I have been kicking this idea around for a while and thought it was time to put it on the blog. Essentially when talking about SG&A labor is brought up as the biggest or only controllable expense. Although, I completely disagree with this thought process I will embrace it and see what we can do to make the business more efficient and more profitable.
Supervisors and Full-Time associates would be moved from hourly to salaried. During most of the year (January 31st– October 1st) these associates would work 32 hours a week. During the holiday rush these associates would work around 50-55 hours a week. Each week associates would be scheduled as normal (based in traffic and other metrics), with a certain number of associates scheduled as on-call. The on-call associates would be expected to report to the store within 1 hour of a call. During the larger part of the year associates would typically be scheduled for 4 – 8 hour shifts and one day of on-call; with the on-call portion being scheduled as well. Associates would typically also have 2 weeks with on-call shifts, and then 2 weeks without, rotating through the months. During the holidays associates would either be scheduled for 5 – 8 hour shifts, with the possibility of being asked to stay up to 4 hours later each shift, or be scheduled for 4 – 10 hour shifts, with 1 on call day. These would alternate every two weeks in a similar manner to the on-call rotation mentioned earlier.
The customer benefit is that our stores would be constantly staffed, and in the event that the store was understaffed for a large rush we would be able to call in more associates.
The company benefits are that we will be better able to forecast our labor (the full-time associates’ hours would have already been calculated – leaving only the part-time associates’ hours to fluctuate), gives the ability for associates to participate in projects like Twelpforce 24 hours a day, and allows for Supervisors and High potential associates to work on more projects from home in their spare time (this is something that currently happens, but usually with employees off the clock, by making these associates salaried I would assume the company would have less liability around that work.)
The employee benefits are that during most of the year you are getting paid whether you work or not. If everything works the way it should, even these associates could be sent home early if traffic permits – putting them on an on-call status until their normal shift would be over. This could give more associates a better work/life balance.
Notes and cautions:
During the test portion Supervisors and Full-Time associates would have a chance to opt into the program. Also, we can’t abuse the labor, during the holidays, when the highest number of customers are coming in is where the company benefits the most from this plan, during the rest of the year if we take it easy on the associates everyone will be happy. This is partially inspired by the way managers work now, where they give up 90% of their life for 4 months to have a pretty easy scheduling during the rest of the year.
I would also add that currently only a small percentage of the store staff is full-time; this plan still gives the ability to use labor to control SG&A.
As always, if you have any feedback I am willing to listen, post them here, tweet me, or if you know me outside of this blog contact me in any way you see fit.
Have a great day!