Your Complete Guide to Handling an Employee Scheduling Conflict

As a manager or owner of a business, you know how essential it is to schedule employees without error. For many businesses, the employees are the face of the company. Because of this, you’ll need to ensure that all employees are happy and ready to work upon arrival.

One part of making sure that your employees stay happy is to create a schedule that works for everyone and has no scheduling conflict. This is where things tend to get a bit difficult. Keeping everyone happy at all times is a difficult task.

One employee might need to work evenings while another one can only come in on the weekends. And somehow you’ll need to find a way to accommodate everyone to the best of your abilities. When employees call out or are late to work, you’ll need to know a few tips on how to handle employee scheduling conflict.

Here’s what you need to know.

1. Remain Calm

When a scheduling conflict arises, remain calm. We know, easier said than done. However, panicking won’t help the situation or you in any way.

Instead, take a deep breathe and evaluate the situation in a calm fashion. Remember that you’re the person managing the conflict, and you have employees looking up to you. The way you react is going to trigger how they react.

When you show your employees that you’re upset or agitated with the situation, you might not have as many people willing to pitch in to help. Remaining calm shows everyone that you have complete control over the situation and that you will work it out.

Staying calm also helps you discover a solution easier because your mind isn’t clouded with panic.

2. Refer Back to Your Schedule Chart

If a conflict in scheduling arises that requires a shift to be filled, always refer back to your schedule chart. Even if you’ve over-scheduled, refer back to your chart to see how it can be corrected. When you’re in need of coverage, use the scheduling chart to determine who is and isn’t already scheduled for that day.

You’ll then want to make a list of all available employees and begin to contact them one by one. You can also consider sending out an email to everyone on your team letting them know about the opened shift and ask who would like to fill it.

3. Offer Incentives for Covering Shifts

When an error occurs in your scheduling and no one is willing to help out, you can then offer incentives to employees willing to cover shifts. It’s not a secret that your employees’ worlds don’t revolve around their work schedule, but if you offer the right incentives, they’re more likely to put other things on hold to help you out.

Some examples of this might include offering that employee lunch on you for the day or something else that would convince them to come in.

4. Pick Up the Slack Yourself

When all else fails, don’t hesitate to pick up the slack yourself. It won’t hurt to step in and do the job yourself. This is the perfect opportunity for your employees to see how you would handle doing their job.

You can show them different tricks and teach them how to do things that might be more efficient than how they’re doing them now. This also allows you the opportunity to live a day in the life of your employees. Not a lot of bosses take the time to actually do the every-day tasks of their employees.

Take advantage of this time to learn about what things might be working best or not working well at all. In the meantime, the shift is covered.

5. Schedule Employees to Work Doubles

Scheduling employees to work doubles is another option that you have. Contact employees who are already scheduled to work that day and ask if they’d like to come in earlier or work later. When they’re willing to do this, be sure to offer them a longer-than-usual break in between.

This gives them enough time to wind down for a while before coming back to work and putting in their full effort.

6. Create a Process for Employees to Follow

To keep things as smooth as possible, create a process for employees to follow. If employees know your scheduling process and follow it correctly, you won’t have to worry as much about scheduling errors. You should have a process set in place for employees to use when requesting time off and when giving their availability.

This process could be to have your employees fill out a form, send in an email, or something else.

7. Provide Easily Accessible Schedules

At the very least, you always want to be sure to provide easily accessible schedules for your employees to view. Errors in scheduling, no matter how careful you are, are going to happen. However, this is more so the case when doing things by hand and not having a way for employees to access the schedule at all times.

To solve this problem, you’ll need to install a scheduling software for you and your employees to use. Learn more about employee scheduling software before finding one that works best for you!

When Scheduling Conflict Can’t Be Avoided, It Can Be Resolved!

Even though not all scheduling conflicts can be avoided, they can be resolved if following these helpful tips listed above. Be sure to remain calm and keep these tips in mind for when your next employee scheduling conflict occurs!

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