Whether you are working in the hospitality, media, or retail business or an HR managing an organisation of 10 or 100 employees, you want your business to operate efficiently. The first step is to have skilled staff. But more importantly, you need the right staff at the right time to impact your business success. To achieve this, you need an effective rostering plan that caters to your employees and customers.
What is It?
Simply put, a roster is a schedule that projects how your business will operate over a given time, say a week, a month, or during peak season, while making the best use of your resources, i.e., employees. It lists all the necessary information in one place for your employees, including location, department, key roles, duty hours, and assigned leaves. Employee rostering also needs to monitor absenteeism, manage holidays, maximise efficiency, and improve the customer experience whilst saving costs.
When it comes to effective scheduling, three main types of rosters are generally used for business operations:
1. Duty Rosters
These are mainly used in the hospitality sector to avoid unnecessary shifts. The idea is to limit the number of staff at a particular shift performing the same job.
2. Flexible Rosters
These rosters work best for staff who can work various hours per the company’s requirements. Employees can work any time of the day, like a few hours or a full day, completing 40 hours a week.
3. Staggered Rosters
This roster generally caters to retail or restaurants prone to customer fluctuations. You may have more customers pouring into your restaurant in the evening than during lunch hours, so you allocate maximum staff during the evening to reduce waiting time.
Need for Rostering
For a business to run smoothly, you can’t have few employees during peak hours or too many during dry time. Many companies thrive during holidays, so you want the best sales agent to be available, and that’s when effective staff scheduling comes into play.
Benefits of Using Roster Management
- It boosts employee morale as everyone loves to work for a company with decent flexible work hours aligned with their lifestyle.
- Reduce or save the cost of the company to hire only the required staff needed to manage your business at a particular time.
- Manage employee performance, keep a tab on their productivity—which works best at what time—and plan well ahead in advance.
- Reduce employee fatigue with reasonable working hours and ensure sufficient health breaks between shifts. This, in turn, encourages higher attendance among staff.
Tips to Roster Your Staff Effectively
- Understand your business and its needs. When do you have more customers—day or night? What are your peak hours, and what are your busy days—weekdays or weekends? This will help you to assign skilled staff to busy shifts based on their roles.
- Know your budget while creating a staff roster. You want to avoid unnecessary labour costs or your customers being unhappy with understaffed services.
- Ensure transparency in the roster plan and share it with your staff online. This is a tremendous trust-building exercise because it allows your team to have their say on what works or does not work for them. This gives them full access to their role and shift and makes changes based on their availability—leave, holidays, sick, etc.
- Reduce burnout among staff by giving adequate time off amidst busy shifts. This will help them refresh and boost their productivity. As per reports, giving two days off a week increases employee productivity.
- Communicate deadlines to your team to make changes in the roster plan to avoid last-minute requests and unavailability of staff, as this can hugely affect your business.
- A reliable online software tool for creating a roster plan can save you a lot of time and ensure all information—staff shift, payroll, and work track record—is available in one place with no room for any mistakes.