Creating Fair and Balanced Schedules with Staff Scheduling App

Staff Scheduling App

Until recently, project and workforce scheduling for shifts was done manually by managers. They would print out a weekly calendar and then write out which employee would take on a particular shift or assignment. This laborious process often lends itself to scheduling errors, overstaffing, and uneven workload assignments.

Creating a balanced and effective schedule is a complicated and tricky process, but it’s crucial to a project manager’s role. Only if the schedule is balanced will managers be able to gain maximum output from the employees. Uneven assignments or pushing certain employees beyond their work capacity spell disastrous results for all.

Follow our simple steps and tips and be well on your way to creating fair and balanced staff schedules, time and time again.

Staff Scheduling App

What is a Work Schedule?

Work schedule is the amount of hours and days you expect your employees to work. It includes details on:

  • Who is working
  • Details on specific tasks to be completed
  • Start and end times for jobs/shifts
  • Information on overall workload per employee

Work schedules should be organised chronologically and can be created with a staff scheduling software, an Excel sheet, or a calendar.

Benefits of a Balanced Schedule

A fair and balanced work schedule benefits the entire organisation. Let us explain.

With a balanced schedule, resources are worked at optimum capacity and are assigned tasks that directly benefit the bottom revenue lines. Resources are less likely to be stressed and therefore can give their 100% to the job at hand. Employees are also less prone to burnout. Burnout and stress are the top reasons for attrition and poor productivity.

A fair schedule that appropriately aligns employees to assignments that match their skill-set and takes into consideration their working hours and location, maximises their participation and empowers them to deliver unique and improved solutions. How? Employees have a manageable workload, know their deadlines and responsibilities, and therefore have adequate time and tools to deliver.

A work schedule also makes it easier for you, as a manager, to control costs and manage overtime. When you schedule resources in a fair manner, you reduce the risks of overdoing allotment to certain resources which can lead to overtime expenses.

Lastly, a balanced work plan helps you stay on top of the workload so you can meet deadlines better. It also reduces friction between employees that could result from uneven workload assignments.

Balance staffing at multi level with Staff scheduling app

How to Create a Balanced Schedule?

Not sure how to create a fair and balanced schedule? Don’t worry, we have got your back. Follow our steps.

The first thing you need to know before you can create a balanced schedule is to have a complete list of all tasks and/or shifts that need to be assigned. Once all the tasks are listed, you can prioritise them using the Pareto Principle.

The manager also needs to know the availability of all resources. What are their preferred hours, locations, and whether they have any leaves that could affect the scheduling are all factors you need to have with you. With eRS, an enterprise staff scheduling software, you will gain insight on a resources’ short-term and long-term availability, leave schedule, and applicable holiday list.

It’s important for a manager to create defined work schedule rules. Having rules is the best way to avoid over-time costs and ensure the employees are not working continuously for a certain period. It also ensures that everyone is offered an equal chance to take on assignments of preference. Examples of schedule rules could be:

  • One night duty every 15 days
  • No employee will have consecutive closing and opening shifts
  • Overtime hours are limited to 10 hours per week
  • Maximum hours one can work per week is 50

Next is developing a streamlined protocol for schedule changes, leaves, and unexpected scenarios. Good and fair scheduling has to be flexible. Have a well-communicated plan for employees to be able to modify the schedule and request personal time off. How many times can an employee request a shift change or split a shift? What if there is an emergency? How many sick or personal days can one take? Who will approve the change process? Have a written document that provides guidelines for such scenarios to eliminate conflicts in the long-run.

It is equally important to share the schedule well in advance. No one likes to be pulled into work last minute or be taken away from important family occasions. Informing employees of their schedule makes your employees happier and less stressed as they are able to plan their lives around it. And when the majority of your employees show up as per schedule, you know more work will get done. Another factor to keep in mind here is that certain cities and states have laws that mandate how much notice should be given to an employee with regard to their work schedule.

