Tips to Make Your Hospitality Shift Management More Effective

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By Kaleem Ullah

The hospitality industry is thankfully back with a bang following COVID and things appear to be returning to some degree of normalcy within the industry. For those in positions of authority within the industry, this means allowing workers who’ve perhaps been laid off to return to work. 

This leaves managers and team leaders with the difficult task of making sure that there are enough shifts to go around and that team members are getting the shifts they need. Managing your staff and their scheduling can be particularly tough when everyone is chomping at the bit for work but making sure that your staff are properly scheduled is highly beneficial for everyone involved.

For the workforce, it establishes a sense of routine, and it leaves staff without question as to when they’re working, how often and what they’ll be compensated for their time. It also leaves overtime slots open to those staff who want it. From a management perspective, it allows you to streamline your days, it allows you to remain fair and balanced in your scheduling which keeps your employees happy, which increases their productivity and engagement – it also helps reduce your turnover and need to hire more workers.

If, however, you’re struggling with this, here are some ways to make your scheduling more effective:

  • Identify Current Issues With Scheduling

You cannot solve a problem until you know what it is. Part of your job when revamping your scheduling is to make sure that you correctly identify your current issues. Do you have too many workers and not enough shifts? Do you have empty slots that you’re having to put workers in at random? Do certain workers have preferred shifts where they perform better with customers, but they aren’t working those shifts?

There could myriad issues with your scheduling. The first step to making your shift management more effective is to identify your core issues. Perhaps a good first step in this process is to schedule a team meeting and consult with your staff on what their thoughts are.

  • Set Strategic Goals

In order for any new shift management strategy to be effective, it must have a set of goals that it seeks to accomplish. The goal of any successful shift management initiative must be to solve any scheduling conflicts that exist within a staff, harmoniously and fairly, so that staff are in better spirits and the business is functioning better because of it.

  • Analyse Internal Structure

Once you have created a set of strategic goals, it’s time to examine the scheduling that already exists and analyse your team’s hierarchy. Is there room for manoeuvre? Could certain workers benefit from a change of shift? Consultation with HR may be a benefit in this instance, to find out if a worker could use a change to day shift from night time operations and so on. Analysing your internal structure in this way will give you an opportunity to see where weaknesses lie in your current scheduling structure, which will help you pinpoint where changes need to be made.

  1. Create An Action Plan

Once you have identified the problem areas, your next step is to create a plan of action to deal with these issues. This may involve the use of a new type of scheduling system for shift management, including turning to new available technology to help streamline your process and maintain at-a-glance capabilities across your entire staff. This will involve meetings with staff members to maintain awareness of their thoughts on the newly proposed changes.

  1. Implement New Decisions

Your action plan, once complete, can then be implemented across the board. This will require persistent review from you and your staff. The action plan itself should include flexibility to allow for changes to be made as new issues will inevitably arise, but that flexibility will allow you to adapt to these challenges on-the-fly, so that they don’t become sources of conflict among staff.

Essentially, it is in your best interests as a business to maintain a flexible scheduling process that can account for changes in personnel rapidly, to ensure that the spot is filled and that your scheduling remains free of headaches. One of the ways in which you can make this easier for yourself is to use software to help you – rostering software, for example, allows you to effectively designate shifts and streamlines your processes.

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