As a manager, does it seem like some parts of your job are never done? You look around and think, “I just did that!” Then you have to carve time out of your busy schedule and take time away from more important issues to repeat tasks over and over again. It can be incredibly frustrating. And few things in a manager’s work life are as repetitive as staff scheduling. But despite the need to constantly schedule, there is a way to simplify the process. How is that possible? With a staff scheduling template.
The experts at Sling are here to show you how a staff scheduling template can free up your time so you can deal with more important managerial problems like accounting, interviewing, marketing, and hiring. Along the way, we’ll address such issues as:
- Why a staff scheduling template is important.
- What essential items to include in your staff scheduling template.
- How to create your own staff scheduling template.
We’ll also show you how to use your computer or mobile device to harness the power and versatility of Sling to make the scheduling process easier than ever. Before we do that, though, let’s discuss why it’s important to have a staff scheduling template in the first place.
The Importance Of A Staff Scheduling Template
Why should you create a standard staff scheduling template for your business? Because your staff schedule is a reflection of the needs of your company and the employees who work there. As such, the information on your staff schedule may be completely different from the information on another business’s staff schedule. For example, your employees may perform different jobs on different days. Not every template will reflect that change. You’ll need to design one that does.
A custom-made staff scheduling template also reduces the amount of time you have to spend preparing before you get to the actual task of scheduling. You’ll no longer have to remake the calendar every single time. Instead, your custom staff scheduling template is stored on your computer or in a filing cabinet so that all you have to do is fill it out.
Essential Items To Include In Your Staff Scheduling Template
At its most basic, your staff scheduling template should include the following information:
- A week or two-weeks worth of days.
- Employee names.
- Date of each day displayed.
- Business hours.
- Business or manager contact information.
- A way to show work hours (e.g., a numerical time range, an X in the hours being worked, a bar that spans work time).
The employee names, dates, business hours, and contact information should be printed on the periphery of the schedule. That way, the only information on the calendar itself is the work hours. If possible, we also suggest formatting your staff schedule as a table and making use of color coding and images (of employees) to make it easy to read.
However you choose to format your staff schedule, keep the template simple. It should only take a few seconds for an employee to figure out:
- What day she’s working.
- What hours she’s working.
- The job she’ll be performing.
If it takes longer than a minute to decipher that information, your staff scheduling template is too complicated.
Here’s an effective way to test the simplicity of your staff schedule:
- Get an old copy of a schedule and a stopwatch.
- Try not to look at the schedule too closely as you do.
- Set the schedule aside for a moment while you answer an email or walk through the dining room.
- Before you look at the staff schedule again, choose an employee.
- With that employee in mind, start the stopwatch and then glance back at the schedule to determine when she will be working the next day.
You should be able to figure out that employee’s schedule for the next week in 30 seconds or less. If you can’t do that, your template needs to be simplified.
How To Create A Staff Scheduling Template
The easiest way to create your own simple staff scheduling template, like the one shown above, is to use Microsoft Excel or another spreadsheet program. It may take a bit of time to get everything exactly the way you need it, but once it’s done, the scheduling process will be much simpler going forward.
There are hundreds of templates online, and a simple search for “staff scheduling template” will reveal a number of useful options. Most will need to be modified to best suit your needs. Here’s how to do that.
- Search “staff scheduling template.”
- Make sure the template is compatible with your software.
- Download your favorite option.
- Open the template with your spreadsheet software.
- Most templates come pre-populated with names, dates, times, and jobs so you will need to change that information to reflect your business.
- Click one of the employee name cells and enter a new name. Repeat this process until all employees are listed.
- We strongly suggest keeping the order of the names the same on every schedule. That way, employees can get find their work hours faster.
- Add or remove rows by right-clicking and inserting or deleting as necessary.
- Save your work.
- Next, change the work hours to reflect the shifts your business uses.
- Save your work.
- We also suggest changing the color-coding of each shift.
- Save your work.
- If you need to list the specific job that each employee is performing, we suggest including it in the name field.
- Finally, include your business name, business contact numbers, year, and any other information that is pertinent around the outside of your staff scheduling template.
- Save your work.
- Distribute your new schedule.
A simple staff scheduling template, like the one shown above, is ideal for getting started. It can reduce the headache of scheduling somewhat, but it still leaves much to be desired. This rudimentary staff scheduling template does nothing to help with:
- Finding substitutes.
- Tracking work hours.
- Distributing the schedule.
- Calculating work hours.
- Keeping track of time-off requests.
- Communicating with employees.
Only one solution does all that and much more: Sling.
Sling Makes Scheduling Easy
Sling is an employee scheduler designed to bring order to the chaos. The Sling scheduling program simplifies all the issues that a manager could potentially face when scheduling employees. But Sling is about more than just plugging names into time slots. It’s about making every aspect of your job—scheduling, distribution, communication—easier and faster.
The intuitive and well-organized scheduling tools Sling offers make it simple to create clear, easy-to-read schedules with just a few clicks of the mouse or taps on the screen. And Sling’s cloud-based platform streamlines the process of sending the schedule to everyone who needs it. Just post your schedule in the cloud for all to see.
You can even control exactly who can view the schedule and who can make changes to it. All you have to do is give individuals permission or send them a link. They can then log in to Sling to view or edit the schedule anytime, anywhere.
Sling’s cloud-based program also provides a central location where employees can indicate when they’re available to work. Sling then displays reminders about double-bookings, time-off requests, and unavailability while you’re creating your schedule.
But remember, Sling is about more than just scheduling. The app also offers powerful messaging and communication tools that let you contact all your employees at the same time, a specific group of employees, or just one person. This cuts down on the difficult task of covering no-shows and coordinating substitutes.
Sling’s integrated features (Shifts, Time Clock, Messages, Newsfeed, Tasks) reduce the time it takes to create and manage your business’s schedules and employees. In fact, Sling helps managers bring teams together, keep everyone informed and engaged, and build a better work culture.
Don’t reinvent the wheel every time you create a staff schedule or rely on overly-simplified templates that can’t address all your needs. Don’t conform your business to the features of a sub-standard staff scheduling program or template.
Instead, let Sling show you how easy scheduling can be. Visit GetSling.com today to try the Sling app for free.