No matter what the size of your pharmacy, effective staff planning and scheduling is key to ensuring that tasks and actions are carried out by the right people at the right time. It may sound like a simple process, but with different roles, abilities, and availability, the process can end up being far more difficult than anticipated. It is therefore important that you are doing all you can to streamline the process and ensure work is completed quickly and effectively. To help you with that, here are our top tips for effective rota planning and scheduling, which will help you to improve your time management so that you can focus on the most important thing, patient care.
Getting to know your staff & their timetables
As a staff planner, you will want to know everyone in your pharmacy team, whether you are a pharmacy manager or a pharmacy owner. You will need to know what their skill set is. Obviously, the smaller your pharmacy, the easier this is to achieve, but doing so will allow you to pick the right people for the task at hand.
Our automated rota system allows you to update staff on the system easily, complete your rota for up to 6 months in advance, and ensures that your pharmacy has the right staff in place for every shift. By moving away from paper-based rota systems, you are reducing the possibility of errors which could create a bad experience for your staff.
By knowing your staff and getting them comfortable with the software, they will be able to have complete control and autonomy over managing their own sickness and annual leave through our leave product. This takes the pressure off the management team in the Pharmacy and streamlines the process of booking off leave. This advanced planning will also allow you to identify gaps so that you can ensure you have adequate cover in place to reduce the risk of store closure.
Effective employee communication
Planning is important, but it is not going to be very effective if you cannot communicate your plan effectively to your employees. It is not considered good practice, to just rely on word of mouth for shift changes and rota releases. As previously mentioned, you also want to make communication easy from the perspective of your employees too. Asking for time off should not have to cause unnecessary administrative problems and our leave product is proven to increase your staff engagement by up to 90%.
To finalise, anytime there is a change to the rota; everyone needs to know. Our rota product ensures there is not any overlap or conflict with timing and availability. This will reduce stress by having your team turning up to their shifts on time and increase productivity, allowing you to allocate more time to patient care.
Delegation & Responsibility
It is important that everyone knows who is responsible for what. Who is responsible for approving and signing off annual leave? Who is in charge of approving shift swaps? Do not just assume someone in the team will handle it; give people specific roles within the planning team, so people know who to talk to and to help improve accountability. Remember, staff planners may fall ill or require time off as well. Ensure you have a backup plan in place in case anybody is not available to manage the rota at a specific time.
Of course, you don’t have to do all of this yourself. Our rota product allows you to manage permission settings, giving you the option of allowing another team member full access to manage rotas and approve/decline leave requests. We advise appointing two team members, so that if one person is unable to be in the pharmacy, then another person can manage it.
Have we sparked your interest yet? Download our Leave Brochure here.