How to Schedule Employees Fairly: Shifts, Weekends, and Holidays

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When employers require employees to work weekends or holidays, they may be concerned about how to properly arrange their workforce. They definitely have legitimate concerns. If workers see a bias that affects workplace productivity, it will almost certainly result in negative feelings.

Holidays can especially cause negative emotions. Maybe someone worked on Christmas Day a few years back and now never wants to work on a holiday ever again. Perhaps employers are worried about having employees work when they have young children.

There are a lot of ethical concerns around fair scheduling practices, so in this article we’ll share some helpful advice on communicating fair and balanced scheduling with your employees.

Account for employee preferences where possible

Learning how to appropriately schedule staff is just half the battle; you also have to contend with employee preferences. Account for employee preferences where possible, especially if your staff has day and night jobs.

If your marketing team is scheduled late in the afternoon, then they may have to work evenings on most occasions. If you schedule appointments late in the afternoon, you may find that your marketing department is too tired to complete tasks.

This method is more of an opinion based method; you can adjust it to your employees needs. A hybrid employee schedule could give you all the flexibility that you need while still scheduling employees at times they prefer. With the way the business world is going, flexibility is important.

Sharing the schedule in advance with your employees in a meeting is the easiest way to avoid confusion and frustration. Think of it as a tool in your toolbox.

If you do make changes to the schedule, let employees know right away. One way to do this is ensure that employees can easily check the schedule and that they will see changes or updates in real time. Then, if you adjust the schedule, it’s easy to share the modified shift event with the relevant employees.

Otherwise, you could end up running over deadlines — and that would be worse than not making any changes at all.

Give your employees the flexibility to adapt to their work by sharing relevant information. All of the time and effort you spend trying to plan ahead can be saved by giving your employees flexibility on days like holidays.

Consider bundling vacation and sick time

Companies are increasingly opting for a packaged PTO benefit that includes both vacation and sick days. Grouping all paid vacation days into one bucket might make it easier to manage the PTO process and provide employees more scheduling flexibility. It may also be regarded as a more equitable technique if judgment and guesswork are removed from the equation.

For example, if you go on vacation early in the year and then catch the flu, you realize that you will have to take unpaid vacation time. Employees will be more efficient in managing their PTO hours.

  • Encourage teams to communicate about their vacation plans with one another.
  • Ensure that employees are aware of the criteria for accepting or rejecting PTO requests, whether they are based on seniority, performance, time off first, or other factors.
  • To avoid employee misconceptions, managers should explain quickly when they must reject holiday times.
  • Employers should be prepared to impose whatever vacation period they need on candidates.
  • Managers should require all workers to submit applications for especially wanted holidays before considering any.

Use Technology to your Advantage

Staff planning software aids in improving the management efficiency of the employee planning process, especially when unforeseen events disrupt the system on a regular basis. It also helps to ensure that the various rules and regulations that apply to moving workplaces are followed.

When setting work schedules, instant access to information on the worker profile ensures that only qualified and qualified personnel are assigned. You can also handle daily adjustments more efficiently using two-way communication tools and automated shift allocations.

Maintain professional standards

Accepting unacceptably bad behavior does not imply flexibility or understanding. You may be pleasant and consistent while maintaining professional standards.

Provide staff with clear instructions on time-off deadlines, adjust time schedules, or make additional schedule requests. Then you must adhere to the rules: this is part of how to set up a fair working environment for your staff. Everyone knows what to expect and can expect to be treated fairly.

Carefully consider overtime allotment

Overtime is common in many industries, but should you allow employees to work overtime? When is it okay to allow overtime, and when should you expect employees to clock out at the allotted time? Are there detriments to working overtime? 

If you do allow overtime, you will likely have a greater expense in things like hiring more workers and paying benefits, since your employees won’t be working less than 40 hours a week.

You may also have employees who work more overtime than the allotted number, which is not good for morale, nor is it good for an employee’s health. Overtime also takes a tremendous toll on your employees’ health and quality of life, and your business’s bottom line.

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