One of the downsides of running a business is juggling your busy schedule against that of your employees. It can be difficult to give your employees a predictable schedule that can be followed week to week, but here are a handful of tips to make the job easier for you when managing your small business.
Be Flexible, But Not Too Flexible
Most employees are respectful of their employer’s time and only ask for days off when a serious family emergency or other problem crops up. Schedule changes are typically only asked for when they need it, but some employees can take advantage of your generosity. Consider your employees’ past behavior when making out the schedule so you can properly identify schedule abuse. Some good examples of schedule abuse may be asking off for the same type of emergency multiple times in a month, avoiding shifts that contain grunt work like stocking shelves, or asking to leave early several times a week. Be especially wary of employees asking for changes on Monday and Friday repeatedly, as this can be a sign of schedule abuse.
Be Clear About Any On-Call Hours You May Require
If your business requires employees to be on-call during certain hours of the day, be upfront about the nature of the work with employees when you hire them. Have a dedicated on-call policy that your employees can refer to any time they need and be clear that being on-call doesn’t necessarily mean a steady paycheck if the person isn’t called in.
Understand Your Business Model
Understanding the needs of your growing business is integral to scheduling your employees to be available at the right times. Let’s say your business requires staff members to be on the phones, how you can efficiently compare property insurance quotes to a potential customer if you have too many staff members off the phones during that time? By keeping the busiest times scheduled with the most employees, you can ensure your customers are always taken care of, not to mention level business across the entire staff.
Know How To Communicate The Schedule To Employees
One way to avoid resentment from your employees is to be absolutely crystal clear when it comes to scheduling their work hours. No one likes to be jerked around and told there would be more hours available to work than there are, so be clear with your expectations when you hire your employees. Inform them why the schedule operates the way it does and encourage them to come to you with any self improvements that may help with their daily lives. By showing your employees the larger picture of how business is conducted, they can take ownership and feel pride in the work they are doing to contribute to the company.
Be Flexible Within Reason When It Comes To Schedule Changes
If you haven’t already put a system in place for your employees to easily request schedule changes, you should implement one as soon as possible. This step encourages employees to be upfront and direct with you about their hourly needs so you can work around their busy schedules without fostering resentment. If you have an employee handbook that you hand out as part of orientation, make sure the schedule change request procedure is covered for every new hire.