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Making an employee schedule template connotes organization to make things run more effectively and smoothly in your company. At work, you use a work schedule template to assign shifts to your employees and provide each of them a copy to reference their time shifts. You can either create your own schedule template for managing employee schedules or use a free template that you can download and customize.

What is an employee schedule template?

An employee schedule template is a calendar that facilitates employee scheduling in a place of work. This work schedule template includes the names of the employee, a weekly (or monthly) summary each employee’s schedule, and the roles they assume each day. This tool is very useful in managing employee time. It can also tell you who works each day in your place of business. Ultimately, it helps you as a good reference when calculating or auditing manpower costs.

What to include in your employee schedule template?

Effective staffing schedule templates reflect the needs of your business and the people working there. This means that the information that your schedule provides may completely vary from the information on other business’ employee schedule templates.

When making an employee schedule, it’s best to use custom-made templates as this lessens the amount of time spent you spend in preparing before getting to the actual scheduling. Moreover, you won’t need to remake your template each time. All you need to do is to store the custom-made template on your computer.

When the need for making a new one arises, just open the file and fill it out. The basic information included in employee or staffing schedule templates are:

  • One week or one month’s worth of days depending on how frequently the shifts of your employees change.
  • The names of your employees.
  • The inclusive dates of the schedule.
  • Your business’ operating hours.
  • The contact details of the manager.
  • Some method of showing the work hours of the employees.

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Tips for creating and using an employee schedule template

While using an employee schedule template can facilitate the scheduling of your employees, it does have limitations as there is something that templates won’t do – the actual scheduling. This is something you have gain proficiency in. If you’re a novice in filling up a work schedule template, consider the following pointers to help you make a scheduling template for your employees:

  • Avoid changing the entire shifting schedule each week
    Remember to always maintain consistency. Standardize the shift start times and end times so that there will be a consistency in employee schedules. This also lessens your work. If you can standardize the schedule, it would be a lot easier to make adjustments when your employees request for leaves.
  • Ask your employees for their input but stick with a consistent cut-off time
    You can come up with a protocol on how to accept and process the requests for the time-off of employees. To make this more effective, set a deadline for the submission of such requests.
  • Take advantage of scheduling apps and tools if you’re tech-savvy
    Pair your Excel schedule template with the data from your Point of Sale (POS). This helps you make smarter decisions when scheduling based on sales instead of mere intuition.
  • If needed, call in reinforcements to complete your schedule
    As you would expect, there will always be an influx of customers when the holiday season rolls around. See to it that you have enough employees working to take care of your guests, otherwise, they won’t return again.
    But if you have too many employees, more than what you need, you might spend more than you should on them. Make your own forecast on holiday labor by analyzing historical data so that you can schedule enough employees before the holidays come.

How do I make an employee schedule?

You can make use of specialized software for employee scheduling to deal with your needs but often, what you only need is a flexibile yet simple Excel schedule template. An employee schedule template requires you to list all of your employees. It then counts the number of employees working for each day.

This helps you create a working schedule. One of the main objectives of a work schedule template is to make it easier for you to come up with a schedule that is very flexible. Here are some steps to help you out:

  • Print out a blank template for each of your employees
    Provide each employee a blank template where they fill in the days they prefer to work, which days they need to take off, and more. You can also share a copy of the template for each employee to fill out online. But this only applies if your employees possess the required computer skills.
  • Gather the schedules from your employees and try to enter these into the template.
  • Make adjustments to the schedule as needed
    Some try to make use of software for the automation of creating employee schedules. But often, it’s easier to just use your brain, especially when you need to factor-in certain considerations.
  • Give each employee a copy of the final schedule
    Print the schedule out and furnish each of your employees with a copy so they know when they need to come to work.

How do I create a shift schedule in Excel?

If you know Excel, then your work may just have become easier. This is, of course, the most common tool in creating an Excel schedule template since it provides as many columns and rows as you need. Here are the steps for making your own Excel schedule template:

  • Launch the program and open a new file
    Start by giving the spreadsheet a name making it easier to identify. For instance, the name could be “Work Schedule: November 10 – 15.” Save the file at each step so you don’t lose your progress.
  • Create the column headings
    An easy way to create headings for your spreadsheet is to name your first column “Employee Name.” Then name the succeeding columns after the days of the week. In the case where you’re making a schedule for more two weeks or more, use dates for the column headings. Make the headings stand out by selecting a different font and make it bold.
  • Enter the names of each employee along with their ID/Employee Numbers
    You can input this information under the heading “Employee Name.”
  • Enter the schedules or working times of each employee
    In the succeeding days’ columns, input the shift times for your employees under each of the corresponding days. This is an easy way for employees to find their line on the work schedule template and see when they will work for that period.
  • Print the schedule out and share it
    Most employers print the schedule, then post it in the office where employees can see it. You also have the option to save the file then email it to the employees.

How do you make a schedule on Microsoft Word?

Aside from Excel, you can also create your employee schedule template using Microsoft Word. Here are the simple steps to follow:

  • Open a new document.
  • Click on Insert > Table > Insert Table.
  • Find the small box with a choice of rows and columns. Create the table based on the working hours.
  • Highlight the first row of your table. Click on Layout then Merge Cells.
  • Go to the next row and enter the days of the week in each of the cells. Leave the first cell because you will enter each hour of the day there.
  • On the first column, enter each hour of the day while still leaving the first cell blank.
  • Continue entering the schedules of your employees.
  • Don’t forget to add a title like “Employee Schedule” or something similar.

Testing your employee schedule template

All staffing schedule templates should have employee names, business hours, inclusive dates, and contact details printed on your schedule. If possible, it’s recommended to format your employee schedule as a table and use color-coding and photos of your employees.

This makes the schedule easier to read. Whatever format you choose, keep your template simple so that it takes the employees only a couple of seconds to figure it out. At first glance, your employers should see:

  • What day they’re working.
  • What hours they’re working.
  • The job they will perform.

Should it take longer for your employees to decipher the schedule, it means that it’s too complicated. Here is a simple way to test your schedule.

  • You will need a stopwatch and a copy of your schedule.
  • Set your schedule aside for a couple of seconds while you do other tasks.
  • Before looking at the schedule again, select one of your employees.
  • With that employee in mind, start your stopwatch and look at your schedule. Try to find out when that employee will work the next day.
  • If you can figure out the schedule of your employee for the next day in 30 seconds or less, you’re schedule is fine. If not, consider simplifying it.


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