If you are in a position where you have to sit down a make out schedules for employees, this can sometimes be a fairly difficult task to do or it can be easy, it just depends upon the amount of employees you might have and what their specific needs are a long with what your needs are as an employer. It's important that you are able to make a schedule out that is fair to both you and your employees.
Before you talk to either a new employee or one that has worked there for awhile you should get yourself your calendar and figure out what work hours are going to work for you as an employer. If you need someone say for the hours of 9 am to 5 pm for example, you need to find out just how flexible you are willing to be with your employees and how flexible you are going to want them to be with you.
You should probably start off by asking them to let you know what days and times they might be available to work for you. This will let you go over the hours and days before you sit down and actually talk about a schedule with them.
After you have done this you can talk to your employees and let them know what hours are going to work best for you and the company and see if they have the flexibility to cover these hours for you. This is a time for fair discussion if there is a conflict for your employee. You need to allow your employee to be honest and you in turn be honest with them.
When you are having the scheduling discussion with your employee you should make note of all of the common times and days that the both of you have. For instance if you have a need for 4 hours say on a Tuesday and they have that open then notate this and schedule this on your work schedule.
Make sure that when your scheduling meeting is over that you ensure your employee that you will make sure to go over everything that the two of you discussed and you will do your best to revise the work schedule so that it suits both of your needs and then you will show them the draft of it when it's done to see if you missed anything.
When you've talked to all your employees that will be affected by your work schedule, make sure you go over your schedule draft before finalizing it. Look for shifts that you may have got too many people covering it and then mark them off the schedule for that day. You need to make sure that you don't over schedule or under schedule.
The easiest way to do this is start with the first day of the work week and figure out how many employees are really needed to cover all of the shifts. Then see how many of the people you talked to showed they were available for that day and the different shifts. Continue to do this with each day until you feel secure in the fact that everything is adequately covered and most of your employees have the hours they requested.
Undoubtedly you will not be able to please all of the employees you talked to about the schedule. But if you manage to get as many as possible covered, you've done a good job. Always remember however; you are the boss and the decision in the end is yours. Do your best to keep the peace by being understanding yet firm when employees might question your final schedule. Sometimes there simply is no way to avoid the occasional dissatisfied employee when it comes to the schedule.
If you have to try and make a schedule that can alternate with different employees on different weeks. In the end though, it is your decision and your employees need to understand that.