Managing workers in any type of business that relies primarily on hourly workers with constantly changing shift times is definitely a huge challenge. Retail is without a doubt one of the toughest industries for scheduling simply because work schedules are always subject to change.
If you’ve ever worked in retail, then you know that the makeup of the staff is very varied. Many people who work in retail have a lot of other stuff going on in their lives. Many are students who have to balance their school schedules with their work schedules. Some of them are parents who need to manage their personal lives with their work lives. And there are also many retail workers who have more than one job that needs balancing.
That’s why scheduling a retail staff can be a potential nightmare for managers. Certainly, if you are still using primitive methods for scheduling your retail staff – like Excel sheets or pen and paper – you’re not doing yourself any favors. The truth is that schedule retail employees really doesn’t have to be such a headache if you are ready to use state-of-the-art tools for getting the job done, like ShiftPlanning.
How can an online employee scheduling solution like ShiftPlanning make creating shifts for retail workers less frustrating? Here’s how:
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ShiftPlanning can do more than make scheduling your retail team much easier. It can help you to improve communication with your retail staff, improve staff morale, decrease your turnover rate and save you money across the board. Using ShiftPlanning can help make managing your retail staff a joy instead of a headache.
ShiftPlanning has helped hundreds of retail businesses improve their entire scheduling and management process, so we know that it works. According to many of the retailers that use our software, the time it takes them to schedule their staff got cut in half after switching from spreadsheets. Some have even reported a decrease in the time it takes to schedule their retailers works by as much as 80 percent. Here’s how ShiftPlanning makes this drastic drop-off in time spent scheduling possible.
Every retail business has its own set of needs, no matter what branch you are in. There are no two retail stores that are the same, even when you’re dealing with chain stores. ShiftPlanning realizes this and that’s why our software is made to be easily customizable.
Are you managing two retail locations at the same time? No problem. ShiftPlanning enables you to manage as many locations as you need to within one master account. You can easily set up any account to include as many locations and staff positions as you need and make sure that you are keeping track of the needs of every one of your retail stores individually.
ShiftPlanning allows you to customize just about every aspect of the retail management process. You can create custom fields, custom roles and even put together custom reports that specifically give you the data that you need most to manage your team better.
Often in retail, you are not sure of who is available for a particular shift. You might want to just create a shift and then ask your employees to take a look and see if they are able to pick it up. With ShiftPlanning, this process is easier than ever. You can simply create an empty shift and then allow anyone who wants to work it to claim it. Of course, only people who meet the specifications you set (skills, positions, etc) will be able to pick these shifts up.
All these features only scratch the surface when it comes to the number of ways in which ShiftPlanning is customizable. You can not only customize the way ShiftPlanning works for you, there are ways to even customize the permissions and even the look of the software to tailor it specifically to your retail business. The options for personalization and customization are practically endless.
ShiftPlanning goes above and beyond when it comes to helping you schedule and manage your retail team. When you’re using the app, it’s not acting as a passive tool in the process, it’s a proactive and intelligent app that makes suggestions and goes the extra mile to improve your process across the board.
In the complex world of retail staff scheduling, mistakes are bound to happen – even when you’re using software. However, ShiftPlanning does not allow your mistakes to simply go unnoticed. For example, if you make the mistake of booking too many people to work one particular shift, the application notices this mistakes and makes you aware of it. If you create a schedule and forget to fill any of your needed shifts, ShiftPlanning tells you that you need to fill it.
If you do not want your retail employees to work overtime if it’s not absolutely necessary, you can input a maximum number of hours that each retail employee can be scheduled for each month. ShiftPlanning will then let you know whenever you have scheduled someone to work more hours than you would want them to work. It’s incredibly intuitive!
As a retail store manager, you’re probably using many other types of business tools to run your store. Perhaps you are using point of sale software or a payroll application along with ShiftPlanning? ShiftPlanning supports an ever-growing list of integrations with popular business tools so you can take vital business data from other software and sync it with ShiftPlanning so that you can optimize your scheduling process based on real business data and KPIs.
The retail industry has a huge problem with turnover. It’s a problem in just about any industry that relies on hourly staff, but it’s a pronounced problem in retail because of the stress levels that often come with the job. The best way to keep your best retail staff with you is to make them happier. When employees have less stress at their jobs, they are more engaged and are less likely to leave you. ShiftPlanning can help you keep your best workers and keep your retail staff happy. Here’s how:
One of the biggest problems that retail workers claim to have is not knowing exactly when they are working and getting notified of shift changes on short notice. These problems become problems of the past once you start using ShiftPlanning.
As soon as the retail manager creates a schedule using ShiftPlanning and publishes it, notifications go out to every staff member who is scheduled to work shifts. All employees will immediately receive emails and SMS messages telling them when they are scheduled to work.
And if the manager has to make any changes to the schedule at any moment, all retail employees who are affected by those changes will be notified immediately once again. On top of that, retail employees can use the ShiftPlanning mobile app to see their schedules at any time. Whenever they open ShiftPlanning, whether on their smartphones or on their personal computers, they are always seeing a real time picture of their most recent schedule.
This not only helps employees by decreasing the amount of confusion they have regarding when and with whom they are working, it also helps managers by making it almost impossible for retail employees to miss shifts or arrive late to work them because they simply were not aware of them on time.
Another way to increase retail employee satisfaction and engagement is to give them more freedom and independence in the entire scheduling process. That’s yet another way in which ShiftPlanning can help both you and your staff.
ShiftPlanning has an availability system that lets all your retail workers input their availability. This means that they can let management know when they can and can’t work each week – or at least let them know what their shift preferences are from week to week. Some of your retail workers might be students who have classes during the day and would prefer it if they could work afternoons. Some might be parents and might prefer to work morning while their children are in school.
With ShiftPlanning, all of these preferences can be communicated directly to management. This also helps management to make better schedules, because managers will then know when to schedule certain staff members and when not to. It saves everyone a lot of time and it gives your retail employees a voice throughout the process.
Retail workers are also able to request shift trades independently using ShiftPlanning. As you probably already know, something tends to come up a lot when you’re managing retail staff. It happens regularly that staff members find out about obligations a day or two before and need to scramble to find someone to fill in for them. This causes stress for everyone. It causes stress for the worker, you needs to find someone to cover for them, and it causes stress for managers who have to scramble last minute to find a suitable worker who is available to cover.
With ShiftPlanning, retail workers can figure it out among themselves, without ever having to involve management. If one worker can find a suitable replacement, he or she can simply put in a shift trade request and all of the manager has to do is either reject or approve the trade once he or she has evaluated it.