An employee availability form allows employees to indicate which hours they’re available and unavailable for work. With information about employee availability, you can avoid scheduling people for hours they can’t show up.
What is employee availability form?
An employee availability form is a document where employees specify the times they can and can’t work. It often includes a table or calendar where employees fill out their preferred work time.
The details required for an availability form depend on the scheduling process and needs of each business. It mainly includes days and times employees are available for work. Some businesses may ask for hours employees can’t work instead, qualifications, skills, or positions.
Through the employee availability form, employees can communicate their scheduling needs to management. Management can create work schedules that take both business needs and employee preferences into consideration.
Why are employee availability forms so important?
Employee availability forms help you do scheduling work and maintain business operations.
- Keeping employee availability up to date helps you prevent scheduling conflicts. You don’t schedule people for hours they can’t show up at work.
- You can schedule people more effectively. Information about available times and skills makes sure you can fill every shift with staff members that are qualified and available.
- You can identify problematic employees who have attendance issues.
- Monitoring availability provides insights into employee satisfaction. These insights may indicate engagement problems and urge you to address them through training and performance reviews.
Who is responsible for availability management?
Employee availability is important to maintain business operations. So of course, as an owner or manager, it’s in your best interest to ensure availability information is accurate and up-to-date.
But it’s not your responsibility to track down every employee to update their availability information. Hold employees accountable for updating their availability.
To do so, emphasize the importance of maintaining accurate availability information through the onboarding process, team meetings, training sessions, or employee handbook.
What to include in an employee availability form?
Employee contact information
Collect the employee’s name, phone number, and email address to get in touch with them when necessary.
Put down a table, calendar, checklist, or blank spaces for employees to fill out their preferred work hours. It should be simple and easy to use so employees can write things down quickly.
Provide instructions on the form to ensure everyone can fill it out correctly. Explain if you require the use of specific terms such as Not Available, All Day, No Restrictions, AM, PM, etc.
Signatures and dates
To make the employee availability form official, both you and the employee must sign and date it.
By signing, the employee verifies that the hours they indicated are the ones they can or can’t work.
Your signature confirms that you’ve acknowledged the information and will consider it while creating the next work schedule.
A space for future adjustments on the form allows employees to list changes in their availability without having to fill out a new form. Make sure to keep track of when the new availability takes effect.
Employee availability form template
We’ve created an employee availability form template that you can use right away or edit to fit your business. Click here to download.
How to use an employee availability form
Let employees know that they will need to fill in an availability form. You can do this through an announcement, email, or message.
Discuss with employees
Schedule a meeting with each employee and give them a new availability form. During the meeting, go over any changes they need to make to their availability and have them fill out the form accordingly. If their availability hasn’t changed, note it on the form and have them sign and date next to it.
For new hires, include the availability form with other new employee forms. You can also simplify the onboarding process by including a copy of the availability form in your employee handbook. This way, both new and existing employees can access the form whenever they need to update their availability.
Review the information filled out on the form before signing off on it. It’s common to overlook important details such as specifying AM and PM or leaving blanks empty.
Review availability periodically
Keeping employee availability up to date and accurate helps minimize schedule conflicts. Ask employees about any changes to their availability periodically, at least every six months.
For businesses with young employees, part-time workers, or those with frequently changing schedules, you may need to conduct an availability review more often.
If there are no changes, make a note on the form. If there are any changes, request employees to update their forms.
Manage employee availability online
Luckily, you don’t have to get caught up in paper forms. Many scheduling software now enables you to manage employee availability on your phone or computer.
This is an example of an employee availability form created with Camelo app:
With this availability tool, employees can add information about times when they’re available and unavailable for work. These hours will appear on the team schedule as grey/green blocks, so you can consider employee availability while scheduling.
Simplify scheduling process with employee availability forms
If you’re tired of last-minute shift changes, scheduling conflicts, or no-shows, it may be time to give an employee availability form a try.
By gathering information about your employees’ availability, you can create a work schedule that meets both your business needs and employee preferences.
Ready to start keeping availability on track? Download our employee availability form PDF template to get started.
Or you can use the Camelo app to manage availability easily.