W2W does not offer a built-in way to release shifts gradually by priority group, but there are two ways you could accomplish this.
You could mark employee names with a code indicating their level of priority, and then release the open shifts to everyone at once. Allow employees to offer to pick up specific shifts, and then instruct managers to award shifts to employees in order of priority. (For instance, after 24 hours you could go to the Pending Trades Awaiting Approval page and Accept the first offer on each shift from a group 1 priority employee. 24 hours later, you could go back and Accept the first offer on each shift from a group 2 priority employee, and so on.)
The alternative is more complex: you can create a Position for all of the high-priority workers, and release the shifts with this Position selected. After 24 hours, you’d edit the shifts no one has picked up, changing the Position to the second-priority group. 24 hours later, you’d change the Position to the third-priority group, etc.
For example, if you are basing these groups on Seniority, another option is to create two positions (example below):
1 – Instead of just ‘Lifeguard’, you’d have ‘Lifeguard Sr.’ and ‘Lifeguard Jr.’
2 – Enable only Senior employees to work Lifeguard Sr. Enable all employees to work Lifeguard Jr.
3 — Create all the shifts as Lifeguard Sr. shifts, and Publish. (You might save this template for future use.) Only employees enabled to work the Sr. position will be notified and have access to pick up shifts.
4 — After a certain point, you’ll change all unassigned shifts to ‘Lifeguard Jr.’ and then everyone will be notified, and everyone will be able to pick up the remaining shifts. To do this, go to the Grid View and use the filter on the right to choose ‘Unassigned Only’. Then you’ll see all Unassigned shifts still left on your schedule. Check them all off, and click ‘Bulk Edit’ and then switch the position (upper pull-down menu on Shift Change window popup) to the Jr. position. Click save, and all those shifts will pop onto the tradeboard anew, and all employees who can work the Jr. position are notified.
This allows you to grant Senior employees early access without burdening managers with approving shifts.
If the goal is to have your most senior employees get their preferred shifts, another approach to consider might be to instead use AutoFill based on seniority to initially assign your shifts each week. The employees would sign in and set their prefer and dislike times and then you could AutoFill your shifts based on seniority, so that your most senior employee would get their most preferred schedule (based on their work time preferences), then the next employee would be filled in around that for his most preferred times etc on through the rest of the employees in order by hire date. Then they could use the tradeboard to work out any changes later if needed.
This extra step of doing AutoFill before publishing would only take a matter of seconds and might give you better results with senior employees getting their preferred schedule to start, then they can do any trades they want after publishing.
how can I selectively publish a schedule to Priority One employees only