Saturday, 14 March 2015

Staffing at the weekend - how do you manage this?

It's another weekend in retail and it's a story of work for some full-timers, some part-timers and weekend staff. I've worked in retail and with retailers for a long time, so I've seen the staffing at the weekend dealt with in a host of different ways. I'll look at some below-

Weekend-only staff
There have always been weekend-only staff in retail situations. Often school, college or university students that are looking for a little extra money or (mainly) women whose husbands work during the week. There are benefits to this, mainly that you can give your week team a good rest, keep them happy and more likely to stay. However the lack if experience that the non-full-time staff have can sometimes be a barrier to great customer service and high standards. But that's where you come in as a manager. If you ensure that as many hands and as many tasks as possible are customer-facing on the busy weekend trade days, then you minimise the need for staff that aren't in the building as long to carry out what are perhaps the more complex tasks.

In addition to this, it's a case if ensuring that your own workload is majorly focused on customers at this time, so you are there as a guide and influence to your team, as I spoke about in the blog below-

Full-timers working every weekend
I have worked with retailers that do this, and there isn't really as much long-term objection to this as you might think. If you set up the store or vacancy in the basis that this will happen then there isn't a change to cope with. If a full-time member of staff has two days off during the week and works the weekend or a day off in the week and works one if the weekend days then they soon get into a routine and it isn't a problem. Upsides include a continuity in staffing as the busy days will have your more experienced team members. A possible downside is that your team members may (and I mean only may) look elsewhere to employers that don't currently require their team to work at the weekend. Although it's usually not an issue, there is still the stigma attached to working at the weekend and some may want to look at alternatives even if when they sit down and look at it, there isn't an issue that affects their life that much.

A mix -weekend in, weekend off
I've recently seen a rise in the alternate weekend rota as a way of covering staffing, where there is half of your regular weekday team in on one weekend and the other half in on the alternate weekend. This gives a good balance of both worlds, so you have some experienced team members alongside the weekend-only team and it gives everyone the opportunity of every other weekend off. I personally like this idea, as it gives people a weekend off but also gives them time to get things arranged in the week on the alternate week. If you're full-time then it can be a struggle to arrange doctors, dentists, hospital appointments without disruption to your normal working hours. This arrangement can be better for employees and employer.

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