July 22, 2016

How Retail Employee Scheduling Software Can Help Store Managers


Managing workers in any type of business that relies primarily on hourly workers with constantly changing shift times is definitely a huge challenge. Retail is without a doubt one of the toughest industries for scheduling simply because work schedules are always subject to change.

If you’ve ever worked in retail, then you know that the makeup of the staff is very varied. Many people who work in retail have a lot of other stuff going on in their lives. Many are students who have to balance their school schedules with their work schedules. Some of them are parents who need to manage their personal lives with their work lives. And there are also many retail workers who have more than one job that needs balancing.

That’s why scheduling a retail staff can be a potential nightmare for managers. Certainly, if you are still using primitive methods for scheduling your retail staff – like Excel sheets or pen and paper – you’re not doing yourself any favors. The truth is that schedule retail employees really doesn’t have to be such a headache if you are ready to use state-of-the-art tools for getting the job done, like Humanity.

How can an online employee scheduling solution like Humanity make creating shifts for retail workers less frustrating?

Putting an End to Human Error

The more complex your scheduling, the more likely it is that you are making errors. Humanity removes the possibility of human error and recognizes any missteps you might have made, making you aware of them and allowing you to fix them before your schedule goes out.

Improving Staff Communication

Scheduling retail workers is often an unpredictable process in which shifts can need to be altered nearly every day. Humanity notifies employees of every change that ever gets made to their schedule immediately via email and SMS. No need to get on the phone and call people to let them know of their new shifts anymore.

Enabling Staff to Trade Shifts Independently

Retail workers tend to request shift trades and swaps very often, depending on their scheduling needs. Humanity makes it easy for them to trade shifts independently among themselves. All managers need to do is look at the requests, see if qualified workers are scheduled and either approve or reject the trade requests – all online from their smartphones or personal computers.

How Retail Employee Scheduling Software Helps You Manage Your Staff

Retail staff scheduling software like Humanity can do more than make scheduling your retail team much easier. It can help you to improve communication with your retail staff, improve staff morale, decrease your turnover rate and save you money across the board. Using Humanity can help make managing your retail staff a joy instead of a headache.

Schedule Faster, Better

Humanity has helped hundreds of retail businesses to improve their entire scheduling and management process, so we know that it works. According to many of the retailers that use our software, the time it takes them to schedule their staff got cut in half after switching from spreadsheets. Some have even reported a decrease in the time it takes to schedule their retailers works by as much as 80 percent. Here’s how Humanity makes this drastic drop-off in time spent scheduling possible.

Personalize Your Process

Every retail business has its own set of needs, no matter what branch you are in. There are no two retail stores that are the same, even when you’re dealing with chain stores. Humanity realizes this and that’s why our software is made to be easily customizable.

Are you managing two retail locations at the same time? No problem. Humanity enables you to manage as many locations as you need to within one master account. You can easily set up an account to include as many locations and staff positions as you need and make sure that you are keeping track of the needs of every one of your retail stores individually.

Humanity allows you to customize just about every aspect of the retail management process. You can create custom fields, custom roles and even put together custom reports that specifically give you the data that you need most to manage your team better.

Often in retail, you are not sure of who is available for a particular shift. You might want to just create a shift and then ask your employees to take a look and see if they are able to pick it up. With Humanity, this process is easier than ever. You can simply create an empty shift and then allow anyone who wants to work it to claim it. Of course, only people who meet the specifications you set (skills, positions, etc) will be able to pick these shifts up.

All these features only scratch the surface when it comes to the number of ways in which Humanity is customizable. You can not only customize the way Humanity works for you, there are ways to even customize the permissions and even the look of the software to tailor it specifically to your retail business. The options for personalization and customization are practically endless.

Smart and Intuitive Scheduling and Management

Humanity goes above and beyond when it comes to helping you schedule and manage your retail team. When you’re using the app, it’s not acting as a passive tool in the process, it’s a proactive and intelligent app that makes suggestions and goes the extra mile to improve your process across the board.

In the complex world of retail staff scheduling, mistakes are bound to happen – even when you’re using software. However, Humanity does not allow your mistakes to simply go unnoticed. For example, if you make the mistake of booking too many people to work one particular shift, the application notices this mistakes and makes you aware of it. If you create a schedule and forget to fill any of your needed shifts, Humanity tells you that you need to fill it.

