Why the Shift Experience Is 2022’s Answer to Staff Retention

After a tumultuous few years, hourly workers across industries, including hospitality, continue to feel the strain of the pandemic. From unpredictable schedules to being denied time off, shift workers are frustrated and exhausted. Worldwide, 40 percent of job candidates rank schedule flexibility as one of their top factors in career decisions. Now more than ever, business owners must actively support their employees to increase morale, job satisfaction, and staff retention. Employers can help alleviate this burden by leveraging technology that will provide their staff with scheduling consistency and flexibility. 

Pen-and paper schedules are behind us – or at least you’d think. In reality, many restaurant owners today still pin schedules to cork boards, or use Excel, and expect staff to do their jobs well. However, outdated scheduling methods are no longer sufficient for managing shifts. According to Gartner, scheduling software is among the tools that have the most impact on service-based businesses worldwide. In fact, when customer service workers feel the systems or tools they use simplify their day-to-day work, their productivity can increase by up to 20 percent.

2022 is the year for restaurant owners to assess their scheduling process and improve their employees’ shift experience. Here are some key benefits of using scheduling software:

Alleviate Staff Fatigue

With the Great Resignation in full swing, it's crucial for employers to invest in their workforce. Today’s hourly workers are tired of long hours and irregular shifts. In recent times, burnout has been a common problem among shift workers – the very people who keep businesses alive and drive their success.

More than 50 percent of shift workers in the U.S. want more focus on employee wellbeing, per Deputy’s 2022 State of Shift Work report. The link between employee wellbeing and workplace productivity is a concept that is more widely accepted today. Scheduling apps give employees more control over their schedules so they can swap shifts, make changes, or request time off in a breeze – everybody needs a break now and then. 

Reduce Wage Costs

When choosing new scheduling software for their business, restaurant owners may feel overwhelmed by the number of solutions on the market. Given this, it’s important to conduct a competitive analysis and select an all-in-one tool that streamlines everything from scheduling, timesheets, tasks, payments, and communication. Certain products go the extra mile and sync employee pay rates directly from payroll providers, making them the ideal choice to optimize labor costs. The bottom line is that effective scheduling solutions can play an essential role in reducing wage costs.

Save Time

Manual scheduling is a tedious, time-consuming process. Moreover, it leaves plenty of room for mistakes – like scheduling the wrong employee for the wrong shift. In return? Unhappy employees, and likely, unhappy customers. Restaurant owners have a laundry list of things to worry about – building employee schedules shouldn’t be on the list. Deploying easy-to-use scheduling helps business owners optimize their time to focus on the big picture. 

Improve Communication

Anyone who’s worked an hourly job understands the stressful experience of swapping a shift when the unexpected happens. Making call after call or sending text after text – just to see who’s available to cover the shift – is exhausting. Similarly, managers struggle to communicate priority information, especially when relying on old methods of communication. The most competitive scheduling apps ease such problems by displaying open shifts, messaging capabilities, and central noticeboards. Providing staff with easier ways to communicate drastically improves their shift experience. 

Restaurant workers deal with stressful situations on a daily basis; unpredictable shifts shouldn’t be one of them. Now is the time for business owners to embrace digital transformation and provide their employees with consistent, flexible schedules.