Rosters can be one of the trickier – yet more important – parts of being a retail or area manager. It’s a fine art that requires knowing who and when is available to work, not over or under staffing stores, and ensuring you give your staff members sufficient shifts, all while working to a budget and a set number of hours. Here are a few tips to make creating rosters easier.


The power of information

Knowing when and who can work is integral to putting together functional rosters as easily and efficiently as possible. Keep your staff’s availability details on-hand when creating rosters and ask your team to let you know as soon as it changes. For example, if your weekend part-timer is on university holidays and is available to work a few additional shifts.

A matter of timing

Nothing can throw a roster out more quickly than a last minute leave request. Introducing a policy that staff give, for example, a minimum of a month’s notice if they need more than a week off will give you sufficient time to plan for their absence.

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Busy times ahead

Plan ahead when you know busy periods, like Christmas and New Year or the end of financial year sales, are coming up. Ask staff to put in their availability and leave requests in well in advance so you can create and lock in rosters. This may also help you identify if you will need to hire seasonal staff to assist during busy periods. Share the rosters as early as possible so you can sort out any issues that may arise sooner rather than later.

Embrace apps

There are a range of apps designed to make creating and sharing rosters with your team easy. Among them is Cloud Rosters, a free software that is supported by a mobile app (currently only available on iTunes) which allows users to create, share and clone rosters, with the ability to add notes and edit rosters with changes shared with your team in real-time.

Another paid software option offering more comprehensive features is Deputy, which allows you to create and edit rosters (to a budget), and communicate directly with staff to cover, change or cancel shifts via the Deputy app. As well as the ability for staff to sign in and out of their shifts, export timesheets into your accounting software for payroll, and create and assign tasks for your employees.

With a little planning, a helping hand from technology and clear communication with your team, creating rosters can be a simpler process for all involved.

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