Scheduling – flexibility vs uncertainty


6 min read

Scheduling – flexibility vs uncertainty


    Hospitality is an exciting, challenging and ever-changing industry. There are loads of reasons for entry, and opportunities for growth and development for employees. But the flexibility in hours, roles and regularity offered is often given as one of the reasons for why people join.

    But there's a huge difference in the perceived flexibility and reality. And this issue is leading to huge numbers of staff mental health issues, a lack of new blood entering the industry, record numbers of open roles. And alarming numbers of people already working in hospitality are keen to leave.

    What are the impacts of scheduling?

    Most scheduling is currently done on spreadsheets or WhatsApp, with the majority of hospitality professionals given a week or less notice of their next shift. And this is leaving staff feeling frustrated, out of control, and burnt out.

    Lack of advanced scheduling causes a poor work/life balance. It’s hard for your team to make plans with loved ones, celebrate important milestones, financially plan, or develop and stick to hobbies and exercise when they don’t know when they’re working.

    And last-minute rota sharing and shift swaps leave your team working irregular patterns. This has devastating effects like making keeping a healthy and routine sleep schedule impossible and leaving team members without proper down time. It’s unsurprising that burnout is a growing problem.

    With smart scheduling, and planning ahead, you can offer your workforce true flexibility. You can make the work/life balance better and have a real impact on the overall wellbeing and mental health of the people key to the hospitality industry. And these changes are designed to be easy to implement, quicker to manage and with both business and staff wellbeing in mind.

    What is smart scheduling?

    There seems to be a sweet spot – around 22 days’ notice – when planning your staff resource.

    If every business can all move towards this lead time, you should all see the benefits of happier healthier staff, a reduction in staff turnover, fewer sick days and less staff burn out.

    And the use of smart tools in planning your shifts saves your ops team and managers time, freeing them up to tackle the other parts of their job.

    The tools available work wonders, helping you to create staffing patterns and take notice of staff availability when creating your schedule. There are also opportunities to assess data around customer-to-staff needs, and to create smart patterns to optimise your workforce.

    For businesses who have already implemented long lead times in releasing their staffing schedules, being able to get staff notice of the days they are and are not available in advance of rota planning has been key in reduction of sick days and last-minute changes. And scheduling tools really come into their own when managing multiple venues – giving management freedom to assess data and plan staff across the company.

    How can a smart tool help?

    Simply put, these tools make great shift plans that take sickness, holiday and smart rules into account. They give you one reliable place where all staff can see their rota. And you can set simple rules that mean planning is quicker and done in advance.

    Planday provides an easy access platform that allows staff to record their availability, time off and see their upcoming commitments. The instant access to a staff rota creates a culture of sharing - staff share when they can work in advance, which allows you to create a reliable rota that requires minimal last minute changes.

    And smart planning features can help create true flexibility. It can be used to enable staff to swap shifts in an open and recorded way.

    Management can use data and scheduling information to set patterns which really help their teams – you can set rules like ensuring days off are back-to-back and give staff 48 hours off, or to make sure every team member gets at least one weekend off per month.

    Interested in trying out a smart scheduling tool for 30 days to discover how it can improve your staff wellness?

    Ready to make your big shift?

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