How to Make a Staff Schedule

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In order to run any successful business, it is essential to manage your staff and their work hours. Whether you’re responsible for service businesses such as landscaping companies or cleaning services, or retail establishments such as stores or restaurants, staff scheduling is an important task that shouldn’t be overlooked. Creating a staff schedule that works well for both the business and its employees can be a burdensome task, but you can make the process a little easier with some proper organization.

Obtain a complete list of all employees, including line staff as well as management staff. It’s imperative that you work with the most updated information available, as certain businesses experience a high turnover rate and staff can change from one week to the next.

Compile a full listing of any employees who have restricted work hours or need specific time off. For example, if you have students working for you, you’ll need to know that they can’t be assigned work during school hours. Ensure that your list also includes information on which employees are full time and which are part time.

Use a calendar or computer calendar to document the work hours or shifts that you need coverage for. Make a notation on each day and each shift indicating the number of employees and managers you’ll need to have on duty for each shift. Take into account any peak business times, such as dinner or lunch crowds in a restaurant or special holiday sales in a retail establishment.

Begin the scheduling process by listing all staff who have already requested a day or specific hours off. Add all full-time employees for each shift, as they have specific hours they’re required to work. Schedule part-time employees to fill coverage gaps and ensure they’re also getting the amount of hours they’ve been guaranteed. Assign management personnel to be on duty for each shift.

Post the schedule once it’s complete; try to have it posted a week or two in advance. There will likely be requests from the employees to make changes to the schedule. Accommodate those changes if possible.


  • Scheduling software allows this process to be automated. Investing in a good computer program that will keep track of your employees, their work status and their preferred hours makes scheduling a much easier task.