Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Common scheduling conflicts

When two shifts compete for an employee’s attention, it can be stressful for staff, and bad for productivity. Failure to resolve these common scheduling conflicts could lead to disgruntled staff members and problem with staff retention.

1. Overlapping schedule
Overlapping scheduling is one of the most common scheduling conflicts. It always happens when an employee is scheduled to work at two locations or when 2 employees are to work at one location at the same time.

Solution: This conflict happens when a lot of changes have been made to the schedule by different staff members. When too many people are involved, more risk of mistakes will happen. So try to have only one person responsible for scheduling.

2. Double-scheduling
This can happen when two shifts are placed too close together without enough break time in between them. Give staff a longer break in between shift rotations, because it takes time for the body clock to adjust and changing too quickly from day to night can adversely affect mental and physical health. If employees feel tired or overworked, they will not be able to give their best, and could quit in frustration.

Solution: Offer a longer break to employee who is scheduled for double shifts.

3. Irregular Scheduling
Irregular Scheduling happens when an employee who worked all week on night shift forgets about the morning shift for the following week. If the employee doesn’t show up for a busy shift after weeks of irregular scheduling, they can leave you in a bind.

Solution: Create shift patterns for the shift schedule, so that employees can have a consistent work schedule. It will save you loads of time upfront!

4. Unpredictable Scheduling
Last minute scheduling always happens when customers start "pouring in" unpredictably, and you do not have enough employees on that shift. Some managers may opt for scheduling people as “one-call employee, but it will lead to higher turnover.

Solution: Compensate employees for last-minute schedule changes and hire more part-time help for unpredictable scheduling.

The overview of conflicts highlighted will hopefully help managers to prevent these problems from occurring, and if they do occur to resolve them as effectively with conflict-free staff scheduling.

-> Read resolving shift scheduling conflicts in our next blog.