4 Strategies for Better Scheduling in Small Retail Companies

How to build a Schedule that both you and your employees will love!

Scheduling plays a crucial role in the success of every retail business. Employee-friendly scheduling ensures smooth operations AND contributes to higher employee satisfaction and retention rates – leading to expert employees with superior sales and customer service skills.

In this blog post, we will explore four strategies that small retail companies can develop to create better schedules, promote retention and greater efficiency.

Offer Flexible Scheduling Options

One of the key factors in retaining employees is providing flexibility in scheduling. Small retail businesses can empower their employees by offering flexible scheduling options.

Consider allowing employees to request preferred shifts or accommodate their availability within reasonable limits. This flexibility allows them to balance their work and personal lives effectively, leading to higher job satisfaction and loyalty.  One Better Way Alliance member, Little Mushroom Catering, offers flexible scheduling for staff which has helped them reduce the number of times they need to hire in a year – saving management time and money.

Want to calculate how much you could save in turnover costs?  Use our Employee Turnover Calculator and figure out how much it costs your business to hire an employee.

Build Predictable and Transparent Schedules

Inconsistent schedules are a major complaint among retail workers. More stability helps employees balance the rest of their lives and responsibilities while still getting enough hours.

Establishing clear and consistent scheduling policies is essential for fostering a positive work environment. Avoid favoritism and ensure that schedules are distributed fairly among employees. Transparent communication regarding shift assignments and time-off requests builds trust and reduces potential conflicts.

By treating all employees equitably, you can create a supportive workplace culture that encourages retention and cohesive teamwork.

Implement Advance Notice and Stable Schedules

Uncertainty and last-minute changes in schedules create stress and frustration for employees.  To improve retention, stable schedules are a proven technique to give your employees the confidence to know when they’re showing up – leading to better productivity and less overall absence days.  Keeping a regular schedule is good for your employees – and statistics from The Gap show that when they standardized their schedule, sales went up by 5% per hour!

While every industry and workplace is different, if you can, aim to provide schedules at least two weeks in advance, enabling your staff to plan their personal commitments and maintain a healthy work-life balance. This proactive approach demonstrates respect for your employees’ time and fosters a sense of stability & teamwork within the workplace.

Ask for Employee Input

To ensure employee satisfaction and engagement, involve your staff in the scheduling process.

Regularly seek their input and consider their preferences whenever feasible. Conduct check-ins or surveys to understand their scheduling needs, preferences, and any challenges they may face. This collaborative approach not only empowers employees but also helps to cultivate a sense of ownership and loyalty towards the company.

Developing these relationships allows you to identify potential candidates for promotion.

The real-world impacts of better scheduling practices

Better scheduling practices have a major impact on employee retention.  Here are a few real-world reasons to figure out the best schedule for your business:

  1. Improved job satisfaction: Better scheduling practices, such as offering flexibility and considering employee preferences, have been associated with increased job satisfaction. Satisfied employees are more likely to remain with the company, leading to improved retention rates.
  2. Work-life balance: Implementing stable schedules, providing advance notice of changes, and accommodating employee availability contribute to better work-life balance. Employees who can manage their personal commitments alongside work responsibilities are more likely to stay with the company.
  3. Reduced turnover costs: High employee turnover can be costly for businesses due to recruitment, training, and onboarding expenses. By implementing better scheduling practices, companies can minimize turnover rates, leading to cost savings associated with hiring and training new employees.
  4. Enhanced employee engagement: Involving employees in the scheduling process and considering their input fosters a sense of ownership and engagement. Engaged employees are more likely to be committed to their work and the organization, resulting in higher retention rates.

While it’s challenging to provide an exact percentage increase in retention, it is generally recognized that better scheduling practices positively influence employee retention. Remember, once changes are made, you should evaluate and modify further if necessary.  Like anything, it’s hard to get scheduling right the first time.  When you DO get it right, you’ll be fostering a winning team that delivers exceptional customer service & care.