ShiftForce Blog

Tips for Servers to Make More Money

As a server, the majority of your income comes from tips. And we're sure you already know, you aren't just a server. You're a party host, you may host from time to time, you manage customer service requests, you have to upsell items, run here and there at the same time, you're never standing still! Every customer you come in contact with is judging you and hopefully pays you based on the service you provided them. Some will tip less than others, and hopefully, we can show you a few ways to reduce that number even more.

Please keep in mind that these are all suggestions on possible ways to make more tips. These suggestions shouldn't be taken as a definitive way to make more money.

Know Your Restaurant

Yeah, pretty simple. Know your restaurant's ins and outs. Understand the menu, where everything is, who everyone is, and the most efficient route from point A to point B. If someone asks for a refill on water and another customer is asking for a straw, rather than running two errands, find a route that allows you to accomplish both tasks at the same time.

This comes down to understanding your restaurant and its clients. Is there an average time that tables turn over? Is there a certain checklist you should run through when a new part is seated? Is there a new special or off-menu item that could pique these customers' interest? Simply knowing your restaurant and its processes can go a long way in helping you increase the amount you receive at the end of this customer's experience.

Get Smaller Groups When Possible

Contrary to popular belief, smaller groups are actually more profitable than larger ones. This is because people in the party often assume that whoever is splitting the bill or taking the check will leave a tip covering the full amount for everyone else. Sadly, more often than not that's not the case.

Another element to smaller versus larger parties is that when the person, or persons, paying for the large bill leave a tip, they may leave a smaller amount because there is no personal responsibility. They did their part for the group and everyone else could and should have added their own tip. While the second element is becoming less common due to Venmo, PayPal, and other mobile payment apps, it's still something to take into consideration when choosing between large or small groups.

Be Prompt and Confident

One of the worst feelings is being seated at a table when you're hungry and waiting for what seems like forever to be taken care of. Although it depends on how busy the restaurant is, stopping by a newly seated table just to say hi, introduce yourself, and let them know that you'll be with them shortly goes a long way.

When you are able to give the table your full attention, be confident in yourself. You know the menu, you know the specials, and based on what they're looking for, you have the perfect suggestion for their meal. Be confident, smile, be polite, and most importantly, be prompt. If you feel like one of their requests may take a little longer than expected, let that be known. They should be able to understand that something may take a bit longer if it's an odd request or the restaurant is very busy. Being upfront about these items can go a long way in improving your customer's experience.

A Token of Your Appreciation

A small token of your appreciation can go a long way in increasing the amount of tips you receive. Leaving a mint, thank you card, or something else as a way to remember you enhances the customer experience to make it more memorable. It's a way for you to show your gratitude for them spending time with you and being great customers.

When you check in with them throughout their meal, try to create a connection with them so when they think of excellent service and delicious food, you pop up in their mind. Creating a stronger connection with guests is something that is often quite easy, but overlooked. Leaving your customers with a small gift, a mint or piece of candy, or even a joke, shows a token of appreciation and thankfulness for serving them.

Make Things Simple

Keeping things simple in a complicated industry doesn't have to be a distant dream. There are processes and tools that are available for you and your team to help simplify your operations, track actionable items, and increase employee accountability.

ShiftForce is an all-in-one workforce management solution designed to help shift-to-shift businesses run better, more efficient, and more profitable businesses. Get started with a free trial today to see how!

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How to Make Scheduling Employees Easier

For managers who schedule shift-to-shift employees, there is a lot to be taken into consideration. Each week presents itself with new opportunities and challenges- shift changes, availability changes, time off requests, events where more or less staff is needed. You always want to make sure you have enough staff to meet the demands of each shift, but you also want to ensure you aren't overstaffing and increasing your labor costs.

To help you make scheduling employees easier, these tips will help you identify where you currently stand, what an efficient scheduling process looks like, and how you can cut down on labor costs.

Understand Your Needs

Before scheduling employees, you need to understand what your needs are. You need to know which hours, days, weeks, and months are your busiest. This helps ensure that you aren't approving too many time-off requests during time periods when you need all hands on deck. It will also help you schedule employees who can better accomplish important tasks without additional support. You want more capable employees at your busier times and less capable at times when additional support is available for them.

Using a scheduling solution that allows employees to enter their availability, time off requests, schedule changes, and more is a great way to help you understand your scheduling needs each week.

Understand Your Employees

Know your employees, their lifestyle, and most importantly, their availability. If you have college students who can't work Friday nights but you need them for early mornings on the weekend, they may not be at their peak performance. If you have parents of young children, last-minute schedule changes may be impossible to accommodate as there is more coordination needed on their end.

