Traditionally, a staff roster has been used to record the total hours each employee works daily. Each employee signs at the time they report and at the time of departure. The human resource manager uses these different time factors to calculate the total hours payable. The roster has evolved today and can be used for different purposes. Depending on the business operations, the manager may use a different type of staff roster. It can be used to weigh staff requirements and capacity for each shift to help the business meet its productivity goals.

Roster Templates

Why a staff roster is important?

A staff roster keeps a consistent record of which employees reported to work and at what time. It records their departure time to ensure each staff member gets their rightful hourly pay. The staff roster is created using a team roster template. It has many benefits to the company.

  • Creating balanced work schedules. Without a work roster, it is often possible for some employees to be overworked due to understaffing. Employees in another shift can be underworked due to overstaffing. The staff roster template helps the manager keep a record of the staff available for each shift and the volume of work in each. When there is an imbalance in one shift, the manager can move workers from one shift to create a balance.
  • Keeping employees motivated. Some employees will feel demotivated when they work in specific shift. For example, a mom with a young child would prefer to work the morning shift and be with their child at night. Another worker could be attending school at a particular hour which means they will be demotivated if they are assigned a shift at that hour. The employee roster template should help the manager create balanced shifts that favor each employee.
  • It helps the company to save money. The company might have over hired or under-hired. If it overhires, it means there will be an unnecessary expenditure which will lead to losses. If it under hires, it will not reach maximum productivity, which will lead to a loss of revenue. The roster sheet is important in helping identify staffing needs.
  • It encourages more staff to report to work. Some staff may fail to report to work because their allocated shift doesn’t favor them. If the issues they need to attend to during that time are important, they will opt not to report to work and attend to the issue. This is one of the reasons why the manager should allocate shifts that don’t affect the workers negatively. When preparing an excel rostering template, the manager should consult with the staff members to know which shifts they should be allocated.
  • It enhances safety in the workplace. The shift an employee is allocated matters significantly. Some staff might have a health condition that requires them to sleep at a specific time, especially at night. If the staff is allocated a shift at that time, they can easily doze off and cause accidents at the workplace. Some staff will not mind whichever work schedule they are given. It helps to make sure all health and safety protocols are observed.
  • It provides maximum productivity. The team roster template is useful in ensuring the maximum productivity of employees. When every worker is in the right shifts, they will work to their best without murmuring. They will feel satisfied and taken care of. The company will directly benefit from improved productivity.

Team Roster Templates

Types of staff roster templates

There are many types of staff roster templates, but the main ones are the following:

  • Duty staff roster template. A duty staff roster template is common in the hospitality sector. They help to avoid hiring excess staff or shifts. The manager uses this type of staff roster template to create schedules with the right number of staff. It helps to ensure there are not too many workers in one shift and too few in another.
  • Staggered staff roster template. A staggered staff roster template is common in workplaces where the work start time is not consistent. Some companies have fluctuating customer flows. They may get high traffic in specific months or days of the week and very low traffic at other times. The company requires a few staff members at one time and more workers at another time. The companies that might require this type of staff roster template are retailers, hotels, and restaurants. Most hotels and restaurants record a higher flow of customers during breakfast, lunch, and dinner time. During these hours, they hire more workers to meet the customer needs.
  • Flexible staff roster template. This type of employee roster template is used by companies that require employees who can work on different shifts. Some workers could be comfortable working a morning shift a few days of the week, an afternoon shift for another few days, and they will still be okay with a night shift. Within the same company, some workers could be okay working from 7 am to 4 pm daily.

Excel Rostering Templates

How do you create a team roster?

The following ideas for creating a roster sheet will be useful during the process.

Prepare the employee roster template first

Create an employee roster template where you shall add the names and their work schedules. Have in mind the number of rows required depending on the size of staffing needs. It is easier to use an excel rostering template because you will have the rows and columns already created for you. The excel rostering template should have several columns that show the following.

  • Date
  • Staff name
  • Staff number
  • Time in
  • Time out
  • Signature
  • Total hours worked
  • Hourly pay

Discuss the schedules with the staff members

It is easy to receive complaints and murmurings from the staff if you allocate them schedules without consultation. Perception is important when allocating schedules. It determines how productive the staff will be. Make a schedule proposal to the staff and let them give their opinions.

