Expert Tips on How to Make a Retail Schedule
Introduction to Retail Schedule
Having a good balance of employees each shift is key to running a retail store. It ensures customers get enough attention and service. It also prevents the business from spending too much on labor costs. Additionally, having the right amount of team members at the store will guarantee all daily tasks are completed in time. Management can make a retail schedule efficiently by following key best practices.
Tips to Making the Best Retail Schedule
Retail schedules refer to the hours and days in a week an employee is expected to come into work. Creating the best retail schedule means one that ensures the store is equipped with a strong and skilled team. Managers can use the following expert tips to improve their scheduling process.
1. Focus on Peak Sales Trends
Managers need to assess their historical sales data and identify trends of high sales and store activity. Experts recommend analyzing daily data, as well as metrics spanning weeks, months, and years. This will help highlight specific days or holidays where sales are boosted. With these insights, managers can schedule enough employees to supplement foot traffic and store needs.
2. Utilize Full-Time and Part-Time Staff
Overscheduling full-time employees will result in overtime pay, which will increase employee management costs significantly. To avoid this, managers should employ both full-time and part-time team members. This best practice will also allow part-time employees to train from those who work full-time.
3. Establish Labor Budgets
Creating a labor budget will allow managers to stay within their means and protect their bottom line while scheduling employees. Business owners should analyze their operational costs and determine how much they want to spend on their workforce. A tip for creating a budget is having a flat rate or a percentage of sales as the minimum. Once a budget is set up, managers can schedule accordingly and assign shifts in a cost-efficient way.
4. Utilize a Template
A store manager can create a work schedule template to save time and money. With schedule templates, they only need to assign names to pre-determined shifts. This eliminates the need to format, create shifts, and organize the schedule. Retail stores that use online schedule software will have access to intuitive and easy-to-use schedule templates. All a scheduling manager needs to do is drag and drop employee names in a time slot and the work schedules are finished.
5. Center Schedules Around Top Employees
Retailers need to identify their top-performing employees - the ones that work well with customers and during peak hours. Then, they need to make sure these team members are scheduled on shifts that have the most traffic and activity. This will ensure the entire shift team is led well and that the flow of customers is handled efficiently.
6. Make the Schedule Accessible
The work schedule needs to be easy to read and simple for employees. Retailers that use manual spreadsheet methods for shift assignments will oftentimes post physical schedules in the store's back room. Many modern companies use online scheduling apps, so employees can have the latest schedule sent straight to their smartphones.
7. Publish Schedules in Advance
Employees have their own personal lives and events to tend to. Therefore, management needs to send out schedules at least two weeks early. This way, staff members can make changes, swap shifts, pick up open shifts, or request time off ahead of time. In turn, this will reduce employee turnover and absenteeism. This process can be streamlined with the latest scheduling software.
8. Let Employees Make Their Schedule
Management should collect employee availability preferences and accommodate them as much as possible. In the case that a staff member cannot work a shift, executives should encourage them to find coverage. By empowering employees to make their own schedules, they will feel valued and respected.
9. Send To-Do Lists to Employees
Retail managers can make sure their employees are on task by posting to-lists in the backroom. Many retail scheduling tools will have task management and time tracking feature, which will monitor all employee activities throughout their shift. Owners can then assess the teams' engagement and progress towards project completion.
10. Reevaluate the Schedule
A key tip for creating schedules is reevaluating schedules every other month. Managers should look at whether the shift teams are efficient and if new work hours need to be added. They should also look at schedules in conjunction with data related to sales and profits. Any changes should be enacted in the following schedule to boost productivity and efficiency.
11. Ask for Feedback
Employee feedback is valuable for businesses. Since they are at the front working with customers directly, they will have insight on busy hours and what their shift needs. Managers should enforce open channels of internal communication so that employees feel welcomed to share their suggestions.
Key Takeaways to Retail Schedule
- Retail schedules refer to what hours and days an employee is expected to come into work.
- Managers in the retail industry need an efficient system to schedule employees so that they can ensure their store is equipped with the right balance of staff.
- Some of the best practices for creating the best employee schedules include establishing budgets, using a template, and asking for feedback.
- By using these tips, retailers can save time and build schedules that work best for their business.