Best Scheduling Practices: For Your Employees
Last week we discussed the best scheduling practices to suit your venue, but your venue isn’t the only concern here. Your employees are vital to your venue’s success and ensuring that they’re satisfied with their job should be one of your main concerns. There are many factors affecting your employees’ happiness, yet one of the factors least talked about is the schedule. Because we work in such a dynamic environment schedules don’t stay the same from week to week and keeping your employees happy should be at the forefront of your mind when writing each week’s schedule.
So how do you write schedules that all of your employees are happy with? Here are some best scheduling practice tips to keep in mind to help your venue run smoothly as well as to keep your employees happy.
We discussed set schedules in the last articles, from the point of view of managers and the venue. Now it’s from the employee’s perspective. If you have some employees that work two or more jobs, adhering to a strict schedule -by them and by you- is the best way to keep them happy. Talk to them when they apply for the job and agree on a schedule that is best for both parties and don’t deviate from that without first checking with the employee. Having two or more jobs can be stressful and if you’re ensuring them peace of mind in your location not only will they appreciate you more but their appreciation and peace of mind in your location will show in their service to your guests.
Another topic discussed in our last article. Forecasting can help you write schedules tailored to your business’s needs, but this isn’t information you should keep to yourself. Telling your employees about your forecasts each day will have them feeling informed and included by the management of the place they work. They’ll understand why decisions and cuts are made and what to expect for each day. A more informed staff is a happier staff.
Days off are precious in an industry where we’re almost always short staffed. There are periods of the year where your employees expect and know that they’ll be working 6 or 7 days a week. However, throughout the rest of the year, you should do your best to give every employee two days off every week. These should be sequential as often as possible.
We form strong bonds with our colleagues in the food and beverage industry and because we spend so much time working together under high pressure these working relationships often turn into strong friendships. If you have employees who are close friends, or even dating, try and give them days off together or at least one overlapping day off together so that they can spend time enjoying each others’ company outside your venue and their job.
To make distributing the schedule easier for you, and looking it up easier for your employees, you may want to consider using one of the many scheduling apps that are available on app stores for smart phones. Not only are these excellent for the conveniences of posting, storing and looking at schedules, but many of them also allow your employees to easily request shift changes or offer up shifts to other employees who may be willing to work extra on a particular week.
Honour Your Word
If you grant a request for certain days off then make sure you continue through and give them to said employee. Not doing so will have a negative impact on your relationship with them, their work ethic and, worst of all, the rest of your staff will lose a little faith in you and your ability to keep promises. You may need them on the night or day in question, yet it is often true that it is easier to struggle through that shift or two without the extra pair of hands so that you can keep order in your establishment and your employee faith in you as their manager.
Scheduling is an art form that, anyone who has done it will tell you, is a tricky challenge on the easiest of weeks. A point not mentioned above was distributing the next weeks schedule in a timely fashion. Some locations will put schedules out 2-3 weeks in advance. However this may not be possible in your location but timely distribution is essential for allowing your employees to plan their week ahead.