Few industries schedule with only a 9-5 shift in mind. Today's workplace requires flexibility not only to offer great customer service, but increase productivity and engage employees. While it's difficult to create the perfect employee work schedule, taking your current schedule and making it better is possible. To make the most of your business' and your employees' time, start using these tips to optimize your employee work schedules.
Start With Your Metrics
If you're using a workforce management system, you've already started measuring the metrics that track your business growth and productivity. You have the data that shows when your customers contact you, when customers walk in the door, and when your business needs its employees most. Yet, many businesses don't take these metrics into account when creating a schedule. Instead managers stick to the status quo, issuing a schedule that, while easy to create, doesn't effectively meet their company's needs. Understanding where and when your workload is occurring can help optimize your employee work schedules to meet business needs, even if it doesn't involve a standard eight-hour shift.
Consider Employee Engagement
Happy and engaged employees are also productive and motivated, ensuring they provide the best work possible for your company. With that in mind, optimizing your work schedule to involve both your company's needs and your employees' needs is essential. Talk to employees about how they schedule their day and whether a change in schedule would make them more productive. For some employees, simply shifting their start time thirty minutes later in the day can help transition other workers between shifts and provide that employee better work-life satisfaction. Employee engagement matters when optimizing your schedule so speaking to employees about how they would like to see their schedule improved can lead to some money-saving revelations for you and a happier workplace for them.
Think About the People Behind the Schedule
Too often, managers get wrapped up in creating a schedule and don't consider how the employees on that schedule actually interact. Every business has some workers who can work multiple departments, answer specialized customer questions, and step in to help out less experienced workers while other employees simply aren't as versatile. While most businesses rightly allow these star employees their choice of schedule, if they aren't spread out among different departments and shifts, it creates a void that can damage productivity and customer satisfaction. Managers needs to balance both their need to optimize schedules and their need to allocate their top performers among that schedule to provide the biggest benefits to the company.
When it comes to optimizing employee work schedules, there's a lot of factors at play. Pairing worker schedule and skills with customer and business needs is a delicate balance, but a vital one for gaining the most from your employees’ work schedules. A workforce management system is one tool managers can use to ensure that the right employees are being scheduled at the right time but it also requires managerial diligence. If you're ready to run a lean system with the best results for your business, your customers, and your employees, use these tips to optimize your work schedules.