Employee Schedule Templates

As an employer or manager, the running of the company relies on your ability to distribute resources and workforce to current projects. Your employees will look to you to tell them what tasks they should complete within a given period. When everyone is doing their part, your projects will run smoothly, and your company will grow. But how exactly do you plan out employee responsibilities? You can use an employee schedule template to assign tasks and timelines to your team.

What Is an Employee Schedule?

An employee schedule is a business tool used by managers to plan employee tasks and timelines in relation to a project. It tells you who is working on what and when during a given work period. For example, in restaurants, an employee schedule can tell you which chefs, waiters, and bussers are handling the day shift on Wednesday and so on. This can come in handy when calculating and auditing human resource costs.

What Is an Employee Schedule Template?

An employee schedule template is a fillable calendar containing all the core elements of a work schedule. It includes empty fields for employee names, weekly or monthly schedules, individual roles, and timelines. Generally, you can customize it to show your schedule for a given work period or project and share it with your team for reference.

Employee Schedule Templates

Essential Elements of an Employee Schedule Template

An employee schedule is specific to your company processes and employees, which means it will likely vary from the next company’s. That said, the basic document will contain the following key details:

  • Employee names
  • Schedule dates
  • Days representing a week or month depending on the frequency of your shifts
  • Your company’s operating hours
  • Specific tasks and the employees assigned to them
  • The manager’s contact information
  • Employee work hours

How to Create an Employee Schedule

An efficient work schedule makes the most of your employees and resources while keeping your team happy and motivated. The following step-by-step guide will help you turn an Employee Schedule Template into a working timetable for your workplace:

Step 1: Create an Employee Skill Roster

In-depth knowledge of your employees will help you put their skills to the best use. By comparing personalities, strengths, and weaknesses, you can develop a team that will handle their shift flawlessly, improving each other’s weak areas. Such planning requires that you record the following:

  • Employee names
  • Skills, strengths, and weaknesses
  • Educational background and certifications
  • Employment status, i.e., full-time or part-time
  • Personality, e.g., friendly, helpful, quiet
  • Overtime restrictions
  • Other details, e.g., ‘works well under pressure,’ ‘courteous,’ etc.

This list will help you keep track of which employees best work together or can handle specific tasks better. That way, you don’t have to employ guesswork when assigning teams.

Step 2: Determine Your Best Employees

Using the list you made in step 1, determine the most experienced, efficient, and skilled workers in your team. Build your schedule around these employees as they will ensure the tasks are completed meticulously, and the other employees can follow their lead. You should also consider whether these employees are good team players.

Tip: Instead of creating a full work schedule, try assigning one or two of your top employees to a shift and giving the team the incomplete plan so they can decide what they want to do. Doing this will reduce your workload and increase employee engagement.

Step 3: Account for Time-Off Requests

Next, take into account the fact that your employees may request time off work during the work period – be it a week or month. Come up with rules to govern these requests so they don’t affect your output. For example, when can an employee request time off? When can’t they? What amount of notice should they give you for such requests?

Step 4: Pick Out Substitutes

When your employees ask for time off, their duties will need to be performed by other workers. This is why your next step is to establish the best substitutes for your employees, depending on their skills and strengths. You can even get your team more involved by asking them to pick their substitutes as long as they understand that you have the final say on the decisions.

Step 5: Design an Availability Chart

Next, create a list of all your employees and when they are available to work, especially if they work in shifts or part-time. This is called an availability chart and can help you determine which employees can carry out a given task if the assigned team is unavailable.

Step 6: Transfer the Data into a Suitable Tool

Now that you have all the information you need to develop a schedule, transfer it into a suitable tool like MS Word or Excel. Cloud computing allows you to use online versions of these tools like Google Docs and Google Sheets so you can share the information with your team.

Step 7: Establish a Communication Method

Next, determine how you will disseminate the employee schedule to your team. You want a universal communication method, so everyone receives the schedule in the same format at the same time. Consider using a cloud-based app that allows you to create one document and post it online so all the employees with access can view it.

Step 8: Send Out the Schedule

Once you have established a mode of communication, review, edit, and send out your employee schedule. It is advisable to do this at least two weeks before the current schedule expires so you employees get enough time to:

  • Consult with you about the schedule
  • Send in their time off requests
  • Find substitutes
  • Schedule their personal commitments

Tips for Creating a Perfect Employee Schedule

An employee schedule template will do many things, but scheduling your employees is not one of them. You have to work on your scheduling skills so that doing it gets easier with time. Consider the following scheduling tips:

  • Use consistent timelines (start and end times), so you don’t have to change your schedule every period. This will reduce your workload.
  • Try pairing your schedule with other business tools in your company, such as the Point of Sale (POS), so you can distribute manpower depending on sales.
  • Take suggestions from your employees with the understanding that you have the last say.
  • Make your schedule flexible enough to allow for emergency scheduling changes.

Mistakes to Avoid When Scheduling

A work schedule is a compass your team uses to plan their activities for a given period, which means it should be completely error-free. Here are some mistakes to avoid when scheduling your employees:

  • Over-scheduling employees, so they are too exhausted to perform.
  • Under-scheduling employees and hurting your productivity.
  • Scheduling an employee for the wrong task or one for which they don’t have the requisite skills.
  • Double-scheduling a team member, so they have to work on two projects at once.

Final Thoughts

When using an employee schedule template, you should account for all your employee’s skills and availability. Make sure every shift and project is staffed appropriately – not over or understaffed as you might lose time or productivity. It is also important to schedule your employees depending on the difficulty of the task. For example, if you own a restaurant and Fridays are your busiest workdays, consider assigning more wait staff on that day than Monday.

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