If you have a restaurant or a business that depends on work shifts, then you must have seasonal, part time and full time staff members on the payroll. Part timers in particular have their own needs and shift preferences that have to be taken into account. This includes their work schedules and it is a manager's responsibility to maintain a complex balancing act that can ensure his patrons remain satisfied with a full service and motivation levels remain high.
The following are some considerations that need to be taken into account
1. Personalize Shift timings
Before setting up shifts, talk to each employee and ask them if they can meet them or if they wish to have flexible timings. This includes their preferred work days, the hours they can give the job their full attention and which days they could be unavailable. Also tell your employees to notify you a month in advance regarding any changes in those preferences and have a meeting with them regarding their validity.
It should also be their responsibility to find a co-worker willing to take over their shift if they cannot make it. You will have final say on their suggestions, but this small step will motivate your staff and increase the number of successful services exponentially as well.
2. Assign Shifts according to Expected Revenue
Before approving any shift changes, calculate the expected revenue for each service and each shift throughout the period under scrutiny. Compare labor hours with the revenue that you can get for the day to get an estimate. Keep the expected revenue your restaurant can generate in mind to determine how much staff you will need for each shift and for each day. For instance, you may need all hands on deck during the tourist season to ensure a full service each day. Approving a day off for a single employee for those days can decrease the team's morale.
3. Fill in the Gaps
If you still end up with gaps in a busy shift, assign available employees to those timings that have not completed the number of hours/week they need to. For instance, if you have a shift based staff member who is only available say 30 hours a week and needs to work for 24 hours, use him to fill that shift gap. However, make sure you have his consent beforehand; if the employee has a prior engagement for those hours, then you will have to contend with one less staff member. To avoid this, post the schedule sheet you make in a visible area so all of your staff can see it.
Keeping track of variable hours with payroll management software such as Zip Clock, can make payroll easier to manage. Employees can clock in from a wall-mounted tablet, workstation, or can clock in/out from a mobile phone which use geo-location positioning to ensure they are onsite when clocking in/out. Once a crew member clocks in, the Clock In button morphs into a countdown clock, displaying how many minutes and hours an employee has been clocked in. Once an employee clocks out on break, that time clock morphs again to display how many minutes are left before the employee must return.