Adding a blank row

April, 2018

goRoster users can now add blank employee rows to their rosters. This feature gives you the flexibility to create a roster template without having to assign employees.


Just click on the blue ‘Add a row’ button in the roster designer page to create a blank row.

The row will appear as ‘Unassigned.’

You can instantly start adding shifts and roles as normal by clicking on the cells you want to fill.

Once you’re happy with the roster, simply drag an employee’s name from the right-hand side of the screen to the ‘Unassigned’ row to apply the shifts to that person.

You can copy your roster template to future weeks too. Just click the ‘Copy Roster’ in the drop-down menu at the top right of the screen, choose which week you want to copy to, and confirm by pushing the ‘Copy Week’ button. This tool makes it really easy to plan your rosters well in advance!

You still have the option of adding employees to your roster before assigning shifts to them. Just click on the name of the employee you want to add to your roster on the right-hand side of your screen. Then assign shifts and roles as normal.

This new ‘Add a row’ feature is now available to all goRoster users, including those on a free 30-day trial.

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Maximum and minimum hours – striking a balance

April, 2017

Striking the right balance between maximum and minimum hours for your part-time or casual staff can often be a difficult process. But getting the balance wrong can have serious and long-lasting ramifications for your business.

Overworked staff

When you’re running a business, key staff members are often relied upon to keep things running smoothly, so it can be easy to ‘reward’ them with a more hours. Staff members may also request more time at work due to financial or personal circumstances, and you ‘help them out’ by upping their hours.

You may think you’re doing right by your business and your staff in both situations. However, overworking your staff is a major health and safety risk which can result in:

  • more workplace accidents
  • higher rates of mental health problems including severe anxiety and depression
  • a greater risk of physical health problems for staff, such as diabetes and heart disease.

Aside from potential health issues, overworked staff can be a threat to your bottom line. Tired and stressed staff are more likely to make mistakes on the job, be rude to customers, be less productive and care less about the quality of their work. This can all add up to lost revenue.

It’s important to realise that just because a staff member is at work, it doesn’t mean they are fit to be there. Keeping an eye on hours and communicating with staff about their workloads is the key to managing this.

Underworked staff

Not giving your employees enough hours can also put your business at risk.

As of April 2016, zero-hour contracts can no longer be offered to employees. This means that agreed hours of work must now be included in the employment agreement for every staff member. If you fail as an employer to provide the hours that have been specified, or have agreed on hours but haven’t recorded them in the employment agreement, employees are entitled to apply for a penalty to the Employment Relations Authority.

You can choose not to agree on work hours with an employee, although if you do these must be recorded on the employment agreement. If you don’t agree on hours up front however, your staff are less likely to feel secure at work, putting you at risk of losing good employees to your competitors. Unhappy employees may also speak out, making it harder for you to attract new staff.

If you’re looking for a system that makes identifying minimum and maximum hours easy, get in touch with us. We’d love to chat about how goRoster can make managing rosters a simple process.

Four tips to help minimise disruption caused by employee leave

February, 2017

An efficient, hard-working and friendly team is often the making of a successful hospitality business. So it can be quite disruptive when employees need to take leave.

Here are four tips to help minimise the impact:

1: Communicate with employees

Absences due to illness can be particularly stressful for a manager, as you may only get a few hours to find a replacement. Research suggests that regular sick leave is commonly taken by employees who feel overworked or stressed in the workplace. Thinking about the welfare of your staff, and openly communicating with them about their workloads, can help mitigate the amount of sick leave taken. Ask staff how they are feeling, be empathetic to their responses, and listen to feedback on how to best help their situation.

2. Train your staff across multiple skills

Having staff who are competent across several roles can help ease the burden of employees being away. The ability to take your kitchen staff and put them front of house for a shift – or have your wait-staff serving at the bar – gives you the flexibility to change your roster at a moment’s notice. Teach staff these extra skills during quiet times, so that the training itself doesn’t become a disruption.

3: Have a system in place to record future leave

If employees are planning a holiday for later in the year, have been invited to a special event (like a wedding for example), or are planning to take advantage of the Easter or Christmas break, they will often book leave months in advance. Make a record of this so that you and other staff don’t get caught out when the time comes. Don’t use post-it-notes either – make sure it’s recorded somewhere reliable, in a system like goRoster, for example.

4: Ensure you have dependable backup

Unfortunately, leave can’t always be planned. Sickness and bereavement are part of life, so you always need to plan for them. Create a shortlist of dependable people that you can call on when you require staff at short notice. This will save you a lot of stress when you need to make quick rostering changes.

Following these rostering tips will help drive business efficiency

April, 2016

Following these rostering tips will bring you guaranteed business efficienciesA robust rostering system is essential in any hospitality or retail business. Ensuring you have the right number of staff rostered on will keep your customers happy, and your wage cost looking great.

On the contrary, building rosters inefficiently can be a real time-waster. So, how do you get maximum results from your roster?

Here’s five quick tips you can easily incorporate into your rostering practice today. 

