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Efficient Rota Planning to Retain Employees

One of the most impactful ways to retain the best talent and improve their lives is by giving them plenty of notice around their shift patterns. A lack of planning can lead to employees considering switching to other industries.

In fact, 68% of employees have considered this option, which is almost the same as the 69% of people who get a week or less notice of their next shift. This coincidence can be avoided by planning two weeks ahead, and the real benefits of planning ahead are seen after getting schedules 22 days in advance. Productivity soars, sick leave drops, and presenteeism plummets.


To reach the milestone of scheduling weeks ahead, it is essential to understand the team's work preferences and strengths. It is crucial to ask the following questions:

Did your team know themselves as well as they thought?

When building the foundations of a one-week rota, it is essential to think about the team, their strengths, what they enjoy doing, and the shifts they prefer. However, planning further ahead may reveal new information. For example, a front-of-house member who wanted to work every weekend may now want to work fewer shifts to have more time to socialize. Having consecutive days off improves work performance, so a bar person who thought they worked better at night may have had some proper rest and thinks they would work better on an earlier shift. It is always important to be flexible and adapt to changes.

Is everyone being heard?

Encourage quieter team members to speak up about their preferences or how they would like to work. This ensures that everyone's ideas are heard and preferences are accommodated. It also creates a more robust three-week plan, with people less likely to swap things around at the last minute to accommodate preferences they didn't feel able to speak about.

Does the rota work for you as well?

Make sure that rota planning is a collaborative process, and speak to your team about your needs. Let your team know about any plans or shifts you would rather not work in advance. By doing so, you can ensure that you get the rest and relaxation you need while your team can prepare for your absence.


It is crucial to take care of oneself to expect the team to be doing the same. Only 17% of businesses give their team notice of their shift patterns 2-3 weeks before. Therefore, it is high time for managers and senior staff to contribute to the retention crisis by efficiently planning rotas and giving their team plenty of notice around their shift patterns.






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