Best Ways to Plan a Schedule for Your Workforce

Effective workforce shift planning can be difficult to achieve consistently. However, it is extremely important. This is because if you do not have solid workforce scheduling, then it can be difficult to calculate hours, which can really inconvenience your employees and create turmoil for your business. In fact, one source reports that roughly 35 percent of millennials have quit a job due to poor scheduling. Replacing employees is time consuming and expensive. Here are some of the best ways to plan a workforce schedule. Hopefully, these techniques can help you prevent having to replace an excessive amount of employees.

1. Use scheduling software

A work schedule maker, such as the Ximble app, allows managers to make schedules directly through their mobile devices, on the go. Having a mobile schedule maker gives managers more control in sticky situations, and helps them to make more accurate time sheets. They can also make changes to these schedules, approve shifts, shift swaps, or time off requests, and even track employee work hours, all through the app. Workforce scheduling software is highly convenient, and it can make things easier for everyone at the company.

2. Choose shifts wisely

You want to make sure you use your shift planner effectively so that your best employees are on the schedule for the periods of highest demand. This is to make sure that your business can keep up. However, you also want to make sure that there are no periods where only your least experienced people are at work. So, keep these two things in mind when you are shift planning.

3. Have some flexibility

It may inconvenience you if a number of your employees ask for time off, especially because this usually means having to modify and distribute new time sheets. However, you want to keep your employees happy so that they keep working for your company. This means giving them some time off every once in a while, although it doesn’t mean you have to grant their requests every single time. Having a mobile shift planner app such as Ximble gives you more freedom over making schedules, and so allows you to be more flexible.

4. Plan the schedule two weeks in advance

Planning your time sheets two weeks in advance can help your employees to feel more comfortable about the schedule. This is because they will be able to plan their lives better and make more accurate timecard calculations, which in turn leads to higher staff morale. It’s a very small and simple gesture to keep employees happy, and making schedules in advance can also help you to control busy periods more efficiently.

5. Make sure you’re calculating time cards properly

Using methods such as a time in clock are usually the best way to keep track of an employee’s hours, but they’re not always fool proof. Losing track of employee work hours leads to incorrect pay, lost productivity, and lower morale, and should be avoided at all costs. A timecard calculator certainly helps, but using a schedule management app such as Ximble removes any possible human error, meaning timecard calculations are always accurate.


Knowing how to optimize your shift planning not only benefits management, it benefits staff too. Using a mobile schedule planning app such as Ximble allows you to make accurate on-the-fly timecard calculations, and plan shifts more accurately. All of the tips in this article can help you achieve this goal. So, the next time you are planning your workforce schedule, consider these tips!

Karin Jakovljevic

About the author

Karin Jakovljevic

Karin Jakovljevic is the head of marketing at Ximble, a powerful, cloud-based workforce management system, simplifying employee scheduling and time tracking for retailers, restaurants and small businesses.

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