In retail, there are predictable needs and variable needs. You know exactly when you need to conduct your scheduling, and what hours to schedule for, but the employee scheduling process itself can vary wildly, and it may seem virtually impossible to nail down the correct formula for your retail labor management.
If, like many other retailers, your goal is to reduce your labor costs, but you struggle week to week with how to optimize the processes, it may be time to change how you conduct your employee scheduling.
Here are three tips to help:
Automate Time and Attendance
Automation is key when it comes to reducing costs. Investing in solutions that can automate processes may seem like an expensive undertaking at first, but when you compare that with how much money you can save by eliminating man hours and reducing errors, your business can benefit from a hefty return.
Retail labor management solutions are preferable to manual processes for many reasons. They can effectively prevent coverage gaps and overstaffing, yet they are also adept at forecasting labor needs with pinpoint accuracy.
As a bonus: automating the employee reporting process can alert you to scheduling conflicts. Every manager knows the struggle that ensues when a scheduling conflict arises. Eliminating these conflicts keeps employees happy, productive, and relatively low-maintenance.
Implement Stable/Predictable Scheduling
Predictable scheduling further reduces conflicts. When employees know when they are likely to be scheduled to work, they are better able to plan ahead for events that may have otherwise required them to call off.
Predictable scheduling assists in retail labor management in many ways, including boosting sales. In fact, retailers that implemented stable/predictable scheduling saw sales increase 7%. Stable scheduling allows sales associates to adapt to a regular routine, accurately predict commuting times, and ensure they are on time and ready for work for each and every shift. On top of this, following a regular routine can help improve sleep, boosting your employees’ productivity and morale.
An added benefit is the ability to build shifts around your best employees. You may have an idea who your best employees are by the sales alone, but with help from a retail labor management system, you can better forecast when you need them most. This also helps you identify which employees may need a bit more training.
Listen to the Data
You may think you have your retail labor management under control, and that your store simply needs to have a similar number of employees from shift to shift, increasing during peak hours by a few. However, study after study shows that retailers consistently understaff during peak hours. While this may be the result of owners and managers attempting to cut costs, this also cuts into sales.
Spend time analyzing retail labor management data from your POS, and you will be able to track periods of understaffing, as well as track productivity numbers during those periods when staff was less than adequate. Keeping the appropriate number of employees staffed can lead to improvements in many areas, including:
- faster service
- improved customer experience
- reduced unexpected overtime costs
Why You Need It:
In retail, the customer experience depends heavily on the morale of your employees. Engaged, happy employees are much more efficient and provide better service to your customers. Tired, cranky employees who are overworked can put a damper on your sales and discourage customer loyalty. With the right tools, retail labor management can be streamlined, saving you time while improving the performance and morale of your employees.
Not sure where to start? Contact our team at Heartland POS.