Strategic scheduling

A better strategy to happy customers is to start with happy employees.
Written by Jiahui Yeo - Updated over a week ago

Hug your employee, first

In my working experience, the number one factor that made me look forward to going to work is having a manager who has my back, and cares about me as a human being, not just another foot soldier.

As a hiring or scheduling manager, you have the incredible opportunity and responsibility to create an enjoyable workspace for your team. A little bit of thoughtfulness in your planning can yield great returns on employee satisfaction, which is what we stand for at Soon. We help you create the right conditions for magic to happen and the natural end product: happy customers.

1. Understand your local employment laws.

so you are in compliance and schedule for lifework balance.

2. Know your business.

Start by planning your peak days and hours to ensure you have optimal coverage. E.g. Build your schedule starting from Fridays and Saturdays, peak hours on weekdays, then fill in the rest of the week. Consider public holidays and pay days.

In Soon, choose to create templates from specific shifts or even a whole week's schedule, with or without employees assigned. Gain time that you can invest elsewhere to grow your business. Stay on top of hours management with the daily total view. Your peak days should consistently be higher.

3. Know your people's strengths and goals

and them put them in the right seats: For example, if you work in a bank:

  • Consider who the floor manager should be on a busy Saturday morning. What is your customer profile like at your branch and who will build rapport?

  • Who rocks at processes and should manage the express counter, handling quick frequent requests?

  • Who has a unique talent for building trust and winning others over, making them your top choice to handle investment enquiries?

  • Who has goals to develop toward being a manager, and can be scheduled to shadow and support a manager at a strategic time?

4. Stagger shifts and break times.

If you only need two employees to open and set up at 9am, have the next person start only when you need it e.g. at 10am when you open your doors. Pros: You use your budgeted hours only when you really need them. Breaks can roll one person at a time, without them happening too early/late in their shifts. This also injects fresh energy on your floor constantly throughout the day.

5. A consistent customer experience.

Schedule in a way that your customer would have the same sterling experience with your brand, whether be it a Monday or Saturday. Balance the energy, talents and strengths on your floor in any given moment.

6. Protect the employee experience.

Schedule for shifts to overlap 15 min to support your people during peak rushes and smooth pass-offs. Consider new employees working their first shift and who else you would scheduling alongside them to guide and set them up for success.

7. Communicate.

Soon literally keeps your team on the same page with real-time schedule publishing and shift/event-specific comments. No more "I saw the outdated version of the schedule" boo-boos.

8. Language creates.

Fun is strategic. Shift labels like Restock Beast, Customer Champion or Investment Guru can create a sense of urgency or an intention for the employee.

9. Life happens.

Where your roster and budget allows, schedule an additional shift that you can call on/off (depending on employment laws) in case of business or personal emergencies.

10. Be a learner.

Tune in and look at your schedules with fresh eyes. Templates in Soon is a powerful tool, and don't be afraid to change it up as you learn about your team and business needs.