When it comes to scheduling employees, some industries have a harder time of it than others. In general, if your field requires careful juggling of multiple employees and shifts, you’re probably pulling your hair out trying to manage it all — oh yeah, while running your business.
Here are the top 5 industries that have the biggest hurdles to overcome in scheduling.
1. Restaurant Employees
Given that employee turnover in the restaurant industry can be as high as 50%, there’s understandably some complexity when it comes to scheduling employees.
“Sally can cover Friday night. No, wait! Sally walked out last week. Who can I get to cover this critical shift??”
And once the schedule is posted, your staff is constantly calling you to find out when they work. You spend so much time answering the phone, you can’t get any work done.
2. Service Installers
Whether you work with plumbers, electricians, HVAC experts, or carpet installers, you’ve got to make sure your staff can promptly get to any appointment that gets scheduled today. And you don’t want them burning gas to jet 30 miles across town. So here your scheduling issue is pinning down all the moving parts so you have your employees scheduled smartly. If Joe knows he has a morning appointment in Kensington, he can easily reach that last-minute call-in 2 miles down the road.
3. Medical Staff
From the outside, a medical office doesn’t seem to have staffing issues. But if you run an office, you know that’s not always true. You might have part-time nurses that you schedule around patient needs. Say you only bring in the anesthesiologist when you’ve got surgeries scheduled. But what happens (true story) when you overlooked a late afternoon surgery and don’t have one to cover the anesthesia?
4. Retail Salespeople
Your retail needs ebb and flow with the season, holidays, and yes, the economy. So you might only need two salespeople during the week, but for the Fourth of July weekend, you’d need to double or triple that. You always try to find that balance between being understaffed and risking customers walking out the door because they’re not being served, and being overstaffed and paying your employees to check in on Facebook.
5. Hotel Staff
In this scenario, your staffing needs are great. You’ve got different departments, like housekeeping, maintenance, front desk staff…and each has its own staffing headaches. Lola the housekeeper will not work if Freddie is working the front desk. How are you supposed to keep all the soap opera drama straight?
The Solution for Scheduling Nightmares
You might relate to one of the examples I laid out here, or you might have others. The point here is: there are easier ways to deal with scheduling.
● Your Word is Final
It’s too easy to get sucked into the dramas of your staff, but as manager or business owner, let them know that your word is law. You won’t be scheduling around who they’re currently getting along with (or not) in a given week.
● Aim for Consistency
If you schedule Amy to work the front desk on Tuesdays, schedule her every Tuesday. You’ll have fewer puzzle pieces to move around when scheduling time comes around.
● Invest in Software
Much of the pain you’ve been suffering can be alleviated with smart employee scheduling tools. You can easily see who’s available, and then email or text each employee their schedule.
Scheduling shouldn’t take over your life. Find solutions that will get you back to what your focus should be: running your business.
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- 5 Industries with the Biggest Scheduling Headaches - February 14, 2014