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In our guide In our guide 6 steps to effective scheduling, we want to give you useful and concrete measures that simplify and streamline your scheduling and personnel management. With the help of the guide, you will be able to schedule faster, have happier employees, reduce staff turnover and manage changes more easily. You can simply work more efficiently and have more time for other things.
A requirements schedule is a complete schedule of how much staff you need on different days and times, but without including who will be working. Working with an unscheduled schedule makes it easier to concentrate on the total need and the distribution between skills. Especially when you want to look further into the future. It is also a good forecasting and budgeting tool as it provides an indication of occupancy and approximate staff costs well in advance.
To start creating a schedule of needs, look back at your payroll or timesheets. Look at how your occupancy and demand looked at the same period last year. Do you have staffing peaks that are affected by the season or weekends? It's immediately visible and it helps you remember to take height for it. Think back and remember what the situation looked like, was it adequately staffed, too much or too little? Then look ahead. Has the company grown since then? Have you received new orders or customers? Has the peak season pattern changed?
If you have a system where you can enter a schedule of needs, use it, otherwise you can make a spreadsheet for 3 – 6 months ahead with e.g. one line per competence or department and one box per day where you enter the number of people needed for that particular task that day. Sum the total number of people into a line at the bottom to be able to make forecasts of occupancy and salary costs. With this completed, you now have a good picture of how the company will fare in the near future. It is also much easier to go ahead and assign the various passes to your actual employees because you have full control over how many are needed and with what skills. You can also see if you have an upcoming recruitment need and, if so, which profile you are looking for.
As the forecast becomes a reality and the appointments are booked and reported by, you can make notes in your needs schedule regarding the outcome. The notes will help you remember things for the next time you make a needs schedule. If it e.g. staffing was too high, or if you needed more of a certain skill, or if perhaps the order intake was higher than you had expected.
Scheduling others is a complicated task as you have to make the time go together while the employees feel satisfied and prioritized. We have three tools that make it possible. An example where they are put to good use is Malmö City's staffing unit for nurses. They have phenomenally low staff turnover, satisfied employees and fill over 98% of all customer orders by letting the employees contribute to Scheduling others is a complicated task as you have to get the time together while the employees feel satisfied and prioritized. We have three tools that make it possible. An example where they are put to good use is Malmö City's staffing unit for nurses. They have phenomenally low employee turnover, happy employees and fill over 98% of all customer orders by letting employees contribute to scheduling.
Desire schedule means that the employees report when they want to work to the employer. It may feel like a small change since most employers already confirm the set schedule with the employee, but introducing a desired schedule makes a big difference. The employees feel that they are getting back control over their lives and you as a scheduler get an overview that makes it easy to choose the right person for the right shift. When there is a change, you immediately see who wants to work and who is not available, which allows you to book the majority of your staff according to their wishes. Despite greatly varying needs, Malmö City manages to book the majority of its staff according to their wishes, because it turns out that wishes vary just as much. Some prefer to work evenings, others weekends to get extra OB, while some prefer to work more hours but stick to daytime.
Open sessions go hand in hand with the needs schedule. They make it possible for your staff to register themselves for passes you have already booked. As soon as you have published your schedule of needs, the staff can register an interest in the passes.
So what do you do if everyone who has requested a certain pass is already booked and you still need more staff? Or if an employee gets sick and their passport has to be transferred to someone else? The employees are once again helped. Send out the pass to all authorized persons in a request for interest (available in Timezynk, but can also be done via e.g. SMS or e-mail) and then sit back while the responses come in. Your employees know that a request for interest means that you have a critical need and that it is a good chance for them to get a few extra hours on their salary. As the answers come in, you can then complete your scheduling and fill the need. The out-booking of the responses received from both requests for interest and open passes can be automated so that booking takes place on a "first-come, first-served" basis. Together, these ways of working can make a big difference to your business. For the City of Malmö, this is the tool that provides an extra fast response time, books the last passes at inconvenient times and solves crises in the event of illness or obstacles.
You can organize your employees to facilitate scheduling and quickly find the right person for the right shift. Start by thinking through which factors are important in determining who can work which shift. As an example, we can use Bemannica, a fast-growing company that hires staff to ICA stores all over Sweden. They have divided their employees partly by location and partly by the various tasks they are trained and have experience with. When they receive a new order, they can immediately pick up a ready list of employees who both live in the right place and who have the right skills and quickly notify the customer. For Bemannica, the lists are managed automatically by Timezynk, but it can be done manually as well. Remember to create the lists in advance for all relevant combinations of skills, education, location and experience that are important to you in your selection. The same employee can often appear on several lists. The important thing is that when you need more staff, you can easily pick up the right list and start distributing the passes. Without first thinking through person by person and deciding if they are suitable.
