: Deal with requests fast

Should management receive any requests, they should treat employees as the important asset they are, and deal with them immediately and with high priority.

The solution could be a rotating work schedule, flexibility or simply swapping shifts.

When performing employee scheduling with shift planning software, offer open shifts so employees can choose. 

If they have a query around work schedules, address it promptly.

The bottom line? Treat employee concerns as important, and it will boost loyalty and productivity.

Provide training & knowledge enhancement

#8: Provide training & knowledge enhancement

Companies need to provide the right training for employees, and reinforce that training. 

For example, if customer-facing staff receive customer service training, keep reinforcing that training with quick follow-up sessions and knowledge enhancement so that they don’t forget, or so that the learned information does not grow stale.

Not only does the company benefit, but employees do too, as they work to improve their skills, making themselves more sought after in their careers.

#9: Give incentives for hard work

Humans are created with a built-in desire to work towards something. 

This is what makes it critical for staff to understand their individual purpose in the grand scheme of things, but it’s also important to provide incentives for hard work.

This concept is about as old as time and is used particularly well in sales teams: if a sales member should reach a certain target amount, they are awarded with a free trip to the Bahamas, or some other exotic destination.

While there is no need to take it to such extremes, all companies should add incentives. They don’t have to be elaborate either. Holding a monthly meeting where the person with the best so-and-so gets a morning off, or something simple like that, will do the trick.


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