The Best Tips for More Successful Staff Planning

If you run a business with employees, you need to plan your staff. While that´s pretty manageable in small businesses without shift operation, it can become overwhelming in proportion to the number of employees and shifts that need to be covered. Staff planning is basically an overview about who works when and where on a certain day or in a certain week.

The process of staff planning can be really time-consuming and complex, as there are various factors to consider. As a business owner or executive manager, it’s your task to generate shift plans that add to the efficiency of your company. With the right tools, easy staff planning can become reality. Try the following tips in order to simplify the process and to get the most out of your workforce.

Staff Planning Software

Big group companies usually have a uniform system for staff planning, which is part of their general business software. But more and more small companies are beginning to look for ways of easier staff planning. Absences due to illness, leave days, individual working hours and special employee requests make it hard to be efficient in your planning. But mistakes can lead to overstaffing, understaffing or conflicts between shifts and employees. Apart from that, you should always make sure not to advantage or to disadvantage single staff members.

Of course, you could just elaborate a binding shift plan and expect your employees to follow it, but that could be counterproductive – in regards to legal stipulations and in regards to employee satisfaction. A good roster plan on the other hand can lead to happier and therefore more efficient staff, which consequently results in a better performance.

A simple staff planning software like the one by Papershift can help you keep track of all absences and helps you create a rota that works fine for both employees´ requests and company goals. With the right tool, planning isn’t hard. It can save you a lot of time and is definitely worth the investment.

Different Types of Roster Planning

There is a shift, and you want it covered. But how do you decide, whom to choose for which shift? A good software like the one mentioned above allows you to apply the kind of rota system that works best for you, your staff and your business. Rotating shifts are a very popular and efficient system. Other executives prefer different shift patterns.

Some companies even decide to encourage employee interaction by not only allowing them to have a look at the shift plan, but also to apply for shifts or even to assign themselves for their favored shifts and work places. This promotes employee satisfaction and leads to a higher expertise in the different positions: If Lisa loves mixing drinks, why would you let her serve drinks instead – only for the sake of rotation? Lisa will do a lot better at the bar than she will taking up orders from guests, while Emily – the staff member that you have assigned for the bar – enjoys the service shift a lot more than the bar shift?

Communicate Clearly

Transparency is the best way to keep your staff members happy. Staff planning can sometimes lead to single employees feeling disadvantaged. If the roster plan may seem random to your staff, make sure to explain to them why you´ve set it up that way. If they know that there have been scheduling conflicts, understaffing or individual requests that didn’t leave you any room for planning differently, they might understand – at least, the chances are a lot higher than by just presenting the plan to them without losing a word about it. 

Analyze and Optimize

Your staff planning can become better in the long-run if you make sure to learn from previous flaws. The easiest way to review past shifts and their success is to use a staff planning software that gives out reports and analyzes that you can learn from.

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