About Chris Tacon

CEO and Director of goRoster, Chris has a passion for transforming organisations by embracing cloud technologies.

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Here are my most recent posts

Improved Qualification Reminders

May, 2018

With the latest update, goRoster is now able to support multiple email recipients for qualification reminders.

To set up multiple recipients, click settings>account settings and enter as many addresses as you like;

qualification reminders

Once you’ve entered your recipients, simply revisit your qualifications (found under settings>qualifications) and select where you’d like the reminders to be sent;

qualification reminders 2

If you need more help using qualifications or have any other questions, please email our help desk or contact us via your dashboard help and support panel.

Keeping track of staff easier with goRoster

November, 2016


A Christchurch recruitment company is using goRoster to keep track of candidates’ jobs and availability.

SyncroStaff Managing Director Jason Seaward says the company has been using goRoster for almost a month.

Specialising in transport and logistic jobs, SyncroStaff has more than 40 employees on medium to long term placements. They place truck and van drivers, forklift operators and labourers, as well as staff in office, administration and warehousing positions.

Earlier this year, the company had started using a customer relationship management (CRM) system but found that it was not able to show where candidates were working and when they would next be available.

“It was great for storing information, like candidates’ licences and certificates. But we needed a system that our recruitment staff could use to see where people were,” Jason says.

The company’s next step is to integrate goRoster with its payroll system.

“We love the intuitiveness of goRoster. The CRM we used never felt intuitive. We like the way goRoster operates, and its features. Being able to copy and paste the rosters each week means less data entry for our staff.”

New dashboard clearer, more useful

November, 2016

We have refreshed our dashboard, giving you a better looking, more functional, clearer view of all your roster information.

The new version supports all screen sizes too, so you can stay on track from anywhere and any device.

So, what’s new? Well, we have new ‘view modes’ so you can look at your rosters as tiles or lists and then dive into the financial side.

Tile view (replaces ‘Simple View’):


List view (replaces ‘Advanced View’):


Financial view (replaces ‘Detailed Financials’):


GET TO KNOW THE NEW DASHBOARD – here’s what’s changed;

picture4 picture5

Key Feature Notes
A Week Navigation
B Tile and List view modes
C Roster Navigation
D Roster Actions The new dashboard has these in the header “Cog” dropdown menu and also in the footer “More” dropdown menu
E Cost vs Revenue chart
F Revenue
G Employee Pay Costs
H Cost Budget
I Complete / Pending Flag
J Edit Roster
K Roster Employees/Hours
L Roster Status
M Financial View
N Unpublished Changes Warning

Another way to budget – introducing ‘maximum hours’

October, 2016

We have added another feature to our software – a ‘maximum hours’ function that lets you set limits for a roster and make sure employees are not over-worked.

Previously, customers have only been able to create rosters based on costs. Now, maximum hours can be entered for both rosters and employees. Alerts will pop up when you have gone over your hours, but won’t restrict what you can do.

This means you’ll be able to see your budget and stick to it, without knowing the pay rates/costs of each staff member. But if you want to, then you can also add in the expected and actual revenue to compare against the hours – just to make budgeting a little easier.

Users who have the permission to edit financial information will be able to enter the maximum weekly hours for employees. This new field can be found on the General tab when editing the Pay and Cost panel of an employee. Once entered, the maximum hours will show against the employee in the roster designer. A warning will be displayed if a person is rostered for more hours than their maximum.

Users who have the permission to edit rosters and roles will be able to enter the maximum weekly hours for rosters. This new field can be found in the Edit window of a roster. Once entered, the maximum hours will show in the footer of the roster designer. A warning will also be displayed if the total rostered hours exceeds the maximum.

You can enter maximum weekly hours for each roster:


You can also add maximum weekly hours for each employee:


An alert will pop up in the roster designer when you have exceeded your roster’s maximum hours. To switch between hours and costs in the pie chart in the bottom right corner, click on ‘By Hours’ or ‘By Costs’.



Dealing with clashes in the workplace

October, 2016


As a manager, it’s important to do your best to keep your workplace from becoming an episode of the Real Housewives of Auckland. Here are some tips for managing conflict.

  1. Be clear on dos and don’ts: Let your employees know what you consider to be appropriate and acceptable behaviour. Do this at the start and be consistent. If everyone is on the same page, then any disciplining will be a lot easier.
  2. Let people tell their story: Be a good listener. Sometimes people just want to be able to get things off their chest, so put on your Agony Aunt hat and be there for them.
  3. Find out the real issue: Dig deeper into any conflicts that come up. Do you notice any patterns? If something – or someone – is popping up often, then that should give you a clue about how to solve the problem.
  4. Act quickly: If you can nip disagreements in the bud before they become a full blown fight, then you’ll earn your employees’ respect and trust.
  5. Be accommodating: Sometimes we just have to accept that not everyone is going to get along. If that’s the case in your business, consider reshuffling shifts to keep the peace.

goRoster helps track costs for Commodore Hotel

October, 2016

Commodore Hotel

After six months, restaurant staff at Christchurch’s Commodore Hotel have already seen the benefits of switching to goRoster.

