5 Mistakes You Are Making While Creating Your Employee Schedule

Employee schedule image 432345The employee schedule is one of the most essential elements of running a successful business. If you get it right, you will not only improve employee productivity and profits, but also employee happiness.

On the other hand, if your employee schedule is littered with mistakes, your revenue and growth will suffer. This will be coupled with dissatisfied employees who want to quit. And your company will become an employee training ground for your competitors.

Therefore, to help you improve productivity and revenue, I have made a list of the common mistakes businesses make while creating an employee schedule and shared tips on how to avoid them…

Not getting the data:

One of the most common mistakes people make while creating an employee schedule is not looking at the past data. Most businesses and managers just randomly create a schedule that they believe is right for their employees. This is a big folly on their part. When instead they should get the data by tracking employee activity and getting employees to take part in surveys to learn more about their preferences.

This will limit guess work and ensure you create a schedule that suits both your company and your employees.

So, start off by installing employee activity tracking software on your employees’ computers and mobile devices. While this software gets to work you can conduct a few surveys that garner information about your employees’ preferences. You can couple this by interviewing your employees to dig deeper on the answers from the survey. The interviews should be a mixture of individual and group interviews where you interview all the members of a team together. When you interview people don’t just take notes of their answers, but also other factors like their tone. Write down if something made them happy, sad, angry, etc.

This doesn’t need to take very long. You should be able to get sufficient data for creating the initial schedule through activity tracking, surveys and interviews within 2 to 4 weeks.

Not having a plan:

Another important thing many businesses forget doing is creating a strategy. Just like your company’s revenue and growth targets you also need to have a productivity target and a detailed plan/strategy that will help you get there. This should be something that you write down in paper and execute using a tool like Deputy’s scheduling app.


Video Source: Deputy.com


When you have a plan in place you can track activity better and constantly modify it till you get better results. This plan should be made by combining the data you already have gathered from the above point with the growth/revenue targets you already have.

Copying your competitors:

Your competitors might have an employee schedule that works for them. But that doesn’t mean that if you copy what they do, it will work for you too. They custom created that schedule because they know what their employees want and they know what their targets are. If you follow what’s working for them, you probably won’t get the same results.

You can of course study your competitors schedule and productivity strategy and incorporate some of their tactics into your employee productivity strategy, but don’t copy the whole thing. You need to create a unique strategy that is right for your employees and your company.

Not tracking your new schedule:

No matter how much data you gather before creating your first schedule, you won’t get it right the first time. Mistakes are bound to happen. This is why you should constantly track your employee activity and get their feedback from more surveys and interviews to improve the schedule.

Again, conduct both individual and group interviews and take notes or record the interviews.

Over time you will be able to perfect your employee and create a system that works.

Employee schedule image 333333b333Not planning it well in advance:

Your employee schedule should be released at least 2 weeks before the shifts start. Most businesses make the mistake of hurriedly releasing it a few days before. This can cause a lot of chaos. As people will want to go on leave or will need to make adjustments to their lives to ensure they show up to work on time.

So, always plan and begin creating the employee schedule 3 weeks in advance and release it 2 weeks before the schedule starts. Employees will be able to view it and request changes. This will give you plenty of time to make changes, reschedule shifts and to find temporary employees.

If possible, get an advanced scheduling app that lets employees swap shifts. This will make your job easier and encourage communication and teamwork between the employees.


These are the common mistakes people make while creating an employee schedule. Make sure you avoid them if you want to boost productivity, revenue and employee happiness.