Utilize “Role Rostering”

First you need to work out what shifts and roles you need to fill, then costing out this plan against your employee’s hourly wages. Then, simply add the names of those staff member you wish to fill each role. Role rostering is great as is focuses on what’s best for your business. Perhaps there’s a special event in town and you anticipate being busier than usual. You need your senior employees on that can handle the pressure, but always be weary of overstaffing.

Share the top shifts

For wait and restaurant staff, certain shifts are always better than others in terms of stress and potantial for tips. These are the shifts that need the most careful management – you need to share these around fairly to ensure all staff members get their turn.

Automate rostering tasks

The more rostering tasks you automate, the more management time you free up for sorting out issues and, well, managing the business. This is where the benefits of cloud technology come into play. Modern rostering tools can provide costing models at the click of a button and can be updated in real time and sent out to employees via email or SMS.

Enable staff to plan in advance

Everyone has a busy life these days, and the more advance notice staff have of their shifts, the more you reduce unexpected absences and last-minute changes. Focus on automating your rostering system as much as possible so you can advise staff of rosters 4 weeks in advance. This will leave you with happy employees, and allowing them the opportunity to request leave early means there’s no chance of you rostering staff on when they’re not available!

Allow staff to check the roster without calling in

With a cloud-based rostering system, you can prepare the roster from anywhere. You can send a most up-to-date roster  straight to an employees smart phone as an SMS or an email. They can check this and keep it on record – no more calling in to check when their shift starts! The more of your rostering tasks that can be handled in this way, the more time you free up for other tasks.

Using these simple tips will help you implement efficient rostering strategies. If you’re looking for a cloud-based rostering tool that can automatically update employees about shift changes, then send us an email at support@goroster.com and find out what goRoster can do for you!

Overstaffed or understaffed? Here are the signs

March, 2016

Understaffed or overstaffed? When it comes to building rosters you want to be as accurate as possible when forecasting future staffing requirements. Time again, we’ve seen rosters being created based on instinct and manager experience.

Negligence can lead to a substantial increase in costs for your business.

Often you’ll hear your employees say, “you just missed the big rush!” only to find later on that your sales figures prove otherwise. Trying to find a happy medium to combat the chance of employees standing around doing nothing, versus being completely rushed off their feet is no easy task.

Here’s a few things to watch out for:

  • Employee burnout

Typically, if you’re understaffed you’ll find your employees are burnt out. Being consistently rushed off their feet will most likely lead them to end up resenting the job.

  • A drop in service levels

Often as a direct result of being burnt out, when you’re understaffed your employees won’t be able to match the activity level happening within your business. Bad service can lead to unhappy customers – and you don’t want that! It’s important to keep your customers happy – they’re your biggest source of revenue.

  • Financial impact

Do you think that if you checked at the end of each day, you would find that the rostered hours of your employees would match the same percentages of activity level each day? It’s important to make sure that you’re optimally scheduling your staff against the variations and fluctuations in demand.

Mistakes are costly. Taking more care in building your rosters will see increases in overall service levels and efficiency. The result? A reduction in labour costs, an increase in customer satisfaction and an increase in overall profit.

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goRoster reaches 25 million rostered hours!

March, 2016

25 million rostered hours - goRosterLast month goRoster hit a milestone. 25 million rostered hours!

We’re thrilled to have reached this mark. Not only is this a phenomenal number of hours rostered, but it’s a real testament to all our clients who have seen the value and importance of rostering in the workplace.

Roster software should be treated as a core operational tool. In retail and hospitality, the most controllable cost of all is your employee costs. Working to targets and seeing where you may be falling short puts you in great stead for hitting your monthly revenue targets.

Jump on the trend, and lets get to 26 million!

4 Things You Ought To Stop Doing If You’re A Business Owner

April, 2015

4 Things You Ought Not To Do If You're A Business OwnerNo one person has the correct algorithm for running a successful and profitable company. Environmental factors, internal factors and resources all play their role in the drama that is running a business. A lot of successful companies however, seem to have found the correct recipe in terms of what works best for them and within their market. They understand their competition, and they understand their people. It is about understanding exactly what it is that your business stands for. What is your purpose?

Our job is to help you find ways to better your business processes. Cue keywords here: effectiveness and efficiency. These words set my heart a flutter. Don’t they yours? Well, they should. These two things at the heart and soul of any business process. They make up the foundation of your business operations.

Here are 4 things you ought to stop doing if you’re hoping to remain both effective and efficient within your business.

1. Stop discouraging time off

When employees wish to take a holiday, or even just want to take a few days to themselves – don’t take this as a slight against the business or against you. Employees need to feel comfortable in approaching you about matters such as this, or, cue the beginnings of festering resentment. By establishing a lenient and fair policy regarding time off, employees will feel much happier in approaching this topic and the likelihood of them abusing this will be relatively non-existent, and it shows them that you are invested in their emotional wellbeing.

They should never be made to feel guilty for the workload having to be shifted around, or if you’re too short staffed to grant them leave. If you’re rostering correctly and have an adequate pool of staff – the task of leave management is in fact one of the least onerous of them all.

2. Stop micromanaging your employees

Micromanaging your employees simply implies you have no trust in them, and have very little faith in their abilities. Overshadowing their every move doesn’t give them room to grow as an employee and in their job role. Not only does this increase the likelihood of mistakes having you watch their every move, but it lessens the possibility of them ever having the chance to set up to bigger responsibilities.