Marc Wojtas, Food and Beverage Service Manager, says the company replaced Excel spreadsheets with goRoster to manage its 30-plus restaurant staff.

“What appealed to me about goRoster was the financial side of things,” he says.

At the start of every week, Marc enters into goRoster the forecasted revenue for morning and afternoon periods. The rosters, which are done two weeks in advance, are then added to see how the predicted revenue compares to staffing costs. Twice a day, supervisors update the information.

This has been goRoster’s biggest advantage for the Commodore Hotel, Marc says.

“Being able to analyse our financial data on a daily basis and forecast staffing costs has been really useful. Our supervisors are now more aware of costs and demand for every shift and can set up their roster to accommodate that.”

Being able to communicate their rosters clearly via email or text message has meant that staff are more likely to turn up “on the right day and at the right time”, Marc says.

goRoster has also been great for contacting staff if a shift needs to be filled at short notice.

Marc says the software is also user friendly. He uses it, along with his duty manager and supervisors.

“It’s a great way to keep your finger on the pulse.”

Three cloud-based apps you need right now

October, 2016


As a business owner, you have access to hundreds of different apps that can really give your business a boost.

There are many apps that are free or give you excellent value for money, especially when you think about what was available even just five years ago.

If you’re after powerful roster software that is cost effective and easy to use, you can’t go wrong with goRoster. It allows you to spend less time on scheduling and more time on what’s important to you.

Once you’ve sorted your rosters out, you can turn to other areas of your business – and that’s where this little list comes in handy.

These are our three favourite cloud-based apps:

  • Xero – secure, reliable accounting software that has a mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android phones and tablets, and integrates with 500+ third-party apps
  • Google Docs – you can write, edit and work on documents with other people from anywhere in the world
  • Trello – collaborate with your team on projects of any size, using boards, lists and cards. Stay organised and prioritise your work.

Make plans now to save time later

September, 2016

Hungry hipsters = great profit margins!

Everyone makes a plan at some point in their life. Whether it’s for their wedding, family, business – or even just the weekend. Spontaneity is fun when it comes to road trips and skinny dips, but successful businesses need to think about the future and how to work smarter, not harder.

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

As a business owner, do you make plans for next week? What about the week after, or the one after that?

In the hospitality trade, a busy day can quickly become slow depending on the weather or who won the rugby, so a bit of planning can help you control your biggest cost – staffing.

It doesn’t have to take much time. An hour this week looking through your roster records could save you a headache next week. Look at what events are coming up, what bookings you already have, whether any employees are going to be on leave and how much you spent on wages last month. Even checking the weather forecast could be helpful!

Having a plan for next week that supports your overall business plan will motivate you to achieve your goals.

So, what’s your plan?

“Failing to plan is planning to fail.” – Alan Lakein

goRoster keeps Parks Towing on track

September, 2016


With 30 vehicles, 25 drivers and round-the-clock services, Christchurch company Parks Towing needed something better than a “horrid spreadsheet” for its staff roster.

General Manager Stuart Gerring says the company switched to goRoster about a year ago – much to the delight of staff.

“Before that, we were using a horrid spreadsheet that was rather labour intensive and very complicated. The team in the office understood it but it was confusing for staff in the field.”

At the same time as changing to goRoster, most staff moved to fixed shifts, which also helped to simplify the schedule, Stuart says.

“One of the biggest changes we have found is our HODs (heads of department) are not chasing people to confirm rosters or leave, and there is no confusion of, ‘I didn’t know I was working’. It’s black and white.

“We are looking to further integrate with goRoster by using its payroll function. This will save more time and money while helping us to move away from a time card system to a complete digital solution.”

Drivers receive their roster two weeks in advance via text message or email and can reply to confirm or query their shifts. goRoster has also been useful for tracking wage costs by day or week, Stuart says.

When the company purchased a mechanical workshop in May, it took on new staff and a new roster. Adding that to goRoster was easy. “The system is very simple and intuitive,” Stuart says.

Parks Towing operates a fleet of 30 vehicles including tow trucks, trailers and support vehicles. The company is capable of moving anything from mobility scooters to fully laden trucks and buses. They have staff on around the clock, catering for all breakdown and accident needs.

An easy way to keep your liquor licence up-to-date

September, 2016


It may not win points for giving you better work stories, but regulatory compliance an important part of running a hospitality business within the law.

goRoster can make it easier for you to meet your responsibilities when it comes to keeping Licence Controller Qualifications or working holiday visas up-to-date.

When you’ve got so much on your plate, it can be hard to remember every single thing. That’s where you can rely on goRoster – with our software, you can receive a reminder alert 14 to 30 days before an employee’s Licence Controller Qualification expires, giving you plenty of time to renew it.

goRoster also prevents you from rostering employees to certain roles if their Licence Controller Qualification has expired. This ensures you’re only rostering people to roles that they are qualified for – though it doesn’t just apply to Licence Controller Qualifications.

Both functions can also be used for first aid certificates and working holiday visas, for example. Bonus!

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