A good scheduling system should take into account
workers’ desires as well as the store’s needs. Unfortunately, these are not always compatible.
“Several of the grocery retailers I’ve talked with men-
tion that the majority of their full-time employees prefer
to work that ; a.m. to ;:;; p.m. shift during the weekdays,
but their highest demand time is from ;:;; to ;:;; p.m.,
so there’s a mismatch there,” Leibach says.
Many scheduling systems allow input from employees,
subject to managerial approval. Employees can post their
preferred days, hours and shifts, request time o;, and even
swap shifts with each other. Some systems, such as the
scheduling module of the Workforce Dimensions software
suite from Kronos, can be set to grant time o; requests
automatically, unless they create a problem.
“For instance, if I’m an employee and I
want to take time o;, and the day I want to
take o; there’s already six other people taking
o;, the system’s going to tell the manager that
they should decline that time-o; request,”
Johnson says. “But if there’s nobody else
taking time o; that day, the system’s going
to automatically approve that request, so the
manager doesn’t have to do it.”
Employee scheduling is one of the most
challenging tasks in retail, and even more so
for grocery. But modern software, when properly used, can balance the competing factors
and create schedules that are as fair as possible for all concerned.
The scheduling engines need
to be quite sophisticated to
be able to handle knowing
when to place the work, who
has the skills to perform the
work and the availabilities of
the associates.” —Rick Schlenker, Logile Inc.
and actual revenue
and hours worked
for given periods