— By Ashik Ahmed —
Scheduling hacks to foster a thriving workplace.
Across industries, happy employees are likely to be more productive and yield favorable customer satisfaction rates in return. This is especially true for restaurants and retailers.
Most hourly workers today juggle other responsibilities when they’re not clocked in — from attending classes to raising a family, or holding down another job. It’s crucial for employers to demonstrate empathy toward employees and meet them where they are. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is to honor their scheduling needs.
Thriving workplaces put well-being at the forefront of their mission — the well-being of the business, employees and managers. According to a recent survey by Boston Consulting Group, 56% of shift workers are unsatisfied with their schedules. This number is much too high and should serve as a wakeup call for any business that underestimates the value of providing its shift workers with fair, flexible and reliable schedules.
Worker retention is top of mind for many retail and restaurant businesses, but it doesn’t have to be rocket science. Effective scheduling goes a long way in fostering a thriving workplace for employees and employers alike:
Modernizing the Workforce
In recent years, there’s been a lot of chatter about improving the retail experience, but it seems very few of these conversations have focused on modernizing the retail sector’s backbone: the hourly workforce. Sure, having a customer-first strategy is important, but it’s hard to implement if employees don’t have access to the tools that will help them succeed. In 2022, digital transformation isn’t just for big companies. For the hourly workforce, it’s a matter of how many things can be taken off of paper and digitized? Start with schedules and timesheets. Smart scheduling software ensures error-free scheduling, and everyone wins when employees show up to work on the right day and time to provide customers with quality service.
It’s safe to assume that no in-store shopper wants to be in a situation where they need assistance but can’t find anyone working the floor to help them. Unfortunately, this is commonplace for most American retailers today. Per the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, current workforce participation is still below pre-pandemic levels. To ensure appropriate staffing levels are in place, employers need to prepare for their busy season before it begins. This is not a guessing game — it requires analyzing critical business drivers to identify when that period will be. Luckily, the best scheduling software on the market does the heavy lifting by pulling historical data from point-of-sale (POS) and payroll systems to optimize schedule coverage while lowering labor costs.
Adhering to Scheduling Laws
Ignorance isn’t always bliss — especially for businesses that are non-compliant with scheduling and workforce laws. States and cities across the country have predictive scheduling laws, like Fair Workweek, that require employers to provide their workers with their schedules a set number of days in advance. Too often, the people in charge of building schedules are unaware of such regulations until they are fined for not complying. Given this, it’s imperative for business owners to identify and adhere to their respective laws. The most competitive scheduling apps on the market today use smart tools and guardrails to protect businesses from compliance risks.
Respecting Employee Preferences
Nobody is happy to come to work on a day they didn’t want to work — it’s human nature. When staff feel heard, they are more likely to feel motivated and stick around. Effective scheduling can’t be a one-way street, which is why it’s crucial for employers to really know their employees and respect their scheduling requests as best they can. The right smart scheduling technology makes this a breeze by scheduling team members according to their availability, time off and skills.
When businesses are thoughtful about their scheduling practices, customer engagement and employee satisfaction rates can only go up. After all, a thriving business is one where employees love to work, and customers like to return.
— Ashik Ahmed is the CEO and co-founder of Deputy, a workforce management platform. Ahmed leads a global team whose mission is to simplify shift work. Today, more than 300,000 workplaces in 100+ countries use Deputy to schedule, track time, pay and communicate with millions of shift workers.