What would you do with seven more hours a week?

Managers like you spend about an hour a day on manual shift planning, but a shift planning tool frees up your time and makes business run smoother.

What is shift planning?

Shift planning is the managerial process of selecting and recording when each hourly employee will work over a set time period.

When a manager plans employee shifts, they often have to edit the schedule to accommodate last-minute requests or fix errors in employee availability.

  • Traditional shift planning involves writing down schedules by hand or creating a spreadsheet, and then posting the final schedule at the workplace.
  • Modern shift planning often involves cloud-based software, which makes it easier and faster for managers to create schedules that meet everyone’s needs.

Hear how Planday customers use our shift planner to simplify their scheduling processes


What do you use a shift planner for?

A shift planner is a collaborative tool that helps managers plan and schedule shifts for hourly employees. It’s also a communication platform where employees can share their availability, swap shifts, and access their schedule online or from a mobile device. A shift planner is designed to simplify employee scheduling, by offering templates for different shifts, and syncing with your other payroll and time clock systems.



Using shift planner technology has a range of benefits for both employees, and the business. Consider this:

  • Easier and more reliable shift-swapping86% of employees say that work-life balance is a necessary part of the job.
  • Higher morale, better customer service. Employees with flexible schedules that allowed them to pursue interests outside of work report fewer mental health problems.

How do you create a shift plan?

A great shift plan staffs your business with the right people at the right times. It sounds simple, but it’s not easy. There are two main things to balance: your employees’ needs, and those of your business.


Know and honor your employees’ availability, and their capabilities. When shift planning, you should:

  • Schedule a mix of employees. Use both new and veteran employees during shifts. Too many new employees may cause challenges in customer service, but too many veteran employees may be too costly.
  • Honor employee schedule requests. Keep updated records on employee availability around their school, family and personal obligations. Have a policy for handling sick days, and for accepting vacation requests.
  • Look out for burnout. Don’t schedule “clopens,” and keep an eye out for over-scheduled employees. A shift planner can help notify you of these risks.
  • Manage expectations. While some employees may only want to work ten hours, others may have been hired with the expectation of working 20 a week.
  • Avoid miscommunications. When employees trade or pick up shifts, they may not always go through the right channels. A shift planner can keep communication in one spot.
  • Plan overtime and breaks according to laws in your area.
  • Use templates. Schedule templates for different days of the week can create consistency that keeps morale high.

The other major component of shift planning is predicting volume based on last year’s numbers and upcoming events. You want to do what’s best for your business, and this won’t always line up with every request your employees make.

From a business perspective, your shift planner should help you:

  • Stay on-budget. Modern shift planners sync with other systems, helping you avoid overspending on labor.
  • Provide excellent customer service. Picking employees with the right training at the right times is essential.
  • Create your shift plan early. There will often be last-minute conflicts or requests from employees, or unprecedented changes in volume. The earlier you create your shift plan, the better.
  • Account for business growth. You should be scheduling more people over time, with the expectation that business will grow steadily.
  • Choose cross-trained employees for slower hours to save on labor, since they can do multiple jobs simultaneously.
  • Keep up with changes in technology. A shift planner can automate menial tasks, improve communication, and make your job a whole lot easier.

Shift Planner: Manager Benefits

  • Flexible scheduling
  • Fewer miscommunications
  • Less employee turnover
  • Less spending on recruiting, hiring, and training
  • More time for management and customer interaction

Shift Planner: Employee Benefits

  • Better communication
  • Easier shift-swapping
  • Improves mental health
  • Reality meets expectations
  • Workplace morale and performance is higher
  • Better health, fewer sick days
  • Mobile is a format they use regularly

Hear how Planday customers simplify their shift planning processes


Planday’s shift planner keeps everything running smoothly

Planday's shift planner software enables you to drag and drop shifts, track your staff work schedule, assign tasks and communicate with your employees – all with the touch of a button, enabling you and your staff to collaborate seamlessly from anywhere at any time.

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Interested in learning more about Planday’s shift planner? Book a personal online tour to see how it works