staff

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.

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.

Timeframes for payroll much faster with goRoster – TANK Juice

February, 2017

Since its humble beginnings in 1996, TANK has grown to more than 70 stores nationwide. Famous for its juices made from real fruit and vegetables – and more recently expanding its menu to include salads and wraps – TANK has become a destination for kiwis looking for healthy, fresh and fast food.

Jess Dempsey, Human Resources Manager for TANK Juice, says that goRoster was initially introduced by the company to help with staff management. With hundreds of employees, TANK required a system that would make the job of managing them all a simple one.

Out with the old, in with goRoster

Before goRoster, TANK’s systems were all paper-based. “We used excel spreadsheets to organise things like rostering, staff costs, and turnover. It was time consuming and prone to errors,” Jess says.

goRoster replaced this system with an automated, online one that was much simpler and quicker to use. “We now have visibility of all of our staff all in one package, which makes it much easier to prepare rosters, track times, calculate leave, and forecast staff costs,” Jess says.

Integration with payroll a plus

The seamless integration between goRoster and TANK’s existing systems – such as payroll – was a huge benefit for Jess.  “The timeframes for payroll are so much faster now – and with a lot less margin for error. Running reports for things like public holidays – which are different every year – are also really easy to do.” 

When TANK moved to a new payroll provider in 2016, the compatibility of the new system with goRoster was of high importance. “goRoster works so well for us, we needed to make sure that it integrated well with whatever payroll provider we used,” Jess says.

The company is also looking to upgrade its Point of Sale system soon. “And when we do, that decision too will be influenced by the way it integrates with goRoster,” Jess says.

Tech makes things easy

Creating a cloud-based system for TANK has allowed Jess and her team to access important information from anywhere at any time. “As things can change so quickly, having the freedom to access the system whenever we need it is a real-life saver.”

The mobile-app has also made communicating with staff a cinch. “Every team member is connected in real-time, so if anything changes, they know about it straight away,” Jess says.

“What I love about working with the goRoster team is that they really listen to what we want, and then implement changes suit the way our business works,” Jess says.

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.

Burnt-out staff are a burden on your business

December, 2016

Busy waiter and waitresses working at bar night

The Christmas period is always a busy one for those in the retail and hospitality industries. Staff are working longer hours, later nights and dealing with throngs of people every day. If not managed correctly, this can lead to unhappy and burnt-out staff, which will be a lag on your business and can result in huge costs.

Here are three tips to stop staff burnout:

Talk to them

You and your staff may have different definitions of being ‘overworked’, so it needs to be clearly defined. Communication is key. You may want to ask your staff what their expectations are, how much they would like to work and what they would see as an ideal role.

Rotate the workload

Keeping staff fresh and enthused can be as simple as rotating roles. If someone is spending most of their time in the kitchen, switch up their role by putting them front of house for example. As the saying goes, a change is as good as a holiday.

Have tight systems in place

Have systems in place that give you the information you need to identify when staff are starting to work long hours.

There are rostering systems available – like the one goRoster has developed – that will alert you when someone has worked too many hours. A staff member may not approach you if they are unhappy with the number of hours they are working, so it’s good to be proactive.

Ensuring staff aren’t overworked is key to maintaining a happy team, and ultimately happy customers!

 

Keeping track of staff easier with goRoster

November, 2016

syncrostaff

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.”

Not enough vs too many staff – get the right balance

July, 2016

Coffee

We’ve been in the roster software business for eight years now and have worked with a lot of hospitality businesses in both NZ and Australia. One thing we’ve learnt is that having the right number of employees is crucial to success.

Having too many staff will cut into your profit and leave workers standing around with nothing to do. Staff wages are one of the three largest expenses of a hospitality business and the only one that you can control, so keep a close eye on those costs.

Even more important is to have enough staff, otherwise your team will become stressed from working in an under resourced environment and customers will grow tired of waiting 25 minutes for a latte. That will lead to a bad reputation and, eventually, failure. Understaffing is the most common reason for hospitality businesses going under.

One way to find the right staffing balance for your business is to keep tabs on wages. Being able to see how much is being spent each day, week and month will help you determine whether you have the right number in your team.

A special blend: Tank Juice and goRoster in the mix together

May, 2016

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When you go to TANK, you’ll get a mind blowing health experience. Not only are they fast, original, and fresh but their menu is packed with delicious nutrients – whether it’s their juices, smoothies, salads or wraps. Tank gives the health-conscious Kiwi an easy way to get their daily dose of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Tank recently brought goRoster in to help with the management of staff. goRoster enabled the management team to reconstruct their paper-based system to an online format that was quicker and easier to train staff. Plus there is the added bonus of being able to access all important information anytime, anywhere via the digital cloud, without having to download any third-party software. Jess Dempsey, Human Resources Manager of Tank Juice, says that everyone at Tank – from the management team to the staff – absolutely love the new system that goRoster initiated.

“Goroster has transformed the way we manage our staff. With over 60 stores across New Zealand and hundreds of staff to manage, Goroster has allowed us to prepare rosters, communicate with staff and track times. An all in one package, that is simple to use and integrates directly with Payroll.” – Jess Dempsey, Human Resources Manager of Tank Juice.

goRoster has allowed the management staff to have better control so that there aren’t any bombshells at the end of the week. In fact, the mobile app ensures that every team member is on the same page in real time. With goRoster’s online and mobile system, it is easier to stay within your budget, cut down costs and meet targets because you have the ability to forecast expenditures by looking at previous needs.

