Don’t leave it to guesstimates and intuition! Get control of your labor costs with real reports and actionable items.

Scheduling your team members for the right shifts is a study in organized chaos. Some times of day or different days of the week require more staff than normal and some don’t—and it all comes down to balancing labor costs with scheduling.

It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that labor costs have a huge impact on the success of your business. Rather than leaving it to guesstimates and intuition, get control of your actual labor costs with real reports and actionable items. Implementing these will help you make changes that will increase both your efficiency and your bottom line. Learn how you can create efficiencies in your schedule and see maximum ROI.

Are you doing everything you can to control labor expenses? 

Managing labor can be an easy way to boost profit. To do so, you need to know how much of your revenue is used for labor. If this isn’t something you’re actively tracking now, it’s time to start. Take your labor cost for a day and divide it by the total sales you had in that day which will give you the percentage of your sales being used for labor.

An average FEC’s hourly wages are typically 28-30% of revenue depending on the layout, size and what attractions you offer, so do this calculation every day for a few weeks to see what you spend on labor on average and which days you’re spending too much.

Using the CenterEdge time clock and scheduling module? Run the Labor Cost Analysis Report and this data will be at your fingertips. Be sure to monitor these numbers and, if over the course of a few weeks you find that a certain day’s or time period’s labor percentage is off track, start working to manage it better.

Are you analyzing your labor costs by the hour? 

On a more granular level, analyzing labor costs by hour can help determine what shifts can be modified. Changing the morning shift to come in half an hour later or sending team members home when there’s a lull can contribute to this.

For example, the minimum wage in the United States is around eight dollars an hour. So, if you have three team members come in thirty minutes later one day, and three go home an hour earlier you’ll save around forty dollars a day—which means two hundred and fifty dollars a week. That’s no small change!

Wishing for a better alternative to sending people home? Look for ways to increase sales during this time period. This could be sending out promotions via social media to get more people in the facility, or sending tablet equipped team members around with unique specials and upsell opportunities just for those guests onsite. While the easy answer may seem to be cutting staff, increasing revenue is actually a win-win alternative. Get creative with more four-walls sales and achieve even better results.

And make sure you check these numbers using the Hourly Sales Report. With this report, you can both check in on how you’re doing in sales and plan labor needs. Consider using this report to review sales trends over several week-long periods to check sales against labor percentage projections to create the upcoming schedules with the busiest times in mind or adjust staff schedules. Additionally, these reports will help you manage breaks and lunches based on your facility’s unique needs.

Are you minimizing scheduling conflicts?

A large percentage of team members at parks and FECs are teenagers who are trying to balance a lot of different activities and events in their lives—which means you might run into some difficulties with team members calling out. A good rule of thumb? Communicate and post your schedule two weeks before the work week dates. Doing this will give team members time to speak with management and discuss any conflicts they may have.

And if it’s too difficult to have a full schedule developed two weeks ahead of time, try assigning team members to the same shifts every week using schedule templates. Changing their schedule every week can be confusing and set them up for failure, so providing a more stable and repetitive schedule will increase attendance while making your scheduling tasks simpler and more efficient.

Avoid additional scheduling conflicts by tracking team member availability. Use the CenterEdge time clock and scheduling module to track this automatically and have team members select their preferred, available and unavailable days. These days are color coded and can clearly show which days are which. If you aren’t using the time clock and scheduling module, create a document you can print and deliver to team members so they can write down their availability. Keep these sheets on file to help you build out your schedule and keep your team members’ needs top of mind.

Bottom Line

Keeping these things in mind, you can turn organized chaos into just plain organized. Labor costs have a huge impact on your facility’s success—so ditch the guesstimates and lock your labor costs down with concrete numbers to fuel your scheduling.

Can you think of other tips for managing employee schedules and labor costs? Share them in the comments or on Twitter!

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