Managing a business is enough to make even the most grounded person feel pressured. Factor in the craziness that comes with the holiday season, and the responsibility can be downright overwhelming. Fluctuating manpower demands, irregular working hours and increased time-off and other requests make holiday staff scheduling one of the most dreaded tasks a manager faces. Luckily, we have a few tips to make staff scheduling during this season less stressful - so you can maintain (or reclaim) your sanity.
To avoid dealing with last-minute schedule requests - time off, for example - finalize your schedule in advance. Set deadlines for employee requests and make sure everyone understands that the cut-off date is firm. If your organization uses staff scheduling software, it's about to become your best friend. Scheduling software not only makes it easy for employees to make schedule requests, but ensures accountability by creating a record that includes the date and time each request was submitted. Additionally, you can quickly see whether a schedule request conflicts with other shifts or requests. As a result, you can easily to accept or deny requests without having to worry about under- or over-staffed shifts.
Creating your employee schedule before the holiday season is a great first step toward avoiding scheduling frustrations. There are, however, times when unplanned circumstances arise that will create an unexpected need to bring in additional manpower or fill open shifts fast. Remember that staff scheduling software we just mentioned? It's going to come in handy in these situations as well. The software allows you to quickly identify qualified and available employees, and then send email or text messages to notify them of emergencies or fill open shifts. You can subsequently see whether there are too many or too few employees scheduled and easily adjust accordingly.
Buffer in Before and After Time
Prior to every meeting, appointment and shift change, you and your employees need time to prepare before you can fully engage. If you need a staff member to be on the floor at 8 a.m., for example, schedule them to arrive at 7:45. If a meeting is slated to last an hour, don't schedule another one immediately after that. Give everyone at least 15 minutes to process information from the first meeting, and an additional 15 minutes to mentally refocus and prepare for the next one. That will help your team get the most out of each meeting and retain the information discussed. Allowing extra time for your employees to decompress throughout the day will help them stay focused on the task at hand, even during the hectic holiday season.
Staff scheduling doesn't have to be a constant source of stress at holiday time. Learn how ScheduleAnywhere helps you manage schedules during the hectic season - and throughout the year.