Understanding your employees will help you create better schedules and know who to turn to in the event of a last-minute schedule change and preferences of shifts.

Questions to ask your employees to better understand their scheduling needs:

  • What type of shift do they prefer? Morning, evening, night, overnight?
  • How many hours a week are you able to work? (If they aren't full time)
  • Which holidays are you able and not able to work?
  • If there are open shifts or last-minute shift changes, do you want to be automatically scheduled with short notice?

Having a database where your employees can request to swap, drop, or pick up a shift can help. It would also allow your employees to update their availability and request time off. This way if a manager goes to create a schedule, they'll see that an employee is unavailable even before trying to add them for a time slot.

Implement Best Practices

Don't create a schedule and make multiple changes once it's been published. Don't publish schedules and continually make last-second shift changes and fully expect employees to be able to show up without hesitation. Some employees may have another job, some may plan on not being available and aren't in the area. Have a best practices for scheduling outline created for employees and managers so everyone is on the same page.

Best Practices for Employees

When you hire an employee at your business, you expect them to be fully capable of handling the duties they've signed up for. You trust them to show up on time, be ready to work, and effectively communicate ahead of time if they can't make a shift or they need a last-minute change. Stuff pops up and things happen outside of people's control. But when changes aren't communicated or trust is broken, that can harm your bottom line.

If an employee is constantly showing up late because they forgot when they worked, they ask for a last-minute schedule change, they constantly try to get out of scheduled shifts. You may have an employee who isn't cut out for your business. There may always be circumstances where they have a lot of moving pieces on their end and that could cause last-minute changes. But more often than not, if you have an employee who is very demanding but isn't a good employee, you're allowing their schedule privileges to be abused.

How to tell if employees are abusing your scheduling practices:

  • They have the same emergency when they say they aren't able to show up for a scheduled shift.
  • They never want to work weekends and constantly try to swap or drop shifts so they can keep their weekends free.
  • They want to get out of shifts that have less "fun" tasks. (Stocking shelves, managing inventory, cleaning, etc.)
  • They're wanting to leave their shift early when it's getting towards the end even though there are still unfinished tasks.

Best Practices for Scheduling Managers

Your scheduling managers are not immune from best employee scheduling practices either. As a business, it's your duty to effectively communicate with your employees to schedule them appropriately, accommodate their schedules and lifestyles, and provide ample time for schedule changes. Amongst other things.

When it comes to creating your schedules, it should be done at least two weeks in advance to allow your business to plan accordingly and to provide enough time to your employees for any changes. If you have on-call shifts, you need to make sure they truly are on call, and not just a way to keep employees attached to you without ever having the intention of actually scheduling them.

Employees may have other jobs that they could work or miss out on plans because you want them to be available just because. There are times when this is necessary, but if you've made it a routine of not scheduling on-call shifts, you'll need to internally revise that to rectify that.

Last-minute shift changes or cancellations are no way to regularly treat your employees. Although there may be certain situations where things change in the blink of an eye, regularly canceling or altering shifts becomes frustrating for employees, and for your management team. It loses morale with your team because they may feel like they may not actually work, or, that their shift will change at the last second without being communicated. Everyone likes a little bit of consistency and a lot of communication. Communicate and build good habits between your employees and scheduling managers.

Make Scheduling Easier

Sure you could use an Excel spreadsheet or a printed template to create your schedules. But where the real power lies is within an employee scheduling solution. This will allow employees to enter in their availability, request time off, request to swap a shift, drop a shift, or pick up a shift. All with managerial approval. You'll be able to keep track of requests, log activity, and hold employees more accountable.

Start scheduling the right person, in the right place, at the right time, with ShiftForce.

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How to Write Shift Notes

Shift notes help keep everyone updated and provide a record of what happened. Knowing who, what, when, where, how, and why something happened is crucial for your shift-to-shift business' success. It's an easy way to record everyone in one location for managers to review. There's an old saying for someone starting their shift, "don't go looking for the fire until you've read the daily log notes." Something may be happening for a reason and before jumping right into a shift to take action, take a moment to absorb the information and get a sense of what's happening and why.

The Importance of Daily Log Notes

Daily log notes could be equated to eating your vegetables. You could get by without eating them, but really, you'll suffer the consequences down the road. Properly logging daily activity gives managers and other team members an overview of what happened, what's happening, and what's going to take place. They also help hold people accountable for items throughout their shift. Keeping high-quality log notes isn't just to keep everyone updated, it provides a written record for your team to reference at any time.

