How to manage your staff rota

How to manage your staff rota

Rota management is one of the biggest headaches for many of our clients – with issues ranging from unexpected absence, scheduling far enough ahead to ensure consistency and managing contractors or freelance staff.

A well-organised rota system ensures your business runs smoothly but can also highlight gaps in performance or absence from staff. We have put some tips together on how to manage your staff rota.

Plan the rota at least seven weeks in advance

Not only will this allow consistency, it will also allow staff to plan their schedules.

Find the tools that work for your business

There are a range of tools available from to you, but research is important to ensure it meets with all of your business requirements. Breathe HR is great platform to monitor attendance, holiday requests and manage shifts. If using an electronic rota system, ensure your staff have access to it so that they can check their hours regularly.

Look at planned leave for the entire year to make sure you don’t miss anything

Make sure your holiday / leave request system ties up with your rota plans. Using a system that combines all of this, may save a lot of time.

Ensure your job descriptions and contracts are up to date

By ensuring these are up to date, you can clearly see the contracted hours for each employee to roster.

Look for consistency to ensure the rota is ‘fair’.

Make sure the same employees are not working the ‘unpopular shifts’, or those they have expressed a preference against. Again, referring back to contracts will help with this exercise to determine what they are legally obliged to do.

Implement a system for notifications

This refers back to ensuring you have found a system that is right for you and your business. Find one that can implement notifications as soon as any changes are made so staff can be alerted immediately. This could be via email or another channel which works well for your business. Keep this consistent so staff never miss an alert or change, and know what to look out for.

Encourage shift swaps to save you time.

If employees want to change a shift then they can do this between themselves. Perhaps offering a shift swap notice board, or use communication tools such as Yapster or Slack. However, it’s important that there is a formal process for this whereby a manager must sign off this agreement.

Have a backup plan for unexpected staff absence.

This could involve bank staff or other employees that could be called in at short notice. You can also provide existing staff the opportunity to take extra hours, if possible.

Allocate time each month to monitor your rota data and attendance patterns.

Take some time to review the data available to you. Are there staff who are continuously absent or late for shifts? This will help you to understand if there is under-performance within your business. Read our blog on how to manage under-performing staff.

For more advice or support on with your rota management from our team of HR consultants, you can find out about how to work with Bespoke HR here.