Learn from Huck Finn
Jeez, it’s tough enough on your staff to hear their 9-5 weekday friends talk about weekend plans that they can’t attend. Don’t let them bring that dismal digression to work and bring the customers down.
Make Weekends something to look forward to!
Like Huckleberry Finn, make the undesirable job more desirable.
Bring in the doughnuts, spring for coffee, sausage biscuits from the local breakfast place or whatever they like for the Saturday morning meeting. Or pop for pizzas at lunchtime. Make that morning meeting lively with an agenda that allows for lots of feedback, caffeine and food.
Loosen the dress code. Make it a theme day.
Keep food handy – trail mix, water, nutritious snacks of all kinds that they can munch in the stock room as they search for merchandise. (And mount a hand sanitizer dispenser on the wall).
You know it’s tough to handle lunches on a Saturday… Free Food is an unexpected perk that means a lot more to your staff than you might think. The food court gets really old – especially on a busy weekend.
More logical shifts
Get a little goofy
Let the staff see your other side. Loosen up a little and energize the atmosphere. Keep the admin work for the weekdays. Better yet, hire a VA (Virtual Assistant) to handle the payroll and pay the bills so you can hang out on the floor more to enjoy your customers and get to know your staff better – including their strengths and weaknesses.
On the serious side…
Be ready for the weekends. If you have young staff, be realistic – - -
They are young. They like to party. They get hangovers.
Have a backup plan if one of them calls in late Saturday morning instead of going ballistic when they call in or show up late. Be prepared!
I actually had a sit down with each staff member and told them I knew they were young and liked to have fun, but…
Don’t screw with me on a Saturday morning.
I seriously told them that if they know they have a big party to go to Friday night, get approval from me to swap with someone to take the late shift because they damned well better not call in sick Saturday morning!
Saturdays are ridiculous to try to schedule in retail – and too important. You have a bunch of morning shoppers who can’t wait for the door to open. They run in to buy and leave. Then staff stares at each other until the weekend brunchers finally roll in about 1 or 2 pm. Then it’s craziness until dinnertime after which you stare at each other again until the teenagers roll in to annoy you until closing time.
So what do you do?
- Schedule someone who is awake and ready to be there when the doors open, and schedule the less morning-resilient (I made that term up) for the later shift.
- Got a large staff? Stagger shifts throughout the day.
- Use your journal reports to track and document your busiest times for better scheduling.
- Make a point of being on the floor on Weekends to make notes on the whos, whats and whys of shoppers.
Weekend shoppers are different than those who shop during the week, but you still need good coverage. And busy professionals get really irked when there is no decision-maker available on weekends… schedule for that, too.
If it were up to me, all retail would be open only Tuesdays through Saturdays.
Keep people on a permanent and contained schedule and you’ll have better coverage and lower turnover for all shifts.
I have a life!
Retail employees would really like a better quality of life where they could actually schedule a haircut or doctor’s appointment weeks ahead and plan family and friends time.
With a modified schedule of Tues-Sat, Employers would have a stable staff, lower turnover, and better customer satisfaction.
Just think of the repeat referral growth if a customer always knew their favorite salesperson’s schedule. The high-end stores already know this…
Hair Salons do it
And don’t give me any crap about how your sales volume would take a huge hit if you weren’t open on Sunday and Monday. Seriously?
If Chick-Fil-A, hair salons and the banks can close 1-2 days a week without losing volume, then you can, too. When stores have experimented with extended hours, often it evolves into a shift in traffic, not additional traffic.
People who say they can’t shop your existing hours are likely the same people who like to come in just at closing time no matter how many hours and days you are open.
I’m dreaming of that Tues-Sat schedule… A happier, rested staff that takes better care of customers.
Customers who are more relaxed and better taken care of because they have a happier salesperson to wait on them.
Customers who can have their favorite salesperson every time they shop because the schedule doesn’t change.
Customers AND staff enjoying their Sundays with family and friends. No one really caring that stores aren’t open on Monday!
The staff actually enjoying their jobs.
A manager who doesn’t have to spend hours every week making a new schedule.
If I ever open a store, that will be the plan. Maybe I’ll close in the evenings, too. At least most nights…….
- Stop wasting time reading shopper strategy analyses! (bizcommunicator.wordpress.com)
- Encourage Your Staff To Play With Fun Tech: Your Business Will Benefit (businessinsider.com)
- What ingredients sweeten Sunday working? (bps-occupational-digest.blogspot.com)