What Types of Log Notes You Should Record

Just logging notes will never be enough. It won't provide your team with any value. If someone writes "customer at table 12 told me they had a delicious meal." That's nice, but it raises more questions than answers. What did they eat that they loved so much? Who was their server? Was it their first time ordering that dish and they said they'd come back specifically for it? There are certain in-depth elements that should be logged.

  • Daily notes of what happened, by who, how it happened, why it happened, where it happened
  • Customer feedback - what was an awesome tidbit that you can share with your team to continue to improve upon?
  • Employee feedback - if an employee provides a suggestion on how to improve a certain element or that there is something slowing down their efficiency. That should be recorded and tracked.
  • Maintenance and repairs - if something broke, who will fix it and when.
  • Training information - is a new hire thriving at one element over another? Is there something that they can't grasp that should be reiterated in the next training session?
  • Inventory - if something is running low, does the right person know about it?
  • Meeting notes - if you have a meeting, who is keeping track of the notes? There's nothing worse than having a productive meeting only for no one to record the conversation.
  • Events - is there an upcoming event that your team needs to prepare for?
  • Promotions - is there an upcoming marketing initiative that people need to be aware of. Is there a new idea for a promotion or results from one that shouldn't be tried again?
  • Personnel tracking - did someone show up late, did someone do something to brighten everyone's day? This information should be tracked internally to prepare for next time.

It All Comes Down to Organization and Communication

At the end of the day, it all comes down to organization and communication. Logging daily activities means nothing if nobody is tracking it and utilizing it to their advantage. The goal is to observe what happened, report what happened, and take action going forward. This is crucial data that your team has access to every single day. Use it to your advantage!

One way to help your team improve logging daily activities is with ShiftForce. ShiftForce is an all-in-one workforce management solution designed for shift-to-shift businesses. Included is a digital log book, employee scheduling, task management, team communication, and more. Start logging daily activities more effectively and improving your team's efficiency today.

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Ways to Improve Shift-to-Shift Communication

Shift-to-shift businesses heavily rely on effective and efficient communication. Without effective communication, shift changes, swaps, drops, updates, you name it, fall through the cracks and people are left wondering what was, and what could've been. Improving your team's shift-to-shift communication shouldn't be a daunting task. It should be a welcomed opportunity to find where you currently stand, how you can improve, and how you can run a more efficient shift-to-shift business.

Benefits of Effective Communication

Shift-to-shift employees rely on their management team to communicate when they're working, where they're working, the role they'll be in for the shift, and any other important notes for that shift. When schedules are created without any details, or display inaccurate information, employees are forced to contact a manager to find answers. This not only creates confusion, but multiple people are now involved in what should have been a five-minute task.

Increase Employee Engagement
When employees' voices and opinions are heard, it makes them feel valued. When employees feel valued, they become more engaged with their work and have a better relationship with coworkers. Striking up a conversation with someone in a different department or just saying "hey, how are you today" can go a long way in fostering a more engaging work environment.

Consistently and Frequently Provide Updates
Consistent messaging from shift to shift helps keep everything...consistent. It's nice to know that when one person finishes their shift and another replaces them, there is a smooth transition of log notes, messages, and other pertinent information. Consistently updating employees and sharing information helps foster a well-informed and great environment.

Help Resolve Conflicts Before They Arise
There are times when situations could have been prevented if only someone picked up on the signs. In your business, there may be issues that have gone unattended or unnoticed. Consistent, frequent, and effective communication helps resolve conflicts before they arise. When employees have the opportunity and platform to communicate the highs and lows of your business, they can present elements that need attention or could be addressed by a manager before it ever becomes a larger issue.

Ways to Improve Shift-to-Shift Communication

There is a multitude of ways you can help improve your team's communication efforts. However, it's important to note that there isn't just one solution that will work. It may be a combination of practices that leads to improved communication throughout your team.

Staff Meetings
We know, we know. Meetings can often be boring, monotonous, and sometimes pointless. But when run properly, they're an extremely powerful tool for your team to utilize. Having a meeting bi-weekly or once a month can help keep everyone aligned and updates communicated effectively and efficiently. They don't need to be long, drawn out meetings. They can be 15-30 minutes and give a high-level overview of recent high notes, where the team may have fallen short, the plan going forward, and what's coming in the pipeline.

Logging Daily Activities
Logging and tracking daily activities can help improve your team's communication. This will allow employees to enter what happened, when, how it happened, and anything else so a manager can review it and create a course of action. While using a paper log book is a start, implementing a digital log book will help keep everyone aligned at all times of the day.

Employee Messaging
If you choose to switch to a digital log book, not only will all records update across all platforms, you'll also be able to message and communicate with employees. Create announcements, send messages, create notifications, and more with a digital solution.

