scheduling issues and solutions

13 Scheduling Issues & the Solutions

Employee scheduling issues at work are the challenges or difficulties that arise when planning shifts for your employees. They disrupt productivity, increase stress among your team, and lead to losses for your business.

In this post, we’ll explore some of the most common scheduling issues and the solutions to help you navigate them with ease.

scheduling issues meme

13 employee scheduling issues and solutions

1. Lack of an official schedule

Small businesses with few employees may find a hand-written schedule or a simple spreadsheet enough for scheduling needs.

But as you hire more people and there are more shifts to plan, scheduling issues and conflicts arise more often and manual scheduling methods aren’t effective anymore.

Solution: Use employee scheduling software

With numerous employee scheduling software available, you can easily select one that’s both affordable and convenient for creating official schedules for employees.

These digital solutions provide tools for you to drag and drop shifts, share schedules with employees online, and notify employees of the latest schedule changes.

Plus, scheduling software often comes with additional features such as time clocks or messaging, which is convenient for the scheduling process.

2. Messy shift swaps

Giving your team members the freedom to manage their own schedules can lift some stress off your shoulders, but it can also result in misunderstanding and disorganization. Employees may swap with unqualified workers or not notify you about the swaps.

Solution: Create a shift swap policy

A shift swap policy outlines what employees must do if they want to swap shifts and how you process the swaps. It provides guidelines for employees and keeps shift swap procedures consistent in your business.

Solution: Set up approval step

Set up an approval step in which all swap requests go through your review. This is to make sure all swaps are qualified.

Tip: The shift swapping feature on Camelo allows your employees to swap shifts on their phones. It suggests a list of all qualified swaps for employees. You can turn on the approval step so all swap requests are sent to you for review.

shift swapping on Camelo helps solve scheduling issues

3. Understaffing and overstaffing

Understaffing happens when you don’t schedule enough people for a shift. Customer wait times are longer and the staff on shift is more stressed out.

Overstaffing happens when you schedule more people for a shift than necessary. Employees don’t have much to do, and you pay more for labor costs.

Some industries have varying staffing requirements, depending on the hours, seasons, nearby events, and so on. That requires management to adjust staffing often and in time, which is not always easy.

Solution: Hire more people

It’s crucial to have enough employees on hand to cover business needs without overburdening your current staff. It’s also equally important to not have too many employees. You can hire part-time employees instead of full-time employees if the staffing demand fluctuates too much.

Solution: Forecast demand

Forecast staffing demand by analyzing past shifts, future events, holidays, and seasonal patterns. Anticipate and plan for unexpected events and schedule changes.

Solution: Find effective ways to schedule employees

Finding new employees is a costly process, and not every business has enough resources to do so. But you can still partly resolve staffing problems by using more effective scheduling techniques to optimize your workforce.

Tip: The Camelo’s Scheduler provides tools so you can plan staffing based on various requirements: date, hours, positions, skills, coverage, and more.

schedule employees on Camelo based on various requirements to resolve scheduling issues

4. Overscheduling

Overscheduling happens when an employee is scheduled to work too many shifts or hours. For example, they have to work a clopening shift (the closing shift and then opening shift).

Having not enough time to rest in between shifts may negatively impact employee well-being and performance.

Solution: Avoid scheduling back-to-back shifts

Working back-to-back shifts can take a toll on employees’ physical and mental health. Plan at least 8 hours of rest in between shifts when scheduling employees.

Solution: Keep track of overtime

Overtime helps ensure your business coverage, but also comes with lots of consequences. Try to avoid it when possible.

Tips: The Camelo’s Scheduler alerts you if you overschedule someone.

overtime alert on Camelo shift planning app

5. Unfair scheduling

Sometimes, the scheduler may unconsciously assign more desirable shifts or grant more time off to certain employees. This type of scheduling bias can create conflicts within the team and hurt everyone’s morale.

Solution: Create policies for scheduling and time off

Create clear policies regarding scheduling and time off. Make sure they’re compliant with the current labor laws applicable to your industry and state. Consult a legal expert or an HR professional if necessary.

Make sure to stay consistent when enforcing the policies. All employees should be held to the same rules and procedures, regardless of their position or tenure.

Solution: Be upfront about work hours

Be upfront about what shifts or how many hours employees are expected to work before hiring them.

6. Last-minute notice for shifts or schedule changes

Not providing enough notice for scheduled shifts or shift changes can frustrate both employees and employers.

There’s not enough time to plan personal lives, so employees are more likely to be late or forget their shifts. You’ll then have to scramble around to find replacements.

In some industries and locations, there may be legal requirements for how long in advance you should send schedules to employees. Or you have to compensate employees extra for last-minute schedule changes.

Solution: Provide schedules in advance

Create schedules and distribute them weeks in advance so employees can arrange their time. Make changes within certain timeframes if possible.

Even if not legally required, sending schedules out in advance helps minimize employee dissatisfaction and scheduling issues related to attendance.

Solution: Ask who wants extra shifts

In case of an emergency or unexpected situation, try asking for volunteers to take on extra shifts. This way, those who want more hours can get them, and you can ensure coverage without hurting morale or breaking the law.