Lastly, you want to remember that no matter how good a schedule you’ve made, there’s always room for improvement. So, seek feedback from all stakeholders — how is the scheduling process working for them? Would they like to see any changes? Are they feeling it’s balanced?

Advantages of Using a Staff Scheduling Software

Another way of creating a balanced schedule is by installing the help of a resource management tool. Using technology to aid your employee planning saves time and its extremely convenient — you don’t need to be a coder to be able to use one.

Here’s what else a staff scheduling software can do for your organisation:

  • Provides enterprise visibility on available employees
    The centralised dashboard provides all pertinent information regarding employees, including their associated billing rates, leave schedule, and area of expertise. The software provides visibility on resources that might be working remotely or stationed out of another office location.
  • Automates the scheduling process.
    Once task requirements and timelines are entered into the software, the system will automatically provide a list of those employees who fit the bill in terms of skill set and availability. This will result in immense time savings as you don’t have to schedule calls or track email chains to finalise a schedule.
    You can also set work schedule parameters into the system (schedule a night shift every fortnight) and the system will ensure each employee is rotated by this rule. Managers can customise these parameters based on organisation’s work rule definitions.
    The platform also makes it quicker to make adjustments to the schedule. For instance, if an employee is unable to take up a shift, they can use the software to see who might be able to trade places with them. The change process approval can also be managed through the software.
  • Prevents scheduling errors like double booking or over scheduling.
    A resource management software comes with resource utilisation and capacity load metrics. These two data points will alert a manager if an employee has been overscheduled. It will also allow managers to ensure all resources are being utilised at maximum capacity and are not left idle.
  • Helps track resource costs and payments
    Labour costs are a company’s most expensive expenditure. Creating a schedule with a scheduling app will aid you in tracking costs and payments effectively as you can see employees’ billing or pay-rates. This timesheet feature applies to both contract and part-time workers. The staff scheduling software can integrate with your HR system and quickly calculate salaries and applicable overtime pay. The staff scheduling software also provides insights on whether too many unbillable or administrative tasks are dominating the schedule.
  • Improves project delivery rates
    With a scheduling tool, you can also track work progress in real-time. Most softwares also allows you to create capacity plans for future projects. With better and more accurate capacity planning tools, an organisation can improve project delivery rates as they know exactly how much work they can take on and whether they have sufficient resources for it.
  • Delivers utmost transparency
    Possibly the biggest beauty of a work scheduling software is that it delivers unmatched transparency on schedules for both the manager and employees. Through the centralised system, all employees have access to everyone's schedules and can see how tasks have been assigned.
Balance staffing at multi level with Staff scheduling app
Master the Art of a Balanced Schedule, Today

Haven’t invested in a staff scheduling software yet? As we explained earlier, installing the right technology tool will make the task of creating a fair schedule simpler and faster. Most importantly, it will give you additional time. Time where you can focus on more crucial areas of work — like actually being able to support your workforce and deliver timely client solutions.

There are numerous scheduling apps on the market, which one is the best? We’ve done the research and can confidently say that eRS is one of the most comprehensive employee scheduling tools out there.

Whether you are looking to manage full-time, hybrid, or contract employees, or design a shift schedule for a hospital, our software can be plugged and played into any industry and scenario. Try it for yourself, sign up for our free trial, today!

CEO & Founder
Rudraksh Vyas
Rudraksh Vyas, an accomplished CEO at ENBRAUN since 2011, has a proven track record in leading and growing technology-driven businesses. His expertise lies in product development, client management, and implementing effective business strategies, ensuring robust financial and resource management. Prior to his current role, Rudraksh honed his skills in business development, where he excelled in account management and export marketing. He holds a PMP certification from the Project Management Institute and an MBA in International Business from the University of Technology Sydney. Rudraksh's journey reflects a deep commitment to excellence and innovation in the tech industry, making him a respected leader and visionary in his field.

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