The WFC Group Blog

Let Tech Handle the Desk Work: Productivity Tools for Service Industry Managers

Posted by Neil Shah on Feb 6, 2018 10:45:00 AM

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Deskbound managers are absent managers, especially in retail and hospitality where GMs are responsible for a seemingly insurmountable number of administrative duties. While important, these tedious tasks, such as scheduling, time-off approvals and payroll oversight, can get in the way of effectively managing and engaging employees. That's why restaurants and stores are recognizing the benefits of workforce management technologies that can help managers' actively ensure employees are delivering the best customer experience possible.

The need for effective management presence is especially necessary in restaurants where labor and operating costs are high. In food service, the average sales per full-time equivalent employee are only around one-quarter of the average for a similar grocery employee ($56,000 compared to $226,000 according to Jennifer Johnson, Head of Retail and Hospitality Marketing at Kronos).

Empower Scheduling and Staffing Processes That Don't Take a Whole Shift

Making sure you get a solid schedule and staffing in place can be a complicated process with time-off requests flying in, labor compliance and of course unexpected absences. Workers have varying preferences for shifts, and certain shifts may require staff with high performance capabilities. Workforce solutions like Kronos can help determine a schedule that stays compliant with local labor laws while also measuring service patterns that may preemptively recommend top performing staff be scheduled. Take our implementation of Kronos Time and Attendance for retail chain Sheetz as an example. These and more features can help streamline managers capabilities for demand-based schedules that account for staff requests with greater ease.

Talent Solutions Help Preserve Employee Engagement Efforts

Given the tumultuous turnover rates in retail and hospitality, finding and keeping the right people can help businesses stay ahead of the curve. Workforce management technologies can simplify and streamline the talent hunting process, minimizing time and attention required of managers away from day-to-day operations and actively engaging employees. It's often difficult for supervisors to be fully involved when they're worrying about filling gaps in a staff roster, yet their engagement of existing workers is also key to creating a workplace that cultivates employee tenure, strong performance and excellent customer service.

Mobile-Friendly Solutions are Manager and Employee-Friendly Too

The evolution of workforce solutions for screens on smaller, mobile devices has also simplified important management processes. Employees benefit from flexible, remote access to necessary tools like schedules, shift swaps, time off requests and more. At the same time, managers can now receive and approve employee requests on-the-fly, giving them more time to focus on employee engagement and customer service. Dashboards designed for mobile displays can visualize important staff data while flagging any conflicts, like being short-handed on high performance days (a problem that can predicted by newer solutions' integrated machine learning capabilities).

All in all, the latest generation of workforce management systems accomplishes a lot for minimizing the time required for managers to plot out operations, allowing them to focus on service and employee development. These are both pertinent in retail and restaurants in order to remain competitive and deliver on customer's high expectations. Are you noticing challenges with your customer satisfaction and employee engagement? Take a look at what burdens might be lifted from busy managers that could allow them more interactivity and input on delivering the best they can, from scheduling to staffing and more. Tech may be the key to allowing them to get to work that really matters.

Topics: Workforce Management