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Team in a post room packing clothes orders for distribution
In today’s competitive industry of retail, the need and requirement for prolonged working hours grows every day. Retail shops are now taking steps towards arranging their employee’s schedules to involve multiple and/or longer shifts.

The retail industry has started to realize that it needs to address their worker’s issues of shift changes in their jobs. Recent months have shown an increase in unfair scheduling and scheduling abuse. Employees are intentionally called by their employees to work more hours. In order to cater to the employee’s flexibility in their work schedule, many shops have undertaken procedures to cater to the problems in shift changes. 

Procedures and practices observed by the retail industry have been shifting in the recent years. Retail shops have realized and understood just how much shift changes of their workers and employees are affected. Their work timing is found to have an impact on their productivity of their work.   

Different Shift Changes Followed In Retail Shops

  1. Schedule Format (Fixed or Rotating Shifts)

During fixed shift schedules, employees work one particular shift. It could be that they are required to work on different days, but their shift will always be the same. Employees that are required to work on rotating shift schedules will have to serve different shifts periodically. It could be that one day they might be working in the afternoon and another day at night.

Walmart has offered it’s employees the options of fixed shifts and flex shifts. Workers on a fixed shift are guaranteed their weekly hours, while flex shifts let workers form their own timetable from the hours that are left available. The retail store is now working towards launching an app that would help workers select their work schedules directly from their phones.     

  1. On-Off Work Pattern

Employees and workers work for consecutive days and then take a few scheduled days as their off days.  

  1. Morning Shifts

Specifically, in retail stores, workers and employees are generally found to work on a day or morning shift. The timing of morning work shifts are either 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  1. Mid-Day Shifts

Most retailers that are open for 24 hours or extended hours have employees working on mid-day shifts. The timing of this shift is usually from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. or 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.

  1. Evening

Retail stores that are open late in the evening, has employees that will have to work from 4 p.m. till 11 p.m. or 5 p.m. till 12 p.m. Most retailers use more part-time workers to work their evening shifts.  

 

Why Shift Change Procedures are Needed

Retailers need to understand and realize that if they want to improve their store operations, they need to adopt certain shift change procedures.

  1. Calculation of Specific Workload Required

In order to fully utilize their employees, retailers must calculate the amount of time it takes for their workers to perform certain activities. This estimated calculation will help retailers to hire their employees per their need.

  1. Flexible Workforce

Retail stores often need a flexible and diverse workforce team comprising of part-time, full-time and temporary staff. The diverse staff members on different schedules will prove to be an advantage to the store as there will always be an employee present in the store.

  1. On-Call Scheduling

On-call scheduling is a common practice in many retail stores. Employees are put in an unfavorable position as they sometimes have to keep a selected time slot free, just in case they are called in for work. The disadvantage of this scenario is that there is no assurance if they need to show up for work or not. If retail stores set up a systematic procedure regarding on-call scheduling, it will benefit not only the employees but the store as well.

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About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A worker is punching his time card with the automatic clock
In recent years, internet start-ups have indeed changed the way in which employees work, offering flexible schedules and taking in remote employees. While all of this may be quite 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 as one of the biggest problems of the retail sector in today’s world. However, there is a solution if you take up certain practices to improve the quality of work in retail, producing happy and productive employees.

Be Predictable

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

Plan in Advance

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 during the times they are off. It can also violate the labor laws in many states.

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

Be Transparent

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 in following labor laws more efficiently.

Improvement of relations with employees also means that they will be happier and this work kind of work environment will definitely yield higher productivity.

Encourage Communication

Managers often get pressured by shift change and vacation requests. You can streamline this practice by encouraging your employees to communicate and coordinate all of their needs through scheduling software. Given the autonomy, your employees will be able to plan a shift schedule for themselves, which can be later on approved by the scheduling manager. 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 in building a positive employee-manager/owner relationship, raising the happiness and productivity of employees. In order 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 in order to let the employees know that their feedback and suggestions are not being ignored.

Data-Driven Decisions

Employee satisfaction is one of the primary objectives that your business wishes to achieve. However, it shouldn’t let you go off-track of your main goal to sell your products.

Note and mark the times when your retail store is filled with customers and assign shifts in a way that more employees are available at that time. Similarly, keep lesser employees on the floor at times when there are only a few customers around. This will balance the workload that each employee has and will also derail any sort of grievance that employees might have related to them being more burdened as compared to 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 serious issue. Giving incentives, such as role-based training from someone experienced, can help a lot in enhancing the quality of customer service and productivity of your workers.

Acknowledgment of achievements through a proper recognition framework can help a lot in boosting the performance of your employees. 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 qualification or skills of your permanent employees can give them a fulfilled feeling that will boost their work performance.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.