Make sure you allow flexibility to avoid resistance or thoughts of favoritism. The ultimate goal is to meet the business needs. Although you will give the staff members freedom to participate in the scheduling, you must make sure the business doesn’t suffer due to understaffing in some key schedules.

For the key shifts, start with the most experienced staff

The key shifts are the busiest shifts at any time of the day or night. It might disadvantage you if you allocate the busiest schedules to inexperienced staff. The priority should be to consider the most experienced staff and then have some inexperienced staff support them and learn from them.

For the other schedules, allocate inexperienced staff but also have experienced staff who they can learn from. If you ask the employees, they will directly tell you which days are busiest and which ones are not.

Consider the roles played by each staff

Within every department, different staff members play different roles. For each role, there should be a staff member who is conversant with it. If it’s operating equipment, the work will stop if no one can operate them.

Deal with availability and time off

It is not every staff member will be available during their staff allocation. If they are not available, make sure that you handle the issue immediately. You may move staff from another schedule to make sure there is no understaffing in the key schedules.

You may also get time off requests due to various reasons. You cannot keep denying your staff time off requests. They may soon become demotivated and you lack key staff in your production lines. Consider replacing them with staff from other schedules until they return to work. Another issue to consider is the staff who have left the company. You must fill their gaps by hiring new staff immediately.

Staff Roster Templates

Combine the excel rostering template with the wage cost sheet

It is easier to manage staff and wage costs if you combine both. Once the manager calculates the total hours worked by the employee, they should immediately record it in the wage sheet to calculate the total wage due to the employee for that day.

If they are paid weekly, it becomes easy for the manager to automatically generate a detailed wage list. It provides an easy way to deal with complaints if one or more employees have issues with their wage calculations.

Start with the busiest day

The busiest day of the week has the greatest staffing needs. This is the day when the manager should begin assigning. It is common to see managers start with the first day of the week, which often doesn’t favor them. The best way is to consider the busiest day, even if it is in the middle of the week. If you start with days that are not busy, you may be forced to cut hours or reschedule too soon, which can easily affect staff motivation.

Provide off days

Staff burnout is consistent in busy workplaces where no off days are provided. Sometimes the workers may be required to work double shifts but once the need is over, the manager should create schedules for off-days for each staff member. The off days are helpful when the staff is changing shifts to give them time to adjust.

Make the roster available to everyone

Once the team roster template is ready, make it available to the entire team. It is easier for them to check their next duty or schedule from the roster instead of having to contact the manager all the time. If there is a schedule that doesn’t favor them, they can take the time to request for change in advance.

If the manager keeps the roster to themselves, he will be inconvenienced when staff members might require shift changes too soon. The staff alerts the manager in advance if they are away during a certain shift.

Allow time for the staff to plan their personal schedule 

Each staff member has their personal schedule, which can affect their work schedule. Some of them may opt to quit if the schedules take up all their personal schedules. It is best to give them time to look and relook into their personal schedules to avoid a lot of inconveniences once the schedule has been released. It helps to avoid too much schedule swapping.

Consider shift length and staff size

You may want to retain all your staff because they are all productive. However, you must make sure no staff member is underworked or overworked. If the staff members are fewer, you may create longer shifts to make sure every shift is covered. If you have more staff, you may create shorter shifts to give your staff flexibility. It helps to keep them motivated, which enhances production.

Consider if you want rotational or fixed shifts

The employee roster template can have rotational shifts or fixed shifts and both have their pros and cons. Rotational shifts mean some staff reports to work at a certain time on a given week and then they alternate. If they were reporting in the 7 am shift, they may report in the 2 pm shift for the next week and probably for the evening shift the week that follows.

Another option for rotational shifts is to have the staff work in one shift for an entire month and then another shift for the next month. Its advantage is that every staff member gets acquainted with the work demands for each shift. If there is a shortage of staff in one shift, workers from other shifts can easily come in and fit comfortably.

The other type of shift is fixed shift. In this type of shift, workers consistently work specific hours daily. If they report for the 7 am shift, they keep to that shift all the time. Those who work the afternoon or evening shift keep to their shift all the time. In the service industry, this kind of arrangement can help retain good customer relationships.

If customers are used to certain staff members, they will not feel inconvenienced if they visit the company one day and fail to find the staff who often serves them. The biggest challenge with this shift is when there is a staffing need in another shift. The staff may require quick training to understand the work procedures for that shift.