ShiftForce Blog

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Kevin Hench

I have been involved in the restaurant business for 15+ years. Some of my most favorite childhood memories are working with my dad in his two restaurants. That’s where I got my passion for food and making the dining experience memorable for guest. My intention at the end of the day is to make sure you are set up for success and have all the tools to help you make more profits. I help restaurants, hotels, manufactures, healthcare facilities and retail operation with our powerful web based communication and scheduling tool.

Tips on Communication for Better Employee Scheduling


There are many tips and tricks that managers have to make their employee scheduling tasks easier and faster. From different ways to organize availability to how shifts overlap, everyone has their own “life hacks” that help streamline the process. However, there is a huge tip that will not only make your scheduling easier but all aspects of your management better - workplace communication. When you infuse better communication practices into your scheduling habits, you will see an improvement in your staff scheduling creation and a reduction in your turnover rate.

Easy and Open Availability Communications

Start making your employee scheduling easier at the root with the availability. Before you even ask for availability, you should create a culture of open communication about needs for each shift. Give your employees an idea of minimum staffing changes for each day depending on holidays or promotions the restaurant is offering. Then listen to their needs and encourage employees to come to you with questions and requests about their hours or staffing.

At that point, the process for employees to submit their availability should be simple for them to provide. Employees should feel comfortable knowing that, once their availability has been submitted, they won’t see weird shifts or hours on their schedule based on their needs. Likewise, they should expect to not have to resubmit or reshuffle their availability requests every month. Creating a comfortable environment for availability submissions with that open door communication policy will not only allow you to create more accurate scheduling, but also encourage employees to be more flexible and committed to the schedule.

Listen to Employee Concerns

The most important component of communication is listening. This is true when it comes to scheduling employee's as well. Part of creating that open door of communication is listening when employees have concerns.

If employees have scheduling change requests, it is important to listen to their concerns and work with them to come up with a solution. This doesn’t mean taking hours out of your week to rearrange and customize schedules after releasing them. Listening and respecting will empower employees to resolve much of their scheduling concerns by working directly with their coworkers to solve their needs.

There could be other concerns employees have that will affect your scheduling changes and workload as well. Employees may raise concerns about working with certain coworkers on different shifts, having too many hours or not enough, always being placed on slow lunch shifts, etc. Even if the apparent solve is not scheduling related, the insight employees provide by talking out problems with management can help you fine-tune your scheduling to reduce the number of times you have to go back in and change shifts.

Go Paperless to Streamline Employee Scheduling

Are you still doing any of the following:

  • Having employees submit their availability on a paper calendar?
  • Requiring employees to call, text, email, and/or speak in person with coworkers and management to make scheduling changes?
  • Using Excel sheets or other Microsoft Office programs to complete and maintain scheduling changes?
  • Sending emails to all employees to update them on scheduling changes which may or may not affect them?

If so, and we are going to be a bit blunt here, your communication around employee scheduling is outdated and inefficient. Having a variety of avenues for employees to communicate about the scheduling and trying to manually maintain updates to the schedule by yourself means changes get lost in the shuffle and everyone (especially managers) are spending more time than necessary to get schedules right.

The most efficient way for all employees to communicate about scheduling is by going paperless and streamlining all scheduling-related communications into a single platform. This would allow employees to work out trade time and update schedules without involving managers until final approval is needed. Employees whose shifts are changing would receive an automatic notification to make it easy to communicate changes to those who need to know. Employees could submit availability virtually and managers could update seamlessly without spending hours fitting the pieces of the scheduling puzzle together.

Sounds great, right? You should check out how ShiftNote’s employee scheduling software can help improve your shift-to-shift communication all around and reduce the amount of time management has to spend creating schedules. Start your research and see how technology can help your management by exploring 

ShiftNote is an Online Manager’s Logbook and Staff Scheduling Software available to make all those hairy management tasks easy to control in one simple interface. 


Turn Communication Breakdowns into Breakthroughs With This ONE Strategy


Within any industry that manages multiple staff members and sometimes even multiple locations, inefficiencies are everywhere and communication breakdowns happen for a variety of reasons.

Does your business experience one or many of the following issues?:

  • Poor communication
  • Frustrated employees
  • High turnover
  • Disengaged workers
  • Loss in profits due to scheduling errors
  • Overstaffing
  • Understaffing
  • Not enough coverage over the holidays
  • Too much coverage during non-peak times
  • Not enough employee downtime
  • Too much employee downtime
  • Endless hours of managing PTO requests
  • Inefficiencies in scheduling, leading to a loss in productivity

What’s the one solution to these common breakdowns….?  Employee scheduling software. Microsoft Excel documents, or worse, a print off of clip-art schedules just don’t cut it anymore. In today’s day age, you need to use software that is cloud-based, accessible, easily editable, flexible, customizable, and tailored to your business. ShiftNote’s employee scheduling software can send text messages and emails to employees with schedules and updates, and it allow managers to seamlessly create multiple schedules across locations and times. In fact, here are a few key benefits of employee scheduling software here:

Find out how scheduling software can help your business and reduce communication breakdowns…

1 - It Allows You to Manage Shift Changes

Life happens. Your employees could get sick, their kids could get sick, they could get a flat tire, they could have a death in the family. Long story short – your employees face multiple obstacles outside of the workplace – many of which are unforeseen.

In this case, using an employee scheduling software allows you to adjust your workforce’s schedule based on foreseen – and unforeseen challenges. See who is free or wants more hours… See who is not… All within one dashboard. With ShiftNote, you can easily approve shift swaps and time off requests while you’re on the go – or at the office.

2 - It Allows for Communication Multiple Touch Points

When you say something to your team once, it’s often not retained. If you want to share scheduling updates, you need to repeat the exposure to it. Our scheduling system allows you to access an employee's’ schedule many ways – like online, printed off, mobile, and via email!

3 - It Allows For Easy Access

What happens when your employees are not at the workplace and need to access the schedule? With a paper-based system, an employee may be able to take a picture of the schedule on their phone, but how inefficient is that? And what if the schedule changes? That employee is out of luck. Again, this is where the ease of using a scheduling app comes into play.

4 - It Keeps Things Organized

Within your team, it’s important to arm employees with information they need to flourish in their given role. One way to do that is to give them access to tools so they can effectively communicate with you. With an employee scheduling tool, you can easily upload the following documents, so employees can access these materials at any time:

  • Training programs and documents
  • Onboarding materials
  • Social media policies
  • General business forms
  • HR forms
  • Compensation policies
  • Time-off policies

Beyond the mundane documents, scheduling software with messaging and document storing also presents the opportunity to highlight exceptional workers. Good businesses recognize top performers’ efforts. With an employee scheduling system, you can use it to broadcast a standout employee.

5 - It Allows You to Specify Messages to Targeted Audiences

Spray and pray messaging doesn’t work, no matter what function you’re responsible for. It’s important to create targeted and relevant messages to employees, so you are not tuned out. Employee scheduling technology makes it easy to send targeted messages to specific employees or groups of employees within your organization. Do you need to send a particular message to weekend only workers, for example? You can do that with an online scheduling software solution. Targeting your communication can improve YOUR efficiency and AVOID message overload for your staff.

Everyone knows that communication can make or break a relationship. Poor communication and scheduling harvests a breed of additional problems. Your business doesn’t need that. By implementing an online scheduling solution and managers logbook within your organization, you can eradicate many communication problems in the workplace.