Assigning the right people and work schedules is key to a smooth-running business operation. It raises your team’s productivity and satisfaction, improves customer relations, and it even impacts your sales positively.
TL;DR: put a premium on proper employee scheduling — it’s worth it.
Sadly, the flip side of the coin is quite disturbing.
Poor employee scheduling leads to untold frustrations and setbacks, to the point where some businesses lose mounds of cash just dealing with its aftermath.
If you’re wondering how poor employee scheduling can hurt your business, then read on.
1. Communication breakdown and poor collaboration
Poor employee scheduling can lead to communication breakdown and weak team collaboration — especially if you don’t have an efficient online rota system, a software program designed to organize, track, and assign people seamlessly for specific shifts. It has features that let you view your entire workforce schedule, including vacant slots and leave dates, making the software ideal for creating and rescheduling shift assignments.
For example, when emergencies occur, you need to figure out how to facilitate shift swaps with other workers to fill unoccupied hours and how to share the information with the team? These challenges are difficult to address without an online rota system.
If you are using ineffective tools to communicate your request, your team can easily lose track of extra shift assignments. It can also lead to conflicts and mental stress, ruining their mood and collaboration at work.
Using online rota systems is more effective. Take Deputy, for instance.
You only need to use the software tool’s “Find replacement” feature and select among the choices the best employees for that shift. The persons then receive automatic reassignment invitation alerts via email and SMS and can decide to accept them on a first-come-first-served basis.
Without the right staff scheduling systems, such as Deputy, you can delay shift re-assignments, fail to monitor them accurately, and struggle to smoothen team communication and stay on the same page.
2. Workflow inefficiencies
Depending on your organization size and complexity, unstable shift scheduling can lead to erroneous headcounts and ineffective skill mix. Along with understaffing, this disrupts your workflows and diminishes your efficiency and productivity.
Your business processes and operations follow specific tasks and sequences delegated to various workers according to their responsibilities.
The unavailability of the right personnel for those duties can delay the fulfillment of the outputs and targets throughout different phases or jeopardize their quality.
You can have chaotic business operations, particularly if the workers filling in have not previously undergone relevant training and are still adjusting to that position’s demands.
If you have employees working online, designing your remote team’s workflow with undefined schedules makes follow-through of your operations even more problematic due to virtual jobs’ natural communication barriers and challenges.
3. Diminished staff and business performance
Inefficient rotating shift systems weaken your staff’s mental and physical well-being, eventually hurting your company’s reputation and bottom line.
Every time you ask your workers to do some extra hours or fill in an understaffed shift, their engagement decreases, feeling they are unfairly bearing the business’ burden. They also experience a sense of powerlessness and frustration, which lowers their morale and infects other employees.
These disengaged workers’ commitment to helping reach your company goals begins to wane, undermining team collaboration, and performance. Relating to customers, they act detached and unfriendly. This grieves and repels your shoppers and injures your brand image.
Overworking your employees also leads to physical fatigue and health issues due to insufficient amounts of rest. As a result, the number of absences rises, and absent-mindedness, injuries, and accidents can occur at work.
Employees can even compromise their performance due to work pace inertia. This means that if they work for more hours than their regular schedule, they can slow their pace to create the same volume of output done on their normal shifts, particularly if they depend on other workers’ task fulfillment as prerequisites to their assignments.
For employees with several short-term projects and part-time jobs, erratic shift schedules significantly wreck their work-life balance. If they lose their control over their work hours, they will soon have to miss work, even though they are dedicated to that job.
Additionally, physical stress over time puts your overworked staff in a bad mood, ruining the working atmosphere, and cooperation with their colleagues and supervisors.
They can even have work and family conflicts that cyclically add further mental and emotional stress and relational tension.
As irregular working schedules continue, your staff gets physically and mentally burnt out and unhappy. Their declined health conditions demotivate your team to give their best at work, sell your products and services, and actively and delightfully engage your potential and paying customers — leading to fewer sales and conversions and overall lower business performance.
4. High employee turnover
With your employees’ deteriorating well-being and increasing disengagement at work, chances are, they will soon tender their resignation, raising your employee turnover rate up a notch.
This reflects your company’s inability to retain your staff because of poor schedule management strategies. If those workers are in charge of certain projects or some of their crucial tasks and milestones, you and your supervisors will have a tough time finishing the program and meeting deliverables.
Another result of low staff retention is that you can suffer a negative impression from jobseekers and public relations and struggle with getting the best talents for the vacant positions.
When you have high staff turnover, you also consistently train new hires, which eats uptime, productivity, and other resources you could have spent on your business’s more profitable parts.
5. Increased costs
Managing your workforce schedule poorly has a cost. For example, replacing mid-level staff who resigned and training new hires can cost you 20% of their yearly salary.
For instance, if your managers earn around $60,000 a year, you can spend $12,000 to find a replacement.
On the other hand, getting a new high-level employee costs you around 213% of their annual salary. This means that for a C-level executive with specialized training and hefty wages earning $100,000 annually, the direct cost of employee replacement is $213,000.
If inconsistent overtime scheduling causes physical burnout leading to accidents and injuries, especially inside your workplace, your company can also cover medical and related fees.
You can even face lawsuits and spend on penalties and legal charges if your staff sues you for violating applicable regulations for work hours.
Prevent poor staff scheduling from wrecking your business.
Inconsistent workforce shift scheduling ruins your workflow efficiency, team well-being and performance, resource management, and business goals. Do not underestimate the wreckage this can bring. Identify the gaps in your rotating shift systems, and be sure to work on optimizing them as soon as possible.