Scheduling can be a contentious issue in any company. Managers often have to balance the organization’s needs with employee availability and preferences. Plus, there can be fluctuating occurrences that have to be addressed, like vacations or extended sick leave, that make maintaining a steady schedule challenging.
Finding a way to handle staff schedules in a way that works for the company but is also well received by your team isn’t easy. However, there is an approach you can use to make the process less stressful. If you want to take the stress out of scheduling, here’s a tip that can help.
The Scheduling Challenge
Often, scheduling a data-driven process. Managers review the needs of the organization, compare it to employee availability data, and try to create a schedule that is functional and efficient. The issue is, this method removes the “human” factor. It doesn’t account for how workers feel about the scheduling choices being made, and that can be problematic.
If your employees feel that some people are unfairly getting a more favorable schedule, that can impact your company’s culture. It can breed a sense of envy and distrust. Some workers may feel negatively about management, and some may begin to resent the team members that they believe are unjustly benefitting from the schedule.
Plus, if some employees believe they are perpetually getting the short end of the stick or their work schedule makes it difficult to manage their personal life, their stress levels can rise. At times, these feelings may even lead to burnout, which can lead to falling productivity and higher turnover.
Why Empathy Makes a Difference
If you want to take the stress out of scheduling, you need to look beyond the data. Before you solidify a plan, you need to use some empathy.
Begin by talking with your team. Find out what challenges they have been facing due to the existing or past schedule. Ask questions about any upcoming events in the workers’ lives that might need accommodating. See if their availability needs updating or if it may need an update in the near future.
If your employees aren’t comfortable speaking with you directly about issues they are experiencing, consider using a different approach. For example, a survey that can be submitted anonymously may give them a platform to air any grievances or present concerns without feeling put on the spot.
Then, once you have the information, try to be compassionate as you create the schedule. While you still need to make sure the company’s needs are handled, you may have enough flexibility to apply some adjustments that can benefit your employees.
Just make sure that you keep things fair. Don’t prioritize one employee’s needs over another’s without justification and, if you have to turn down a worker’s scheduling request, speak with them regarding the decision. Communication and empathy can work wonders when you are creating schedules, allowing you to make the experience less stressful for all involved.
If you’d like to find out more, the team at The Advance Group can help. Contact us today and see how our employee management expertise can benefit you and find exciting new employees available to start today.