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Retail Scheduling Basics

Writing the Work Schedule


Once the retail manager understands the factors involved in scheduling employees, he/she can become skilled at balancing the store's staffing issues. Scheduling becomes easier over time.

When sitting down to work on the schedule, some items to have on hand are:

  • Monthly calendar
  • Past schedules
  • Notes from employees asking for time off
  • Peak sales reports
  • Pencil & Calculator or Scheduling Software

Start by calculating the store's payroll dollars. Then determine any special events or peak periods that may require extra staffing. Examine your own tasks that need to be completed and any other business priorities.

Now that we know what needs to be done, how many people it will take and how much money can be spent, we can begin writing the schedule.

Let's say we have one salaried employee making $225/week and three part-time hourly associates who make $5.75/hour. Working with our labor budget of $432 as listed above, we can determine that we have $207 to spend on our hourly staff. This gives each part-timer approximately 12 hours each week and we can now schedule accordingly. (Note: For the sake of simplicity, these figures do not include payroll taxes or benefits.)

Other Scheduling Tips

Be on the look out for employees clocking in early, not taking scheduled breaks or staying over their assigned times. Just a few extra minutes here and there can really destroy a budget.

Don't sacrifice customer service in order to stay within the allotted payroll dollars.

Use salaried employees more than hourly workers if there is worry of exceeding the labor budget.

Weekly schedules should be posted around the same time each week and as far in advance as possible.

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