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 staff to work daily, sharing shifts, and 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

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

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 phone. Make sure you have everyone's availability before getting started. 

If you are rostering manually, this can be time-consuming, but you can reduce the burden by running an automated rostering system with staff-managed availability. This will give you peace of mind and help roster 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 in 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 phone and find out who's in and who's out. Once you know, pass this information on to the HR team or Accounting team as they 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 easily manage staff availability. Staff can effortlessly update availability in custom apps and request time off from management.

4. Review Sites, Positions, and Forecasts

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

This will enable you to schedule only the required staff and not spend too much on labour costs. In addition, entering the correct sites and positions for your business is easy for a single site. Still, 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 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 covered under a specific business award scheme. 

Knowing this will help you understand labour costs and create accurate timesheets for your payroll provider to pay your staff. This will also save you time and trouble on payday 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 you're happy with each day's roster, you can look at the weekly view and see if the shifts are shared 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 you can use smartphones to make minor 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 use 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 will roster on each week or if you have the best-qualified person rostered. 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 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 excellent 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 a demo session, please contact us at:

1300 353 000