By stepping back and allowing them to do their jobs without you interfering enables them to find their way and establish exactly what it is they can bring to this role, and where they want to be within the business going forward. No one likes a business owner or manager that becomes too hands on and has to have a finger in every pie, ever second of the day. Sit back and trust the people you hired to do the job. Chances are they’ll grow and learn much quicker, and subsequently end up asking for more responsibility later on.

3. Don’t mistake confidence for competence 

Ensure that you have trained your staff adequately. When potential employees are going through the interview process, although they may display a high level of competence in life and the industry you’re in – appearances can be deceiving. Many can bluff their way through this. Whether or not you believe they have the experience and qualities necessary for the job, every venue and establishment is different. If you didn’t have a point of difference well then you wouldn’t be that good would you? You’d just be the exact same as your competition. I don’t know about you  but, boring! Every staff member needs to be trained  the way that is individual to your venue.

As a business owner you would have established what is is you wish to be your point of difference in comparison to your competition. In today’s age, it’s the actual set employees that make up a tremendous amount of the difference from one venue to another. Front line staff members are the ones that deal directly with the customers during each transaction. Therefore they must be equipped with the knowledge, the resources and the skills if they are to fulfil their roles to the highest of standards, and to the performance levels that you require.

4. Don’t always focus on the future and new ideas

It’s important to always keep your mind on the big picture, where you’re going, how you’re going to get there, and so on and so forth. However, if you solely focus only on these ideas, you’re not actually taking into account the systems and processes that may or may not be working that are getting you to that finish point. A business is made up of different processes. It takes discipline, planning and attention to detail. Some processes work, and others don’t. It’s the monitoring and changing of these processes along the way that allows you to keep pace with changes in the market, fluctuations in your environment and changes in competition.

By consistently monitoring and adapting your business processes, you’re giving yourself the best possible opportunity to reach that future goal quicker. You can imagine that with incorrect, incohesive and undisciplined processes – the chances of you reaching that end goal are bound to look slim, dull and unattainable. Systems and processes are the beating heart of your business. Without them, you’d sink.

Being the owner of a business isn’t meant to be easy. But there are things that can be done to make the journey a little easier and more enjoyable. Hey, who in their right mind doesn’t enjoy a good profit from time to time? It’s all about making decisions and creating actions that support the businesses operational processes.

So, where are you sitting financially?

March, 2015

Capture1As the owner or director of a business there’s always the fear of uncertainty, and the pain of implementation if ever comes the time where you need to change something that already works considerably well for you.

Why change something when it already does the job?

Ask yourselves the hard questions. Is it giving you a level of transparency necessary at the level of your position within your business? Is it giving you enough clarity, so that when it’s time for you to discuss with the board your current financial standing – you know exactly where your money has and hasn’t been going? It’s not uncommon that many people cannot answer those questions with a firm yes.

In business, nothing is more important that being on top of your financial game. There is no single formula alone that every business should abide by for determining actual employee costs because the required contributions vary from business to business. Policies also can be different from one company to another. What’s for sure is that all these costs can add up to what the true costs of employing your workforce are.

What’s alarming is that these costs can significantly shoot up because of poor staff management. Under-staffing, over-staffing, failing to hire the right people, inability to utilise people’s potential, overworked or low performing personnel and other manifestations of a poorly planned human resources strategy can bring sizeable, often undetected expenses to a company.

So, where are you sitting financially?

goRoster helps to gain much more clarity with respect to your financial standing. We’re here to help ensure you gain enough understanding each week in knowing exactly what your breakdown of costs are. Click here to give our free trial a go and see how we can help you gain control over your costs again.

Want to know true cost of employing a staff member? It’s more than you think.

March, 2015


If someone were to ask you what you believed to be the true cost of an employee, do you think you’d be able to answer it?

In our experience, most people can’t.

The biggest thing standing in the way of those who can’t answer this is their inability to see things long term – they’d rather calculate figures on week to week basis and see that those costs are tracking correctly and align to their targets, rather than looking at the big picture.

With the end of the financial year luring, a lot of businesses are starting to look over their accounts, seeing that everything adds up just nicely. But – have you accounted for everything you needed to along the way? Have I got your attention yet? Good. I hope so. Because by not accurately accounting for all of your employee costs along the way can leave you in a rather sticky situation come the end of the year when you haven’t been accounting for those costs you thought back then could simply wait.

Most hospitality businesses follow this typical model that determines the breakdown of their expenditure:

  • 30% Fixed Costs
  • 30% Cost of Goods Sold
  • 30% Employee Costs
  • 10% Profit

The most controllable cost of all? Employee costs. When you aren’t calculating these correctly week after week – what percentage do you think gets cut into? Yep. You got it. And what business minded person wants to lose out on their profit.

You need to ensure you’re executing your employee payments accurately by paying the correct superannuation contributions and insurance each week and including these in your weekly outgoing costs. In doing so, you’re giving yourself a lot more clarity as to where you’re sitting financially as a business.

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