Roster Management Made Easy

employee roster, employee schedule

This article will take a closer look at the roster meaning, its history, why you need this, and the various helpful tools available.

What is the meaning of 'roster'?

The word 'roster' can have several meanings, depending on the context in which it is used. It can refer to a list of people or a schedule of activities. In the English dictionary, the term roster (rost-er) is a set of military personnel within an organization or team, typically used to fill out a full task list. 

In the business world, a roster is often used to refer to a list of employees. This list can be used for various purposes, such as tracking absences or managing shifts. A roster can also be used to create a schedule of activities, such as a schedule of meetings or a list of tasks to be completed.

In a sports team, a roster is a list of players on a team. This list tracks who is eligible to play in a game or compete in a tournament. i.e., the use of the roaster in the sentence is " This year, Tiger Woods also offers an impressive roster lineup of golfing opportunities."

So, as you can see, the word 'roster' can have different meanings depending on the context in which it is used.

Where does the word roster come from? 

The word roster is said to be derived from Dutch and German, as revealed by the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. 

This word comes from the Dutch word "Rooster", which means "to roast," especially on a gridiron or plate. The story behind this definition is interesting, even though it differs from the word roster. 

Around the 17th and 18th centuries, military personnel would write down the list of military officers and soldiers that would need to be active on a given day on lined paper. Many soldiers around this time thought that this ruled paper looked very similar to the gridiron they would use to cook food.

This resulted in the word becoming the Dutch rooster list. They then referred to this database with slightly different pronunciations, and the word roster was born.  

As the word became more widely used, other languages adopted it, including German rösten and English roster. It is very typical of language as a whole that the actual meanings of words sometimes follow the actual purposes of the people using them over time, regardless of the translation of definitions.

In which format roster was created?

Rosters can be created in many formats, including:

  • Paper-based. This type of roster is usually written on a sheet of paper, usually as a table. In the schedule, each time slot will have its task list and the person responsible for completing the task.

  • Spreadsheet-based. It is easy to create rosters with software like Microsoft Excel. It is easy to design calendar-based rosters in Excel because of its tabular format.

  • Specific roster software. The creation of rosters can be made easier with the help of apps and software programs. Routing software makes it easier to amend and create rotas.

When can we use the word roster? 

A roster is a common term used to describe many individuals and organizations. In the music industry, labels have a roster of artists they work with. A baseball team roster might depend on a pitcher's roster in various games. Frequently, the janitorial staff creates a weekly cleaning roster to schedule janitorial workers. 

It is possible to identify a roster as a group of people who work together regularly and consistently on a goal or live in the same environment. A roster may be described differently in some contexts than in others. Still, it is relatively rare that an incorrect roster definition occurs. 


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Why might you need a roster?

A roster is a list of your employees who are the ones that will be assigned to the project. It will be helpful for the manager to know who exactly he is working with because it helps him keep track of the progress and ensure everyone is doing their job properly.

A good roster should contain all the information about your employees, including their names, email addresses, and phone numbers. This way, you can quickly contact them if you need anything from them or have any questions.

An online tool such as Shiftbase scheduling software makes it easier for managers to create a duty roster without spending much time on it. A great benefit of using an online tool like this is that it gives you extra features, such as searching your employee database using keywords instead of manually typing each person's name.

Useful Read: Schedule Rotation Generator + FREE Template

Can you get electronic-based rosters?

Yes, you can get electronic-based rosters from third-party sources. Some companies that provide this service are Shiftbase. You need to know that electronic-based rosters are not the same as paper-based ones. They're better than paper-based rosters because they're more convenient and easier to use.

Electronic rosters are also more secure than paper ones because they don't require data storage. Several electronic rosters let you connect to them via the cloud. It makes it easier for everyone to access the roster.

Get the most out of your rota by using ShiftBase scheduling software.

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Rinaily Bonifacio

Written by:

Rinaily Bonifacio

Rinaily is a renowned expert in the field of human resources with years of industry experience. With a passion for writing high-quality HR content, Rinaily brings a unique perspective to the challenges and opportunities of the modern workplace. As an experienced HR professional and content writer, She has contributed to leading publications in the field of HR.


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