How to Schedule Employees Fairly and Make a Work Schedule that Works

How to schedule employees fairly and how to make a work schedule

What if it were easy to know how to schedule employees fairly? Maybe it can be! It starts with thinking about the roles that make your business work. The more consistent you are, the more your employees know what to expect. Here are some tips and ideas for learning how to make a work schedule that works for everyone.

How to schedule employees fairly

Define roles and assign employees

Start with a clear definition for the roles that need to be filled each day or shift. Then assign employees to the roles that they are qualified to do. Having assigned roles helps you know how to make a work schedule: you need to fill the needed roles for each shift.

Share the schedule in advance

Learning how to schedule employees fairly is partially about the schedule; the rest is about communicating the schedule. If possible, create and share the schedule two weeks in advance. The more consistent you can be, the better. For example, update the schedule every other Friday; then employees know when to expect it. You can still make last-minute changes and allow schedule change requests, as needed.

Communicate changes to the schedule

If you do make changes to the schedule, let employees know right away. One way to do this is ensure that employees can easily check the schedule and that they will see change or updates in real time. Then, if you adjust the schedule, it’s easy to share the modified shift event with the relevant employees.

Don’t make promises you can’t keep

You don’t want to disappoint anyone. But knowing how to schedule employees fairly means knowing when to say No. You may not be able to accommodate all the scheduling requests from your employees. It’s better to be direct so employees can adjust than to agree to something that won’t work, only to change it later.

How to make a work schedule that works

Make it easy for employees to check the schedule

A shared shift calendar puts the schedule entirely in your control, but also lets employees check it anytime. That’s much easier on everyone: no more answering individual emails or text messages with shift information. Instead, employees can check their schedule anytime.

(With Teamup, you can create a read-only link to the shift calendar, then embed or share the calendar link with employees.)

Delegate time-off requests to employees

The more you can delegate, the better. Delegating time-off request management to your employees is easier for everyone. You can also delegate shift swaps. Add a sub-calendar for time-off requests and give employees limited access to the calendar so they can add their requested time off. Then you can review all requests. Learn about role-based calendar access with Teamup here.

Be flexible and understanding

Last-minute changes are part of scheduling. Unexpected things happen to everyone. As long as employees communicate with you, you can help them and offer flexibility and understanding. Let employees know the best method of communicating so there is no confusion. (See here for some tips on better communication.)

Maintain professional standards

Flexibility and understanding does not mean accepting poor behavior. You can be kind and consistent while maintaining professional standards. Give employees clear guidelines about deadlines for scheduling time off, making shift changes, or making other schedule requests. Then you’ve got to stick with the standards: that’s part of how to schedule employees fairly. Everyone knows what to expect and knows they can depend on being treated well and fairly.


Lots of Teamup users say it’s great for making a work schedule, delegating schedule requests, and more. Create your own Teamup calendar now or try out one of our live demos

Photo by Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis on Unsplash