 

Utilizing a digital solution isn't a must-have in today's world, but goes a long way to help keep everyone aligned and improve your team's communication. ShiftForce is an all-in-one workforce management solution designed to help improve all elements of your shift-to-shift business. Included is a digital log book, team communication, employee scheduling, task management, and more.

Schedule a demo today to learn more about how you can improve your teams communication with our all-in-one workforce management solution.

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What's New in ShiftForce

We're hoping you've already heard the news, ShiftNote is now ShiftForce! It's exciting stuff! If you're already a ShiftNote user, please don't worry. Your account isn't going away any time soon. ShiftForce is a newer, more powerful, more awesomer workforce management solution designed to help you accomplish even more than you could in ShiftNote.

What's the Difference Between ShiftNote and ShiftForce

The biggest difference between ShiftNote and ShiftForce is that it's newer, faster, sleeker, and has more advanced features than ShiftNote. ShiftForce has integrations available so you can run everything through one system, rather than many. In short, ShiftForce was developed with existing feedback to build a tool that's super powerful for your shift-to-shift business!

What's New

ShiftForce has been in development and been rigorously tested over the past several years and the time was finally right to release it. With ShiftForce, you'll better be able to observe, direct, and follow through on key elements of your business. Observe what happened and record it with daily log notes. Direct employees with actionable items with tasks and checklists. Follow through with accountability tracking to ensure tasks are being completed and progress is being made.

A few of the newest key features in ShiftForce from ShiftNote include:

  • More customizable elements on the daily log
  • Task manager - checklists, more interaction with staff, improved communication
  • Sales and labor forecasting
  • Drag and drop scheduling and priority shifts
  • Integrations with POS systems

Why Did Our Company Name Change?

The company name change was simply to rebrand ourselves as ShiftForce. We were not acquired or merged. We wanted to rebrand ourselves as a newer, sleeker, more up-to-date workforce management solution provider. It's also easier to say our company name and it reflects our product.

Ready to See More?

Want to see what ShiftForce is capable of? We'd love to show you! We have a free trial available so you can test out our workforce management solution for your shift-to-shift business. There are no hidden features or any catches. Simply sign up, log in, and we'll help set up your account how you'd like. Get started today!

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Shift Scheduling: A How-To Guide From ShiftNote

What is ShiftNote?

ShiftNote is a shift scheduling software with a built-in manager log book. It's easy to use and great for restaurants, retail stores, hospitality, healthcare facilities, manufacturers, and more. Any industry that works on a shift-to-shift basis will benefit from ShiftNote. With 75% faster scheduling techniques, managers can save time creating schedules. You will have all the tools to build your employee work schedule each week with just a few clicks while streamlining communication and managing your workforce better than before. ShiftNote will improve your shift-to-shift communication all around and reduce time creating your employee shift schedules. 

Did you know? Managers can save 80% of their scheduling time (which equates to 6 hours a week scheduling) when utilizing modern employee scheduling technology.

shiftnote photo

The mission for a shift-based work environment is critical when investing time and energy into scheduling 8-hour shifts. But all the time and energy that goes into creating schedules will ensure your business will be in the right place. Some other things employee scheduling may impact are employee productivity, labor costs, legal compliance, and employee & customer satisfaction. Here are some tips to help you guide your scheduling workflow plan: 

How-To Guide with 4 Tips Below!

  1. Construct Your Schedule Template
    • A master employee shift schedule or schedule template defines who, what and where resources are needed at a high level, known as an overview. Identify and anticipate the necessary resources by making sure they support your business's needs. Then identify existing regulations, processes, and policies that may impact your schedule building opportunities. 
  2. Assign Shifts
    • Once the employee shift schedule is mapped out, it's time to assign shifts. Places and times should be determined if the schedule template was made correctly, so all you have to do is select the right individual for each shift. Some pro strategies include figuring out who is in charge of creating shift schedules, finding out how employees request shifts, and how much each shift may cost, referring to the labor costs, which will guarantee you stay on track with your company’s income. 
  3.  Make Changes
    • You may think the perfect shift schedule is all set now, but there may always be something that needs to be edited or changed. Reasons for editing the 8-hour shift schedule could be, someone calls in sick, no-shows happen, or someone’s availability changes all of a sudden. Don’t think as soon as the schedule is made and published you can forget about changes! This is what ShiftNote is for. Daily Notes and communication between employees. 
  4. Measure, Learn & Adjust!
    • Compare analytics to know when the best times to schedule employees are, so you have enough help during busy times, and not too many employees during slow hours. Sometimes the on-call method could work here, but it is a tricky solution to implement with an 8-hour shift schedule. Once you know the busyness and downtimes, you will be able to have a more set-in-stone schedule each day and each week. Just keep track of times and adjust your schedules if needed. 

