How do you create an effective work schedule for your employees?

A company’s success depends to a large extent on the efficient management of its staff. The work schedule is the tool used toorganize employees’ working hours and coordinate their individual tasks. To draw up an optimal work schedule , the employer must respect several criteria. The company’s needs and the skills and availability of its employees are the first factors to be taken into account when creating a schedule. The use of online tools, such as scheduling software, makes it possible to design tailor-made schedules. They draw on the constraints and needs of each organization to create the ideal schedule for you and your employees.

Defining your company’s needs

Planning is an essential management tool for the smooth running of a company. It enables teams to be organized and coordinated, and tasks to be allocated. Efficiently designed, taking into account available resources, the work schedule is a good way to improve productivity.

Before creating employee schedules, employers should first list their objectives and the projects they wish to carry out. This will give them a clear vision of their needs. This will enable them to draw up coherent schedules that meet their expectations.

He also needs to know the skills of his employees, so that he can allocate tasks efficiently, according to each person’s strengths and weaknesses.

Then it’s a matter of defining appropriate working hours , according to the structure’s production objectives (flexible, night or traditional schedules). Seasonality and periods of reduced or increased activity are also taken into account when designing a schedule. You need to anticipate any fluctuations in order to plan for the manpower required to keep your company running smoothly in all circumstances.

Take your employees into account when creating schedules

Your company’s employees are your most valuable assets. The productivity and performance of your organization depend in part on them. That’s why it’s a good idea to exchange information on the availability of each employee, and to allow for greater flexibility in work schedules.

Take into account employee availability

Knowing your employees’ unavailabilities helps you to limit absences and delays. The schedule will match the expectations of the employee, who won’t have to take days off at the last minute to attend an important appointment. This also benefits the employer, who avoids wasting time looking for an urgent replacement. Taking your team’s availability into account is therefore beneficial for both parties.

Giving employees the chance to swap schedules

To limit absences and the constraints associated with changing a schedule, you can also give your staff the option of exchanging their schedules. This will be much appreciated by your employees, who will feel they have more freedom and autonomy in managing their schedules.

Distribute the workload as evenly as possible

Some sectors have daily and weekly peaks in activity. This is particularly true of the restaurant business. Customers frequent these establishments more frequently at weekends and during the vacations. In such cases, a flexible schedule can help to distribute tasks and workloads more evenly.

flexible schedule is made up of alternating shifts each week, so that an employee doesn’t always work at the same time. This means they can have available weekends and less busy working days. It’s also an opportunity to vary tasks and prevent team fatigue.

Respecting employees’ legal working hours

To be considered legal in the eyes of the law, staff schedules must comply with a number of conditions laid down in collective bargaining agreements and the French Labor Code. In particular, it must mention :

  • Start and end times of the working day
  • Break times
  • Days off
  • Distribution of hours over the week
  • The planning period

These details assure the employee and the labor inspectorate that the schedule complies with the legal working hours in France, i.e. :

  • 10h maximum daily working time
  • A maximum of 48 hours of work per week
  • A minimum of 35 hours off per week

Communicate schedules quickly and efficiently to your employees

The deadline for transmitting work schedules

For a schedule to be taken into account, it must be communicated to employees as soon as possible. The law does not impose any deadline for companies to announce work schedules. To find out your deadline, refer to your organization’s collective bargaining agreement. If nothing is mentioned, the document should be sent within a reasonable period of 7 days before the schedule takes effect, in compliance with certain obligations.

How schedules are transmitted to employees

In the case of shared schedules

Employers must comply with a number of conditions when sending schedules to employees. In the case ofcollective schedules, he mustpost the schedules on the company premises, in a place accessible to all staff. Teams working outside the building must have the same access to the premises to which they are attached. The employer is free to choose the layout of the document, as long as the text is clear and legible.

For individual schedules

As far as individual schedules are concerned, the employer is not obliged to send out paper schedules or post them. They must, however, communicate their schedules to employees and ensure that they are available for consultation within the company.

Use scheduling software to optimize personnel management

One method of creating an efficient schedule is to use online scheduling software. These fully automated tools save time in designing schedules andoptimize staff work.

Easily create effective schedules

The software is designed to take into account all the company’s HR data (number of employees, working hours, position assigned to each…). It offers a range of different scheduling models, depending on the sector of activity and the specific features of each company. Based on the information provided, it creates customized schedules that are easy to modify.

Sick leave, maternity leave, late arrivals… Sometimes it’s necessary to go back to the document in a hurry. Personnel management software allows you to make changes quickly and easily.

Employees also have access to their schedule via a private online space. With the employer’s agreement, they can :

  • Make their own modifications
  • Reserve work slots to adapt their schedule to their availability.
  • Exchange time slots between employees

Easily create complex schedules

Some companies have special working hours, which can make scheduling more complex. Many companies use tools such as Excel to manage their human resources. The person in charge oforganizing employees’ working hours then manually enters the information into a table and generates the schedules themselves. This is a risky approach, as a mistake can quickly upset the whole company. Using HR management software automates this task and reduces the risk of errors.

Limiting communication delays

As we’ve seen, it’s best to communicate schedules to employees within a reasonable timeframe. When the design of schedules is complex, it is sometimes difficult to respect this recommendation. Using personnel management software is a good way of organizing employees’ working hours more quickly. The tool is based on the HR data transmitted upstream, and automatically generates a coherent table. The document can then be forwarded to the teams as soon as possible.

Make schedules more accessible to employees

Employees need easy access to their schedules. If they don’t, they run the risk of not being able to consult it at the right time, which can lead to delays or absences. While employers are under no obligation to provide employees with a paper version of their schedules (in the case of individual schedules), they must nevertheless ensure that the document can be consulted within the company. The advantage of personnel management software is that employees can consult their schedules at any time via a private online space. They can also choose to receive the document by SMS or e-mail in PDF format. A good way to limit calendar errors.

Employers need to take a number of factors into account when drawing up an effective schedule for their employees. First, he needs to define his company’s needs and objectives in terms of productivity. He must also assess his manpower resources and budget. Effective planning takes into account the skills and availability of the company’s employees. Teams are an integral part of a company’s operations, and failure to take their availability into account can result in absences or last-minute changes to schedules. Once schedules have been drawn up, they still need to be communicated to employees, in compliance with certain posting obligations. Successful communication depends on the speed and clarity of the documents provided. Using HR software is a good way of making schedules accessible to all, reducing the time spent on creating schedules andoptimizing personnel management.