How To Make A Work Schedule | 4 mins read

How to Make a Work Schedule

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Hanh Truong

By Hanh Truong

Introduction to How to Make a Work Schedule

Creating an employee schedule that works for an organization's needs and also accommodates staff members can be tricky. From reviewing employee availabilities to forecasting sales, managers may end up spending hours each week making a schedule. It can get even more difficult for small businesses that have little staff but a myriad of tasks to do.

To alleviate any stress and headaches from creating schedules, business owners need to create a process. This entails identifying needs, collecting employee preferences, defining policies, and assessing costs. With a comprehensive outline of what to do and how to do it, scheduling will be easy.

The Importance of Employee Schedules


Scheduling is an essential practice for businesses. It ensures that the best balance of employees is assigned each shift, mitigating the chance of overstaffing and understaffing. Employees also need work schedules so that they know the exact hours and days in the week they are expected to be at their job. The following are other key points as to why all businesses need to have an employee scheduling process.

  • Efficient and seamless operation - Staff members understand their work hours and duties with a scheduling system, meaning they will be able to work efficiently and productively each shift.

  • Boost accountability - Employees are less likely to come to work late or miss shifts with work schedules.

  • Less conflict - With a comprehensive scheduling process, managers can guarantee a conflict-free employee schedule. They can also make sure experienced staff are assigned peak hours and that the schedule aligns with employee availability.

  • Ensure fairness - An organized procedure for scheduling will allow managers to approve time-off requests fairly. For instance, the system can manage requests based on a first-come-first-served or seniority.

  • Better control on overtime - Overtime can significantly impact a business's bottom line. But with proper scheduling, business owners can effectively allocate and track overtime hours.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

5 Steps to Properly Make a Work Schedule

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Streamlining the scheduling procedure entails 5 easy steps.

1. Define Scheduling Needs

When scheduling employees, management must begin by defining their scheduling needs. This includes what the business needs from the schedule, as well as what employees need. The following are some factors business owners should answer before scheduling.

  • What are the hours of operation? And how many shifts are there each day?
  • What does the business need to provide employees each shift?
  • What skills does each shift team need to perform well?
  • What are the tasks that each shift member must perform?
  • When are employees going to take their breaks?

2. Establish Policies

Management must also establish policies regarding scheduling, such as how employees can ask for sick leave. It is important to create rules for showing up late and the penalties for doing so. Also, employees need to know how to request time off, change their availabilities, and shift swap. Communicating these guidelines will set clear expectations and prevent delays in workflow in the future.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

3. Plan in Advance

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Employees are less likely to make changes and shift swaps when they have their schedules early. This is because they can adjust their personal time accordingly and work with the schedule. Even if they do need to make changes, managers will not need to scramble to find replacements last minute.

4. Forecast Labor Needs

Forecasting labor needs will prevent the instance of understaffing and overstaffing. Managers can project their needs by looking at historical sales data and assessing trends in customer traffic. Depending on how long a business has been operating, managers should look at metrics spanning months and even years. This will provide valuable insights into peak shifts, days, or seasons. The company can then schedule staff accordingly and effectively control their labor costs and profitability.

5. Adopt Scheduling Software

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Some companies will use the traditional paper-and-pen method for scheduling, while others will use Excel or Google Sheets. The latest businesses, however, are adopting scheduling software to streamline their shift planning process. With these systems, managers can input their organizational needs, employee availability, and budgets. The tool will then automate the scheduling process and generate a work schedule in minutes.

Employee scheduling software also has other features, such as schedule templates, time clock, team messaging, and real-time alerts. Businesses can leverage these modules to boost productivity, enhance communication, and improve time management.

Key Takeaways to How to Make a Work Schedule

  • A work schedule indicates the exact hours and days in a week that an employee is expected to be at their job.
  • Having employee schedules is important for business operations because it ensures efficiency, boosts accountability, and helps management control their labor cost spending.
  • Managers can create an effective scheduling process for their business by following the 5 key steps.
  • To further enhance scheduling, companies can use scheduling software.

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