For a more in-depth look at the tips and tricks for shift schedules, follow this link here!

Why Going Paperless is the best option for you?

Going paperless means streamlining all of your shift scheduling-related communications into a single software, which is the most efficient and organized way to go. Employees that have a shift change will see it automatically as a notification either on their mobile device or computer, making it super easy to communicate any changes that arise. Employees can also submit their availability virtually anytime, while managers can update the changes and availability without having to spend countless hours figuring out the schedule via pen and paper or excel spreadsheet. ShiftNote even has a mobile app for users to access their schedule anywhere and at any time. ShiftNote's online software will reduce the complicated and messy communication that used to be while growing businesses' sales and profits. 

mobile app

Check out how ShiftNote’s shift scheduling software is the best fit for your business here.

If you want to test it out and see if ShiftNote is a great fit, we have a 30-day free trial available just for you!! 

START FREE TRIALIf you are looking for the ultimate list of resources for shift scheduling, click here!

8-Hour Shifts: Pros, Cons, and Opportunities for Your Business

Operating a nearly non-stop business may be undertaking. The demanding excellent leadership, foresight, and planning from management, as well as commitment, dedication, and flexibility from staff members all come into play here.

Making sure that your staff is healthy, happy, and productive within this type of environment while also dealing with complex financial issues is associate with running such a business. The most complicated part is managing the shift schedule of the around-the-clock workforce.

The solution? Implement an 8-hour shift schedule with rotating work shifts.

A rotating 8-hour schedule has multiple benefits for the restaurant and hospitality businesses. While many industry veterans understand how it works, others are new to the idea. This post will dive into how 8-hour schedules work: including the pros, cons, and how to implement this 8-hour shift schedule. Let’s dive in!

What Are Rotating 8-hour Shift Schedules?

8-hour shifts provide 24/7 coverage for your business by maximizing the number of consecutive days employees have off, while still maintaining that 40-hour workweek. There are multiple types of 8-hour schedules you can implement at your place of business: including 8-hour days, 8-hour swings, and 8-hour night shifts. It’s really about magnifying your schedule for efficiency for your business and your employees.

Pros of 8-Hour Schedules

There are many advantages of 8-hour shift schedules, for both the employee and you the employer or shift manager. 

  • PROS FOR EMPLOYEES
    • Employees receive two consecutive days off and one weekend every seven weeks.
    • Employees earn at least two days off after working a week.
    • Employees typically may have three days off after working seven consecutive nights.
    1. It’s more equitable to everyone scheduled:
    2. Employees know what they are working on because it only changes each week. 
    3. Better work-life balance.
  • PROS FOR EMPLOYERS
    1. You are able to run a 24-hour operation.
    2. You can get around-the-clock coverage between as little as four employees. This can be a huge benefit for a small operation.
    3. It can be easier to create schedules.
    4. Scheduling fewer employees may help in reducing extra costs with insurance and healthcare fees. 
    5. There is a likelihood of a reduction in staff accidents or errors due to the amount of rest time in between shifts.
    6. Your staff will gain better attention spans, reaction times, motor skills, fewer memory lapses, and less irrational decision-making all due to less overwork and fatigue from only working 8-hour shifts rather than 12. This results in a better customer experience.
    7. Simplified scheduling. More shift switches mean operational slowdowns, resulting in less efficiency in dealing with more staff.
    8. Fewer missed alerts and communication breakdowns will happen between excessive shift changes.
    9. You can set performance expectations for an 8-hour shift, such as sales, parts per min, etc.  Whatever is tracked as your KPIs has to be taken into consideration for your performance ratio.
    10. Allows you to plan more proactively when you hold team meetings and helps with the rollout of new protocols and agendas.
  • Considerations
  • It’s always good to evaluate both sides, so here are some of the potential negative impacts of 8-hour schedules:
    1. It requires up-front planning, but it pays off in the long run.
    2. It is not conducive to employees who like working longer hours, but fewer days.
    3. For optimal efficiency, rotating 8-hour shifts requires the right software in place.

How to Keep Track of Schedules

We’re here to save the day. ShiftForce’s state-of-the-art technology allows you to customize your operation’s scheduling to accommodate 8-hour shift schedule blocks or any shift-scheduling model that works best for your business.

Our cloud-based employee scheduling software is a workforce management tool that makes creating schedules for any size business simple. Set and forget your scheduling process, saving you energy, time, and money. In fact, you can create a set of schedules and duplicate them as many times as you want, keeping important shift information and employee specifications all in one place.

