One of the most time-consuming processes in retail management is building the employee schedule. In retail, schedules are typically created on a weekly or bi-weekly basis and can change drastically due to high turnover in the industry. The biggest challenge in retail scheduling is keeping track of your staff’s changing availability. Whether an employee is a working parent, in school or has another job, their schedules don’t always align with that of your business. So why not let employees schedule themselves?
While giving employees complete control over the schedule might result in chaos, involving them directly in the scheduling process has some major benefits. After all, they know their own schedules best. Working with employees to build the staff schedule gives them ownership over that schedule and provides increased flexibility and freedom. This, in turn, can improve attendance rates and employee morale, not to mention taking some of the burden off the manager.
The first step in allowing employees to build the weekly shift schedule is implementing the right technology. You need a solution like TimeForge Scheduling that improves communication and collaboration between the manager and employees, as well as from one employee to another.
TimeForge enables employees to list their time off requests and general availability within the system, and managers can consult this availability when setting the schedule. Employees are notified through the TimeForge app once the schedule is posted and, if the proposed schedule doesn’t work for them, they can request a change without having to call the manager. Since the system also lists the availability of other staff, employees can easily find someone else to cover their shift. They can then request a shift swap that, once approved, automatically updates the schedule and notifies the employee.
TimeForge empowers employees to set their own schedule and empowers managers to better enforce those schedules. Because employees receive alerts when the schedule is changed, they can no longer use “I didn’t know” as an excuse for a missed shift. And if someone calls in sick, the manager can look at the availability of other employees or put the shift out for bid—sending employees an alert that offers up the shift for employees who want to work more hours.
By letting employees participate in the scheduling process, retailers can streamline the process and improve accuracy. Because employees are more invested, they’re less likely to miss a shift. And if a schedule conflict does arise, they’re equipped to find their own replacement. Not only does this improve the morale and job satisfaction of both employees and their managers, but the accuracy of the schedule affects other areas of the business. Adequate staffing improves the customer experience and an up-to-date schedule increases payroll accuracy. All of this works together to protect and improve the bottom line.
Ready to involve your employees in the schedule building process? TimeForge Scheduling from TRUNO gives you the tools you need to better manage the schedule and your employees.