planning

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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Navigating the 2018 minimum wage increase

December, 2017

Minimum wages are set to rise to $20 an hour by 2021 under the new coalition government. With the New Year upon us, the first of a series of incremental increases has already been announced. While this is great for employees, it will have a significant impact on hospitality and retail businesses across the country.

So, how will your business survive in this new environment? Here’s three tips that could help you mitigate the impact of this change.

Create a good employer brand

With the rise in labour costs, you’ll really want to attract the best possible talent.

Make your business somewhere people want to work by creating a culture that isn’t just incentivised by a pay check.

Celebrate excellence by providing rewards to well performing staff, such as naming them employee of the month; organise regular activities for your team to socialise and bond as a team; and offer all employees the opportunity for growth in their role.

Focus on efficiency

The old adage ‘time is money’ will ring even more true with increased labour costs. Focus on making sure you’ve got efficient systems in place so that your outgoings are as low as possible.

Implement a solid rostering system that allows you to know who is working and what they will be doing. Develop procedures that help you to stay in control of the business on a day to day basis, from knowing what stock has been ordered, to seeing your daily, weekly and monthly profit. Create open communication channels between your employees and human resources team, to make sure any issues get ironed out quickly.

Test and measure your systems and procedures, and repeat until you have it down to a fine art. The more efficient your team, the healthier your books will be.

Training

 Keep your employees at the top of their game with regular training. Not only do well-trained staff work more productively and create less errors, they also help to entice repeat customers.

Whether it’s a video tutorial, accredited hospitality paper, or upskilling by a more experienced member of the team, training of any kind is an investment in the future of your business.

The new minimum wage will come into play before you know it, so start getting prepared now.

Failing to plan is planning to fail

March, 2017

Hospitality is a complex – and often fickle – business. There are so many factors that can affect the need for staff, and therefore the overall turnover of the business. There are far too many to mention, but can include: changes in weather; local events; public holidays; what your competition is doing; what deals are running; and how you’ve marketed the business.

Many new customers we meet often focus on the operational side of the business when trying to pre-empt these factors – like recording and capturing time sheets and having an availability of short term staff on standby. This can certainly help with the day to day running of your business. To be truly effective, however, these systems need to be incorporated into a carefully considered staff rostering plan.

An effective rostering plan should do a number of things. It should help you to organise enough staff for each shift; account for employee leave; prevent staff burnout; have transparency about the performance of your staff; and see staff costs. It needs to consider all outcomes, and have contingencies in place when the proverbial hits.

When it comes to creating an effective rostering plan, the question every manager must consider is: how? Too many businesses get caught up in the what and the why, without considering how they are going to implement change.

Just like in real-life, it’s the how that can undo even the most well intentioned plans. It’s why so many of us fall off a healthy eating plan – it’s all well and good knowing that you want to lose weight (what) because you want to be fitter for summer (why), but how you go about it is the most important part.

Having a solid rostering plan could massively increase the chances of success for your business. So, do you have a rostering plan? And if so, is it a good one? And if not, we can certainly recommend one.

Why rostering templates are bad practice

January, 2017

Anyone who works in hospitality knows that no day is the same. Things can change as quickly as the seasons, but with far less predictably.

How busy you are depends on the weather; the time of year; what events are happening around town; what your competitors are doing that day; even if your local sports team is performing well that season.

Plus on any given week, one or more of your staff will be on holiday, away sick or have a family emergency they need to attend.

We’re continually surprised at how many businesses we find using the same roster template that they created months ago.

With so many fluctuations not just day to day, but shift to shift, rostering templates can become out of date as quickly as they are created. Your template roster might have worked last week, but this week you have three large functions, an international touring band in town, and half your staff are away with the flu.

That’s why we recommend using a four-step process when it comes to rostering: Plan, execute, review, repeat.

Make a roster that can change as your situation does. Have contingencies in place for when things don’t go to plan, and continually assess how things are tracking. Take notes on what did and didn’t work and make changes accordingly.