Then you can use our Online Manager’s Logbook to log all your shift notes electronically, so you can access them anywhere -- even on your phone! It allows you to improve communication with your staff, maintain accountability, and measure important data for future insights.

 

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Shift Scheduling and Management: The Ultimate List of Resources

management

As a manager, you wear a lot of hats. A jack of many trades, one trade you have to perfect is shift management. Anticipating trends, matching the volume to staff, and maintaining order between your staff and management team is paramount. Yet resources on shift scheduling are few and far between, making your job all the more difficult. Beyond the lack of resources, time, and surplus of tasks, you realize that creating an employee schedule is an essential part of running your business. But for a lot of managers, the task is cumbersome, disorganized, frustrating, and a total time suck. But, it doesn’t have to be as painful.

Luckily you have come to the right place. This article will offer resources on shift management and employee scheduling:

On Shift Scheduling Resources

1 - Scheduling Secrets Revealed - 5 Secrets to Success: As a manager, you dictate your most valuable assets and how a change in personnel can impact your bottom line. But, the secrets are revealed! To help you make the best scheduling decisions possible, we created a blog post with five basic tips for scheduling employees.

2 - 8-Hour Shift Schedules: Pros, Cons, and Opportunities for Your Business: A rotating 8-hour schedule has multiple benefits for restaurant and hospitality businesses. It provides 24/7 coverage for your business by maximizing the number of consecutive days employees have off, while still maintaining a 40-hour workweek by including 8-hour days, 8-hour swings, and 8-hour night shifts.

3 - Managers Can Schedule from Anywhere With Technology: Still not convinced of the benefit of using a cloud-based, online scheduler? Know this -- being locked to this singular method of creating a schedule means restaurant managers are glued to their desks. Any time a manager receives a question about scheduling changes away from their schedule, they have to remember the change in order to make the update later on. What a pain! Beyond that, it offers extra employee visibility and transparency, allows for easy access, and reduces headaches!

4 - Staff Scheduling for the Holidays: The holidays are the best time for marketing opportunities for your enterprise -- and ones that can help capture big sales. There are three tips for maximizing holiday season sales. First, hold a training session that focuses on the customer experience. Then, confidently go forth in scheduling your employees to avoid burnout. Lastly, be more flexible with your staff scheduling and consider employees may want time off during the season.

5 - Creating A Schedule Template: When you are creating a schedule, you can choose to use a template to help you know what shifts you need to fill for that time period. There are two ways to create a template, you can create one from scratch, or you can turn an existing schedule into a template. This will help with scheduling in a timely manner each week, if shifts may be the same. 

6 - All too often employee scheduling is a constant struggle between putting out fires and staying organized. Employee Scheduling Software for Industry Vets helps you learn some of the secrets to scheduling and how to get more time back in your day. With the right scheduling system, you can reduce labor costs and create a better customer experience.

7 - The old way of scheduling with an excel spreadsheet and hand-written papers is slow, tedious, and just downright inefficient. With the new technology available today you can turn scheduling communication breakdowns into breakthroughs. With this newly created technology, you can allow the software to do the work for you while focusing on other more results-driven opportunities.

Management Resources

8 - The 80 / 20 rule is present everywhere inside your organization including your scheduling process. 80% of the time you spend on scheduling yields 20% of your results. The key to this principle is finding your 80 / 20 and focusing your attention on the right activities that drive more results.

9- Communication with staff can be even trickier than normal everyday conversations. Check out the most effective communication strategies for managers and learn how maintaining two-way communication loops with your team will ensure that everyone is on the same page. Learn how to use verbal and non-verbal cues to get the most out of your team.

10 - Easy Ways to Reduce Employee Turnover: According to Nation’s Restaurant News, cleanliness, labor costs, maintenance issues, and unexpected sales dips all have one common denominator – employee turnover. Your employees are your #1 asset. Combat the negative trend of losing employees and figure out how to find employees that are the right fit for your organization, avoid burnout and how to empower employees so you can do less with more.

11 - Manager Notes 101: How To Effectively Log Notes for a More Productive Organization: Anyone who has a shift-to-shift change-over should definitely be using a shift change-over logbook to log the day's activities. Logging notes aids in communication between managers, owners, employees, and anyone else who is engaged in the business. Notes allow managers to document and communicate critical information and important operational intricacies pertaining to day-to-day business as well as long-term issues. Having a system for logging manager notes allows you to keep your team on track and held accountable as well as streamlining the process of communication thus making decisions easier and information clearer.

