One of the most important jobs when managing a team in the hourly workforce is building the perfect staff roster every time. With changing staff availabilities, your business budget, and award requirements - there are lots of factors to consider. 


So to help you save time and build the best roster possible, we’ve come up with a list of things to consider when scheduling staff weekly. 


Scheduling doesn’t have to be so stressful when you have the right tools in place! 


1. Invest in a Rostering Software

Raise your hand if you still use a roster excel template to schedule your staff? If you still manually log payroll and have to chase staff down for their availability? It’s time to consider a major upgrade. With online rostering software such as RosterElf, you can automate rostering, payroll, communication and scheduling. 


It acts as your complete workforce management tool with a load of features to make your job as a manager much easier. You can expect features such as time and attendance, automatic award interpretation, shift swapping and the ‘perfect match’ algorithm.


2. Consider if there’s a ‘Busy’ time ahead 

When building the perfect roster, you want to first look at the week ahead and identify if there’s going to be a peak in traffic due to a holiday, event or special you have on at the moment. By understanding the amount of traffic you can expect, you can ensure that you’re rostering on the best staff for the job. 


3. Review your business budget 

Building a roster means considering the budget for labour costs. Use your staffing budget as a starting point. It will help to understand the bandwidth you have for scheduling and the business’s health on a weekly/monthly basis. 


With great online rostering software, you can get a live look at your business budget as you create the roster to make sure you stay on track and adjust the schedule accordingly. 


4. Know the roles that you need to fill

Once you’ve established what the foot traffic will be like and the budget you need to follow, you can start thinking about the roles you need to fill. If it’s a cafe and you serve a popular weekend brunch, you may need to consider kitchen staff and serving staff for the morning shift vs the evening shift.


5. Schedule busy shifts with experienced staff 

Try to roster shifts with experienced staff for peak times. If you know you’ll have a busy breakfast rush or dinner rush, make sure to roster the best staff to meet that demand. It’s a balancing act of scheduling without bias, but if you feel the businesses bottom line or customer service may be affected by staff with less experience, then best to make the roster the right mix. 


6. Review all leave requests and staff availability 

Before you go and build the roster, confirm all leave requests and any last-minute availability changes. You want to make sure that the staff you need are actually available before jumping into your roster. 


7. Use Roster Templates

With a workforce management tool such as RosterElf, you can create roster templates with standard shift patterns. You can then use these on a weekly or monthly basis to save time scheduling. You can then fill in the gaps, adjust any changes based on availability and adjust hours worked if the labour budget has changed. 


8. Use Time and Attendance Data

Instead of guessing what hours you think might need rostering, we suggest reviewing the previous clock in and out data for similar shifts. Using the data, you can make informed scheduling decisions that are on pace with your business budget. 


Scheduling your team doesn’t need to be stressful. By switching to scheduling software, you can save time on mundane jobs and make room for company morale and customer service. Try RosterElf for free today!