Growth Strategies

10 Ways to Create and Manage Employee Schedules

10 Ways to Create and Manage Employee Schedules

You are responsible for managing the employee schedules as a business owner. It can be difficult to manage shifts, work with workers who are unavailable, and keep your payroll budget within reach. Scheduling can be difficult in industries with worker shortages.

Businesses must be flexible with regard to their operating hours and employee schedules in order to survive in an economy and job market that is constantly changing. This article will show you how to manage the shifts of your employees in a way that suits your business’ needs.

How to create a work schedule for employees

Here are some tips to help you create a work schedule that works for your employees.

  • Defining your scheduling needs
  • Evaluation of staffing levels
  • Considering compressed schedules
  • Who wants additional shifts?
  • Respect local regulations
  • Schedules published early
  • Communication of the schedule
  • Prepare for Changes
  • Employees can adjust their work schedules

10 Ways to Create and Manage Employee Schedules

1. Define your scheduling needs.

Christine Macdonald is the director of management and human resources at The Hub Events. She explained that you need to determine your scheduling requirements before assigning shifts.

Macdonald stated, “To manage your employee schedules effectively, you need to first understand your business.” Your schedule must be tailored to your business. This will enable you to plan coverage.

Look at the sales data from your store’s POS to determine your busiest hours of the day. Weekends, evenings, and holidays are important. In advance of any situations where you may need additional coverage, plan ahead and create a clear and easily enforced employee attendance policy.

You might find that you have more customers on Saturday nights, so ensure that you have enough shifts to cover the evening shift.

Also read: How To Encourage Employee Development

2. Assess staffing levels and availability.

It can be difficult to establish a schedule because an employee’s availability may change over time. It is important to communicate with employees at the beginning and establish their availability during the hiring process.

Make sure to check in with your staff regularly to make sure their availability hasn’t changed. A scheduling application is an invaluable tool in such situations. It all depends on the app. employees have the ability to easily input their availability and choose their schedule using the app.

Brenda Neckvatal HR professional, the bestselling author stated, “First and foremost, utilize the full capabilities of your company’s timekeeping capacity.” “Leading your team to electronically request time off with a specified amount of notice [can] managers balance and allocate resources for projects, and meet productivity expectations.”

3. You might consider using compressed work hours.

A compressed work schedule is when employees work a 35 to 40-hour workweek in fewer days than traditional work hours. Heather Whitney, Paychex’s HR coach, stated that employees find a compressed schedule more appealing because they get more time off.

Whitney stated that although it is a longer workweek, employees will still have a weekend of three days or half-days on Fridays depending on the compressed workweek chosen by the employer.

Although employees may like a more compressed work schedule, there are potential drawbacks, such as reduced employee productivity.

Matt Erhard, the managing partner of Summit Search Group, stated that some employees experience lower productivity when they work longer hours. This is not true for everyone. Some employees can maintain strong work for a whole 10-hour shift. When deciding whether compressed schedules are feasible for your team, it’s important to get to know your team and their work style.

4. Take note of who wants extra shifts.

It’s vital to be aware of when employees can’t work certain shifts. However, it is equally important to track employees who are available for extra shifts beyond their regular work schedule. These employees might jump at the chance of earning extra money to help with financial hardships and build savings.

If you have to make last-minute changes or require extra help during busy seasons, knowing when employees are allowed to take on additional shifts can be a great resource.

5. Respect local regulations and rules.

There are different requirements in each state and local government for setting up a fair and efficient work schedule. There are many rights that employees have, including the right to mealtimes, holidays, and breaks. These rights can be found in federal, state, and local laws. If you do not account for these regulations before scheduling, they can have a significant impact on your schedule.

Whitney also stated that you need to adhere to overtime laws in your state if you are using compressed schedules. California, for example, requires employers to undergo a lengthy process that includes a vote and reporting the alternative work schedule. California has overtime laws that allow for shorter work weeks.

Also read: How to Boost Employee Morale for A Successful Company

6. Make sure to publish your schedule early.

So that your employees have a plan for the future, make sure you post your employee schedule as soon as possible. It is important to know your shifts in advance so that you can make arrangements, arrange child care, or change shifts if necessary. You’ll also have more time to adjust if the schedule is made available early.

