Years ago, I worked on a consulting project for a company that was facing customer service challenges. They were convinced the problem was training. So, they brought in a group of consultants to help them determine their training needs.
Ends up, their challenge wasn’t training. At least not entirely. The issue was staffing and scheduling.
That’s why I wanted to share with you this Time Well Spent from our friends at Kronos. Yes, it’s important to be staffing right with the best talent. And it’s important to train employees. But all of that goes out the window if you don’t schedule employees at the right times.
Use operational planning tools to understand peak and slow times. Every business has busy and slow times. Understanding the operation will keep departments from over- and under- scheduling. Not only will it help the business run smoothly, but it keeps managers from sending employees home (or calling them in) when needed.
Talk with employees about their scheduling preferences. Not all employees want to work Monday through Friday from 9a to 5p. And not all employees want holidays off. Managers should take the time to get to know their employees and when they like to work.
Use technology to facilitate shift trades and last-minute coverage. Today’s workforce management technology solutions allow employees to handle their own shift trades and find someone to cover a shift in an emergency. Think of scheduling as a partnership.
Encourage cross-training. If you’re business runs into a lot of “last-minute” requests, consider cross-training employees. Instead of calling someone in to handle a last-minute thing, organizations can ask someone to stay an extra hour or reprioritize their workload.
Nobody wants bad scheduling – – not organizations or employees or customers! Companies don’t want the lost productivity. Employees don’t want to be bored (or overworked). And customers don’t want a frustrating experience. Look for ways to perfect scheduling using operational and technology tools. It’s a win for everyone!11