How to Make Employees Schedule in Excel

This guide will explain how to make an employee schedule in Microsoft Excel.

An employee schedule plays a crucial role in ensuring that daily operations run smoothly, tasks are delegated appropriately, and staffing needs are met without under or over-scheduling.

While dedicated workforce management software is available in the market, Microsoft Excel can be a worthy contender for creating employee schedules, especially for small to medium-sized businesses.

In this guide, we will provide a step-by-step tutorial on how to create an employee schedule in Excel.

A Real Example of Making an Employee Schedule in Excel.

Let’s explore a simple example of an employee schedule in Excel.

use cell formatting

In the table above, we have an employee schedule for a team with ten employees. Each row corresponds to a specific team member. Each column from C to I represent the days of the week.

To find the shift schedule of a particular employee on a certain day of the week, we just need to look up their last name in columns A and B, then look at the appropriate column. 

The employee schedule can also help team leads determine which days of the week have the most manpower and the least manpower. 

check employee capacity at a glance

For example, we can glance at our employee schedule to see that all our employees have Sundays off and only 40% of our workforce are on shift on Mondays.

Using the schedule as a lookup table

We can use the employee schedule table as a lookup table. We can use this table to help quickly pull up shift information for an employee. To make it easier, we’ll add an ID column that gives each employee a unique ID to reference with.

We can use the VLOOKUP and MATCH functions together to return the shift given the employee ID and the day of the week:

=VLOOKUP(B14,C1:J11,MATCH(B15,C1:J1,0), FALSE)
use formula to get shift information from Employees Schedule in Excel

The formula above uses the VLOOKUP function to find the employee’s last name in the first column of the specified range and then returns data from the corresponding column related to the day of the week. 

We’ll use the MATCH function to identify the relative position of the specified day within the top row of the range, returning the right column index number for VLOOKUP to use.

Click on the link below to create your own copy of our employee schedule.

Head to the next section to read our step-by-step tutorial on how to create an employee schedule yourself.

How to Make Employees Schedule in Excel

  1. Set up the headers for the employee schedule table. We’ll need at least the first and last name of the employee. We’ll also need to label the next seven columns with the days of the week.
    set headers for Employees Schedule in Excel
  2. Fill out the employee details. You can choose to provide their contact details, such as their work email and phone number, as well as their role in the team.
    add employee information
    In this example, we’ll just provide the last name and first name of each employee we want to track the schedule of.
  3. Write down the weekly schedule of each employee. For each cell, we can indicate the start time and end time of their shift for that particular day. We can write “DAY OFF” for days when the employee does not have a shift.
    add shift information
  4. We can use the AutoFill tool to fill out the rest of the table if most of the employees follow the same schedule.
    fill out Employees Schedule in ExcelYou can edit the table later to account for employees with irregular schedules.
  5. We can use cell formatting to make it easier to read the employee schedule.
    use cell formattingIn this example, we’ll color cells gray if a particular employee has a day off for that day of the week.
  6. If you are using Excel on the web, you have the option to share your schedule with your team. Click the Share button in the upper-right corner to access the sharing options.
    share employee schedule with team
    You can share the current document to specific email addresses or generate a shareable link that you can send directly to your team.

These are all the steps you need to create an employee schedule in Excel.


  1. What are some disadvantages of using Excel for tracking employee schedules?
    Since Excel is a general-purpose tool, there are certain scheduling-specific features that will have to be done manually. These include tasks such as shift-swapping and overtime tracking. Excel also does not natively offer real-time notifications or reminders.
  2. Is it possible to share the schedule with employees without giving them editing access?
    Yes, you can save your Excel file as a PDF or share a view-only link if your team is using a cloud-based platform like OneDrive.
  3. Can I create a recurring schedule in Excel?
    Excel doesn’t have built-in recurring events like some calendar applications. However, you can manually duplicate weekly schedules across multiple sheet tabs to replicate a recurring schedule. 

To learn more about using Excel for scheduling, you can read our post on how to create an interactive calendar in Excel.

That’s all for this guide! Be sure to check out our library of spreadsheet resources, tips, and tricks! 

Get emails from us about Google Sheets.

Our goal this year is to create lots of rich, bite-sized tutorials for Excel users like you. If you liked this one, you'd love what we are working on! Readers receive early access to new content.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like