If you do not want your retail employees to work overtime if it’s not absolutely necessary, you can input a maximum number of hours that each retail employee can be scheduled for each month. Humanity will then let you know whenever you have scheduled someone to work more hours than you would want them to work. It’s incredibly intuitive!

As a retail store manager, you’re probably using many other types of business tools to run your store. Perhaps you are using point of sale software or a payroll application along with Humanity? Humanity supports an ever-growing list of integrations with popular business tools so you can take vital business data from other software and sync it with Humanity so that you can optimize your scheduling process based on real business data and KPIs.

Boost Employee Morale and Happiness

The retail industry has a huge problem with turnover. It’s a problem in just about any industry that relies on hourly staff, but it’s a pronounced problem in retail because of the stress levels that often come with the job. The best way to keep your best retail staff with you is to make them happier. When employees have less stress at their jobs, they are more engaged and are less likely to leave you. Humanity can help you keep your best workers and keep your retail staff happy. Here’s how:

Avoid Confusion

One of the biggest problems that retail workers claim to have is not knowing exactly when they are working and getting notified of shift changes on short notice. These problems become problems of the past once you start using Humanity.

As soon as the retail manager creates a schedule using Humanity and publishes it, notifications go out to every staff member who is scheduled to work shifts. All employees will immediately receive emails and SMS messages telling them when they are scheduled to work.

And if the manager has to make any changes to the schedule at any moment, all retail employees who are affected by those changes will be notified immediately once again. On top of that, retail employees can use the Humanity mobile app to see their schedules at any time. Whenever they open Humanity, whether on their smartphones or on their personal computers, they are always seeing a real-time picture of their most recent schedule.

This not only helps employees by decreasing the amount of confusion they have regarding when and with whom they are working, it also helps managers by making it almost impossible for retail employees to miss shifts or arrive late to work them because they simply were not aware of them on time.

Boost Staff Independence

Another way to increase retail employee satisfaction and engagement is to give them more freedom and independence during the entire scheduling process. That’s yet another way in which Humanity can help both you and your staff.

Humanity has an availability system that lets all your retail workers input their availability. This means that they can let management know when they can and can’t work each week – or at least let them know what their shift preferences are from week to week. Some of your retail workers might be students who have classes during the day and would prefer it if they could work afternoons. Some might be parents and might prefer to work morning while their children are in school.

With Humanity, all of these preferences can be communicated directly to management. This also helps management to make better schedules, because managers will then know when to schedule certain staff members and when not to. It saves everyone a lot of time and it gives your retail employees a voice throughout the process.

Retail workers are also able to request shift trades independently using Humanity. As you probably already know, something tends to come up a lot when you’re managing retail staff. It happens regularly that staff members find out about obligations a day or two before and need to scramble to find someone to fill in for them. This causes stress for everyone. It causes stress for the worker, you need to find someone to cover for them, and it causes stress for managers who have to scramble last minute to find a suitable worker who is available to cover.

With Humanity, retail workers can figure it out among themselves, without ever having to involve management. If one worker can find a suitable replacement, he or she can simply put in a shift trade request and all of the manager has to do is either reject or approve the trade once he or she has evaluated it.

A Recap of Staff Scheduling Software Benefits for the Retail Industry:

Simple to Implement

  • Fast Setup
    Our support staff will guide you through the entire process.
  • Easy to Use
    You’ll be scheduling in no time, even if you’ve never used similar software.
  • 24/7 Support
    Talk to our agents on live chat, by phone or email any time you need help.

Boosts Staff Morale

  • Empower Retail Staff
    Let your retail staff request shift trades and set their availability.
  • Improve Communication
    Send notifications to staff whenever shifts are published or changed.
  • Decrease Stress
    Retail staff knows when and where they are working at all times.

Saves Time

  • Avoid Errors
    No need to constantly revise your shifts, get them right the first time.
  • Optimize Your Process
    Integrate other business tools to create more effective schedules.
  • Integrate Payroll
    Save time when paying your retail workers, not just on scheduling them.