Do you have a business that employs multiple people and requires work and effort to manage their weekly schedules? It can be challenging to balance your business needs with the availablilty of your employees. We’ve put together five tips to help you manage this tricky task.

1. Hire Smart. Scheduling your employees will be easier down the road if you start with strong, reliable employees. Make sure that when you are recruiting and hiring you are looking for individuals that fit into the culture of your business. Don’t be afraid to ask about scheduling and availability right up front. There are plenty of excellent, qualified candidates out there, but not every one of them is a good fit for your team. Get to know your candidates and their personalities from the very beginning and you’ll be ahead of the game.

2. Communicate. I think communication is always key to all business operations. Scheduling is no different! You’ll need to communicate with your employees about changes in business needs, products, strategies, etc. They’ll need to communicate with you about changes in their lives, strengths, goals, etc. Keeping the lines of communication open will help facilitate a better working relationship between your entire team.

3. Be a Leader. Typically, employees don’t like to be micromanaged. They appreciate the freedom to complete their work on their own terms with their manager’s trust. Keep that in mind as you are leading your team. Schedule them in ways that can enhance their skills and help them utilize their strengths. Encourage them but don’t limit them.

4. Tools. In order for your team to be successful, you need to provide them with the tools and technology in order to be able to do so. There are so many options out there when it comes to business solutions. If there are ways you can help your team work smarter instead of harder you should entertain them.

5. Be flexible, yet predictable. Life happens. While it’s very important to give your employees advance notice as to when they are scheduled to work (two weeks ideally); it is also important to remember that things come up, people get sick, transportation difficulties arise. So it’s important to encourage a culture that is flexilble and encourages teammates to cover for one another when necessary. Always understand that things can come up and have a back up plan for coverage.

Do you have more to add? How do you handle scheduling your employees along with all of your other important business tasks? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!