Employee engagement is the key to building a happier and more productive workforce. Obviously, this is one aspect of the business operations that no manager can afford to ignore. While there are several ways of engaging your workforce, a balanced employee scheduling system is perhaps the most important one. Needless to say, employees will be happier if they are made to work in shifts that they prefer and feel comfortable with. As a manager, you need to consider employee engagement as one of the key factors while scheduling shifts for the workers. Here are some scheduling hacks that can help you drive employee engagement for your organization.
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Hack #1: Gather all the important information
First things first gather all the information that matters for making the scheduling process smooth and simple. Connect with the employees and find out their work shift preferences. Check whether they are willing to work overtime and extra shifts when there is a need. Also, ask them if they plan to take days off in the near future. The best part about this practice is that it has dual benefits; firstly, it enables you to plan better and secondly, it passes a message to the workers that they matter to you. If you are asking their preferences, they will surely feel more connected with the management and perform better.
Hack #2: Look at the past but plan for the future
While scheduling shifts, you need to take cues from the past so that you can plan better for the future. Track your existing scheduling systems to understand what works and what does not. Check the past data and compare the staff engagement and absenteeism with the productivity figures. Identify trends and facts that matter; for instance, you can find out the shifts where the productivity levels seem to drop. Once you do this, you will be able to identify the scope for improvement in your existing schedules. This makes it easier to plan for the future and implement a scheduling strategy that engages the workforce.
Hack #3: Invest in a scheduling software solution
When it comes to driving employee engagement with good scheduling practices, a software solution can be the smartest way to do it. Not only does it makes scheduling painless for the managers but it also ensures satisfaction for the employees. Further, it reduces the hassles related to understaffing and missed scheduling changes, which means that employees are always informed. Choose an intelligent solution such as Deputy Scheduling software that gets you covered on all fronts. From bringing ease into the process of eliminating the paperwork, streamlining communication with the workforce, and more, there is much that this software tool can do for you.
Hack #4: Always have a backup plan
Managers often forget to create a backup plan while scheduling, which can disrupt things to a significant extent. After all, you need to bear in mind that workers are humans after all and may face sickness or unforeseen events. Not having a backup plan for sick days and call-outs can cause stress for both managers and employees. Stress can be a killer for employee engagement and something that you should absolutely avoid. This challenge can easily be avoided with a plan B to cover sudden emergencies and make your workforce more engaged. Have a list of people who are willing to work extra shifts so that you can get them to provide back up during sudden events.
Hack #5: Offer open shifts to the employees
Another effective tactic for boosting employee engagement is by offering them open shifts and giving freedom of choice. While this system makes the employees happier, it relieves the workload of managers as well. They can save up on time and utilize it for more critical business functions. However, you need to implement this system properly to ensure that there are no conflicts between employees while choosing shifts. You may set up a rotational system to make sure that the system is fair for all. An employee scheduling app can streamline communication between employees and managers to enable smooth implementation of the open shift system.
Besides following these tips and hacks, pay attention to employee requests and try to handle them immediately. If they need any changes in their schedules due to genuine reasons, do not think twice while doing it for them. The more willing and flexible you are when it comes to their genuine concerns, the more engaged they become. This is something that can make all the difference for your business because employee engagement always translates into higher productivity and growth.