Covering shifts and saving time? A conversation with successful managers.

May 25, 2018

Being a manager is one of the most challenging roles in any organization. To be successful there are even more elements that must be monitored and controlled. While building the schedule each week can be easy, even with online schedulers there is no such thing as a perfect schedule. Life happens and if someone needs a specific day off for an appointment, but the schedule was already produced, there is a need to resort to swapping a shift and finding coverage.

This classically is done by talking to staff one-on-one or in groups, posting something out back by the schedule, or even calling them. This process is time consuming and as a successful manager you are trying to balance many elements at once. There are easier methods to ensure finding coverage is quick, effective, and relevant to the staff. Here are some tips from discussing what to do in the instance of needing to cover a shift by a few successful frontline managers.

Have a Shift Coverage Policy.

It is imperative that when introducing a new employee to the business that they are informed on all policies relevant to their job. One of these should be around what to do when they need someone to cover their shift. Having a shift cover policy backed by an attendance policy is something that has proven to drive better culture and responsibility around hourly employees. With OurPeople onboarding, document signing, and policy review confirmation is a breeze and will eliminate the need to worry about finding a solution for this in the future. If current staff do not have a set policy for shift coverage sending an updated or new policy is important to ensure everyone is on the same page when needing to cover a shift. OurPeople makes it easy for managers to send policy updates and receive confirmation back in the form of a downloadable report. Managers should have the final say in all shift coverage, but staff should feel empowered to request and accept shifts to make sure the business has proper staff coverage while driving a positive culture.

Finding Qualified People.

Old methods of reaching out to staff and remembering who is qualified to cover a shift should be a thing of the past. OurPeople makes it easy to ensure when a request goes out to employees for a shift cover that they are qualified to cover it. This is done by using a simple, yet powerful profile system built into the OurPeople platform. For example, if someone needs Friday off and the shift is a night shift, it is important to send it to only staff who can cover a night shift. This makes sure that relevant staff are informed, and the manager receives a notification back faster instead of having to call and wait for responses from everyone.

Fairness for Covering Staff.

When requesting someone to cover a shift for another employee it is always important to remember that they still have other shifts they are responsible for as well. Any successful business has a productive team behind the scenes driving it, but productivity will decrease when staff become overworked. When selecting someone to cover a shift it’s important to be mindful and fair to them. If there becomes another time when finding coverage is the only option, make sure to spread out who is receiving the request to cover a shift, so one employee doesn’t become overworked. OurPeople allows for managers to select who is taking a shift request when an employee agrees to cover it. This allows for a manager to select whom best fits the role if multiple people agree to cover and prevents someone from becoming overworked. OurPeople will then notify the employee when they are approved to cover the shift.

Get Help!

Besides just having a strong team of people to be reliable, life does happen. Any successful manager will always have a plan in place for any worse case scenario. Finding coverage is an important task that needs to be quick and scalable to act upon when needed. OurPeople empowers managers to have the ability to request coverage even at a moment’s notice — whether they are at a computer or on the road via the mobile platform.

When requesting shift coverage, it is important to also consider that remembering who covers what shift and when can become cumbersome. OurPeople produces reports to ensure management knows who took what shift and when. This powerful reporting tool allows managers to download a cover request report and understand if there is a pattern around who is requesting shift coverage. If there is a need to have a discussion with an employee OurPeople’s platform even allows for you to request a meeting with them. Get help from everyone on the team and get help from innovative technologies to improve business and save time during the day. Try OurPeople today and request a free demo.

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