How To Handle Shift Changes In Retail

Retail Shift Changes - Complete Controller

In recent years, internet start-ups have changed how employees work, offering flexible schedules and taking in remote employees. While this may be pretty simple for an internet start-up, it is not as easy for retail outlets. They need to have a well-disciplined shift system. However, it proves to be tricky. The requirements of a strict shift system make retail jobs relatively undesirable compared to online companies that, as said before, offer their employees flexibility.

Bloomberg states that employee retention is one of the biggest problems in the retail sector today. However, there is a solution: if you take up certain practices to improve the quality of work in retail, you will produce happy and productive employees.

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It is estimated that 17% of retail employees have unstable work schedules, which leads to difficulties for employees. It is important to inform them about your shift needs and the times you will require your employees to be on the floor to avoid your employees facing such problems. Create a suitable shift calendar, share it with your employees, and do your best to adhere to what you publish in that shift calendar.


In certain states, shift scheduling problems have led to lawsuits. The main practice highlighted in the lawsuits was on-call shift scheduling. This on-call practice puts employees under immense pressure, forcing them to be available when off. It can also violate the labor laws in many states.

It is much better to work with a streamlined schedule posted well in advance for employees to see. You can work with a good strategy. For example, always have at least one experienced and well-performing employee on the floor.

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Making on-paper schedules is not a thing of the past. Current technology allows you to construct and share shift schedules with your employees. Transparency will not only improve the relations you have with your employees but will also help your business follow labor laws more efficiently.

Improving relations with employees also means they will be happier, and this work environment will yield higher productivity.

Encourage Communication

Managers often get pressured by shift change and vacation requests. You can streamline this practice by encouraging employees to communicate and coordinate all their needs through scheduling software. Given the autonomy, your employees can plan a shift schedule, which the scheduling manager can later approve. This will improve teamwork, shift the burden of rescheduling everyone for a one-day leave, and help avoid the uncomfortable situation of telling a particular employee that they might have to work extra shifts.

Accept Feedback

Encourage employees to give you feedback on the shift schedule by making yourself available. Remember that the feedback process is always helpful.

Feedback will help build a positive employee-manager/owner relationship, raising the happiness and productivity of employees. To avoid any kind of accusation of favoritism, set up a feedback framework such as an anonymous questionnaire or survey. This will also help if you put some of their suggestions into action to let the employees know that their feedback and suggestions are not being ignored.

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Employee satisfaction is one of the primary objectives that your business wishes to achieve. However, it should not let you go off-track with your primary goal to sell your products.

Note and mark when your retail store is filled with customers and assign shifts so more employees are available. Similarly, keep fewer employees on the floor when only a few customers are around. This will balance each employee’s workload and derail any grievance that employees might have related to them being more burdened than their co-workers.

Work Incentives

Retail stores rarely offer their employees a clear road to promotion and growth. The most they might get is an advance to a managerial position. Due to this, temporary or even permanent employees might not be productive, and employee retention can become a severe issue. Giving incentives, such as role-based training from someone experienced, can help enhance your workers’ quality of customer service and productivity.

Acknowledging achievements through a proper recognition framework can help boost your employees’ performance. You can also choose to provide bonuses. Providing respect to your employees can help you build manager-employee relationships. Assigning extra tasks, such as bookkeeping, based on the qualifications or skills of your permanent employees can give them a fulfilled feeling that will boost their work performance.

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