Employee scheduling to some is a nightmarish endeavor that leaves employees and managers stressed, frustrated, and anxious. Scheduling requires understanding both the ins and outs of the business, but also it requires understanding workers. So, scheduling can often become a tightrope that managers walk to find the balance of making workers happy and businesses thrive. Here is a list of tips for better employee scheduling, that will help keep employees happy while maximizing efficiency.
Understand your Business: Forecasts and Data
Scheduling needs vary between different types of businesses, a manufacturing plant will have different scheduling needs than a restaurant. The first step is to understand production forecasting and how many employees are needed to meet the predictions. For most businesses, it basically boils down to “widgets” per hour, where a widget could be anything from cups of coffee or automotive components per hour to meet some sort of goal, order, or demand.
Success in business depends on the accuracy of production forecasts and labor efficiencies. For accurate forecasts, data must be collected and analyzed in a systematic way. For restaurants, the type of data you would need for a forecast are previous sales recorded by time and day of the week, special holiday sales numbers, etc. After understanding the data, you can forecast how many employees you would need per hour. This requires understanding the period sales occur that are likely to occur at any given hour. Using systems to collect data are crucial for success, the better your data collection efforts the more precise your forecasts will become.
Understand your Employees: Skills and Flexibility
Understanding your employees are crucial in scheduling. This requires more than merely knowing the availability of your employees, but also their unique skills, desired schedules, how they prefer to work, and more. Knowing the preferences of your workers will help keep employees happy and minimize any scheduling disruptions. Knowing which employees are available on days they are normally scheduled off just in case, or extra skills employees can use to fill in roles outside their main role at the company is also beneficial.
Using technology to coordinate and learn about your employees helps rapidly create schedules, but also has additional benefits. Utilizing a scheduling tool, such as beepShift, will help store information about employee skills, preferred schedules, production forecasts, the flexibility of employees, compliance, engagement, communication, and more.
Scheduling for Accuracy, Efficiency, and Productivity
The labor costs are a significate portion of all costs for employers, to control labor costs employees need to create efficient schedules. Minimizing over-time is important for not only for employer labor costs, but also to avoid burn-out. In addition, knowing exactly what times are busiest or knowing what times of the year a company needs more labor will help with forecasting and developing your employees to meet increased demand.
Efficiency is based on the accuracy of forecasts and ultimately based on quality data, but also having the right employee in the right positions at the right times are also something that improves productivity and ultimately efficiency. Saving time producing schedules and forecasts will also increase accuracy, efficiency, and productivity using beepShift can help save time.
Measuring Accuracy, Efficiency, and Productivity
The measure for schedule accuracy is basically:
(Absolute Value (Actual -Forecast) / Actual) x 100.
Improving forecasting begins with data, accuracy will lead to increased efficiency. For measuring labor efficiency, the formula is basically:
(Standard labor hours/ actual hours) x 100.
Understanding work and better forecasting using data will assist in increasing overall efficiency while maintaining overall productivity.
Efficiency numbers alone do not tell the whole picture, you will also need to measure productivity with the following:
(Total Output/Total Input = Labor Productivity).
Productivity is measured in different ways based on industry. For restaurants, it might be sales, or entrees, etc. In manufacturing, it might be output, or value created per workhour, etc.
Although this article has been limited in scope, hopefully, it will help none accounting managers understand basic measurements and considerations for scheduling. Using tools like beepShift, will assist in increasing overall efficiency, productivity, engagement, the accuracy of forecasting, and controlling labor costs. beepShift is built using both blockchain and AI, to ensure better data-driven insights and decision making. beepShift, makes scheduling extremely simply, by automating most of the scheduling process.