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Scheduling for Retail Productivity:

Do you schedule according to the staff you have or according to the needs of your business?

It’s a fair question. Most Store Managers would answer that they schedule according to the needs of the business within the hours or wage cost % they are allowed. They might also say that they try to accommodate their employees whenever possible.

I propose that many, many Store Managers schedule according to the availability of their employees. That is where scheduling productively goes by the wayside. Unless the majority of your employees have completely open availability, it is next to impossible to schedule productively.

Scheduling productively means:

• You use the appropriate number of hours to handle the anticipated traffic and sales volume
• You schedule your top performers during peak traffic periods
• You schedule your top performers during off peak periods (to get the most out of slow periods)
• You schedule tasks to be done by your least productive employees during off peak periods
• You ensure time is allotted for regular refilling and maintenance of the sales floor
• You schedule time for recruiting, planning and administrative tasks

The schedule is the backbone of a retail store. Its importance must be understood.

When scheduling, the question is not who can work when or who can open and who can close but, rather, what results can we reasonably expect from this schedule.

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