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How to create a shift plan?

The larger the company, the greater the tasks that can be managed - but the more difficult it is to deploy the workforce effectively. To avoid bottlenecks and counteract idle time, an effective shift plan is essential. Incidentally, this also applies to smaller companies. But how do you arrive at the ideal shift plan?

What do you have to consider when creating a duty roster?

Modern companies now place high demands on duty rosters. Otherwise, companies not only run the risk of deploying their employees inefficiently - under certain circumstances, this can also lead to conflicts with the Working Hours Protection Act.

These are the most important aspects you should pay attention to when creating rosters:

1. Duty rosters and legal regulations

The law comes first: before you assign employees to their work, you must ensure that the prescribed rest and break times are observed. There are also other regulations, such as the maximum number of overtime hours.

2. Consider the qualifications of your employees in the duty roster

Not everyone can do the same things as their colleagues - which is fortunate, because otherwise we would all be interchangeable robots. However, this individuality makes planning and creating duty rosters a challenge, as you have to assign each employee exactly according to their qualifications: Not all work can be done by trainees, and on the other hand, highly qualified colleagues should also do appropriate work in order not to lose their motivation. So make sure, for example, that you have always scheduled your machine operators with the right qualifications to use the required machines.

3. Absences, vacation and sick leave

Not every employee is available around the clock for work scheduling - or rather, none of them are. This is because all employees are entitled to vacation, take sick leave or attend training courses. On top of this, modern companies have flexible working time models that make creating a precise duty roster a mammoth task. And even if the perfect duty roster has been drawn up, unforeseen bottlenecks can arise due to illness.

4. Company regulations and employment contracts

In addition to the statutory regulations, there are also company regulations or employment contracts that you must observe if you want to create a duty roster. The big problem with this is that employment contracts can vary from employee to employee - another challenge when planning.

5. Data protection & duty rostering

Even if it is common practice in many companies to simply post the roster for the coming month on the notice board, this is an infringement of the right to self-determination of personal data - because a roster contains personal information that should not be made public. It is even worse when employees send each other work schedules by email or in chat groups. Not only do companies face severe penalties, but they also run the risk of internal company information being passed on to third parties.

What must be included in a duty roster?

As a duty roster is a tool for planning staff deployment, it should therefore also contain all relevant data: Start and end of working hours, rest and break times as well as days absent due to illness, training or vacation. It is important that this data is always up-to-date so that the quantitative and qualitative staffing requirements can be calculated and consequently ensured. It is also easier to comply with legal regulations if the duty roster is carefully maintained.

What is the best way to write a duty roster?

If you want to create a roster, as a personnel planner you must first determine the personnel requirements. To do this, you calculate or estimate which projects or work orders are to be expected in the period for which you want to create the roster. You then compare this "target number" with the number of available employee resources. However, make sure that certain work steps may only be carried out by employees with the appropriate qualifications. You must also observe legal and operational requirements as well as individual employment contracts (see above) - for example, a certain number of first aiders must always be present per shift and rest and break times must be observed. The biggest challenge, however, is keeping the duty roster up to date at all times - unfortunately, not all employees pass on changes to the staff schedulers or enter their absences in good time.

Last but not least, it is also important that you make the duty roster available to your employees in a way that complies with data protection regulations. Simply posting it on a notice board is not a good idea: as the duty roster contains personal data, this would be against the Data Protection Act.

Many personnel planners therefore use spreadsheets such as Microsoft Excel, but these quickly reach their limits in larger companies and also entail a lot of rescheduling and communication effort if changes are required at short notice. It is therefore often easier and more effective to use software solutions. It is therefore often easier and more effective to use software solutions.

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Why should you use a software solution for duty rostering?

As already mentioned, creating a duty roster is very difficult - there are just so many things you need to pay attention to and any mistakes can have serious consequences. It is therefore often advisable to use a software solution when creating a roster. This can not only save you a lot of effort and work through automation and AI-supported planning, but also ensure greater safety: break times are automatically adhered to and other regulations are not violated. It also helps to optimize processes and thus make the entire operation more efficient, which ultimately leads to significant cost savings.


Less planning effort

The automated creation of duty rosters significantly reduces costs and time expenditure


More dynamic

Agile planning allows you to react quickly to short-term events


More security

You automatically ensure that all deadlines and regulations are met - including in terms of data protection


More attractiveness

Companies use modern solutions to show that they are up to date and therefore attractive to qualified personnel


More growth

Companies with AI-supported shift scheduling grow by an average of 20% - companies that do not only grow by 11%


More commitment

Optimized processes and greater autonomy (such as the ability to swap shifts independently) increase employee satisfaction

How do I create a shift plan with shyftplan?

What are the advantages of shift scheduling with shyftplan?

1. Automatic demand analysis

Consideration of demand and capacity utilization in automatic planning

2. AI-supported recommendations for action

Dashboard with specific next activities for more efficient employees

3. Optimized shift model

Possibility to adapt the shift model for cost-efficient planning

4. App-supported process

For quick replacement of employees who are absent at short notice

5. Advanced planning concepts

Even 5-shift models combined with bring shifts available

6. Demanding processes automated

Automation of different rotation concepts

7. API First approach

Connection to all upstream and downstream systems

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