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7 Common Employee Scheduling Issues To Avoid | MarketBox

7 Common Employee Scheduling Issues To Avoid

Scheduling employees can be a complex, time-consuming task. There are numerous scheduling mistakes and pitfalls that are easy to fall into. Without proper scheduling practices, you risk overworking your employees and causing endless frustration, impacting productivity and increasing employee turnover. 

But if you know what you’re up against, you can mitigate against disaster. So here are eight common employee scheduling issues to avoid. 

Mistake #1: Not using scheduling software 

The biggest mistake a business can make is not using scheduling software to coordinate employee schedules. Manually scheduling using the outdated pen-and-paper method, or the slightly better, but still not optimal, spreadsheet method, increases the risk of scheduling errors and double bookings. And takes far longer than necessary. 

With scheduling software, you eliminate the risk of double booking, can create, edit, and share schedules in seconds, and can optimize your team’s calendars to increase productivity, reduce burnout, and maintain high levels of employee satisfaction.  

Mistake #2: Overlooking employee availability & shift preferences

Another common employee scheduling mistake (that’s easily avoided with proper scheduling software) is not factoring in employee availability or shift preferences when putting together weekly rotas. 

This mistake has the biggest impact on businesses employing part-time staff, who have other jobs or commitments that prevent them from switching up their personal schedule because you forgot they can’t work Wednesdays. 

Not only does overlooking employee availability & shift preferences cause more work for the person who has to redo the schedule, but it also shows a disregard for your employees’ time. As a result of not being listened to or constantly having to rearrange their personal life, employees become dissatisfied and unhappy at work, which increases employee turnover and absenteeism and results in higher costs to the company. 

Mistake #3: Not communicating effectively

Another common scheduling mistake is not communicating effectively with employees. This could be anything from sharing schedules last minute to not updating employees when a client cancels or a booking is rescheduled. This leaves employees confused and unsure about when they’re supposed to be working and can result in them not showing up or being late for appointments which disrupts your business and leads to dissatisfied customers and less repeat business. 

Mistake #4: Lack of flexibility 

A lack of flexibility in employee schedules makes balancing work and personal responsibilities harder and can quickly lead to employee burnout. It can also prevent you from being able to hire high-quality candidates in the first place. 
To introduce more flexibility into employee schedules

  • Allow for shift swapping 
  • Be open to time off requests 
  • Provide cross-training opportunities 
  • Encourage communication and make adjustments based on feedback
  • Introduce flexible work arrangements like working from home, part-time hours, job sharing, & flexible start times

Mistake #5: Not forecasting demand 

Another scheduling issue that’s particularly prevalent in businesses that experience “busy periods” is not accurately forecasting demand. For seasonal businesses like landscapers or hospitality venues like restaurants and bars, not knowing when demand peaks and adjusting schedules accordingly results in under or over-staffing shifts. This either puts unnecessary pressure on too few employees or means you’re paying people to sit around because there’s nothing to do.

Scheduling software can avoid both situations and ensure schedules remain balanced throughout the day, week, month, or year by giving you access to data on past scheduling patterns throughout the year. By pulling reports on past mistakes or scheduling wins, you can make better decisions going forward.

Mistake #6: Failing to account for employees’ skills 

If you ignore an employee’s skillset when assigning jobs, you run the risk of 

  1. Scheduling employees for tasks they’re not qualified to perform, leading to decreased productivity and higher chances of accidents (not to mention poor quality outputs)
  2. Scheduling employees for tasks they’re overqualified for, leaving them not feeling challenged and increasing dissatisfaction

Not to keep going on about it, but with scheduling software like MarketBox, you can easily filter employees by skills — as well as location, availability, etc. — to ensure you’re always scheduling the right people for the right jobs. 

Mistake #7: Not factoring in travel time for mobile appointments

This last scheduling issue only applies to businesses offering in-home and mobile appointments. However, it can be a huge problem for them, so it still earns a spot on the list of common employee scheduling issues to avoid. 

Not factoring in travel time to the schedules of employees traveling to clients results in them being perpetually late for appointments. Since no one likes to be kept waiting, understandably, this can considerably impact customer satisfaction, not to mention stress out employees who constantly feel like they’re behind! 

On the flip side, some businesses over-schedule travel time, which means they lose precious space in employee schedules for more appointments, resulting in lost revenue opportunities and a lot of waiting outside client homes. 

Introducing MarketBox, the answer to all your scheduling issues

MarketBox is the only appointment management software that’s specifically designed for businesses offering in-home and mobile appointments. The all-in-one software handles your booking, employee scheduling, and payments so you can run your business easily and efficiently. 

MarketBox makes it easy to schedule your employees for mobile appointments. Using the Travel Zone feature, you can control when and where each employee operates by assigning availability to each travel zone, service type, and day of the week. The online booking flow filters providers according to the client’s criteria (skills, location, availability, service type), so they only see the options available in their area. Then once the booking is confirmed, the chosen provider’s schedule is updated, and they’re notified of the new booking. 

In addition, the software sends updates to providers, customers, and admin when something changes with the appointment, and all providers receive a daily schedule each morning outlining the day’s appointments.   

Book a personalized demo with an expert to learn how MarketBox can help you avoid employee scheduling issues in your business today.

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