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Back to NewsroomThe ultimate guide to effective shift rostering and scheduling for businesses in construction
May 08, 2024By Paul Chen

Guide to Effective Shift Rostering for Businesses

Shift rostering is an important aspect of workforce management that ensures businesses have the right number of employees with the necessary skills and availability to meet their operational needs. As expectations constantly evolve and business competition is fierce, managing employee schedules has become increasingly complex. With varying shift types, fluctuating demand, and complex labour regulations, businesses need a reliable and efficient way to manage their workforce. This is where having an efficient and effective shift rostering system can make all the difference in achieving success. 

In this guide, we will explore the key benefits of implementing shift rostering software, delve into the essential features to look for, and discuss best practices for creating effective shift schedules that optimise productivity, enhance employee satisfaction and drive business growth. 

What is Shift Rostering

Shift rostering refers to the process of creating and managing worker schedules based on various factors such as business needs, worker skills, availability, and preferences. It involves assigning workers to specific shifts or work periods to ensure that the necessary tasks and responsibilities are covered throughout the day or week. 

Shift rostering is particularly important in industries that operate on a 24/7 basis or have variable demand, such as construction, security, healthcare, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. In these sectors, effective shift rostering is crucial for maintaining operational efficiency, ensuring satisfaction and optimising labour costs. 

There are several types of shifts that businesses can implement, depending on the specific needs and industry: 

  • Fixed shifts: Workers are assigned to the same shift every day or on specific days of the week. 
  • Rotating shifts: Workers rotate through different shifts (e.g., morning, afternoon, night) on a regular basis. 
  • Split shifts: Workers work two or more separate shifts within a single day, with a break in between. 
  • Flexi-shifts: Workers specify the days or hours they can work, and are scheduled accordingly.
  • On-call shifts: Workers are available to work on an as-needed basis, typically for unexpected or emergency situations. 

Many construction workers now work late-night shifts and some construction sites have been approved to carry out silent work on weekends and public holidays. Regardless of the type of shifts used, effective shift rostering requires careful planning, communication and collaboration between managers and workers to ensure that the right people are in the right place at the right time. 

Benefits of Shift Rostering Software

Implementing shift rostering software can provide numerous benefits for businesses, including improved efficiency, enhanced employee satisfaction and increased cost savings. Here are some of the key advantages of using shift rostering software: 

Improved Efficiency and Productivity

Shift rostering software streamlines the scheduling process by automating many of the manual tasks associated with creating and managing employee schedules. This includes features such as: 

  • Automated shift assignment based on worker skills, availability, and preferences 
  • Real-time updates and notifications when changes are made to the schedule 
  • Integrated time and attendance tracking to ensure accurate payroll and compliance 

By reducing the time and effort required to create and manage schedules, shift rostering software frees up managers to focus on other important tasks, such as employee development and process improvement. Additionally, optimised staffing levels based on demand can lead to increased productivity and efficiency across the organisation. 

Enhanced Employee Satisfaction and Retention

Shift rostering software empowers employees by giving them more control over their schedules and work-life balance. Features such as self-service portals allow employees to view their schedules, request time off, and swap shifts with colleagues, all from their mobile devices or computers. 

This level of flexibility and autonomy can lead to increased job satisfaction and reduced stress levels, as employees feel that their needs and preferences are being taken into account. Additionally, by creating schedules that accommodate employee preferences and minimise overtime, shift rostering software can help businesses reduce absenteeism and turnover rates, leading to significant cost savings and a more stable workforce. 

Ensuring Compliance with Labour Laws

Adhering to labour regulations and industry standards is a critical aspect of shift rostering, as non-compliance can lead to costly penalties, legal issues, and reputation damage. Two private security companies in Singapore were charged in 2021 for requiring their security officers to work excessive hours in breach of employment laws. Under the Employment Act, Singapore‚Äôs main employment law, private security agencies must not deploy their security officers to work more than 12 hours a day, unless the exceptions stated in the Act apply. Shift rostering software can help businesses stay compliant by: 

  • Automatically tracking employee hours and overtime 
  • Generating reports on compliance metrics such as rest breaks and maximum shift lengths 
  • Providing alerts and notifications when compliance thresholds are exceeded 

By ensuring that schedules are compliant with relevant labour laws and industry standards, shift rostering software helps businesses avoid costly penalties and maintain a positive reputation as an employer of choice. 

