If you want to use your human resources effectively then you will need to reduce over booked/ under booked shifts. The reason for this should be obvious. If you have too many staff on any given shift they will not have enough work to keep them productive, while if you don’t have enough staff on a shift then it will mean that they are overstretched and unable to do all the jobs that need to be done on that shift. If you are missing somebody from a shift and the staff can still manage to get the work done then it was overstaffed in the first place. If you want to reduce over booked / under booked shifts you will need to becomes skilled at scheduling and know the demands of the business inside out.
One of the most common reasons for staffing problems is poor planning by the person responsible for the scheduling. If you want to reduce over booked/ under booked shifts then you must know what work demands are going to exist for that particular shift. Simply reproducing the schedule based on what you had on the schedule is not going to be an effective way to reduce over booked/ under booked shifts. In almost every business you will have work demands that are constantly changing so the staffing should reflect this.
One big factor that can seriously interfere with your ability to reduce over booked/ under booked shifts will be staff holidays and sick days. Staff sick days can be particularly problematic because you don’t tend to get much notice for them; you might only learn that somebody isn’t coming in a few hours before the shift starts. Of course you will be concerned with the well-being of the staff member, but it this event can be a big problem to sort out at short notice. It is a good idea to have some type of contingency plan for sudden absences; maybe have a telephone list of workers who might consider overtime or the numbers for some reliable freelancers. When it comes to holidays it is important that you have some rules about how much notice the staff must give you. If you plan for all of these events then you should improve your ability to reduce over booked / under booked shifts.
If you realise that you have too many or too few workers on a shift, what should you do? If you are serious in your efforts to reduce over booked/ under booked shifts then you might want to take action. If you have too many bodies on the day then it might be worth offering to allow somebody take it as a vacation day or half-day. If there are too few workers then you might want to consider calling more people in because otherwise you could be left with unfinished work or overstressed staff. The work needed to reduce over booked/ under booked shifts is never easy, but it is important for your business that you get this right. A lot of money can be lost when human resources are not utilized effectively.