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Hours - (IT Scheduling)

By istreamkc ·
I have a staff of three (plus myself) in a small software company. I have always set the hours for the technicians, balancing their preferences with our needs. I have a new tech that is requesting different hours on Tues and Thurs than the other work days. I have suggested that it would be best to have the same hours every day, but I also want to be as flexible as possible. Critical support hours are being covered, but I don't want to start a scenario where the other techs ask for equally changing hours to the point that i don't know who is supposed to be in at any given time.

Be flexible or crack the whip?

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The Apple Solution

by pete1978 In reply to No Blood, No Foul

Wayne said "Treat your staff as professionals and let them manager their own time."

That's right. Let them work any 80 hours they want each week!

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I hear ya =-)

by Tink! In reply to Sorry

Yea I'm not talking drastic differences. Definitely nothing more than an hour earlier. And then only because I live an hour away from work.
And like I said, when they are set in stone and kept that way it's not a big issue. If someone keeps changing hours every quarter or every year, then as a manager I'd have to put my foot down.

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Try a Whiteboard

by Wayne M. In reply to Hours - (IT Scheduling)

Just get a whiteboard or one of those erasable calendar boards and let your people schedule their own time.

Pick a planning time frame, 1 week, 2 weeks, 1 month, or whatever. Define the staffing requirements, when are peak times when a lot of staff are needed, when are slow times when one person is needed to answer the telephone. About 1 week ahead of a time frame, call the staff together, tell them the staffing requirements, and let them determine how to meet the requirements. The first time or two will be slow, but after they get the hang of it, it will go quite quickly.

I have used this approach and the benefits are that I no longer have to spend time trying to balance workloads and that I get much better warning of time off. People are more likely to announce that they need to take off for dentists appointments, teacher conferences, etc. and also to find their own replacements.

Don't be afraid of anarchy or precedents. Your people probably want to do their jobs and do them well. If you have a slackard, well this won't solve the problem, but it will not make it worse either. You will have to deal with the slackard regardless of approach.

Lastly, an implementation note. Do not be too quick to jump in and start scheduling people if they stand there like deer in the headlights. It takes a while to sink in that you are truly delegating the schedule effort to them. Just repeat the requirements and ask for a volunteer to go first. In the end, this will be one less task you need to do, and will probably be done more effectively if your staff takes personal responsibility for it.

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Welcome to the new millennium

by DC Guy In reply to Hours - (IT Scheduling)

Everyone is empowered. If your only problem with flexible hours is keeping track of them, you've got no problem. Surely there's some software that will take care of it for you.

Life is tough. Give people every break you possibly can.

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by w2ktechman In reply to Hours - (IT Scheduling)

I personally have done this and it usually works fine. I have juggled 12 peoples schedules on a regular basis. But as a new hire, wasnt he/she informed of the hours needed for coverage in the interview?
If you wanted to have specific hours for the person (especially during training period), then it should have been mentioned previously.
If the hours really dont matter as long as there is adequate coverage, then I wouldnt worry much about it, but dont let them bulldoze you into changing hours regularly for any reason. You may find yourself alone at some point wondering where everyone is.

Another suggestion, is to create a 'schedule' and post it. If others want to change their hours too, set some ground rules first, like, There will be 2 people to cover this shift everyday, and there will be 2 people to cover this other shift every day.

What I often did was sent out the schedule trying to accomodate everyone, if they wanted to make a change, they would have to switch with someone else, then see me and I would post the change after both parties agreed to it. Then I made it clear that it was up to them to be there for the changed items, and it would be best to give themselves reminders.
It worked very well mostly

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The reason should help define the answer

by RKG In reply to schedule

What is the reason you need the schedule change?
The answer to this should make the decision a no-brainer.
Is it for child care? Yes.
Is it for school? Does your company pay for job-related training, or allow them lattitude for training?
If not, do you expect your employees to slowly get further out of touch the longer they work for you?
as long as you can provide the same answer to all employees and not compromise the company goals or functions, I say let it happen. However, keep in mind that if you need to actively manage the process too much, it is taking company time away from other things, so it is affecting the company goals.

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accomodate reasonable requests

by AlbanyPMP In reply to Hours - (IT Scheduling)

In todays workplace it is everyone's best interest to acknowledge and accomodate reasonable requests for changes to schedules. Reasonable being important personal issues and family issues for a start. If you crack the whip your staff will resent it and they will find a way to return your non-favor by leaving or not being accomodating to you when you need them.

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It depends.....

by wolf0328 In reply to Hours - (IT Scheduling)

on what hours you actually require. Is this a straight up 8-5? or do you guys pull longer shifts? Is the employee ready and willing to work longer on other days? What type of work ethic does this employee display? Was this something that was discussed prior to the employee being hired? With a staff of three I don't think it would be that hard to keep up with hours. It's purely a call on your part really. If you think that it would cause a uprising then answer accordingly, if not try it out.

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by The Admiral In reply to Hours - (IT Scheduling)

Let me answer your question with another question if I may.

How much turnover do you want?

If you are showing that you are being unflexible, then you are likely going to be coined a "Do not work for" part of the company.

If the reason has to do with the family leave act, your hands are tied. You should allow it or be sued by the US Attorney General. If it is because of classes, then you should be flexible enough to allow a change in times.

If not, you will have a big turnover, and it costs more to hire/fire than it does to be flexible.

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Also, don't worry about the others

by The Chad In reply to

If Bob comes to you with, "Why is Jim getting to come in late on Monday and I can't?"

Explain to him that what happens with Jim is between you and Jim. If he (Bob) wants to talk about his own schedule, tell him you'll be happy to discuss it, but Jim's "arrangement" is off-limits, except where it affects coverage. You can work out any agreement with Bob that fits with the same coverage requirements.

There is no such thing a "fair" because no two individuals have the same needs, abilities, etc. Each individual (should!) have the opportunity to negotiate and arrange working conditions that are congruent with the needs of the team. Beyond that, it is no one else's business -- just as salaries are no one else's business.

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