Making a mistake in a business context can be a great learning opportunity, but only if you are willing to understand and explore your mistakes. One area where mistakes are often made with very little follow up is rostering. Rostering mistakes on the surface may seem commonplace or innocuous, but they are usually a precursor to larger issues in your business. Instead of viewing rostering mistakes as a minor event, seek to explore and understand what While issues this might be presenting in your business. If you aren’t sure how to get started in identifying what larger issues might be at play, consider these red flags.


A very common mistake in rostering for any business is completing the roster in isolation of any other data. Roster systems, like Deputy’s, have engineered a platform that takes into account all data with no isolation. By completing your roster in isolation, you fail to take into account the customer demand or the tasks that need to be completed at any given time. The result of this isolated approach presents a much larger issue of unproductive hours or overworked staff who feel like the business is constantly squeezing them for more. If you’re sick of complaints about overstaffed and under-staffed shifts, try using an online rostering solution that allows you to input data points about your business. The capability of an online system will allow for recommendations on skill mix and staff numbers across any given shift.


A common mistake in rostering isn’t necessarily one you make when completing the roster itself, but rather when the roster fails. If a staff member can’t make their shift, it’s highly likely you’re making the mistake of calling on the same one or two people to backfill that shift. It’s likely you are doing so because these staff members have shown a willingness to say yes in these situations. This unintentional favoritism and rostering mistake could cause a larger issue of disengagement or a moral issue. Other employees may feel as though they aren’t considered for a chance to make extra money or show their initiative by taking on extra shifts. A great way around this is to implement a software solution that means when a staff member can’t make their shift, it’s offered to a pool of employees, and whoever accepts first gets the shift.

No follow-up

Trust is a big influencer of team morale in any business, especially when it comes to a business where the manager isn’t present all of the time. Rostering is a common pitfall where trust can be taken too far and cause larger issues. If a manager isn’t following up the effectiveness of a roster or the reliability of staff to that roster, then you could be encouraging tardiness or a lack of equality on any given shift. An example of this would be a staff member who is always late for work or takes longer breaks than the rest of the team. It’s unlikely the team will speak up unless there is some formal follow up or means of tracking. Software solutions can help avoid this larger issue, with tracking capabilities that show clock-in and clock-out times as well as locations. It may seem heavy-handed, but all workplaces need a tool to help drive reliability or run the risk of getting taken advantage of.

Managing a roster can be difficult at times and often ends in a few mistakes. Whilst this isn’t uncommon, those mistakes are often glazed over and not investigated. Without investigation, it can mean you miss larger issues in your business. From problems with tardiness to unintentional favouritism, these issues have the potential to derail your business. To better understand how these issues arise from rostering, consider the situations, and start championing change in your business.