Job scheduling is a key process in any trade business, and efficiency in this area has a significant impact on profitability. However, managing the scheduling of a team of employees can quickly become like a game of chess; complicated in strategy, and quickly affected by accidental oversights. To help you make your way successfully through this game, we have come up with six simple job scheduling tips. If you are short on time, simply skip to step 6 because some of the mobile applications listed there will quickly set you on the path to successful scheduling.
1. Consider the skills of your team when allocating jobs
The key to ensuring jobs get done efficiently and properly is to allocate tasks to people who have the skills for those tasks. Everyone has a specialty and it is important that managers know how to use this to their advantage. Do not randomly delegate because this is when inefficiencies arise.
2. Know your team
You will not be able to delegate effectively if you do not know what your individual employees are good at. Get to know each of your employees. Talk to them and ask them what their strengths and preferences are but also learn through your own observation. Only then will you be able to properly allocate jobs to the right people and trust them with their completion.
3. Be flexible
Sometimes things just happen and you need to have the flexibility to deal with it. Kids will need to be picked up from school, wives will go into labour, the car will break down. Flexibility is one of the key elements of successful management and as soon as you embrace flexibility, your job will be a lot less stressful. Do not be that manager who rosters people on after they say they are unavailable; that will get you nowhere and will only irritate your employees.
4. Be timely
Do up draft rosters a couple of weeks in advance to give employees time to make alterations and suggestions if they need. Avoid last minute changes at all costs but if they need to happen, give your employee a call to make sure they know that they are now rostered on for the next day. Your employees do have a life outside of work and will not be sitting at their computer or staring at their phone awaiting a roster update, so more than likely, a change for the next day will not be noticed and you will be left either short-staffed or with a very grumpy employee.
5. Always have a contingency plan
Like I said before, life happens. Make sure you have something in mind for those rare but stressful moments when a car breaks down or a wife goes into labour. An extra employee on call who is available but not directly rostered on is always a good idea for these kinds of situations.
6. There’s an app for it
These days there are apps for everything, so it should not be a surprise that there is an app for job scheduling too. In fact, there are multiple apps so you can pick and choose whichever one you prefer. Here are a few links to some great scheduling apps that you may find helpful:
One of our favourite management tools is simPRO. Not primarily a phone app, simPRO has some powerful software that will help you really get on top of your scheduling. There is also an extention app that you can install on any Android or iOS device so that you can access simPRO wherever you go. A lot of our clients use simPRO and swear by it, so maybe that is one for you to consider too. They also offer a free demo in case you would like to see how simPRO will work for you, before making the investment.
If you have any questions about job scheduling or would like to hear more in depth and tailored advice for your business, please feel free to contact us. Tradies Accountant offers a free initial consultation for all new clients, so there is no loss to you.