Refer to my earlier post on scheduling for the prelude to this post. This post is simply additional thoughts that will help maximize your payroll dollars through appropriate scheduling.
Retail is notorious for having high turnover — it’s the nature of the beast. So having coverage for an employee who doesn’t show, who calls in sick or is otherwise not there will help create the retail environment you desire plus give your customers the added benefit of exemplary service.
Scheduling to maximize payroll is about the type of people you hire and how you schedule them.
1. Hire more part-time employees
2. Schedule shorter shifts
Hiring more part-time employees has a two-fold purpose.
A. It gives you the main benefit of having a larger pool to pull from when another employee calls in sick.
B. It always gives you the coverage you need on the busiest days and during the busiest time periods.
Most of you have probably experienced the following: You need five people on the floor on Saturday afternoon and you have three full-time employees and three part-time employees and someone calls in sick — you’re sunk. In any specialty retail environment, try to keep your full-time employees to a manager and assistant manager if you can. The remainder of your employee pool should be part-time (up to the maximum number of hours company policy or state law dictates as part-time). You could end up with 10 or 20 part-time employees, which is all right. Use your judgment based on your own scenario (maybe 6 full-time and 14 part-time works for you). The goal is to have more part-time employees to grow the pool of talent you can pull from as needed when an employee calls in sick or on busy days when you need more people on the floor.
Scheduling shorter shifts give you the same benefit as above. You have a lot more flexibility to add people to your busiest times — schedule them for 3-4 hours. Every state is different but try to also schedule employees the maximum number of hours before a break is scheduled — that means you get the maximum benefit of having them work without having to schedule them for a break.
So go out there and schedule like a pro and watch your payroll to sales ratio decrease (that’s a good thing)!