Proportional Staffing


Determining Optimal Staffing Levels

Determining and maintaining optimal staffing and crewing levels is critical to efficiency. Overstaffing is obviously costly -- not just to payroll costs and benefits. It manifests in lackluster performance by under-used employees not fully occupied or engaged by continuous operation. Conversely, understaffing creates excessive overtime, difficulty with relief coverage and training requirements, and dramatic increases in safety risks from fatigue, absenteeism, and even burnout.

If This Is Your Situation:

  • Regularly experience high levels of overtime.
  • Have fluctuating demands with widely changeable production requirements.
  • Have fluctuating demand that varies by the hour of the day, day of the week, week of month, or season.
  • Have employees with lots of idle or downtime.

This Is How CIRCADIAN Can Help You:

Having the proper number of personnel in each unit by skill set as determined over a full range of demand variables is critical to the integrity and efficiency of all entities having proportional staffing needs. Utilization of CIRCADIAN Proportional Staffing technologies can help you to:

  • Minimize unnecessary overtime and reduce wasteful idle time.
  • Cut time lost trying to fill positions that result from unscheduled absences.
  • Schedule vacation and holiday time and minimize overtime.
  • Ensure covering the right number and type of skill positions.

In many industries such as Public Safety (Police, Fire, EMS), Call Centers, and numerous types of production environments, calculating the optimal staffing is complicated by every changing demand that can vary by hour of day, day of week, week of month, season and by other parameters. 

By analyzing historical data and sales and marketing forecasts with CIRCADIAN proprietary algorithms, we find and utilize trends that accurately predict future demand. Our process includes:

  • Calculating the efficiency of the current schedule.  Efficiency is defined as the percentage of time that the client has exactly the right amount of personnel by skill set to perform the required functions.  Alternatively, inefficiency is defined as the percentage of the time that the client has either too many or too few personnel to handle the workload. 

  • Extrapolate projections for unscheduled absences and for emergency requirements from historical data; we factor these into the proportional staffing level calculations.

  • Model what a 100% efficient schedule would look like. Inevitably, completely efficient schedules are not very “employee friendly.” 

  • And the final step entails meshing the completely efficient schedule with employee and management scheduling requirements regarding factors such as length of shift, time of shifts, on/off patterns, number of consecutive shifts to be worked, fixed or rotating shift preferences and the number of hours to be worked per week, month, year, etc.   

  • The algorithm also provides for shift relief factors (by job classification and/or department) to accommodate vacations, holidays, and other scheduled absences.

By incorporating employee preferences with historical trends and forecasts, we can substantially increase schedule efficiency while providing the types of schedules that employees want to work, thus creating a true win-win outcome.

Contact a Shift Scheduling Expert

If you're thinking about expanding your operation to 24/7, or have already expanded and are running into problems, we'd be happy to put you in touch with one of our experts. They can answer your questions and share best practice information.

  • Call us at 781-439-6300 auto-dial
  • Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
  • Fill out our web contact form.

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