Small teams often struggle due to the lack of labor and financial resources.
Dealing with the fluctuating demand can be challenging. When you want more employees, you don’t have enough budgets. When you don’t have enough employees, you can’t meet customer demand.
One way to help improve this situation is to maximize your scheduling. Every shift is filled with the right number of staff, and you don’t spend excessively on unnecessary resources.
So if you’re managing a small team, how can you maximize scheduling with fewer employees?
Improve your labor control
Labor costs can go out of control if you don’t pay enough attention.
Without precise labor reporting, you can run into scheduling problems, especially when the demand fluctuates or staff want some time off.
Both overstaffing and understaffing are costly because you either pay for unplanned overtime or for unnecessary work hours.
Control labor reporting by:
- Be careful with time theft. Establish a personalized system that prevents buddy punching.
- Track employee hours with an automated system. It’ll make tracking hours and creating timesheets less of a pain for you. It also helps you spot overspending on overtime expenses timely.
- Find an attendance and time tracking system that is easy to use for staff. They can clock in and out, or communicate scheduling issues without too much struggle.
- Control unplanned overtime. Sometimes the customer demand is higher than usual, but most of the time, overtime is due to poorly planned schedules and budgets.
The solution is actually simple—using workforce management software. Staff can easily clock in and clock out with their phones, and their working hours are automatically tracked. Attendance checking methods are reliable, so buddy punching is almost impossible. You, as a manager, have a better view of employee’s working time and labor expenses.
Allow flexibility in scheduling
People’s mindsets are shifting. Staff now prioritize work-life balance and flexibility in their working hours. They want more control over their schedules and time.
Flexible scheduling methods such as allowing staff to select their preferred shifts or swap shifts with each other give staff more authority over their working time. This also saves you time because you don’t have to do all the work.
You can set restrictions and requirements for each shift and role, such as skillsets or qualifications. This way not everyone can pick shifts that don’t suit their availability or competency.
Flexible scheduling might not be optimal if you’re using a pen and paper system, or a manual spreadsheet system. An automated scheduling app is convenient if you decide to try out this scheduling method.
You can set restrictions and requirements for each shift on the app. Staff can see which shifts fit their skills and time, and pick open shifts on the go, on any digital devices they have on them.
Have a diverse mix of staff
As full-time employees can be more expensive than part-time ones, you can consider building a diverse mix of employees, with full-time, part-time, and stand-by staff. This way you can be flexible when the market demand changes.
If your business has different locations and teams, you can try to share staff to maximize your scheduling.
For example, if you have 2 coffee shops, one is more crowded on Monday, you can send staff from the other location to come help out.
You can combine this strategy with flexible scheduling. Employees who live nearby the work location might appreciate this opportunity because they can pick a location that is nearest to them.
Use the right scheduling tool
For every decision you have to make, you drain a little bit of your energy. Staff scheduling can quickly flush out your energy with all the paperwork, tweakings, and deciding who’s working when and where.
A scheduling app like Camelo can save you from all the tedious admin work and scheduling troubles.
Camelo helps you:
- Control labor costs better
- Set up flexible schedules for staff
- Help you fill in shift demands quickly and efficiently
- Give you the numbers you need to tighten your labor budgets
Try Camelo for 30 days and see how it benefits you and your business.