How to keep a fully-staffed rota

When you’re managing a wide variety of staff who all work different hours and shift patterns, rota planning can be hugely time-consuming and difficult.

Particularly within the health and care sectors, your rota needs to be fully staffed to ensure that you can provide the best possible care available and that your business is running as smoothly as it can.

This got us thinking about advice on how to make sure you’re always fully staffed and how to best avoid gaps in your rota.
 

Send your rota out in plenty of time

An easy way to avoid gaps in your rota or last-minute changes is to communicate it to your staff as early as possible. This allows your team to check their schedules and plan around their work. Not only will this limit any issues, it’s also a key part of keeping your workforce happy as it provides them with stability around their income and allows them to plan.

Whilst there is no current legislation in the UK for how far in advance you should send out your rota, we’d recommend giving your team at least 2 weeks’ notice. As well as allowing them to work around their shifts, it also gives you enough time to deal with any changes and avoid last-minute gaps.


Take into account leave and hours

Make sure you’re only assigning your staff against times they’re available to work. Scheduling your team for shifts they can’t work can cause unhappiness and you’ll have to make changes to your rota to avoid gaps. Encourage openness across your team about their availability to avoid unnecessary alterations.
Also keep in mind your team’s contracted hours and ensure the rota allows them to stick to it. This can be tricky to manage if you’re using something like excel to build your rota, but rota software like RotaMaster will keep a track of it for you.
 

Be fair

Consider allowing staff to select the shifts they want to work to produce a collaborative and fair rota. It’s been proven that if your staff feel that their preferences are being considered and that there is the opportunity to influence their schedule, they will feel that the system is fairer and more inclusive.

Make sure that your rota reflects a good range of skills and experience that work well together. Carefully plan your teams to ensure staff members aren’t overworked and that care keeps on running smoothly.
 

Use rota software

We’ve seen over the last year that moving systems and processes online has been an absolute necessity and has been pivotal in maintaining the smooth running of care providers across the UK. Workforce Management software such as RotaMaster really do take the strain out of day-to-day planning but also allow you to report better, work more efficiently and ensure you’re complaint. Check out our blog on 10 reasons why you need rota software to find out more.

If you're struggling to keep your rota fully-staffed and looking for a solution, get in touch.