Ever wondered what a shift rota is? Look no further. A shift rota is short for a rotating shift schedule. That means
that the schedule is the same every umpteenth (n-th) week (or day for that matter). For instance you might have 4 different weekly shift templates where your employees work different hours to get a little variation and maybe not always work friday night… The shift scheduling is then based on these four templates meaning that
every 4th week is the same schedule.

Why use a shift rota?

Employees like to be at home with their families just once in a while – so they tend to dislike always working in the evening – especially in the weekends. So to make the employee schedule fair for everybody the manager puts together a staff schedule that balances it out between the employees in the roster. In order to not always start from scratch – the same four (or any other number for that matter) weekly shift schedules are then reused again and again.

Who uses shift rotas in their employee scheduling?

It is common to use shift rotas in businesses that need staffing more or less around the clock. Businesses such as newspapers, health clinics and hospitals tend to use rotating shift schedules. But also restaurant, bars and pubs use it sometimes. After the schedule is made and published it often involves a lot of shift trading since people’s personal plans are rarely taken into account when making the schedule. That is either handled directly between the employees or mediated by some sort of shift scheduling software.

How do I get started with employee scheduling?

Making a rotating shift schedule can be done either manually or using an online employee scheduling tool such as BusyBeeManager. Any tool that supports template based scheduling can be used though.

  1. Simply create your templates reflecting your staffing needs and with a number of templates reflecting how often you want the schedule to rotate. If you’d like every other week to be the same – then you need only create two different templates. If you want every 4th week to be the same – needless to say you’d have to create four different templates.
  2. Then put the names on the shifts so it matches employee preferences and adds some variation to the way that your employees are working.
  3. Apply these templates to the employee shift schedule and publish it.

There you go – that’s all there is to it. Happy scheduling!

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