The shift-based workforce of today and tomorrow is defined by complexity, speed and highly skilled workers. In this dynamic ecosystem, understanding how to effectively schedule employees, particularly in seasonal businesses, is very valuable. With the current economic volatility, it’s important, now more than ever to be able to expand and contract more quickly.
Employee scheduling effects many facets of business operations including labor costs, efficiency, compliance, worker satisfaction and employee retention. Scheduling literally connects management to shift-based employees. Effective scheduling translates to a positive worker experience, which leads to higher employee retention and job satisfaction levels.
The following strategies should be considered when looking to scale up or scale down seasonal staff. Integrate aspects of these strategies that best fit your company and its processes.
Advance Planning When Possible
Advance planning is particularly important when it comes to seasonal staffing. When scheduling is done effectively, it reduces labor costs by connecting resources to demand. In order to be able to keep your market share as the country reopens, you need to be ready to implement it then. That means planning now. Now is the time to plan and have the right partners in place.
It is very important to have a firm understanding of the labor and other resources needed to meet organizational goals. As soon as you understand precisely what you need, you can determine if your full-time staff can meet your needs. You should also factor in any non-personnel resources, such as vehicles and workstations. Consider upcoming events that may affect worker availability.
Then, you can determine your need for seasonal staff.
Assigning worker shifts can be time-consuming, especially for large, intricate workforces.
It’s critical to verify that seasonal staff members are properly qualified before scheduling them. Refer to established job descriptions to make certain all scheduled staff members meet your needs.
Contrast scheduled resource expenses with forecasts. The difference between scheduled cost and the forecasted may come as a surprise. If labor cost is a major driver, calculate how cost shifts with various staffing strategies.
Look over the schedule to ensure all the factors have been reviews. It’s easy to overlook factors, even with relatively simple schedules. Bad scheduling can have many repercussions for your company. In high-stakes situations, develop a formal method to review costs, compliance issues and any other major factors.
Measure and Adapt
It is useful to periodically take a step back and evaluate the effectiveness of your workforce strategy. Employee scheduling can be a highly repetitive responsibility and it is important not to complacency and routine set in. It is essential to occasionally review your operations, worker feedback and performance indicators. Reviews should include stakeholders from all departments, including human resources and finance.
Contrasting forecast to actual demand is a crucial review point. Review variations and work together across your organization to refine your strategy. An apparently minor improvement can have a large impact on your company.
Review major operations with staffing managers, management, any staffing partners and workers. Look for and test any improvements. In a seasonal business, the schedule has a tremendous influence on worker efficiency and morale. Worker feedback will expose opportunities that may be challenging to pick out from a management perspective.
We Can Help Your Company Manage Seasonal Staffing Needs
At Cornerstone, we help our clients deal with the seasonal aspects of their business by providing them with custom talent solutions. Especially during this time, we’d love to help. Please contact us today to find out how we can help your company.