Increased Cost Savings

Fatigue from working overtime affects worker safety. According to MOM Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) guidelines, the effects of fatigue can include physical and mental impairment as well as increase in error rates. Workers could also be slow in responding to situations and face a higher risk of injuries. Under the WSH Act, employers have a duty to remove or control the risks of fatigue. This can be done by planning and organising shift work arrangements, optimising work schedules to minimise fatigue and provide rest breaks. 

Effective shift rostering can lead to significant cost savings for businesses by optimising staffing levels, reducing overtime and agency costs, and improving overall operational efficiency. Shift rostering software provides valuable insights into workforce data, enabling managers to: 

  • Forecast labour costs based on historical data and demand
  • Set budgets and alerts for overtime and labour costs
  • Generate detailed labour cost reports for better decision-making

By aligning staffing levels with demand and minimising unnecessary overtime and agency costs, shift rostering software can help businesses achieve significant cost savings while maintaining high levels of productivity and customer satisfaction. 

Better Data-Driven Decision Making

Shift rostering software provides real-time insights into workforce data, enabling managers to make more informed decisions about staffing, scheduling, and labour costs. Features such as reporting and analytics allow businesses to: 

  • Track key performance indicators (KPIs) such as employee productivity, attendance, and overtime 
  • Identify trends and patterns in workforce data to inform future planning and decision-making 
  • Generate custom reports on scheduling, attendance, and labour costs for better visibility and control 

By leveraging the data provided by shift rostering software, businesses can make more informed decisions about staffing, scheduling, and labour costs, leading to improved operational efficiency and better business outcomes. 

Multiple day and night manpower scheduling for workforce shift

Key Features of Shift Rostering Software

When selecting a shift rostering software solution, it's important to look for a platform that offers a comprehensive set of features to meet your business needs. Here are some of the key features to consider: 

Scheduling and Rostering

  • Ability to create and manage employee schedules 
  • Assign shifts based on skills, availability, and preferences 
  • Handle shift swaps, time-off requests, and shift trades 

Attendance and Time Tracking

Labour Cost Management 

  • Forecast labour costs based on historical data and demand 
  • Set budgets and alerts for overtime and labour costs 
  • Generate detailed labour cost reports 

Reporting and Analytics

  • Provide real-time insights into workforce data 
  • Generate custom reports on scheduling, attendance, overtime and labour costs 
  • Enable data-driven decision making and optimisation 

When evaluating shift rostering software solutions, it's important to consider factors such as ease of use, scalability, integration capabilities, and customer support. Additionally, look for a solution that offers mobile accessibility, allowing employees to access their schedules and manage their shifts from anywhere, at any time. 

Best Practices for Effective Shift Rostering

To ensure that your shift rostering efforts are effective and successful, it's important to follow best practices and continuously optimise your processes. Here are some key best practices to keep in mind: 

Communicate with Employees 

  • Involve employees in the scheduling process
  • Provide employees with their schedules in advance
  • Gather feedback on schedule preferences and concerns
  • Provide clear and timely communication about schedule changes

Prioritise Work-Life Balance 

  • Create schedules that accommodate employee needs and preferences 
  • Avoid excessive overtime and long shifts 
  • Provide adequate rest periods between shifts 

Ensure Compliance with Labour Laws 

  • Stay up-to-date with labour regulations and industry standards, e.g. regulations on working hours.
  • Implement policies and procedures to ensure compliance 
  • Regularly review and update schedules to maintain compliance 

Optimise Staffing Levels 

  • Forecast demand based on historical data and industry trends 
  • Adjust staffing levels to match demand and avoid over- or under-staffing 
  • Utilise part-time, temporary, and on-call staff to handle fluctuations in demand 

Continuously Improve and Optimise 

  • Regularly review and analyse scheduling data and employee feedback 
  • Identify areas for improvement and optimisation 
  • Implement changes and measure their impact on efficiency, productivity, and employee satisfaction 

By following these best practices and leveraging the power of shift rostering software, businesses can create effective shift schedules that optimise productivity, enhance employee satisfaction, and drive business growth. 

Conclusion

By implementing shift rostering software and following best practices, businesses can streamline their scheduling processes, enhance employee satisfaction, ensure compliance with labour laws, and achieve significant cost savings. 

As a leading provider of workforce management system, we understand the importance of effective shift rostering in driving business success. Our shift rostering module offers a comprehensive set of features to help businesses optimise their scheduling processes, including shift assignment, attendance and time tracking, and reporting. To learn more about how our shift rostering module can help your business achieve its goals, contact us today to schedule a demo. Together, let's unlock the power of effective shift rostering and empower your staff.

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