In order to run a tight ship, you need to be efficient about employee scheduling. Many important things need to be taken into consideration when creating a schedule for a retail store. A poorly made schedule won’t just affect the overall running of the store; it will also lower morale and create all kinds of headaches. To avoid having to fill in for absent employees and dealing with other issues, it pays to be conscientious and thoughtful when creating a schedule. There are many great tips for doing this. You can familiarize yourself with a few of the very best ones below.
Employee Input is Crucial
Although it’s impossible to keep everyone happy all of the time, you should make employee input a priority when it comes to creating a work schedule. Don’t assume a dictatorial position when it comes to creating schedules for your employees. If people feel like they have no say in the matter, they will grow to resent you. Besides, some people have other obligations that limit their flexibility. When considering a new employee, find out their availability right away. That way you can avoid major hiccups and headaches down the road. Give priority to employees who have legitimate issues with working certain hours; those who simply prefer to work mornings or afternoons should be next in line. Show your employees that their needs matter, and you will foster a lot more happiness and productivity.
Mixing it Up is Smart
For most retail environments, there is no pressing need for set-in-stone schedules. In most cases, you really don’t need to keep the same exact schedule from one week to the next. Unless there’s some unusual reason that this is important, you should strive to mix things up from week to week. Employees won’t get bored from working the same exact shifts every week. Unpopular shifts can be divvied up so that no one feels put upon. This technique also gives every employee a chance to shine and to learn how to deal with busy periods and slow ones.
Keeping Skills and Roles in Mind is Useful
Another thing that you need to take into account when creating a schedule for your employees involves skill. An employee who has a knack for chatting and interacting with customers will flourish during busy periods; an employee who is more reserved and detail-oriented will do well during quiet periods and with inventory-related tasks. If you’re unsure where an employee will fit into the scheme of things, try them out on several different shifts and in several different roles. Over time, you will come to know each employee’s strengths and weaknesses, which will make it easier to create efficient schedules.
Watching Out for Overtime and Overworking is Vital
You should only resort to paying your employees overtime when it’s absolutely necessary. If you find yourself giving employees overtime on a regular basis, something is amiss with your staff and your scheduling. Overtime doesn’t just cost you more money – it’s also a good way to overwork an employee. Overworked employees don’t perform as well as those who have more reasonable schedules. Take care to divvy up the available schedule so that everyone has a fair amount of work. Remember to ask your employees for feedback from time to time too.
Creating a Time-Off Policy is Important
When it comes to creating employee schedules, creating and enforcing a time-off policy is extremely important. Every member of your staff should be aware of what they need to do in order to request time off. Otherwise, people will randomly inundate you with time-off requests and you will be completely confused. Specify the amount of advanced notice that is required; set limits in terms of the number of days off that can be requested too. As long as employees are aware of these points from the start, you should be able to avoid a lot of problems.
When you strike the right balance with your employees’ schedule, you will notice many positive benefits. Morale will be higher; productivity will be too. Employees will work the shifts that make the most of their specific skills sets, which will keep customer satisfaction up. Arguments and misunderstandings about time off will be kept to an absolute minimum as well. In short, your life will be easier, and your store’s success will skyrocket. All it takes is a little thought, consideration and practice; before you know it, creating sensible and effective schedules will be one of the easiest parts of your job.