A system like goRoster allows managers to access all the relevant information needed to execute this four-step process effectively. This is the best practice for managing staff, and the one followed by the most successful businesses in the hospitality industry.

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

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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Why Counting Your Chickens Before They Hatch Is A Good Idea

September, 2015

Counting Your Chickens Before They Hatch“Counting your chickens before they hatch” is an idiom that’s thrown around a lot in day to day conversation. Little do people realise its relevance to business strategy. In a nutshell, it means to ‘plan how you’re going to utilize the good results of something, before those results have actually occurred.’

A University study was done in July this year on the failure rate across multiple business industries and the attributed reasons leading to them failing. The number one cause of failure for 46% of those businesses surveyed, was found to be incompetence as a result of lack of planning. This figure certainly should be ringing some alarm bells. (1)

In the graph below you will notice that 55% of service businesses were still operating after four years. Whilst this isn’t the highest statistic, it certainly sheds some light on how easy it is to steer your business down the wrong avenue if your susceptible to leaving your business ‘planning’ to the last minute.

Any uncertainty about your business should be backed up with data and statistics that help you to define and measure what it is you’re uncertain about. As a result, this enables you to make more accurate decisions; and managerial decision making can then utilise this statistical insight to steer your business in the right direction.

You should be making basic plans in advance all the time. Reviewing and refining them on a regular basis will ensure you are as prepared as possible for future success.

If you haven’t already you should be thinking about investing in business planning software. goRoster gives you access to all your past roster data and financial information in order to help you streamline those important business plans. Check out some of the financial features goRoster has to offer over on the features page. 

(1) Business Failure Rate By Industry – www.statisbrain.com/startup-failure-by-industry

4 Key Metrics For Successful Hospitality Business – Part 4

September, 2015

Metric #4 – Wage Cost vs Turnover

The final metric in our series is the Wage Cost vs Turnover which is often expressed as a percentage (the Wage Cost Percentage).

photo-1431499012454-31a9601150c9Most hospitality operators are aware of this measure and, more often than not do take note of it, although this is more commonly examined after the game has been played.

We’ve spoken previously about how important we think it is to examine the Wage Cost Percentage not only after a week has been worked (a lag measure) but also before the rostered week has begun (a forward measure).

However no matter how you arrive at your number, there is one vital factor that we often find some operators fail to understand;

What happens when your Wage Cost Percentage is too low?

Whilst it’s a fantastic achievement to get your costs down, the fact is that if your wage costs are far below industry norms it likely means that your business is providing bad service.  In many cases very low wage cost percentages can indicate that your staff are simply not able to cope with the workload.  It also means that some of your customers may not return.

So we recommend working hard on planning and efficiencies to keep your Wage Cost Percentage down low… but not too low!

4 Key Metrics For Successful Hospitality Businesses – Part 3

September, 2015

4 Key Metrics For Successful Hospitality Businesses Metric #3 – Estimates vs Actuals

You’ve got your plan in place.  You’ve checked the weather, looked at the odds of the local team smashing the visitors and even dropped into your local competitors and checked their latest offering.  In fact you’ve never been more convinced that an outstanding weekend of massive fiscal success lies ahead.

Yet come Monday the anticipation of triumph has waned.  The turnover figures bring you back to earth with a shuddering thump. What went wrong?  After all that planning effort why are we out of pocket by so much?

Estimating turnover is one of the most difficult things to master when running a Hospitality business.  In our last post we discussed some of the many things to consider when estimating your own numbers.  Experience has shown us that, even with the best possible laid plans, sometimes it just goes completely wrong.  Why?  Because many of the contributing factors are completely beyond your control.

The trick to mitigating these situations is simple; Good old fashion diligence.

As a hospitality operator you must measure and understand what caused the difference.  Knowing what went wrong and why will only serve you well for future planning.  Failure to measure and acknowledge why your plans went awry will only lay the groundwork for further future failures and financial difficulty.

Estimate. Execute. Measure. Repeat.

If you missed out on reading Metrics #1 and #2, pop on over to the business section of the blog now and take a read.

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