Steady Schedules Increase Productivity and Sales. Fact or Fiction?
People are concerned that fair scheduling will affect profitability, and the data is clear. It will.

It wasn't so long ago that a couple of really smart people realized they could leverage computers to merge data with probability.. and generate remarkably accurate forecasts. Literally overnight, business owners thought they'd died and gone to heaven — It was suddenly possible to predict customer buying trends.

They soon realized they could build staff schedules that almost perfectly matched customer arrival patterns. No more over-staffing. No more lost wages. And so they went full bore, staffing only enough people to match the predictions. And it would have been perfect if they hadn't lost sight of their most important resource..

Unfortunately perfection is elusive, and the predictions were often off. Instead of rethinking their new strategy, owners forged ahead, compensating for the errors by leveraging their workers' well-being— asking staff to stay late, past the end of their shifts, by giving people their schedules at the last minute, and the worst, expecting people to come in at the last minute when business was high, and cutting their shifts when it wasn't. Unsurprisingly, workers have become unhappy and unproductive, and now, across the nation, there's a battle underway for fair scheduling..

In the wanton push for better margins, the positive work culture America used to be famous for has gone out the window. In its place we've created a culture that degrades profit. Staff are doing the bare minimum, just enough to not get fired. Employee attrition in retail and restaurants is estimated at between 130 and 150%, and with an average per-head cost of $2000, the situation is quickly becoming untenable.

What if I told you all this could be resolved, easily?

Scientists have completed a 35 week, 28 store study with major American retailer, 'The Gap', looking at the question of how employee scheduling impacts financial performance. In 19 stores, they eliminated on-call scheduling, gave all workers schedules at least two weeks in advance, added additional staffing hours at some of the stores, and gave a select set of premium workers extra hours. Moreover, they implemented a tech-based solution that made it easy for managers to post extra shifts.

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The results were outstanding:

  • Worker consistency and predictability increased, as did output.
  • Average sales increased by a whopping 7% in the the treatment stores, yielding a $2.9 million revenue increase.
  • Labor productivity rocketed by 5%, generating an extra $6.20 for ever hour worked.
The data is clear that stable scheduling drives increased profit. You can check out the study itself here. You know that saying that "a happy worker is a productive worker"? It's true.

So yeah.. Fact.
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