Sorting out work schedules for your employees is a massive task in itself, and thankfully Microsoft Excel has what it takes to come to the rescue. Its template collection makes it rather simple to create shift schedules with just a few minor tweaks to personalize it.
The best part of using Excel to create shift schedules is that the task is not as daunting as it might appear at first glance and can be completed relatively quickly. All you need to have at your disposal is a pre-planned shift schedule and the ability to follow the below steps, and you are all set to create a schedule that can be re-used on a weekly basis without going through the entire process all over again. The entire process is simple, easy to learn, and you do not need to be a technical expert to learn and master the art of using Excel to create your shift schedules.
How To Create Shift Schedule template
Step 1: Choose Your Template Launch Microsoft Excel and click on the “New” menu. Under “Available Templates”, you will have a section for “Schedules” templates. Select “Business Schedules” from the list of available templates to get started.
Step 2: Choose The Type Of Schedule Excel offers you the option to create two types of schedules – an “Employee Shift Schedule” or a “Weekly Work Schedule”. Since you are creating an employee shift management schedule, choose “Employee Shift Schedule” and wait until the template downloads and opens for you to begin working on it.
Step 3: Edit Pre-Populated Text Your downloaded template will contain some pre-populated text such as employee names and other data. You can edit the existing employee names and replace them with the names of your current employees whom you wish to add into your shift schedule. To add a new employee to the list, just right-click on the last field and click “Insert”. Any excess fields within the template can be deleted by right-clicking on the unwanted row and clicking “Delete”.
Step 4: Set Your Work Week You will need to define your work week as well as work days for each employee, and customize the names of each work day on your schedule. Since your template would have come with pre-loaded work days, you just need to modify these to suit your requirements and weekly shifts. Once this is done, you need to specify which employees are to be present for each shift. While you can manually key in each employee’s name for every work day and shift, a simpler way to do this would be to select the names of all employees for specific shifts, copy them and paste them for each day of the week.
Step 5: Set Work Times And Shifts Your work shifts may vary, and Excel allows you to define work timings based upon your need. While it comes pre-loaded with a standard 8 hour shift, you can also customize your template and create a 12 hour shift or a 24 hour shift. All you need to do is revise the times that run on top of the grid of your schedule. Make adjustments to times for the start of the work day and end of the work day for each day or week, and you have a simple way to create multiple shifts for each employee, all within the same schedule.
Step 6: Define Employee Roles Creating a shift schedule for your employees also requires that you define various roles and tasks that they might need to handle on each shift. The grid contains a “Notes” field for each employee, and you can use this field to define the type of task that is to be handled for a particular shift. For example, you can define whether an employee is to be present at the “Front Desk”, “Support Services” or any other pre-defined role. You can also use this field to provide specific brief instructions for each employee. If you wish to just indicate that a particular employee is assigned a specific shift, mark off an “X” in each cell against the particular shift for which he or she is expected to be present at work.
Step 7: Calculate Daily Hours The template comes pre-loaded with a “Total” field or a “Daily Hours” field that helps you calculate the hours worked by each employee. This is especially beneficial if you pay your employees by the hour and wish to manage time, work and budgets efficiently. If you are proficient with the use of Excel Macros, you might choose to create a customized macro to calculate this information.
If you are a novice, though, do not despair. The “AutoSum” function can help you get the job done. All you need to do is select the entire lot of cells against an employee’s name, including the “Total” field, and click the “AutoSum” button that is present on the “Home” tab. The nice side of using “AutoSum” is that even if you make changes to your schedule at a later point of time, Excel recalculates the total hours without you having to redo the entire job.
Step 8: Personalize And Save Your Schedule Cosmetic changes to your shift schedule make it look more professional and show your employees that you mean business. Edit any placeholder information that is at the top of the grid and replace this with the name of your company, the date range for which the schedule is in effect, the team or department that is being assigned the schedule, as well as any instructions that you might wish to provide.
You might want to include your company logo for an official touch. This can be done by clicking “Insert”, choosing the “Picture” option and browsing to your company logo from your hard disk. Save your schedule, either as an Excel workbook or as a template for future use by clicking “File” and choosing “Save As”.
Using Excel to manage employee shift schedules is a simple way to streamline work hours and tasks for each employee. New fields can always be added in, based upon your requirements and it is a flexible, yet versatile, business solution. If you feel adventurous and have some hands on experience, you can even use macros and a bit of code to further customize your template. Explore Excel’s in-built automatic functions and calculations to convert your schedule into a reporting tool, and you will be amazed at what this program can do for you!