Staff rostering can sometimes be a complex and tough job. A task that many retailers prefer to put off. Nevertheless, putting together a good roster is important. Not only to keep your (web) shop running, but also for your image, service, productivity, and the bond with your staff. However, creating a good roster is easier said than done.

The increasing staff shortage in the retail sector means that it is becoming increasingly difficult to fill all the gaps in the roster. In both the shops and the warehouse. And with the busy holiday season approaching, good preparation is more important than ever this year. While some retailers choose to shorten their opening hours, there are other ways to deal with tight staff schedules. How can retailers deploy their staff as efficiently as possible?

Three tips to apply

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1. Know your staff well

First, make sure you have an overview of what your workforce looks like. You have permanent employees, but probably also an extensive flexible layer of freelancers, students and on-call workers. Find out in time who can be scheduled when in the coming period. But also reserve time to find out what their qualities and ambitions are. This way, you can easily deploy your staff in the right and different places. By gaining insight into this now, you can more quickly scale up or down when there are changes in the workload.

Also evaluate how your company is evolving. What are your goals and ambitions? By working on a strategic personnel planning, it is easier to predict what you will need in your workforce in the future. Because perhaps you still need specific knowledge and insights, or an expansion of the flexible workforce is a requirement.

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2. The right location

To deploy staff as efficiently as possible, you must have insight into who, when and where they work and how much it costs. By using handy tools, you can see this clearly in one dashboard. With strategic staff planning, you then ensure that the right employee, in the right place, is present at the right time. The advantage of this is that you can scale up or down in time, instead of having to put out short term fires each time. Moreover, it provides stability and efficiency. In short, it helps retailers to optimize the staffing of their businesses.

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3. Apply multiple perspectives to your rostering

See if you can involve your employees in the planning. This will result in greater satisfaction and commitment. Make sure that the planning is always transparent to them. And it's not a one-way street. So, see if it is possible for your staff to (partially) schedule themselves. Let them indicate their own availability, give them the option of registering for open shifts and make swapping shifts easy. This can save a lot of time, both for the person making the planning and the employee.


Gain insights and keep a good overview

By scheduling your personnel as efficiently as possible and by having this overview, you can react quicker to changes in the market and in your organization. This not only enables you to keep your (web) shop running, but efficient planning also saves on labor costs. Insight and overview are the magic words here. With the right tools, you can do this in no time!

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Written by: Irene Smaal
Field Marketeer Netherlands