12 - Create More Engagement in your Organization: Engaged employees are highly invested in your business. They bring consistent performance, support new initiatives, and champion other employees to perform at higher levels. The secret is communication and offering continuous feedback while allowing them to make meaningful continuations to your organization.  Allow them to take ownership and help drive their results with rewards and praises. Creating a more engaged employee will help grow your organization faster than you ever expected.

Are you already a user of Shiftnote’s employee scheduling software? If so, check out our Help resources on shift scheduling. Scroll to the middle of the page where you will see “Scheduling Tool”.

TIPS FROM THE INTERWEB

“The Schedule Book”: This book offers 75 schedules for every work environment. Whether you are an employee or a manager, this book will help you guide your company and even your industry to make critical changes to provide stability or growth in key market areas. Each schedule has tips that will give the reader ideas for implementation and success.

“Schedule Your Success”: Our lives are run on schedules. But, where is your current schedule taking you? Gain some tips on scheduling from this. This book teaches you to learn how to master a schedule to make everything else in your life easier and more productive.

The above resources will give you more guidance on shift management and employee scheduling. Remember, we can help! Try Shiftnote’s employee scheduler for 45 days for free to see for yourself! It’s cloud-based, convenient, flexible, and suits any sized organization.

ShiftNote is an Online Manager’s Logbook and Employee Scheduling Software available to make all those hairy management tasks easy to control in one simple interface. Start your research and see how technology can help your management by exploring ShiftNote!

 

How To Be a Constructive Manager During the Holiday Season

Jingle Bells bring happiness and joy to kids and adults, but to anyone in a managerial role, it signals for the dreaded holiday season. It is an exciting time for family and fun for all, so it is important to stay connected to your team about the happenings and tasks needed to get done for a successful season beforehand.

 

As a manager you do not want to be painted as a Grinch, so make sure to ease up on some rules that might not necessarily matter during the season. It is important for companies to provide a happy working environment for their employees, as happy employees can help to improve productivity which makes the company survive in the market. If you are in a brick and mortar building chances are you are not having too many formal meetings or having to impress the big bosses between now and Christmas, so let loose a little on the dress code maybe throw in an ugly Christmas sweater day just for some giggles throughout the day. Here are some more ideas to keep you and your team happy, productive, and jolly!

 

1. Make it fun for everyone!

People want to have some fun this time of year, especially after the year we’ve had. Maybe it is wearing a Santa hat, the aforementioned ugly Christmas sweater, covering the break room in Christmas wrapping paper, or other harmless pranks to keep spirits up. Letting them push the envelope too much, on the other hand, could be detrimental. Do not necessarily let the Christmas Chaos take over, but being a Scrooge and not letting loose could do more harm in the long run. In the hospitality industry, employees are the ones that shape a customers’ service experiences, thus helping improve an employees’ emotions and moods should be considered equally critical for a company’s success.

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2. Don’t forget to have fun yourself!

The holidays are a perfect time to show off that you have a fun side too! Just be wary not to get suckered in to being the “cool manager” and forgetting your role. It really is a balancing act of keeping your leadership team happy to keep the rest of your team happy. Contribute to the conversations and festivities, but make sure to do so as a coworker and not a boss. Share a laugh and let yourself be part of the fun, talk about that new TV show you binged during quarantine, or bring up holiday or vacation plans you know employees asked off for. Now is a time to really enjoy the company of your employees and really let their personalities shine!

 

3. Be flexible about time off!

This time of year always puts a lot of pressure on people, especially on their scarcest and most valuable resource: time. We are all also scrambling for gifts, splitting time between families, teaching kids from home, attempting to make travel arrangements during COVID 19, and trying to attend a host of safe social functions–all while doing our best to stay productive at work. Do your best to help and alleviate that pressure where you can as a manager.

The holidays are the time of year to be a little more flexible than usual about time. Switch schedules around so people can let off some steam when they need to and take care of the responsibilities in their personal lives that tend to stack up and loom over us. Using an Employee Scheduling Software will allow you to view the entire week's schedule and make shift changes in seconds. You can easily communicate with your staff in the app about their scheduling needs and stay up to date with text messages and alerts. Write shift notes online, assign tasks on the go, and follow up on shift planning goals from anywhere to always keep your team on track and productive!

 

4. Listen to what your team wants!

If you have the freedom and funding to do so, involve your employees in the planning of the holiday fun, see if they are actually excited about the proposed ideas or if they are just going along with it. Ask for their opinions, input, ideas and they will appreciate being heard and that the celebration is inclusive.

You can let your team pick where to cater food from if you are at work, or improvise a fun Zoom or Skype office party to stay connected remotely. The more it is to their tastes, the more fun they will have fun with it, the more they will engage with it, the more they will relax, and you will have less employee turnover. All of this adds up to better productivity within the business and their performances once the party is over.

