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Getting a grip: Strategies for business owners with rising costs

Getting a grip wfm

As a business owner, you face numerous challenges. Rising costs, persistent staff shortages and declining margins are just a few of the many concerns that may come into play. These concerns are not unique; many business owners share the same frustrations. However, voicing dissatisfaction rarely leads to solutions. It's time to step forward and proactively take matters into your own hands. 

Instead of wasting energy on things over which you have little influence, focus your attention on something you can directly impact: scheduling and your staff. Your team is not only your greatest asset. It's also one of the keys to cost savings and operational efficiency. But how do you make sure you organize your scheduling in a way that gives you more control over rising costs? 

Flexible scheduling

Employees are often willing and motivated to work, especially if their work hours fit within their own social schedule. By giving them a say in their work schedules, and allowing them to swap shifts, your organization can remain flexible and accommodate staff shortages internally. This flexibility leads to more engagement and a positive work atmosphere, which also translates to the store floor. Customers are sensitive to a good atmosphere, and a positive work environment reflects on the store image. This leads to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty, making customers happy to return even if product prices are slightly higher. WFM software such as R&R's makes creating such a schedule easy by allowing employees to self-report their availability in advance via the Job App and to submit or fill in a shift swap after the schedule if their availability does change. By involving employees in planning and giving them responsibility, you create not only a sense of ownership but also a culture of cooperation and team spirit. In addition, the software takes a lot of work off the manager's hands, leaving them time for other things. 

Optimal utilization planning

A common problem we encounter is unbalanced staffing, with often too many employees on the floor or too few at crucial times. We know from data that scheduling surpluses are more often not addressed than they are, when there is a lot to gain there. By using a WFM system like R&R's, you gain insight into this and surplus planning can be addressed. This not only reduces costs through more efficient use of staff, but also improves customer service. 

Taking the time to prepare thoughtful planning is very valuable. Proper preparation will ensure optimal utilization of your team, which translates into significant savings and better overall operations. Above all, look critically at the various departments and not just the overall staffing. By investing an hour a week and engaging your people, you will soon be able to save many hours (80 or more are no exception) in the week, and at today's hourly wages, that's serious money. 

Also read: "Get a grip on your store processes and staffing with the right planning tool" 

Focus on entrepreneurship

By focusing on the aspects of your business you have the most influence over, such as your workforce and scheduling, you can not only meet today's challenges, but also build a solid foundation for future success. Implementing Workforce Management software is an effective strategy for getting a handle on labor costs, improving efficiency and meeting ever-changing working conditions. A properly implemented WFM system can not only control costs, but also contribute to an agile and productive work environment. This allows you to focus on being entrepreneurial and making a difference in your industry, rather than getting caught up in worrying about factors beyond your control. After all, it is this entrepreneurial spirit that drove you to start and will continue to lead you to growth and success.

Stef van Dijk
About the author Stef van Dijk

Stef van Dijk has extensive experience in supermarkets and knows the food retail industry inside and out. Stef writes blogs on all relevant issues around workforce management and food retail.

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