How To Make Scheduling a Total Breeze: Part 1
Juggling employee availability, creating schedules, and approving requests for time off are some of the many facets to handling your team scheduling.
Last week we talked about some key tips to enhancing your hiring process, one of which was understanding your scheduling needs. Over the next two weeks, I’ll be sharing more information to help you assess what those needs are and how best to streamline scheduling for your shop. Today in Part 1 we’ll be covering scheduling basics and in Part 2 we’ll talk about how to develop your scheduling process. Okay, let’s dive in!
Scheduling 101: The Basics
How many people should I hire?
This is oftentimes the first question that comes to mind when you realize you are ready to hire. In order to answer this question, you need to consider a few key factors:
Your shop hours and how many days you are open
The amount of foot traffic you get
Customer care practices
Employee availability expectations
Whether you need part-time or full-time employees
One of the first things you need to think about is how many hours and days you are actually open. You don’t want to overwork or burn out your employees, so starting here will help you better understand how many people you need simply to operate the shop. Can one person cover the entire day on their own? If you broke the day into shorter shifts, how many people would it take to cover a single day?
Next, think about how much foot traffic you are getting. What days are slower or busier? Are there specific times you have more shoppers and need multiple employees to accommodate the traffic? This will allow you to layer on additional employees for those busier days. These “add on” shifts may only be 3-4 hours and are great for part-time employees. And in the event the traffic is slow and can be managed with less people, you have the option to cut the shift which will positively impact your payroll budget.
The next thing to think about is the level of customer care you want to provide. Do you sell products that require more one-on-one service? If so, you may want to have a larger sales team to ensure your customers are receiving the care you desire. On those busy days it can be difficult to uphold that level of service if you are understaffed. If you want to set your team up for success and provide an exceptional customer experience, ensure your shop is adequately staffed.
In retail, Saturday is almost always the busiest sales day. If that’s the case, make it a requirement for all team members to have open availability on Saturdays. This doesn’t mean they’ll be working every single Saturday but it ensures you have enough people to cover your busiest day. Or maybe you receive shipments on a certain day and need lots of hands to help process it. Make that a scheduling requirement for new hires. By establishing this up front, you are saving yourself a potential scheduling issue down the road.
Part-Time vs. Full-Time Employees
Whether you hire part-time or full-time employees really depends on the specific needs and circumstances of your shop. There can be pros and cons to each. But now that you’ve assessed your scheduling needs, you can make a better decision as to the amount of hours you are looking for when you begin hiring.
Here are some basic things to help you decide which would be a better fit for your team.
Ideal if you only need a few hours covered each week
Great if you need additional hands during those high traffic times
Gives you more flexibility when creating schedules because you aren’t committed to scheduling full-time hours
May be more cost effective from a payroll standpoint because you can cut shifts if traffic is slow
Depending on the number of hours you need covered, you may need to hire more people which means more employees to train, manage, juggle availability, etc.
Ideal if you need someone who is more invested in “owning” responsibilities for the shop or managing others
Typically work 8-hour shifts and may be able to cover a full day by themselves
They are able to really get to know your customers and build relationships because they are in the shop more than a part-time employee
Depending on how many hours you need covered, you can hire fewer people which means less employees to train, manage, etc.
Can be tricky when a full-time employee requests time off if you don’t have additional staff to fill the shifts
So, how are you feeling so far? Do you have any questions? Drop them in the comments below.
Next week we’ll be diving into how to develop your scheduling process. If you are currently spending WAY too much time on scheduling or you’re thinking “What is a scheduling process?”, you won’t want to miss it. I’ll be sharing some helpful tips on how to save you lots of time, energy, and mental stress. Check, check, and check! If you’re not already part of the Retail Therapy community, jump on the list so you won’t miss it.