Simple ways to scale up your schedule to planning two weeks ahead

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6 min read

Simple ways to scale up your schedule to planning two weeks ahead

Richard Anderson

Richard Anderson

Mar 25, 2024

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    There are many great benefits to planning your rota one-week ahead. It allows your team to improve their work/life balance and take some of the unnecessary stresses away from shift work – but to make the lives of your team even better, you should be looking to give them even more notice as soon as you are able to.

    Not knowing when they will be needed at work next regularly causes 54% of workers unnecessary stress and, with 69% also being given a week or less notice of their next shift pattern, it's easy to see that planning further ahead can make a massive difference to your team’s mental wellbeing.

    Planning further ahead can feel tricky but, as long as you have built solid foundations in your one-week planning, you will be in a great position to scale up your efforts.

    Here are some straightforward ways to make extending your planning horizon as painless as possible.

    Have early conversations around non-negotiable changes

    As well as having benefits for your team, planning further ahead will allow you to make sure you have the right people in at the right times and give you the opportunity to communicate priorities to your team well in advance.

    If you’re looking to plan two weeks ahead then you should have solid foundations and be planning at least seven days in advance. Use your group chat to let your team know about any big events coming up so they can plan around these key shifts.

    Make these conversations a regular part of your planning routine so your team can be prepared and able to let you know about any important personal things they have coming up and what their own non-negotiables are. Also let your team know they can also message or speak to you privately if they aren’t comfortable sharing some things over a group chat.

    By speaking to your team well ahead of time – and at the same time – you can emphasise just how important they are to the business and give them the time to plan their social lives to fully relax and recuperate.

    Empower your team to co-create the rota with you

    Once the non-negotiables (from both yourself and your team) are established you can open up the process to your team and allow them to co-create the rota.

    Around 50% of hospitality workers are aged 16-24. For many, this may be their first job and they may require some extra attention or mentoring to have the confidence to ask for the shifts they want or don’t want to feel like they’re messing you about.

    Also get your team to share with the group when they are available – even if they have not been put on the rota for particular shifts. If people know there are colleagues who can cover a shift for them, they are much less likely to try and work while they are physically or mentally unwell.

    Emphasise to your team that the rota can evolve as circumstances change. Using a shared online spreadsheet or a specialist platform (ahem) will allow your team to have autonomy and not have to involve you in every small request.

    And long-term planning is becoming even more important. Due to a lack of control over shifts, 52% of Gen Z workers wouldn’t recommend a career in hospitality, compared to only 39% of Millennials and Gen X workers.

    Planning to take the next step?

    Planning ahead is a simple and incredibly effective way to help your team balance their work and personal life, and help the industry retain its best talent. By creating a two-week rota with solid foundations you put yourself in the perfect spot to push on and create a three-week rota - where the benefits are even greater for your team.

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