How to Optimize Your Business' Work Schedule
Benefits of Optimizing Employee Schedules
Whether you are a small business or a large corporation, there are vast benefits to schedule optimization. In fact, schedule optimization helps improve business productivity and capacity by 10-15%. Additional benefits include-
1. Saving money- As a business owner, profit is your top priority. After all, generating a profit is the reason that you started a business venture to begin with! The most successful entrepreneurs know that earning money is just as important as spending it mindfully.
Scheduling optimization is a very effective way to decrease labor costs. In fact, labor costs are estimated to decrease by up to 12% with properly executed labor scheduling and budgeting techniques.
A scheduling solution is a low cost way to hold on to more of the profits your business generates. Investing in scheduling software is a great way to create and maintain the most optimized schedule possible.
2. Improved customer experience- Providing great customer experience sets your business apart from your competition. Understaffing or overstaffing due to scheduling errors can create a major customer service crisis.
Overstaffing can lead to unengaged and bored employees who are also not likely to create the most ideal customer experience possible. Understaffing also creates an issue because when there are not enough staff members available customers will not be addressed as quickly as possible.
When customers are addressed if they have not already left, understaffed and stressed out employees will be much less likely to provide a positive and thoughtful customer experience. An optimized schedule will allow employees to provide great customer experience while keeping employee engagement levels high.
Customer turnover times can decrease by up to 60% with scheduling optimization. Customers are much more likely to stay at your business and make a purchase when their customer experience is consistent and enjoyable.
3. Better employee experience- Your employees are your greatest investment and the brand ambassadors of your business. Keeping your employees happy, motivated, and productive is essential to your business's success and longevity.
Happier employees are 12% more productive than their unhappy counterparts. A low cost and highly effective way to increase employee satisfaction levels is through schedule optimization that considers both employee input and availability.
Finding a scheduling solution that works for both your business needs and employee wants is tough. However, with the right software and tools, and business can create an optimized schedule that increases both customer and employee experience.
How to Optimize Employee Schedules
There are many best practice tips available to help business owners and managers to optimize their employee schedules. Although there are many different factors to consider when creating the most optimized schedule possible, the following tips can help you get started-
1. Data analysis- The first step of schedule optimization is understanding your business's metrics. If you already have a workforce management system in place, the data is readily available.
If not, make sure you understand the times that your business is the busiest as well as what type of work schedule can best account for business needs. Many business owners are rigid in their scheduling and only schedule 8 hour traditional shifts, instead of working with data to create an optimized schedule that contains a variety of different shift types.
2. Consider skillsets and seniority- Some business owners allow their top talent employees to pick their shifts and schedules. While this is a great idea for keeping those top talent employees engaged and happy, it may not actually be the most optimized schedule possible.
Top talent and versatile employees should be mindfully scheduled so that they can help increase the performance of lower performing or less versatile employees. Create and maintain a schedule that balances skillsets and seniority to provide the most consistent customer and employee experience possible.
3. Employee engagement- Regularly requesting and implementing employee feedback is an important part of the scheduling optimization process. Consider having one on one meeting with employees where you ask them whether a schedule change would make them more productive. If that change is easily implemented, it is well worth doing to increase employee engagement levels.
A simple schedule change of 15 or 30 minutes can make a huge difference in your entire business operation. For instance, providing employees with an extra 15 minutes to set up and get ready to open the store may increase their productivity throughout the day as well as their ability to provide the best customer experience possible.
Alternatively, if it wouldn't make much of a difference for an employee to start 30 minutes later and they would be able to miss a huge traffic rush, allowing them to start their shift later could improve their engagement and satisfaction levels. Happier employees make a more productive customer and a better atmosphere for everyone involved in business operations.
The bottom line is that in order for schedule optimization to be successful, it must be realistic and focus on your top priorities which are your customers and your employees. Finding a scheduling solution that keeps both employees and customers at the forefront is the best way to ensure long term business success and longevity.