Drafting the best possible employee work schedule template requires skill, patience, and a whole lot of trial and error. Fortunately, we’ve gathered some helpful information you can use to create (or select) one that works best for your team and project.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to make a work schedule template that rocks.
Why work schedule templates matter
Simply put, an employee monthly work schedule template makes your roles in both professional services management and project scheduling easier. Not only are you giving your employees a clear picture of their upcoming workload, but you’re also creating an opportunity for increased productivity.
For you, it means no more writing schedules from scratch and calculating how long each task or series takes to complete. For your employees, it means they can enjoy a more evenly distributed workload as well as a repeatable process that improves their own efforts. Finally, for your clients, it means more accurate timelines and budget projections. So, everyone wins!
Thinking about your team when creating an employee work schedule template
When you make your first four-week or even seven-day work schedule template, consider the points below. The answers to these questions will reveal who is best suited for each project stage and task, how many people you’ll assign to each phase, and past roadblocks you can anticipate this time around.
- What are their strengths and weaknesses both individually and as a team?
- Which of your employees are best suited for the specialized tasks needed in this particular project?
- How many employees from each department did it take to complete last week’s workload or the workload required for a similar project scheduling?
- What new strategies can you use to help your employees work more effectively?
- Did your past schedules evenly distribute the workload and, if not, how can you make sure you’re using every team member equally this time?
- Have you accounted for time off requests, possible sick days, and other project conflicts for each team member before setting out to create your employee work schedule template?
So, in a nutshell, you want to take time to consider how each person functions as an individual. Then, think about the team as a whole and how they can fulfill the needs of a template.
How to create an effective work schedule template
These three main checklist items will help you develop a winning template for any project.
- Choose the right tool. Project management software is very effective for employee work schedule creation. Not only is it easy to view the project and scheduling side by side, but you can also take advantage of the many tried and tested customizable templates already included.
- Review past work schedules. Compare past schedules alongside project reports for your biggest wins and losses. It may help you identify scheduling patterns worth reusing (or preventing) in the future.
- Anticipate roadblocks. Factor in potential roadblocks like expected and unexpected employee time off (i.e., emergencies and vacation time), conflicts with ongoing projects, and any client issues that may affect your team during the project.
5 features of a good monthly work schedule template
The best employee work schedule template will include each of the following. Although many tools have more features than the ones listed, we chose these ones based on their effectiveness for dealing with the scheduling challenges we mentioned earlier. Now, without further ado, let’s go over each must-have feature and how you can use them in Wrike.
1. Repeatable workflows
Automate most of your decision-making by simply copying successful past attempts at similar projects, series, or tasks. No need to reinvent the wheel when you already know what works!
How to use Wrike: If you want to duplicate a workflow in Wrike, all you have to do is click the workflow you want to copy, open its menu page, and select “duplicate workflow”. It’s that easy.
2. Individual task management
Each action item required for your project should be customizable. You’ll also need to assign the task to a team or individual, view at-a-glance progress updates, and project accurate start and end dates.
How to use Wrike: Once you have all of your project steps laid out in Wrike, you can easily add visual tasks to each step. There are also sections for adding sub-tasks, notes, processes, and how-tos That way, you can ensure that no detail is being overlooked.
3. Time tracking and reporting
It’s easy to keep track of employee hours and project effort with automated tools. And, with all your work data in one place, you can seamlessly invoice clients with accurate numbers and supporting documents from one program.
How to use Wrike: Check out this short 2-minute tutorial for how to track time in Wrike to get a feel for how simple the process really is.
4. Gantt charts
Gantt charts help organize your employee work schedule template by giving you a big picture look at timelines, tasks, and progress. You can then use your Gantt chart to determine how many hours or days each employee or team is needed for individual phases.
How to use Wrike: Gantt charts handle a complex set of values but are easy to interpret and create. Choose your Project folder and add all of your necessary tasks (along with their deadlines, related dependencies, and anticipated durations). Then, plot them out in your Gantt chart with a drag-and-drop tool to get a clear visual of the project as a whole.
5. Progress review dashboards
When you’re making a monthly work schedule review template, you need to have a clear understanding of what everyone’s workload looks like, what (if any) tasks have been delayed, and where there might be some wiggle room to get ahead. That’s where progress review dashboards come in. They automatically give you a visual indication of where everyone is during any phase of the project.
So, when you make your schedule, you can double-check to see what’s realistic for each individual at any given moment without having to email back and forth or continuously check-in.
How to use Wrike: You may have anywhere from 10 to 200 different dashboards depending on which Wrike option you’ve selected. But each dashboard will give you the option to color code steps, duplicate or delete tasks, and communicate directly with your employees if you need to follow up. You can also choose which dashboard widgets are included in your view, so only the most relevant information will be upfront and center.
Now you’re ready to create an amazing employee work schedule template
As you can tell from the examples listed above, it’s easy to use Wrike to improve efficiency and make the entire project scheduling process transparent for everyone involved. When you have all of your time, task, and schedule management tools within a single platform, you can create a seamless workflow that benefits your team and your clients.
Download our free work schedule template (that we’ve developed from real customer data and success stories) and see how it can help you plan out your team’s monthly workload today.