team

New year revolutions

January, 2018

Last year was very successful for goRoster. We grew our team; had lots of new customers jump on board; developed exciting new features; and talked to so many people in the hospitality and retail industry that we’ve lost count.

Now that 2018 is here, we’ve put our heads together and come up with some tips to help make it an even more productive and satisfying year.

Learn something new

From a personal standpoint, learning anything new is a great way to challenge yourself and kick your brain into overdrive. It could be learning a musical instrument, solving a rubix cube or mastering another language.

From a career point of view, adding a new skill to your CV is a great way to help make yourself indispensable. Consider taking a mixologist course, learn a new cooking technique, or become an expert in social media to help with your online marketing.

Be brave

Some of the most revolutionary ideas come from people and organisations that push the boundaries. Movies with sound, the telephone, computers – we can’t think of our lives without these, but when they were first proposed many people thought they were doomed to fail.

If you think you’ve got a great idea, be brave and talk to a business mentor. It might just be the next best thing! Watch this space for something we’ve been working on that we think will make a bit of a splash.

Delegate more

It’s only since our team has grown that we’ve begun to realise the importance of letting go of the reins. It’s as much about easing your load – whether at work or in your personal life – as it is about clearing your mental space.

If you continue trying to juggle a hundred tasks at once, eventually you’re going to drop some. Things will run smoother when you hand tasks over to someone you know and trust to do the job well. Plus, you’ll have more time for you, which is equally important.

If it isn’t working, fix it!

Even the most successful organisations have systems and processes that don’t work as well as well as they could. This might be an inefficient rostering system, clunky accounting software, or disorganised stocktaking processes. A new year is the perfect time to deal with them. Consult your staff, talk to industry experts, and come up with options that best suit your needs.

Stay customer focussed

At the end of the day, businesses only survive due to a strong customer following. It’s important to keep your faithful clientele happy and continue to entice new customers. Keep an eye on what is going well and what isn’t, and ask your customers what they think could be changed or improved. Even in 2018, the old adage of ‘the customer is always right’ still rings true.

Here’s to a successful year ahead! If you want to have a chat, get in touch with us – we’re only a click away.

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.

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.

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!

 

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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Is Revenue A True Predictor Of Success?

June, 2015

Is revenue a true predictor of success?

“Success.”

Typically defined as: ‘the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.’ (1)

Success means a lot of different things to different people. Success may mean wealth, or it may mean happiness. It may mean fame, and for others it may mean power. But can revenue be a true predictor of success?

In the business world there is not right or wrong way to define success. It’s merely subjective. It is based on both the personal and  the business goals that you have in place for yourself. These can vary tremendously from one person to the next. Many believe that there is in fact only one path to success, and they simply choose not to consider other patterns of thinking. In their mind, this way of thinking is what will help them to reach their end goal.

It’s all in your ability to adopt change when it comes to your current systems and process, that will help you as you carve out your route to business success. If you begin to place too much confidence in your ability to make good judgements and decisions and solely rely on old patterns of thinking, you’re giving no weight to the environmental factors surrounding you that are constantly changing.

As we all know, the costs that typically make up a business are:

  • Your fixed Costs
  • Your variable Costs
  • Your employee Costs

And then you have your little shining beacon. Your profit.

Ask yourself. Are you measuring the right things? Many have the perception that they know what makes up the correct monetary equation to predict their profit. We believe this is a naive way of thinking unless you’re consistently taking into account the effects of both your controllable and uncontrollable costs. Unless you are 150% sure your decisions are supporting your overall goal for profitability – there will never be complete accuracy in your figures. What you are measuring needs to show:

  • Continuity in accuracy
  • And, the numbers need to hold the correct weight.

It’s like being the coach of a sports team. You’re employed to pick players based on their skills and their ability to play within the team. There needs to be continuity in accuracy and you must weigh up the importance of the correct statistics. What abilities are most relevant based on the current game and competition. The environmental factors.

So there you have it. Revenue can be a predictor of your success. If you choose to measure it correctly. 

(1) www.oxforddictionairies.com /definition/english/success
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