If you want to know how to make a roster for staff, this guide is for you. Building a shift Roster or Scheduling Staff can be a complex and time-consuming task and the perfect roster is another step altogether. 

Selecting which staff to work on which day, sharing shifts around, keeping to a budget can all get too much. As a manager, you will have a range of other areas of your business to focus on such as performance and training so the quicker you can get rostering and scheduling under control the better off you will be.

So that you can build the perfect roster each week that will help you meet sales targets and labour costs, we've put together our 7 top tips to build the perfect roster for your business:


1. Plan Your Week / Month

Tablet Apps

Plan ahead so you understand the positions you need filling for certain days and how traffic has been recently. Speak with other managers about what shifts need to be covered and your staff list.

2. Collect Staff Availability

Communicate with staff to update their availabilities any chance they get. Having a central book of availability will help you build great rosters in no time flat but if you don't have a central system get on the phones. Make sure you have everyone's availability before getting started. 

If you are rostering manually then this can be time consuming but if you're running an automated rostering system with staff managed availability, this is already done. This will give you peace of mind and help roster on the best-qualified staff for your shifts.

3. Review Staff Leave

Put the onus on staff to update any leave requests they may have, which will allow you to roster only available and qualified staff for your shifts. There is no point creating the perfect staff schedule if after sending it out you realise someone is on leave. 

Get the information in and accurate before starting to plan out the schedule for the week. As before if you don't have a central system hit the phones and find out who is in and who is out. Once you know pass this information on to the HR team or Accounting team as can use leave information for their payroll provider to enter any annual leave for that period. 

Again if you're looking to save time an automated system can manage staff availability with ease, staff can update availability in custom apps and request time off from management with ease.

4. Review Sites, Positions, and Forecasts

A cost effective roster will take into account the locations you need to roster for, the positions your need to fill, and the forecast of sales / turnover in the period you are rostering for. 

This will enable you to schedule only the staff you require and not spend to much on labour costs. Entering the correct sites and positions for your business is easy for a single site but if you're running staff across multiple venues or multiple stations within a venue this can quickly become complex. 

Automated rostering programs can quickly help find the best qualified staff to fill in a shift at your selected site and specific position.

5. Cross Check Employee Pay Rates

The perfect staff schedule will ensure the right employees are paid the right amounts. Often your business will have pay rates, loadings and salaries that a covered under a specific business award scheme. 

Knowing this will help understand labour cost and create accurate timesheets for your payroll provider to pay your staff. This will also save you time and trouble on pay day by keeping you legally compliant and keeping your employees happy.

6. Review the Roster by Day and by Week

We recommend rostering day by day and ensuring key positions have been filled. You can copy rosters from one day to the next and adjust them as you go along. 

Once your happy with each day’s roster you can then look at the weekly view and see if the shifts have been shared around amongst the staff, ensure the right people are working at the right times, and ensure you have the right roster coverage for your business.

7. Upgrade from Paper Rosters or Excel to an Automated Rostering System

Ultimately we recommend managers build and publish rosters with the web version of RosterElf, an intuitive and sophisticated staff scheduling software that will help managers meet business targets. It's the quickest, magically simple way to create the Perfect Staff Schedules. 

The web version provides a greater view of rosters, and smartphones can be used to make small alterations to rosters. 

Staff can set their own availability and swap shifts using the mobile apps, managers can track time and attendance with the suite of GPS enabled Clock In/Out tools, and budgets can be easily met with simple shift planning forecasts.

Once you are happy with a roster, you can save it as a favourite to be used again and again. RosterElf will even let you know if a staff member is unavailable or on leave when you've copied rosters.

You won’t have to worry about who you are going to roster on each week or do I have the best-qualified person rostered on. Ultimately you will be able to focus on other areas of your business and ensure your staff are happy about their shifts.

To get started on building Perfect Staff Rosters with Ease register for a free 30-day trial of RosterElf here:

There are no lock in contracts and no credit card is required to try out the system, we don't need tricks.. we know you'll love using RosterElf!

Be sure to onboard your staff where they can download the RosterElf smartphone app to update their availability and check their upcoming shifts. This will allow you to keep everyone happy and allow you to roster weeks and months in advance.

Next you can download our full suite of supporting apps here:

Phone Apps:

Apple iOS: RosterElf App
Google Android: RosterElf App

Tablet Apps:

Apple iOS: Time Clock App
Google Android: Time Clock App

And hey, if you're still a fan of manual rosters we also have some great Free Roster Templates you can use till you're ready to automate and save time.

For further information or if you would like to book in a demo session please contact us at:

1300 353 000