A Simple Guide to Creating Roster in Excel


Your roster plan or staff rostering system ensures you have the correct number of employees in the right job at the right time. It is the so-called meat and potatoes of your workforce management. This is achievable when your staff roster outlines the working hours from start to finish. It should provide employees with matter-of-fact information, especially when they have to work. 


The roster is a straightforward document, per se. However, it should meet specific requirements (formal and legal) in order to provide proper orientation to your employees. And when it comes to creating a roster, there is a standard computer program that can create professional and homemade work schedules—Excel. 


Of course, the program itself isn’t something new. However, if you’re having issues creating a roster in Excel, this simple guide will be your helping hand. 


Now, let’s begin.



1. Open Microsoft Excel and click on the “File” tab.  


2. Click “New.”


3. Double-click the “Schedules” button found on the “Available Templates” screen. 


4. Double-click the “Business Schedules” file folder icon, and double click the schedule template that corresponds to your needs for scheduling. 


5. Click one of the cells populated with a default person’s name in the leftmost column. 


6. Edit the default name with the name of one of your staff. 


7. Replicate steps 5 and 6 to add and include every employee on the first day of your roster. 


8. Right-click the row header of the unneeded row and click delete if you don’t need all the rows. 


9. Right-click a row header, select “Insert” to add a blank line and type one of your employees' names in the left column. 


10. You can copy the cells with employees’ names if you don’t want to delete or add rows. 


11. Highlight the cells with the employee’s name on the next day of the week, right-click it and click “Paste” to replace the default name with actual employees’ names. 


12. If you deleted or added some rows, you would have to add or delete corresponding rows in every schedule section of the roster. 


13. In Most, if not all, of Microsoft Excel’s supplied templates, you can see the attendance times running across the top of the schedule grid. You can modify the times in these fields by editing the current times. For instance, you want to use time increments that begin past half an hour. 


14. Remove all the default information you see in the scheduling cells. Simply right-click a cell with the data and tap the delete key on your keyboard. 


15. Type an X in every cell the employee is needed to be at work. This is how you remove default details in the scheduling cells. For instance, type an X in every corresponding cell to schedule an employee from 8:00 am to 5 pm. 


The employee roster template should already set a formula to determine which cells have an X (or depends on whatever text you place). After, it will compute the number of hours in the “Total” or “Daily” hours column automatically. 


16. The roster template may contain data on top of the schedule grid that you may want to change, like department name, title, fields for the week, and start or end date. You can easily make amends to these details however you want. 


17. Click the “File” and select “Save As.”


18. You can either use a start or end date, a week number or type a name for the schedule. 


19. Choose where you want to save your newly created roster, then finally, click the “Save” button. 


There you have it! You can now start using your employee roster. That said, while you have the option to use Excel, it would be best to automate the whole process, yes? And, to make matters more accessible, there are pretty many rostering and payroll software available in the market right now, and one of them is RosterElf.  



Photo by: Anna Shvets | Pexels


Seamless Employee Rostering System with RosterElf 


The hidden element behind one of the best employee management software like RosterElf is the power of automation. Yes, you can recreate some of RosterElf’s capabilities in spreadsheets, yet not without long-drawn-out hours of manual input—tiring and hassle. What’s more, you need to make changes in Excel one by one, which makes it even more dragging. 


  • Schedule changes 


With RosterElf, making schedule updates and modifications are easy as ABC. You simply drag and drop whatever it is that needs change. Creating and putting a schedule template for your weekly schedules beforehand will only take a few taps and clicks. 


There is no need to change formats and, most of all, no need to doubt if your formulas are correct. Talking about the perks of built-in features, always 100% ready. 


  • Shift swap tracking 


When it comes to tracking, Excel is nowhere near ideal. For example, it definitely can’t track your employees’ shift swapping processes. In RosterElf, shift swapping is like a walk in the park. You can log a shift change request in the platform and fill out some options (e.g. choosing an employee who gets a shift change alert and adding notes). 


You don’t have to call down a list or make massive changes as you do in spreadsheets since you can do all leg work within the app. Everyone in the workforce gets a notification about the shift change. The schedule automatically updates too when an employee accepts. 


  • Time Clock 


RosterElf gives you a sleek view of the calendar, so who’s running late, who’s on leave, and who’s working is easy to check. Plus, other features like payroll integration, labour budgeting, and workforce management, to name a few, can help you track profitability, staff availability, and overtime management. 


  • Payroll integration 


While Excel can track wages, names, and hours worked, you depend on a manual input which can be fallible. More so, there are no rules to guide you to catch mishaps or alert you that one of your employees is reaching overtime. 


This is another thing where RosterElf has an edge. It can update your employees’ timesheets using its payroll integration feature with third-party systems—XERO, MYOB, and Sage. In addition, all computations are done in the system so that when it’s time for payroll, you can do a check to make sure everything looks good before wage processing. 



Key Takeaway 


If you don’t want to get stuck in a tiresome manual rostering process, having an employee rostering and payroll software in place saves you big time. 


Excel has always been the go-to when creating rosters, and with this simple and straightforward guide, it’ll be somewhat less troublesome to make employee work schedules. However, it’s still prone to inadvertent errors. 


With the rise of cloud-based staff rostering systems, it’s ideal for taking advantage of such an opportunity to optimise your workforce’s productivity and your business’ profit. Time spent wisely in the world of business is essential. 




RosterElf: Rostering Made Easy 


RosterElf's cloud-based rostering software truly is a game-changer. Say goodbye to roster conflicts and chase employees for their availability to work. Instead, employees can easily update their availability to work and notify managers about it through a smartphone app. 


Staff set the times and days they can work, and RosterElf does the rest. Our software then automatically suggests available employees to fill shifts. 


What are you waiting for? Time to take your rostering and payroll game to the next level and boost your business' performance. Call us now at 1300 353 000, and our team will be more than happy to assist you. 


To get a clearer view of how our app works, enjoy 30-day access to our tool for free!