Building your first rota

Adding/editing shifts, creating patterns, copying shifts, and publishing

James Denham avatar
Written by James Denham
Updated over a week ago

Now that you have your account set up with Locations, Roles, and Employees, it's time to begin creating a rota.

If you have an existing rota, it may be worth starting by trying to transfer a week's worth into RotaCloud, just to get a feel for how it works - or you can start from scratch - it's up to you!

The Rotas page

Open the ‘Rotas’ page using the navigation bar at the top of the site. You'll see a blank rota with employee names down the side and days of the week along the top. You can click any employee's name to be taken straight to their employee profile page.

If you have multiple Locations, you can switch between them using the drop-down menu just above the rota at the top-left.

Below your Location name, you'll see which week of the year you're viewing. You can also navigate between weeks using the arrows either side of the date range just above the rota (or using the arrow keys on your keyboard). Clicking on the date range will open a mini calendar which you can use to quickly jump to a specific week

Creating your first shift

Adding a shift in RotaCloud is really straightforward! Click inside an empty cell on the rota and the ‘Add Shift’ popup will appear.

From there, you can fill in all the details of the shift:

  • Start and finish time: For example, 9am-5pm, 0900-1700, 09:00-17:00, 9am-1700 etc.

  • Break length: Leave this blank for no break.

  • Role: From the drop-down, select a Role. The available Roles are determined by which Roles the employee can work.

  • Notes: These only visible to Admins, Managers, and the Employee assigned to the shift by default, although this can be altered in your account settings.

Once you've entered all the information you need, just click the ‘Add’ button and you'll see the shift appear on the rota. That's it!

You could create all your shifts in this way, but we also have some neat tools to make building your rota even faster.

Moving shifts

To move a shift, click and drag it into the day and/or employee you want to move it to.

RotaCloud only allows you to move shifts onto employees who can work the role assigned to the shift, and who don't already have a shift scheduled at that time.

Copying shifts

To copy a shift into another day or employee, hold the Shift key on your keyboard, then click and drag the shift into the relevant box. The shift will then be copied.

RotaCloud only allows you to copy shifts onto employees who can work the role assigned to the shift, and who don't already have a shift scheduled at that time.

Copying weeks

You can also copy entire weeks for individual Locations. To do that, navigate to the week you'd like to copy, then click Copy → Copy Week (just above the rota). Then, navigate to the week you'd like to paste the rota into and click Paste.

You can Paste the rota into as many weeks as you like. Once you're done, click Back to Rota Builder.

For more powerful copy-paste actions such as building multi-week rolling patterns, use our Copy Custom Range tool.

Publishing and Notifying

When you've finished building the rota for the week, your employees still aren't able to see it. In order for them to see the rota and receive a notification saying the rota has been updated, you'll need to Publish your rota.

The green Publish button is found at the top of the Rota and will display the number of unpublished shifts you have this week.

To publish a week's rota for the Location you're currently viewing, just click Publish → Publish Week.

The shifts will turn from being a faded grey, to solid black, indicating they're published. After a short delay, employees who've created logins and who are affected by the newly published rota will receive notifications telling them the rota has been updated.

There's more information about publishing rotas and notifying employees here.

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