Tip: The Camelo’s Scheduler helps you find replacements to shifts quickly in unexpected situations.

reassign a shift on Camelo scheduling software in unexpected situations

7. Staying organized

Staying organized can be challenging when you have a lot on your plate. It’s hard to keep track of all schedules, changes, or shift requests.

Solution: Use employee management software

Employee management software can keep your work organized and avoid chaos. You can track all kinds of stuff, from shifts and tasks to leave requests and messages.

manage all shifts, timesheets, leaves, and requests on Camelo employee scheduling app

8. No call, no shows

It’s a real bummer when an employee doesn’t show up for their shift without notifying you. The workflow is disrupted. You have to find a substitute quick, or else the shift is understaffed.

Solution: Keep contact information on hand

Have an employee directory and keep all contact information on hand. This will be handy if a no-call, no-show situation ever happens.

Tip: The employee directory on Camelo lists all employees and their contact information so you can keep in touch with the team quickly.

find team contact info quickly on Camelo in case scheduling issues happen

9. Employee turnover

Even if you work hard to engage your employees and make them happy, you can’t stop people from leaving.

Irregular work schedules are among the top reasons for employees leaving. So paying more attention to employee needs while scheduling can help prevent employee turnover.

Solution: Give employees more control over their schedules

Give employees self scheduling options such as adding available time slots, picking shifts they want to work, or shift bidding. When they get to choose when to work, there are fewer attendance issues. When you consider employee needs and preferences, they’re more likely to stick around.

Tip: Camelo’s Availability lets employees add their availability preferences. Open Shifts feature allows you to publish unassigned shifts and employees can claim shifts they want to work.

open shift notification on Camelo employee scheduling app

10. Time off conflicts

Taking time off is important for maintaining work-life balance and wellness. But managing time off of many employees at once can be hectic as time off conflicts are one of the most scheduling issues in the workplace.

Solution: Manage time off efficiently

To ensure accurate tracking of time off, maintain precise records of how much paid or unpaid time off an employee has.

Document all time-off requests and approvals to track employees’ time off and ensure consistency.

Consider implementing time off management software that allows employees to submit requests digitally, and managers to approve or deny them with just a few clicks. This can help you ensure that your team has adequate coverage, and avoid scheduling conflicts or misunderstandings.

Tip: A scheduling app can be extremely helpful in quickly determining how many hours an employee has accrued and how many they have left. You can manage time off and leave balance easily. You can also avoid scheduling someone during their time off.

send and manage leave requests on Camelo employee scheduling app

Solution: Establish clear priority policies

When multiple employees request time off simultaneously, it can be challenging to decide who gets approved first.

While seniority is a common approach, you can create your own guidelines and criteria for prioritizing time-off requests. Ensure that the policies are consistent and fair to all employees.

11. Availability conflicts

If employees aren’t available for work, there might not be enough staffing to maintain operations and meet customers’ demand. You can hire more staff. Or track your employee availability more closely to schedule with the staff you have.

Solution: Use availability forms

Provide availability forms so employees can fill in. Or allow them to enter their availability on an app to let you know who’s available and schedule them right.

Tip: Camelo’s Availability allows employees to add their availability and unavailability. Their preferences are shown on the schedule.

add and manage availability preferences on Camelo employee scheduling app

12. Unexpected absences

Even after setting the schedule and giving employees ample notice, unexpected situations can arise. Employees may need to leave work suddenly due to illness, family emergencies, or other unforeseen circumstances.

Solution: Create absence policies

Establish clear rules and guidelines for absences, including:

  • How employees should report absences,
  • Acceptable reasons for absences,
  • Consequences for failing to report an absence or having excessive absences.

Ensure that employees are aware of the policies and that they are consistently enforced across the organization.

Solution: Offer flexible work arrangements

Consider offering paid sick leave, flexible work arrangements, or job sharing as ways to reduce the impact of unexpected absences on your business.

Solution: Have a backup plan

Have a backup plan in place so you can respond quickly in emergencies. Create a list of employees who are willing to work on short notice and keep it handy.

13. Unnecessary overtime

Overtime is inevitable in some workplaces, but excessive overtime can lower employee morale and affect employee well-being.

Solution: Monitor workload and demand

Monitor the workload and anticipate busy seasons. If employees have to work overtime a lot, it’s a sign you need to adjust their workload or hire more people.

Solution: Monitor maximum work hours

Set limits on maximum hours and input them into an app. You’ll get an alert if you schedule overtime.

Tip: You can set maximum hours on Camelo and get alerts if you schedule someone over their maximum hours limit.

Solve scheduling issues with Camelo

Maintaining a reliable employee scheduling process is difficult. Scheduling issues such as last-minute sick calls or no-call no-shows arise often and unexpectedly. There are many moving parts to consider and adjust.

But it’s not impossible to solve scheduling problems in operations management. Knowing about common scheduling problems and solutions can help you address them quickly.

Establish clear policies, apply suitable scheduling strategies, and use modern technology, you’re ready to create reliable work schedules and solve most of the schedule issues efficiently.

And don’t forget to take advantage of the scheduling tools available with Camelo. You can access our Scheduler, Availability Management, Time Off Management, and much more with a free account. Try it free today →.

schedule employees efficiently and avoid scheduling issues using Camelo web and app

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