Reduce Retail Employee Turnover with a Focus on Scheduling

December 16, 2020 | 663 views

Reduce Retail Employee Turnover with a Focus on Scheduling
educe Retail Employee Turnover with a Focus on Scheduling

Employees come and go. It’s a fact of business life, but it is not always a welcome departure because attrition costs money and time. Owners and managers have to recruit, hire, and train replacement employees. And when someone leaves unexpectedly (for any number of reasons), managers and business owners feel the pain. It causes understaffing and last-minute scheduling changes, which nobody who is left behind wants to experience.

Turnover is higher among retail businesses because retail jobs usually pay lower wages and offer little opportunity to advance. It’s easy to understand why an employee might move on if any other place might pay more or provide career growth options. But retail managers can combat turnover with scheduling policies and practices that appeal to employees. 

  1. Schedule more training. Employees may groan about training days, but remind them that training makes them more valuable. The more an employee understands about your business, the better they perform, and the better they feel about the job they do.
  2. Flex your hours, not your muscles. The more control an employee has over work hours, the more likely they are to stay at the job. Ask employees what their preferences are. It may be that they want more hours to earn more money. As an employee, it is disheartening to see another person hired when you wanted more hours yourself.
  3. Provide a little warning. Two week’s notice of schedules is required by law in some states, and it is good practice regardless. Allow employees time to schedule their lives and families around work hours. The time also gives managers time to make changes if needed without disrupting and upsetting people.
  4. Use scheduling software. With consistency and real-time communication on any mobile device or computer, employees are kept aware of scheduling needs and shift changes. Using technology makes sense by providing details of shifts and recording hours, and managers can be more consistent when communicating schedules.
  5. Add paid sick time. Not all locations required this for every business size, but the pandemic has spotlighted the lack of sick benefits for retail employees. Even if you can’t offer paid insurance, you can probably afford to pay an ill employee. The last thing you want is to shut your doors because an employee needs money, comes to work, and then infects everyone else. The rest of the crew will appreciate the safety net, even if they are not the sick ones who end up covering shifts for a few days.

Employee turnover causes challenges, especially for retail businesses. Yet, with a dedicated effort to show respectful engagement, retail business managers can reduce attrition through appropriate scheduling. 

Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. For many years, Atlas Business Solutions has been named one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies.

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