How to Roster Staff Effectively: Tips and Guides

How to Roster Staff Effectively: Tips and Guides
Discover these 6 tips on how to roster staff effectively to gain productivity and the different types of rosters. Find out more with Square.
by Square Dec 09, 2021 — 4 min read
How to Roster Staff Effectively: Tips and Guides

If you want your business to operate efficiently, you need the right staff – but even more importantly, you need the right staff, at the right time. A properly designed rostering plan can ensure your business is getting the best of your employees. It helps keep them on track and happy with their role. Here’s what you need to know about rostering staff.

The Importance Of Effective Rostering

Having too few staff working during peak hours, or too many during slow periods, great sales agents on holidays in high-sales seasons, or giving the wrong jobs to the wrong people can all impact your business success. The following are some of the reasons why effective rostering is so important:

  1. It motivates employees, particularly when they receive good working hours that are suited to their own lifestyle (such as parents working during school hours).
  2. It saves the company money, reduces the reliance on workers who can come at short notice, and allows you to hire only the number of staff required at a particular time.
  3. It makes it easier to track employee performance and you can determine who works more productively at what time, on what day. This allows you to effectively plan in advance.
  4. It encourages higher attendance rates by providing staff with hours that are suitable for them and their performance levels.
  5. It helps to remove workplace health and safety risks, by ensuring all team members receive appropriate working hours and plenty of breaks inbetween shifts.
  6. It ensures your team members are operating at their best, are not feeling fatigued, and have the flexibility to suit their schedules.


Types Of Rosters

The following are the three main types of rosters for business operations, used across all industry types and levels.

1. Duty Rosters

Duty rosters are typically used in the hospitality industry and are designed to avoid excessive shifts. It essentially avoids scheduling too many staff members on the same shift performing the same tasks.

2. Flexible Rosters

Flexible rosters are for staff who can work various hours that suit the company. A flexible roster allows an employee to work hours that are not consistent with the company’s standard start and stop times. This could mean they are rostered to work at any time, for a few hours, or a full day, within (generally) a 40-hour working week. For example, employees may work 7am until 4pm, rather than the usual 8am to 5pm.

3. Staggered Rosters

Staggered rosters are used where start times are staggered for workers. This roster type is typically used in industries that experience fluctuations of customers throughout the day, such as retail or restaurants. , you may have two staff members starting work at 9am and finishing at 3pm. Another starts at 10am to 4pm, another at 11am to 5pm, and so on. This gives more flexibility, and ensures there are staff members always on-site during lunch breaks, etc.

6 Tips For Creating An Effective Roster

Now that you understand a little more about the importance and types of rosters, it’s time to look at how to roster staff effectively. To help with how to make a roster for staff, here are some tips:

1. To start with, you want to have reliable software that can help.

Square Shifts allows you to not only schedule your staff shifts but also track their work and pay them – all in one handy, hassle-free place. By having reliable software, you can streamline rostering and manage your employees much easier.

2. Next, plan your teams.

This is about choosing the right people for the right job, at the right time of day, and making sure they get along with other team members. If you have any conflicts with team members it can decrease their productivity when working. You might prefer to have them on different shifts. Also, think about how many team members you need on a specific day, particularly on weekends and public holidays where rates may be increased. You might also decide to have more experienced staff working on a particular day when you expect your business to be busy.

3. Consider the roles you need to fill and when.

Do you need both managers and assistants working at the same time? Write down each of the roles you actually need at work on a particular day, then allocate a staff member to the time slot. This will stop you from having too many people working in the same role when it’s not necessary.

4. Share the roster with staff.

This is not only great for building trust with your employees but is also a good way to ensure team members are available for their allocated shifts. This gives them the chance to say they can’t work a particular shift, with plenty of notice for you to find someone else. If you use Square Team Management, your staff can actually have full access to their shifts with the ability to swap shifts and even add in their holidays or other leave. Just make sure you give them achievable deadlines for doing so.

5. Start your roster week differently.

While most companies have their rosters starting from Monday to Sunday, choose the busiest day of the week to start yours. If you’re in retail, that might be Thursday for late night shopping or Wednesday. This ensures you have the most people available on the busiest days, as many people are less likely to take the first day off in their working week.

6. Finally, make sure you allocate enough time off each week and annually for each staff member.

If you can, try to allocate two days off per week as this will help to reduce the burnout levels of employees. According to the stats, 4 in 5 Australians suffered from work burnout in 2020. Help to prevent this by ensuring your team members have enough time off to refresh. It will also help boost their productivity.

Now you know how to create a roster, it’s time to get started. Check out the Square Team Management System today and get started.

The Bottom Line is brought to you by a global team of collaborators who believe that anyone should be able to participate and thrive in the economy.


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