Downside of Self Scheduling

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Self scheduling creates headaches for Store Managers!

Calendar girls…or calendar guys…absolutely love the sight of a calendar with an invitation to choose when they will, and will not work.

Some Store Managers practice what we describe as self sabotage!!

They leave a calendar in the back room, lunch room, wherever employees gather when they are on break or just coming in for a shift, etc.

The calendar is there for one purpose:

To let the employee choose when they will work and when they will not.

Of course, that’s not exactly what the Manager’s intention was.

What could possibly go wrong?

Plenty…and we’ll explain, below.

The schedule is considered to be the backbone of the business and there is only one person who should be in control of it and held accountable for it.

That person is the Manager.

When a Store Manager produces a schedule, he must consider many, many things. One of those things is employee availability.

Now, in an ideal world and if the Store Manager is doing the job perfectly, he will have hired only perfect employees – all with wide open availability.

No restrictions. Excellent!

But we don’t live in an ideal world and nobody is perfect so there will be some employees who are not available on certain days and times.

Fair enough.

Upon hiring, or possibly later during a conversation between employee and Store Manager, the employee makes their availability known.

The Store Manager either accepts the restrictions, or not.

If he does accept it, then he must schedule with that in mind. In fact, when he makes a schedule he must take all staff availability restrictions into account.

That’s a big job in and of itself.

It’s not easy to run a business that is open to the public for so many hours without having wide open availability of all of your people.

So, let’s just say Store Managers have gotten used to the fact that this is life. After a while, they have the various considerations committed to memory and productive scheduling becomes easier.

So, why on earth would a Store Manager put a blank calendar in the backroom so that employees could inadvertently make his life much more difficult by picking and choosing which days and times they will, and will not, work…even though their availability says otherwise?

It’s insanity… that’s what it is.

The employees are happily filling in a calendar with their wishes and when the Store Manager comes to make a schedule, he has to dodge and weave to make sure everyone gets the work schedule they want.

Now, to be sure, employers need to take time off requests seriously and it makes for good motivation and employee relations to be as accommodating as possible without hurting the business but, there are other ways to get that done.

And here is one of the best:

Instruct employees to talk directly with you, or leave a note addressed to you, regarding any time off requests. This is not a note saying when they will and will not work…just requests for time off.

If a face to face or telephone conversation takes place, it should be relatively straight forward. The Store Manager says yes or no and he will make a note for himself, to take that into account when scheduling.

If the employee leaves a note, they must follow up and never assume that their request was granted.

Anything could have happened – from the note never getting to the Manager to failed communication to, well…anything.

If the Store Manager is to have any hope of scheduling for productivity, he must not allow a free-for-all with a calendar.

Employee ‘Self-Scheduling’ is not a good idea.

Remember who is in charge and who is accountable.

Numerous things are considered when creating a productive, high-yield schedule, such as:

• Budgeted Sales
• Allowable Hours
• Allowable Wage $ and Wage Cost %
• Last Year’s Actual Sales and Actual Hours Used
• Wage $ Used and Actual Wage Cost %
• Full Time, Part Time and Full Time Equivalents
• Events – both public and company sponsored
• Open Hours
• Online Shopping Changes TY from LY
• Average % of Business per Day
• Lunches and Breaks
• Sudden illness
• Associate Stats like Sales Per Hour and Conversion Rate
• Heavy Task Days
• Staff Availability
• and more…

Actually, it’s quite the task and there’s a lot riding on it!

Nothing is ever as easy as it sounds, right?

Producing, Costing and Following up on High-Yield Schedules Takes Know How

It should never be assumed that scheduling fewer people and using fewer hours is the key to more success in your business.

There are times when it may seem like a good idea to skimp here and there…save a little without really harming customer service levels but…

Don’t be tempted! It’s a trick!

A High-Yield Schedule gets you more to work with, not less!

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