Useful Tips For A Fair Roster In The Workplace

Useful Tips For A Fair Roster In The Workplace

The staff members’ happiness and motivation are essential to a businesses’ success. This makes handling the staff one of the most important management skills. Good pay and healthcare benefits are just parts of the mix that creates employee satisfaction. Their life is largely impacted by the shifts they need to work. If they are unhappy with their schedule, they won’t arrive motivated or stay home entirely. A fair staff roster is an important tool for any business. Here are the best tips to create good staff schedules.

What makes a rota ‘fair’?

Fair staff schedules can be a tricky deal. On one hand, a business has demands that need to be met. On the other hand, every employee has times and tasks they prefer. But to fulfill the businesses’ needs, even the disliked shifts need to be taken.

Now that we are moving away from the traditional 9-to-5, with more employees working remotely or with flexible hours, creating a rota becomes increasingly difficult. It adds more variables the HR personnel needs to include in their planning, including the businesses’ plans for days, weeks and years, the number of employees, and labor laws. 

However, the staff member’s preferences cannot always be considered. At some point, the person responsible must make decisions, to make sure the demands are met.

There is rarely a solution that will leave every employee satisfied with every decision. What makes the rota fair is equally dividing hours and disliked shifts between all staff members to avoid conflicts.

Why you should make a fair rota

A fair rota plan can have many benefits for a company and its employees. There are two reasons that should convince you:

  • the workplace harmony & employee happiness
  • the rising efficiency, cut costs & higher revenue

A fair rota will create a harmonious work environment where staff members feel equally respected. This will lead to higher motivation, efficiency, and revenue.

To create fair schedules, you can use shift planning software, like the Papershift rota schedule. The program has an easy time collecting and analyzing data. Compared to a human, it can look at information and calculate ideal solutions quicker and with fewer errors. By using this software to create the fair schedules, you cut costs of miscalculations, free up time for HR personnel, and optimize your business overall.

Benefits of a fair rota system

An employee’s happiness drives their motivation. If they enjoy the work, their workplace, and how they are treated, they are more likely to go above and beyond for their employers. One mayor factor that leads to employee satisfaction is being heard and respected. If they feel like their needs are met, they feel valued as a person.

The interaction between colleagues needs to be taken into account as well. Employees feeling like they are singled out or exploited will create a stressful environment. This leads to negative reactions to other staff members and employers. Not only are these employees more likely to be demotivated or leave the company, but the negative atmosphere will also affect other staff members, their comfort, and their efficiency.

Using a rota software gives you the ability to let employees shape their day. They can enter availabilities and preferences and can apply to open shifts. This makes it more likely for them to receive the preferred shifts and plan their private lives accordingly. They feel like they have more control and can make meaningful changes at their workplace.

Useful tips for creating a fair rota

A digital scheduling software is a great tip by itself. By combining it with the following strategies, you will have no problem creating a fair rota:

  • Keep individual circumstances in mind

A fair schedule divides the workload equally. However, equality can be a difficult term. Since not every staff member has the same starting conditions, they have different needs.

An employee that is taking care of a disabled family member might have certain hours they need to block. Let’s say that time is early Monday morning. None of the staff members enjoy coming in early right after their weekend. Equally dividing the Monday morning shift between all staff members might sound fair, but it does not take the caretaker’s circumstances into account. In this case, there might be another disliked shift that will be happily taken over by this person instead, to create equity instead of superficial equality.

  • Eliminate favoritism

Examine your typical rota plans and your relationships with employees. If you can find any sort of preferential treatment of a single employee, make sure to eliminate it. There is no reason, business-wise, to give a friend their preferred shifts more often.

  • Communicate clearly & honestly

It’s impossible to create plans that will satisfy every employee every time. That makes it important to be transparent about the businesses’ needs and reasons behind certain schedules. Letting an employee know that they will be working more because their expertise is needed for a specific task, but their work will be compensated in some way, will leave them more understanding.

  • Be dependable & on time

Employees depend on the schedules you create. They structure their lives around their work hours and the expected pay. If you hand plans in just a day in advance or add last minute changes, they can’t rely on the rota, which leaves them frustrated and unhappy.


Fair shift plans are important for any business. Employees that feel treated unfairly will be unmotivated and rightfully angry. This can create conflicts with staff members and employers. To improve the work environment and the employees’ happiness, it is critical to respect their wishes as much as possible. This way, they can shape their lives by controlling when they work and feel respected as a human being rather than exploited like a tool. Using software that can calculate optimized rota plans for both the employees and the business is an easy way to create fair conditions.

About the author


Miller Willson

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