Whitney stated that employers should be aware of the fact that schedules may need to be made available to employees a few days in advance, depending on the industry or state. They should make it available at least one week in advance or on the expected day so employees can plan accordingly.

7. Communicate your scheduling rationale.

If you Schedule extra shifts in the holiday season or reduce hours due to business decline, Let your employees know that the schedule has changed for that week. This transparency allows employees to be more transparent and informs them about the impact on their work schedules. Many shift workers work multiple jobs in order to make ends satisfy. They need this information to plan.

8. Be prepared for any changes.

Employees can become ill or have to leave due to personal emergencies, illness, and other circumstances. Your business must be ready to handle any outcome, such as missed shifts or losing employees. You should plan your schedule to have backups in the event that someone requires a shift. Keep your recruitment efforts strong to ensure sufficient coverage.

9. Allow employees to modify their work schedules.

Employee Schedules can change. Scheduling software makes it easy for employees to modify their schedules. These adjustments can be tracked through a shared document. Erhard advised.

He said that a shared Google calendar or internal scheduling system can be a great way of keeping things organized. It also makes it easy for team members to share the calendar with each other so they know when and who is going to be there. This is especially useful for remote, hybrid, or distributed teams as team members don’t have to be present to see it.

10. How to create an employee schedule in Excel

Excel is a great tool to create Employee Schedules. You can quickly create a schedule that you can print and send to your employees electronically or on the breakroom wall in just a few steps.

Here’s how you do it:

  • Open a new spreadsheet in Excel.
  • In the x-axis enter the names of your employees and leave a space between each one.
  • Enter the dates for the schedule that you are posting along the y-axis.
  • Enter the dates that the employee will work each day. You can list any titles or positions held by the employee under the times.

You can also use Scheduling Templates within Excel. To do this, go to the Available Templates screen. Then choose Schedules.

Cloud-based spreadsheet tools such as those in Google Workspace and Office 365 can be used to create, edit, and collaborate on spreadsheet documents together with your team. Macdonald said that cloud-based spreadsheets are better than locally saved or printed ones because you can email employees to notify them if there is a change in the schedule.

She said that “Google Drive is the best for us.” It’s free, easy to use, and accessible from both mobile devices and computers. This cloud-based spreadsheet is our favorite because it doesn’t make things any more difficult than they should be.

Here are tools and solutions for creating work schedules

While there are many tools that can help you create work schedules and manage employee time off, an all-in-one time-and-attendance solution might be the best for your company. The best time-and-attend systems not only manage employee time off, and basic clock-in/clock-out functionality but also include employee scheduling and shift scheduling. This makes workforce planning much easier.

These are some solid options:


OnTheClock’s cross-platform app offers many employee time-tracking, scheduling, and other features. It can be used on any device, smartphone, tablet, or computer to track employee hours using a timeclock kiosk, web browser, or module timeclock application.

Manager tools make it easy to send employee notes and adjust clock-in/clock-out times. Employees can view their schedules, check PTO balances, and request time off via the convenient portal.

Also read: 7 Best Change Management Tools for Success

When I work

Software called When I Work allows shift-based businesses to set up schedules, track time, and communicate all in one place. When I Work eliminates the guesswork from assigning shifts by automatically matching qualified employees to open shifts to fill coverage gaps. You can manage your employees’ tasks, approve time-off requests and monitor their attendance right from your mobile device. Employees can switch shifts, chat with colleagues and find coverage by using their mobile devices.


TimeClick gives you a secure, on-premises database that contains all of your employees’ personal data, along with all of the essential features of an attendance and time management software system. TimeClick’s mass input function allows you to make large changes to your schedules if multiple workers are working on the same shift. This makes it simple to track hours worked, overtime and breaks by person, job, or department. It is possible to manage night shifts, track vacation and holiday time, and even keep track of employee PTO.

Written by
Isla Genesis

Isla Genesis is social media manager of The Tech Trend. She did MBA in marketing and leveraging social media. Isla is also a passionate, writing a upcoming book on marketing stats, travel lover and photographer.

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