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5. Always look ahead!

The gloomy mood of December is usually negative, we end up looking back on the lack of accomplishments and shortcomings of the year that somehow flew by already. With that kind of attitude towards wrapping up old business, it is no surprise that so many employees look forward to the end of the year as a time to slow down, disassociate for a week, and stop “being busy.”

Managers can bring a positive light to cut through and remind everyone that it is also a time to shed this old, exhausting year and look forward to new beginnings and a clean slate. Highlighting some of the year's accomplishments, no matter how small, can boost enthusiasm and morale and make employees feel appreciated for the smallest efforts they make!

 

 

How to Hire: Post COVID-19 Edition

how to hire employees post covid-19You're probably no stranger to the hiring process if you're a business owner or manager. That being said, as you look to fill positions that you may have created in order to follow post COVID-19 guidelines, or replace employees that found other work during the shutdown, you'll need a new hiring strategy. It's time to create your "new normal."

This blog covers some changes you should consider making while hiring, as well as a refresher on best practices and helpful forms you'll need to get the job done.

Keep in mind that while we're pros at shift to shift work in many industries, we're not lawyers. This is not official legal advice - if you have questions or concerns about hiring employees, definitely consult a lawyer first.

Setup New Hiring Strategies

Virtual is the new norm

Today's recruitment and hiring processes should be as contactless as possible. Having a plan and the right technology installed is key to conducting successful interviews, training and onboarding, and just the general hiring experience.

If you don't have a software that can help with all of these activities, find one soon! Zoom or Skype are great places to start. Your potential hires have most likely gotten comfortable with doing everything virtually, so showing that you've kept up with the times and have adapted your business will help attract top talent.

Don't wait to start hiring

Sure, you could wait until you're fully reopened and at capacity to start looking for new hires. However, waiting will result in lost time and missed opportunities to find the best people for the job. So don't wait.

Hold first interviews online, check references on potential hires, and get a list together of your top new hire candidates so that when it's time to fully reopen, you'll be able to focus your time on conducting the final interviews and making job offers (the fun part).

Update your benefits package

COVID-19 has really pointed out which benefits really matter - including sick leave policies, health coverage, and any other wellness related offerings.

Potential job seekers have had plenty of time to reflect on what they need benefit wise, so offering the right package could be the deciding factor between your business and your competitor's. Take a look at what you currently offer, and if you can afford to make improvements - do it.

Go remote where you can

Another huge workforce factor change due to COVID-19 is that more employees are capable of remaining productive at home. This adaptation could result in a new wave of remote work across many industries.

If you have a position or positions that could fit in this work from home category, highlight this when looking for new hires. The flexibility is another way to show you're adapting as a business, which will attract top talent.

Update HR policies

If you're allowing employees to work from home, you should have a related policy in place. Set expectations beforehand and clearly lay this out so potential hires can see what working from home means to your business.

Here's a few questions to consider when building your new policy:

Hiring best practices to keep in mind

Write meaningful job posts

A rushed and poorly written job posting benefits no one. Think about it: inadequate job postings results in under-qualified applicants. Even further, the right applicant may be overlooked because they didn't highlight their more relevant work experiences on their application.

Focus on writing a job description that contains your absolute minimum requirements for the role. It's okay if it's long. This will reduce the number of applicants who don't meet your needs an will increase the amount of applicants who do.

Proper interviewing

Once you get to the interviewing step of the hiring process, the first step is to draft a list of questions. Be very careful, there are several laws around what you can and cannot ask during an interview in order to prevent discrimination.

Make sure you're confident that your interview questions cover everything you need to know while avoiding any discrimination. Also ensure you leave time at the end of interviews for the candidate to ask questions as well. Remember - interviews are not one sided. The candidate needs to make sure this job is a good fit, just like you need to make sure the candidate is a good fit.

Hiring minors

Since summer is right around the corner, a good portion of job seekers right now are minors looking for summer positions. It's great to have an influx of eager workers coming in, but things get a bit more complex when it comes to child labor laws.

Make sure you're informed on the biggest factors to consider when hiring minors.

Never neglect workplace culture

A new hire's ability to fit in the culture you've surely worked hard to cultivate among your team is probably just as important as their qualifications. Make sure you interview for both qualifications AND personality. The worst thing you can do is put all the focus on their qualifications that you overlook key personality traits that could either make or break your team.

Remember when you're making a new hire, they are joining your TEAM. They have to blend in well so productivity, efficiency, and workplace enjoyment are all improving constantly.

If you haven't already, checkout some of our other blogs on how to adapt to COVID-19 and find your new "normal":