5 tips for setting up seamless and effective rosters

Key takeaways

  • Manage compliance and business risk
  • Audit your processes
  • Manage your labour mix
  • Optimise your rosters and communications

3 min read

Setting rosters for bigger business means facing logistical challenges that require hefty solutions. That’s where workforce management software comes in.

For shift-based businesses, rostering can be a make or break process. Get it right and you’re successfully synchronising skills, time, location and labour cost to drive your business’s success. Miss the mark and you may be dealing with significant reputational damage and penalties for pay-related non-compliance.

But with the right tools, you can make light work of building, managing and communicating rosters. Transforming your rostering processes can have big impacts on the way your business runs, including reducing the time spent producing schedules, managing the risk of compliance, improving the employee experience, and taking advantage of opportunities to hit your business objectives.

1. Manage compliance and business risk

Payroll is a significant area of exposure for any medium to large business and the appropriate controls need to be in place. Identifying, understanding and complying with the more than 100 industry and occupation awards that cover workers in Australia, plus individual agreements, can be near impossible using manual processes.

Investing in a payroll and workforce management software solution is one way to help mitigate the risks that come with navigating a complex compliance environment. With the right technology, you can easily identify whether rules are being followed as you build your roster, while also viewing alerts to breaches that need your attention before publishing it.

2. Connecting the dots – review your processes

How many manual processes do you currently have to build your rosters? How much time does it take your back-office teams to do this work and is that the best use of their time and expertise?

Reviewing what actually goes on behind the scenes to keep your business staffed might reveal a big opportunity for operational improvement.

Managing rosters via spreadsheets, documents or emails is time consuming, inefficient and prone to error. But there is a way to streamline your processes and free up your HR, payroll and operations teams so they can better focus their efforts: workforce management software.

That’s because workforce management software can integrate multiple team processes and data sources to feed an automated rostering engine, producing schedules much more efficiently.

"Reviewing what actually goes on behind the scenes to keep your business staffed might reveal a big opportunity for operational improvement."

3. Getting the labour mix right

It’s of critical importance to populate your roster with the right team.

What that means in practice is the correct mix of qualifications or skills, placed at the right time at the right location, and with the ability to be effective.

Workforce management tools allow you to get this mix right with little effort. You can define shift requirements in terms of skills or certifications and the platform will automatically build a roster around those rules. When making manual additions, only employees that meet the shift requirements will be available to schedule.

Rostering across locations is simple too. View and manage employees across multiple sites within one system and avoid rostering clashes.  Define who has rostering access to which locations to decentralise rostering decisions in a controlled way.

And in the event an employee needs to swap a shift? The right workforce management tool can allow shift swapping, and helps you set the rules that will prevent ineligible staff from filling in shifts.

"It’s of critical importance to populate your roster with the right team."

4. Optimise for success

Make certain your rosters are compliant and your teams aren’t wasting hours each week manually creating, managing and distributing rosters. 

It’s just as important to ensure your rosters are optimised so that they’re delivering business success.

You should be building rosters with an eye on cost, labour efficiency and, where relevant, data regarding seasonality and past performance.

Harnessing insights via workforce management technology will help you make data-led decisions confidently regarding which people to deploy, when and at what cost for any given day. 

5. Digitise your communications and be agile

Now that you have the perfect roster, you need to get it into your employees’ hands.

Today, employees expect the convenience of a digital experience and ability to view, manage and change rosters on the go. With workforce management software, you can publish rosters to your employees’ mobile and alert the team via push notifications.

Need to change a roster or quickly fill a newly vacant shift? You can use the employee app to notify the relevant team members and help minimise any day-to-day impacts on your operations.

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