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Ditch the Spreadsheet and Create a Better Work Culture

Ever worked in a restaurant? Even if you haven’t, chances are you’ve at least eaten in one recently, right? Now see if you can remember your server or your bartender or your host. Got a mental picture? How old were they? More than likely they were young-ish – a teen, 20 or 30-something, even with […]

Ever worked in a restaurant? Even if you haven’t, chances are you’ve at least eaten in one recently, right? Now see if you can remember your server or your bartender or your host. Got a mental picture? How old were they? More than likely they were young-ish – a teen, 20 or 30-something, even with the average age of hourly staff on the rise.* Those age groups have something in common too – their love of technology. They not only want it, they’ve come to expect to have access to all things electronic pretty much all the time. I mean really, who do you think is sending Apple’s stock through the ceiling?

If that’s the precedent, then why would we continue to ask them to rely on static, often hard copy spreadsheets for their work schedules? Try to imagine being one of them – your manager posts a new schedule, sometimes in the location on a bulletin board that you have to check in person. Either that or you have to call and have someone read to you over the phone. Or maybe your manager sends it to you electronically via your personal email address. Hopefully it didn’t go to your junk folder or an account you closed and forgot to mention.

Once you finally know when you’re scheduled to work, what if you need to request a change? It’s your grandmother’s birthday on Saturday, and you forgot. Worse yet, you requested a particular day off, and your manager forgot or lost the receipt you wrote the request on. Or what if you realize you need some extra cash and want to add some hours? Good luck with that. I feel for ya.

With HotSchedules, you’d never have to deal with such seemingly ridiculous inconveniences. Your schedule can be accessed online or on your iPhone, Android or BlackBerry app as soon as it is posted. Shift trade or pick-up requests can be done instantly from the same device and once manager approved, push right back into the schedule.

The convenience is nice, no? But why, you ask, would a company invest in something like this merely to make working more convenient for hourly staff? While there are a number of labor cost saving benefits that HotSchedules brings to managers and restaurant owners, there is at least one critical benefit that comes just from providing this convenience to your employees: You will be creating a better work culture. Sound fluffy? It isn’t. Here’s why:

1) Positive work cultures increase your sales. I swear it’s true. Who would you rather have serving your customers? Happy, content workers who feel pleased and proud to work for you, or some grouchy, annoyed person who asked for the day off, but didn’t get it because their manager lost their request off? And which of those is more likely to have a better sales day? It’s common sense.

2) Positive work cultures improve employee retention. There are about a million scholarly and editorial articles that support this truth, as well as quote the costs to replace employees, but here’s one that hits home for me and it’s by the smart folks at People Report: http://www.enewsbuilder.net/peoplereport/e_article000696365.cfm?x=b11,0,w.

It quotes: “One of the most influential agents of change in today’s world is the constant wave of technological innovation… (which) provide a prime opportunity to improve not only the diner’s experience, but that of the employee as well.”

So ditch the spreadsheet and make your company a better place to work!

*Average age of hourly staff workers is now 29, according to Nations Restaurant News: http://nrn.com/article/foodservice-workers-managers-aging-gracefully

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