5 Ways to Create Fair Rotations in the Workplace


When it comes to creating fair rotations in the workplace, there’s no one size fits all. The notion of fairness varies from one organization to the next. 

Whether it be following your union agreement, prioritizing employees based on seniority, or allowing newer employees the opportunity to get the chance to grow, the most important part is ensuring the rotations suit your workforce’s needs. 

Understanding the needs of your workforce and prioritizing them is key to building fair rotations.

Not doing so results in unbalanced workloads, staff shortages, favouritism and at worst, employee turnover.

When it comes to building rotating schedules in the hourly workforce, it’s always a good idea to streamline the process and map out a rotation and assignment system that works for everyone.

After all, creating fair rotations helps boost employee morale and engagement in the long haul.

Here are 5 ways to create fair rotations in your workforce:

1. Define your Rules

Define rules that best fit your employee’s needs. For example, you can balance unpopular shifts to ensure everyone takes a night or weekend shift once in a while. Better yet, you can prioritize those with the least amount of hours and set recurring shifts to include one weekend day per 2 weeks or work with balancing hours. Think of it like going to a buffet and making sure everyone eats a spoonful of broccoli before they get the right to indulge in that savoury lasagna!  

Doing so allows everyone a break from the usual rotation and ensures no one gets burnt out. Not to mention, it prevents you from overstaffing and keeps your budget on track.

2. Talk to your employees

There’s no better way to understand what fair rotations mean than by going straight to the source: your employees.

As much as you can’t please every employee with their ideal shift, creating an open and active dialogue with them allows room for transparency to take place. Asking them honest questions about their rotation preference ensures honest answers and allows you to work around it.

From there you can create a balanced mix of shifts that your employees will appreciate. Often, you’d be surprised to find out just how much their opinion differs from what you expected.

3. Agree on fairness and implement an optimal process to ensure it

Once you have a better understanding of what fairness means to your employees, it’s time to put it into action! Using an employee scheduling and workforce management app like Voilà! allows you to streamline the rotation process by creating rules through custom variables such as seniority, accumulated hours and performance.

To ensure everyone is on the same page, keep communication open. That way you’ll discover whether your scheduling criteria suit their needs. If they are, they’ll remain engaged and be able to fill in for most shifts.

4. Streamline the process in your scheduling tool

Once you have your process in place, it’s time to set up your priorities. Whether it be basing it on seniority, job title/role or balancing shift, it’s best to set them right away.

Plan schedules weeks ahead but always allow room for flexibility to take place. You can also take it a step further by setting different assignment steps, like starting by seniority and after reaching a certain level offering a shift to employees with the least scheduled hours so everyone has a chance to prove themselves and enjoy flexible scheduling.

5. Always Optimize!

Like most things in life, nothing is set in stone.

Don’t be afraid to test your process and iterate! Some things make sense on paper, but in practice, there’s always room for improvement. It’s important to adapt your scheduling process based on your employee’s performance and emotional well-being.

After all, nobody should work shifts they dislike. If a certain shift is leaving employees working poorly or they are just miserable about it, it’s time to re-adjust. When it comes to creating rotating shifts, variety is key to creating balance. Optimizing your rotations ensures favouritism isn’t taking place and builds employee trust.


Now that you have a better understanding of how to create fair rotations, it’s time to put these tips into action! Before doing so, always keep the “why” in mind. Which is: meeting your staffing needs while keeping your team fully engaged.

Remember: employees are the engines that fuel productivity. If they aren’t happy, your business won’t thrive. 

If you’d like help on building rotations in your workforce, feel free to reach out to one of your Voilà! specialists today for a free demo!