An essential part of running any business is taking the time to schedule employees effectively. However, for many employers, the process is often disorganized, time consuming and in some cases, downright frustrating.

Shift scheduling is often frustrating for your workers, too, since everyone wants a job with a flexible schedule.

The good news is, there are a few steps you can take when creating an employee schedule every week to get some of your time back, reduce aggravation and increase both worker and customer satisfaction levels.

Ready to find out how? If so, keep reading.

1. Plan Ahead

Many employers put together shift schedules at the last minute, and distribute them a week, or in some cases, less, before the employees are required to work. This doesn’t leave much time for employees, especially if they are students, or individuals with other jobs, to plan properly.

In today’s economy, many people are balancing several shift positions. The earlier they can receive their schedule, the better.

Giving your employees their schedule approximately two weeks ahead of time may seem daunting at first, but it can help to alleviate quite a bit of employee scheduling stress. Also, according to a recent survey, the flexibility of the schedule and total hours available were important to modern job seekers.

2. Schedule Sharing

A large majority of employers have revealed that they provide employees with their new schedules on paper. While this is a method that may have made sense a decade ago, today it’s an ineffective and outdated way to share this information.

Think about how employees are going to keep track of printed shift schedules. They may take a picture with their phone, or write it down, and in some cases just try to remember it. This makes it hard to hold individuals accountable for knowing when they are supposed to work—especially if there are changes.

Try to consider utilizing a digital schedule delivery system. Doing so ensures everyone has their schedule and is notified of updates or changes right away.

3. Shift Change Requests

When you are developing a schedule, one thing is inevitable—shift changes. This is especially true if you have workers who are still in school.

The majority of shift changes are requested through a conversation with managers. This means the likelihood of the request being lost or forgotten is high.

Instead, create a reliable and convenient way for your workers to submit their requests. This will help make the process easier for everyone involved. Also, when you have a system in place, you can keep track of requests and find any patterns or problems that may be present.

4. Make it Easy to Swap Shifts

Today’s employees want more control over their schedules. This is especially true when it comes to claiming and trading shifts.

Have a system in place that allows your workers to easily trade shifts and try to choose a method besides paper. When you offer a reliable and trackable way for your employees to trade shifts, then you can feel confident that everything will continue to run smoothly.

5. Embrace Technology

Technology is something that is making every aspect of the business world easier and more efficient. With the right technology in place, you can create schedules, share updates and make changes as needed, and everyone involved receives updates in real time. This can help take quite a bit of confusion out of the process.

Scheduling isn’t something that has to be overwhelming or frustrating. With the tips and information here, you can see how easy this can actually be.