Common Staff Rota Complaints…And How to Avoid Them

by / ⠀Startup Advice / September 22, 2020
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Staff rotas can cause managers headaches. Schedule too many staff for a shift and you’ll have people standing around doing nothing. Schedule too few and you’ll have overworked employees running around like a headless chicken, making mistakes, and generally providing poor customer service.

Fortunately, with a little foresight, planning, and the right platform, you can get your staff rotas spot on every time. Shifts will run like clockwork, employees will be happy, and managers won’t be pulling their hair out.

With this in mind, let’s look at the most common staff rota complaints and how you can avoid them. And for anyone who has never thought to try rota software, there’s no time like the present.

Staff Can’t Understand Your Rota

If you’re in charge of the staff rota, make sure that staff can understand it with just a quick glance. Changing colour schemes, font, size, or layout every other week can cause confusion and even result in staff missing their shifts.

Whether you use an Excel spreadsheet, rota software, or still rely on traditional paper and pencil, keep your rota neat and in the same format from one week to the next and you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle.

Leaving It Too Late to Publish Rotas

If you frequently find yourself working on a rota with less than 24 hours before it starts, you’re doing something wrong – and you’re risking making costly scheduling errors. It’s important to prepare and share your rota a week in advance.

Why? Think about it this way: if staff don’t know when they’re working, they will likely request changes or just not show up. This can throw the whole shift into chaos.

If you want to avoid upsetting employees and experiencing chaotic, short-staffed shifts, plan your rota in advance or try rota software, which makes shift planning so much easier.

Sharing Shift Rotas at Odd Times

Staff don’t like it when they’re left hanging around waiting for their managers to finish next week’s rota. Managers don’t like it when they feel pestered by staff to tell them when they’re next shift is. This causes problems, workplace friction, and general annoyance.

The solution is simple. Decide what time of the week to share the rota and stick to it. Make sure everyone knows. Your staff will thank you, shifts will run smoother, and you’ll save yourself a heap of worries before the shift even starts.

Managers Who Plan Rotas Without Knowing When Staff Are Available

Planning staff rotas might be boring and time consuming, but not paying attention to when staff are available and when they’re not and just pencilling staff in for a shift randomly is a good way to end up with a lot of unhappy employees.

If a member of staff has a busy life, kids to look after or is studying for a degree, they’re probably not going to be available at short notice or be able to work unsociable hours. Managers who have an idea of their staff’s routine outside of their work will be more popular than managers who expect staff to drop everything and come into work on short notice.

A Rota that Not Everyone Uses

The problem with pinning a paper rota to the staff room and not emailing or sharing it with everyone digitally is that some staff won’t pay attention to it, so they won’t have any idea when they’re next shift is.

It’s also doubtful that tech-centric millennials will favour paper rotas! They’ll expect to get a digital copy of the staff rota. Thankfully, there’s a solution – try rota software. It’s easy to use and saves time. Trust us, your staff will thank you. Best of all, updated rotas can be shared easily so everyone will know when their next shift is.

You’ll also find that you can make changes in real-time, so staff can never use the excuse that they didn’t know that their shift was changed!

Your Rota Doesn’t Allow for Shift Requests

It’s impossible to please everyone all the time but having a request function on your staff rota is a great way to offer staff some choice and flexibility. For example, if a member of staff has been asked to work a shift that they really didn’t want to one week, you could invite them to request a shift they want next week.

Any shift request system doesn’t need to be complicated. You could invite staff to email the shift times that suit them or earmark any shift a week in advance. This may sound like a simple thing, but it will be greatly appreciated by staff.

A word of caution though, don’t take shift requests in person. With so much going on, shift requests can often be forgotten which can leave staff feeling unappreciated and annoyed.

The Key to Faultless Shift Management

So, there you have it – six common staff rota complaints and how you can avoid them. Interested in how you can keep managers happy, make sure they know when their shifts are, and be organised all the time? Try rota software to help eliminate these complaints.

About The Author

Kimberly Zhang

Editor in Chief of Under30CEO. I have a passion for helping educate the next generation of leaders.