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Creating a work schedule is not easy. Whether your team of employees is as large as a few dozen or as small as a handful, finding a way to fit everyone s hours, hit minimums, and keep the team happy is tough. Fortunately, Excel can help make it a lot easier. Before diving into the actual scheduling process, keep the following considerations in mind. They ll ease the entire process and reduce the amount of stress that piles up on you. Scheduling will never be easy, but it doesn t have to be a nightmare. Know your employee s preferences. The kind of preferences you can take into account when scheduling will differ from field to field (e.

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G. Retail vs. Warehouse), but it s important to at least try to accommodate your workers. Do some employees have a slant towards mornings? Or maybe evenings?

How many hours does each employee want per week? Are there any timing restrictions, such as an unwillingness to work Sundays? Do certain employees have synergy and compatibility? You can t accommodate everyone, but it s a good goal to shoot for because it can improve productivity and atmosphere but most importantly it ll build trust, and trust goes hand-in-hand with respect. Track employee absence requests.

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As if it weren t hard enough to juggle all of your employee s preferences, there are time-sensitive issues that will pop up every now and then. For example, someone needs a few days to take a vacation or to mourn a lost family member. Make the schedule ahead of time. Obviously you can t make it too far ahead of time in case situations change, but definitely avoid waiting until the day before. A good rule of thumb is about a week in advance.

By making your schedules ahead of time, you give yourself some breathing room in case sudden changes need to be made. Assign the most important shifts first. By most important, we mean non-negotiable. If someone absolutely needs to work a particular shift, fill it in first and set it in stone. Once all of the necessary shifts are filled, it s easier to mix-and-match the remaining shifts with available employees.

And always keep at least one contingency in mind. Plan A, Plan B, etc) but that can take up a lot of time, so at the very least you should identify the employees who are most likely to fall through and have a backup plan in case they do. Make the schedule easily accessible. Letting your workers see the schedule beforehand is good for two reasons: they can point out any errors and they ll appreciate the heads up so they can plan out their own weeks around the schedule.

It ll still be hard work, but much easier if you use one of these templates. Templates are available as XLSX files for Excel 7557 and later versions.

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