Before choosing your employee scheduling system, you should keep a few questions in mind:
- Does your business operate 24 hours a day?
- Do you need a rotating four-two or three-quarter schedule?
- Are employee hours tracked daily or weekly?
- Do your employees self-report their hours?
Such factors will play a key role in determining the type of planning forms you use. You can decide to set up documents via Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel. You can also choose to use scheduling software to create your documents.
Plus, if you’re not interested in a manually created scheduling system, there are plenty of predefined employee schedule templates to choose from.
Daily schedules tend to be very basic and simple, often reserved for employees who are affected to specific tasks or departments which may be subject to change later in the week. This template is ideal for helping workers stay on task, manage their time effectively, and meet all end-of-day deadlines.
While this format works for day-to-day planning, its very narrow scope makes forecasting difficult, making it necessary to supplement planning with weekly and monthly worksheets.
This schedule is more typical of businesses that are open five to seven days a week. Additionally, full-time and part-time employees will be able to track hours and note daily changes in shift obligations.
With this format, it is much easier to account for availability, as in the case of scheduled leave. That said, one thing to watch out for when working with weekly schedules is the possibility of over-planning or accidentally forgetting to add an employee to the schedule.
Although more complex than the previous formats, the monthly employee schedule is worth setting up for projects that span days or weeks, not necessarily ending neatly within the confines of a typical workweek. Alternatively, you can choose a monthly format to better track employee hours for pay.
This setup could be ideal as it helps your staff be aware of upcoming milestones, individual obligations or deadlines, and what awaits them once goals are met. You can avoid double-booking projects or assigning unrealistic deadlines by having a better idea of who is available and what is feasible within the one-month window.
Restaurants, hospitals, manufacturers, and similar businesses often select employee work schedules. In these work situations, an employee’s schedules, position, or team members are likely to change from night to night. Although the schedule may look like a daily worksheet, many shifts are set for the week, providing more information beyond a single workday.
This is useful for letting staff members know where they will be and what they will be doing throughout the week, allowing them to better plan their off-hours obligations or activities, as they know if they are working.
Shift planning, when done well, can ensure that all days are adequately covered, without overstretching staff.