Hiring and training employees is expensive – a fact made all the worse by the restaurant industry’s large turnover rate. Retaining employees can therefore prove instrumental in keeping costs low. One method of doing this is to improve on your scheduling practices.
Schedule to Preferences
Ask your employees what their preferences and availability are. Someone with young children isn’t going to want to work weekends, while someone in school may not be able to work weekdays. Even preferences of opening or closing in the same shift can make a difference to employee satisfaction.
Create Consistent Schedules
An inconsistent schedule is disruptive to work/life balance. It means that you are not able to make plans with your friends and family until after the schedule has been posted, or even accomplish mundane tasks like organize a dentist appointment or have your car serviced. This can cause a lot of undue stress and resentment towards the workplace, as everything else in the employee’s life takes a back seat to their schedule-based job.
Make schedules easily accessible
Make the schedule in advance, and make it easily available to all employees. Don’t just post it in the server station – email it, automate it, and make it easy for employees to see without needing to either come in or call in to ask.
Honor Time Off Requests
Working holidays is something that many restaurant employees have become accustomed to. Our friends and family have become acquiesced to the fact that we are going to miss holiday gatherings, or that they may need to schedule events on non-traditional days. But other important events come up too, like weddings and birthdays. Accommodating requests off to allow your employees to have a life outside of work goes a long way towards employee satisfaction.
Give employees some control
Often, someone needs to swap, drop, or pickup shifts. To tackle this, you might consider using a shift trade book or posting, where employees can self-manage these activities. This has the knock-on effect of allowing the manager to approve all changes in one place. A scheduling app can prove the best way to easily manage and maintain this process!