Jess goes on to say that, “The management team loves the use of goRoster for its simple, cost-effective way of managing staff rosters, time sheets, leave, and communications. goRoster has provided us with visibility of all staff across 60+ stores and allowed for greater management of our teams.” – Jess Dempsey, Human Resources Manager of Tank Juice.

TankWe all know that our staff is our most important resource. With goRoster’s tracking software, you are able to manage your staff wisely and effectively which will increase your bottom line. goRoster takes away the guesswork. You can actually see where things are ineffective and reorganise any areas that are not meeting your business’s needs.

goRoster is proud to be part of Tank’s successful business. To find out how goRoster can benefit your business sign up for our free, no obligation 30 day trial today.

Ensuring Staff Are Not Overworked

February, 2014

Busy Bar

Striking the right balance between having too many and too few employees working at any given time can be difficult. Particularly in workplaces where business tends to come in waves of extreme activity and then lull back such as retail and food service, it’s difficult to schedule a number of eight hour shifts to maximum efficiency. However a common mistake that can prove very expensive is going the opposite way and spreading your employees too thinly, and as managers will discover this can have just as negative consequences for both the staff and the business itself.

Tips For Ensuring Employees Are Not Overworked:

  • Identify the busiest periods of each day and plan your schedules to cover these, not the down time. It can be tempting to skimp on employee numbers when you know that a ten hour working day will have five hours of downtime, but you should look at it the opposite way – for at least five hours employees may be swept off their feet. The safest time to have smaller employee numbers is usually the first and last hour of a work day, but depending on the business these can also have their stresses and pressures. Schedule according to how busy you expect the busiest periods to be, and have a manager working who can allow employees to go home early if they wish and it’s clear the extra numbers aren’t necessary.
  • Have a good distribution of skills/expertise. It’s one thing to have plenty of employees on hand, but if only one or two of them can perform a critical task, it’s still going to place a lot of pressure on those workers. Ensure that for each shift there are multiple people who can perform each necessary task to ensure there aren’t just a couple of overworked staff bearing the bulk of the work.
  • Discuss weekly hour limits with employees. Some employees are in a situation where they need to work as many hours as possible, and though you should be mindful of their stress and exhaustion levels it can be just as stressful to limit their hours. Others however are only looking for a standard working week, so it’s best to talk to employees individually to ascertain what their needs and preferences are to ensure they aren’t overexerted at work.

A good rostering system is the best way to ensure you have a good distribution of employees at any time, keeping up morale and efficiency.

Give a 14-day free trial of goRoster a go here and see how better rostering can impact on the overall success of your business! 

A Cunning Approach to Managing Staff

January, 2014
fox-ferret

A cunning approach to managing staff through the use of goRoster

Customer:           The Fox & Ferret, Christchurch (part of the Frenzi Group)

Challenge:           Improving roster management and wage cost control

Consequence:   Made rostering easy and enables greater planning

“I hope that if I went anywhere else, they’d be using goRoster.”

Tom Cairns, General Manager, Fox & Ferret (The Palms).

Christchurch Institution

Occupying a sun drenched spot at The Palms Shopping Mall in the Christchurch suburb of Shirley, the Fox & Ferret is a modern gastro pub offering a wide selection of meals and drinks to suit all tastes.

The popular and respected establishment has a sister site on the western side of Christchurch in Riccarton, and is part of the wider Frenzi Group of pubs and restaurants around New Zealand.

Being part of a big group has its challenges and General Manager Tom Cairns says in his four and a half years with the company, goRoster has been with him throughout the whole journey.

Easy As

The software has evolved over the time Tom has been at the Fox & Ferret and it has become an essential tool to help him plan out the rosters. He loves how easy it is to build rosters and make changes, and with it “being online and interactive, you can change them anywhere, anytime.” And they’re able to split it so he can manage the front of house while the head chef looks after the kitchen.

“goRoster’s nice and smooth and easy to use. We’ve managed to train the guys in as little as 10-15 minutes on how it works and what it does. The reports it pulls up are really useful. You can go back as far as you want to pull any analysis up but it still gives you the week to week, it’s current too”, says Tom. “I can get a contact list of all the staff, their timesheets, turnover data and edit all the information right then and there.”

All Part Of The Plan

goRoster allows Tom to easily plan his rosters quite well in advance allowing staff to plan out their free time or request any changes. “You can see as far back or as far forward as you want. We’re up to 11 rosters ahead, so staff can see where they are. It’s really easy, you can just copy and paste if you want and just change a couple of names. You don’t have to build the whole thing again.”

“Having all the costings and everyone’s pay rates loaded against their hours is great. You can generally see exactly how you’re tracking from budget to roster and then in the financials section you can see what you had estimated at the start of the week and what you ended up with, and maybe where you could have made savings or whether you needed more people.” Having this ability allows Tom to make smarter choices and decisions on making the business more productive and efficient.

Tom says it makes it easy for the Frenzi Group finance team to check timesheets and accurately process pays. “You can get access from anywhere so the finance guys can just click in and it’s there for them. Everyone gets paid.”

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