While December is among the busiest times of the year for retail businesses, January is traditionally much slower. Rostering for quieter periods can be challenging, in this article we look at ways retail business owners and managers can navigate both the needs of their employees and business effectively.
1. Talk to your team.
Make time to speak with each of your employees one-on-one about their availability in the lead up to January. This will ensure you have a clear understanding of what each of them would like to work and you can address this as best you can in the rosters. Some employees may want to spend time with their families or want to work less after taking on more shifts before Christmas. Others may want to work more before they return to studies or because they are taking a holiday later in the year.
Implementing an employee leave policy early on means well-planned rosters won’t fall apart at the last minute. For example, it may outline a minimum amount of notice required to request leave and a date in which it must be submitted.
2. Prepare for the year ahead.
The New Year tends to bring with it a refreshed state of mind. So instead of leaving your team to watch an empty shop floor and wait for customers, why not tap into it and prepare for the year ahead? Hold brainstorming strategies. Put together your marketing strategy. Schedule in long-awaited training for your employees. Refresh your branding, website or social media pages. Get HR to review and update policies. Catch up with your employees about their plans for the year ahead.
3. Look to previous years.
Sales figures and staffing levels from previous years can provide some insight into how to approach rostering. Look for any reoccurring trends, alongside considering other influencing factors, such as the weather, if your store is on sale, and the expertise of the employees.
4. Simplify rostering.
- Gives you the ability to create rosters costed to your budget, and to manage overtime more effectively.
- Integrates with Point of Sale (POS) data and live weather feeds to identify slow and busy periods so you can create a more responsive roster.
- Fill and cover shifts faster with the Find and Replace feature, which allows you to open shifts to select employees or your whole team.
- Lets you communicate with employees across multiple stores and locations, and request confirmation that they have received the message.
5. Tackle your to-do list.
The end of the year is a busy time for businesses of all kinds. So it’s likely there are tasks that you and your team simply didn’t get to do. Whether it’s clearing out old stock, refreshing your workspace or merchandise displays, doing a stock-take or catching up on accounts, use the January downtime to keep your team busy and tackle your to-do list. Deputy’s Tasking feature can help you delegate jobs and be notified when they are complete.
Learn more about Deputy and how it can change the way you manage your team and roster.
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