It has happened to all of us that we have made good plans, maybe agreed something with a client, thought we have communicated clearly what applies to our staff, but when the agreed time and day comes, the employee is somewhere else and the customer upset. One of the most important factors in clear communication to a group is to be consistent with where and when you communicate. This allows the target audience to know where to look for information and when or how often they need to do so. Therefore, create fixed routines around how you communicate employee scheduling and then hold a meeting where you tell them how it will work and give everyone a piece of paper with the same information. An example could be: When scheduling in a computer system, make sure it is possible for the employees to access their mobile at any time and see both the schedule and time reports. Fixed weekly schedules are completed on Wednesday the week before. Then they are either visible on the employees' phones, or emailed out if you don't have a system.
Employees' wish schedules must be submitted no later than the Monday of the week before in order to be taken into account. They are either entered directly into the system or emailed to the manager. Sudden needs or changes are communicated as requests or messages in the employees' schedule app, alternatively via SMS. Time reports must be completed on the same day that the shift has been worked so that no time is forgotten. The reports are sent in directly via the mobile phone, or collected on a weekly list that is emailed to the manager no later than Sunday evening.
Once you decide on the routines, stick to them. Keep the times and promises you set yourself, and hold employees accountable for keeping their part. Within a couple of weeks, the routines will have settled. You will notice that you no longer need to remind people to follow them. The documentation you need for salary and invoices is available when you need it, and timely request schedules facilitate your planning. The employees know where to be and when, and are secure in knowing that they receive clear information in good time.
The most important thing to facilitate the handling of the documents for your salary and invoice systems is to have well-developed routines. You can use paper templates, Excel templates or a scheduling system like Timezynk. The important thing is that you have a fixed format for the time reporting and fixed days when the reports must be submitted. Then it will be easy to see who needs an extra reminder. The time report should contain the employee's name, possibly which client the employee worked for (if you invoice your time), start and end times for the work shifts, absences and OB and overtime. The employee accounts and totals, so you only need to certify the time sheet when it comes in.
Make sure to bring in the time reports every week. This makes it easier for the employees to report when they have the work passes fresh in their memory. It also means that you can be at most a week late with documentation and invoicing. Once you have received all the documents, you summarize the information and register it in your salary and invoice system. With Timezynk, the documents are transferred automatically.
Scheduling affects and spans large parts of your business. It controls how your staff work, is affected by your order entry, is the basis for salary and possibly also invoicing. It is an important tool in budget work and for planning personnel needs, organization and skills development. To make it quick and easy for you to take advantage of this, our tip is to collect everything in one place. Whether you have it in a central scheduling system, a folder on your computer, or maybe a shelf of binders and a whiteboard you need to be able to quickly find the right information depending on the task you have to perform. Organize the scheduling according to the different parts you are working on. For example, put the needs schedule next to the wishes schedule and the order intake so that you have all the background material collected when you have to add next month's staff schedule. Collect timesheets together with the staff schedule so you can compare and see any discrepancies. Have your skill-based staff lists together so that in the event of illness or other schedule changes, you can quickly find the right replacement. Have ready-made templates available for the weekly schedule, wish schedule and change SMS so that it is easy and smooth for you to keep your communication routines.
Thanks for reading our 6-step guide to effective scheduling! With all the above-mentioned tools within your quick reach, we are confident that you will take your business to a new level, and that it will be felt in terms of both efficiency, job satisfaction and profitability.
Timezynk makes it easy to see the staff's availability and make requests for passes to be booked, this makes the staff directly involved in the planning work, which gives the staff an opportunity to influence their schedule.
Timezynk automatically creates passes as unpublished they are then striped which means that only supervisors and managers can see them. This makes it possible to create reusables templates, and then be able to choose when you want to publish the schedule.
Timezynk warns users about overlapping and adjacent shifts and also shows a comparison figure for users with a registered work schedule how much time they have booked compared to the agreement.
Timezynk is available on the web and as an app in both Google Play and the App Store.
Timezynk has several different pages where you can create passes, the most central is the schedule where you click in a box to create a pass on that row/column. Then fill in the information on the pass and if any information on the pass that the staff needs is missing, Timezynk Support will help you add the fields needed to ensure that the correct information is available to the booked user. What does optimal scheduling look like?
As a business owner, it is important to plan the permanent staff first, and then put out short passes for part-time/staffing. In this way, you make full use of the resources you have. Feel free to listen to users' opinions by letting them fill in their availability.