Almost every manager knows that a highly engaged workforce boosts their company's profitability, productivity, and retention. 

Gallup even found that employee engagement directly impacts the overall well-being of your company. Additionally, better employee engagement leads to: 

  • 17% better productivity

  • 21% better profitability

  • 10% better customer satisfaction

  • 41% lower absenteeism

  • 70% fewer safety incidents

These numbers just don't lie. But we're willing to bet that you didn't imagine a well-planned schedule can make all the difference in employee engagement. So how can you leverage the employee schedule to boost your employee engagement? That's what we answer in the four tips below. 

1. Use the right tools

A growing trend for 2020 is that many small businesses making the digital switch, instead of using pen and paper or Excel sheets for their employee scheduling,

More and more companies want a digital solution to build schedules, allow for shift swaps, request time off and so much more, and all from the ease of their smartphone.

With the right mobile scheduling solution, you have instant access to an employee's availability, employees can interact with you via communication features, employees can add notes, send requests and can access their schedule at any time, from any location. How's that for employee engagement?

2. Plan ahead at least three months in advance

Creating a schedule in advance requires you to start right now. First, highlight all holidays coming up and compare sales and call-outs to the previous year so you can anticipate how many team members should be on the clock at any given day. Second, talk to your employees. Find out who is available on what days and times and ask if they are open to overtime, taking on extra shifts (if someone calls out), and inquire what specific dates they need off. Gathering all this information in advance saves you a ton of effort in the future when creating the schedule. 

Knowing the needs and wants of your employees, and what their availability is during unexpected call-outs, prepares you for all situations. See, you already have a working schedule available months in advance and on top of it all, you listened to your employees. You showed them that you care and this helps lift employee engagement.

3. Have a plan for call-outs 

When creating a schedule, most managers forget about creating a backup plan as well. Just one call-out during rush hour causes stress and irritation all around. However, when you have a backup plan in place to be better prepared for call-outs, you easily improve efficiency, productivity, and employee engagement.

Remember from our point above, by asking which employees are open to overtime or getting called in to cover call-outs, it's super easy to know who to call first so you avoid irritating your team on their day off. Instead of employees begrudgingly agreeing to come in or secretly muttering behind your back, your backup plan shows your team you care and can plan in advance. This allows for employee engagement and happiness to spread across the board.

4. Distribute schedules fairly and evenly

Make sure that shifts are rotated among all your employees as often as possible. Don't just give all the desirable or convenient shifts to a handful of employees, instead be fair and just because your team will assume you only play favorites.

By distributing convenient and not-so-convenient shifts among your staff, you cause better engagement and productivity. 

And just that, a smarter and better schedule creates a happier and more engaged workforce.