It’s enough of a challenge trying to get all your covered on the schedule. Actually trying to leverage your employees’ skills on top of that? Who’s got time?
But imagine how wonderful it’d be to have a killer salesperson, an uber organizer, and a customer pleaser on every shift. By making a little effort now, you can make sure you showcase each of your employees’ strong suits whenever they work.
Identify Your Staff’s Strengths
The longer you work with your employees, the more you understand what they’re best at, as well as their weaknesses. Maybe whenever Beth works the front desk, she does an amazing job of chatting up the customers at your store, but gets overwhelmed whenever there are more than three customers in line.
Knowing both sides of your staff’s personalities lets you pair them with the best co-worker to complement their skill set. Perhaps Jeff is a great pinch hitter who can help Beth whenever there are too many customers waiting.
Create a spreadsheet and list each employee, as well as her strengths and weaknesses. Then look to see who each works best with (taking into consideration personality conflicts that sometimes arise). You want your staff to enjoy working together, so scheduling people that get along on the same shift can make for a more productive team overall.
Talk to Your Team
In addition to observing what areas each team member excels in, talk to them. See what they’re most interested in doing in your business, and try to accommodate. In fact, the more willing you are to let your employees “do what they want,” the more likely they are to work hard for you, for years to come.
This is also a great opportunity to share your observations with your team. Beth will glow when you compliment her on those people skills, and she’ll try even harder to make customers happy the next time she works.
Look at Your Schedule Needs
If you know you get swamped every night from 5 to 7, make sure Jeff is on the schedule (or someone equally able to handle the stress) during that time. Round out the schedule with others who will fill in the necessary skills during a given shift. Your morning shift might need someone who’s adept at folding clothes and straightening the store more than that evening shift does.
When you use employee scheduling software, you can set preferences for specific shifts, as well as match up people with others they work best with. Then you know your business is constantly running like a well-oiled machine.