Executive Briefings

Wal-Mart's Labor Scheduling Overhaul Could Transform Retail

Wal-Mart has announced it will change employee scheduling systems and processes across 650 of its U.S. stores - with the goal of improving peak hour staffing and provide more predictability over hours for employees.

Employee scheduling remains a challenge in the retail industry. According to a recent study by WorkJam, an employee engagement platform for the service industry, 89 percent of stores are understaffed each week. On top of that, 62 percent of managers say employees have quit their stores due to scheduling conflicts, which likely racks up serious turnover costs.

As the world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart is a major industry influencer. Back in 2014 when it raised its minimum wage for employees, other big players including Target and Costco followed suit. Making changes that are focused on improving employee scheduling could be similarly impactful. Here are three trends expected in the coming years as retailers begin to follow Wal-Mart's lead and boost their own employee engagement initiatives:

Scheduling will be based on employee input. Wal-Mart's plans will attempt to give employees more power over their schedules, which reflects a broader industry shift toward improving employee well-being. More companies are allowing workers to accommodate their work schedules around home life, rather than vice versa. As greater emphasis is placed on a work-life balance in this industry, employers will need to find a way to accommodate time-off requests and shift swap preferences. According to WorkJam's most recent study, 28 percent of retail managers are very satisfied with their workforce management system's ability to create schedules that accommodate both store labor needs and associates' preferences. This could explain why employers are shifting away from traditional scheduling systems and toward those that allow workers to create their own schedules, resulting in increased ROI.

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Employee scheduling remains a challenge in the retail industry. According to a recent study by WorkJam, an employee engagement platform for the service industry, 89 percent of stores are understaffed each week. On top of that, 62 percent of managers say employees have quit their stores due to scheduling conflicts, which likely racks up serious turnover costs.

As the world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart is a major industry influencer. Back in 2014 when it raised its minimum wage for employees, other big players including Target and Costco followed suit. Making changes that are focused on improving employee scheduling could be similarly impactful. Here are three trends expected in the coming years as retailers begin to follow Wal-Mart's lead and boost their own employee engagement initiatives:

Scheduling will be based on employee input. Wal-Mart's plans will attempt to give employees more power over their schedules, which reflects a broader industry shift toward improving employee well-being. More companies are allowing workers to accommodate their work schedules around home life, rather than vice versa. As greater emphasis is placed on a work-life balance in this industry, employers will need to find a way to accommodate time-off requests and shift swap preferences. According to WorkJam's most recent study, 28 percent of retail managers are very satisfied with their workforce management system's ability to create schedules that accommodate both store labor needs and associates' preferences. This could explain why employers are shifting away from traditional scheduling systems and toward those that allow workers to create their own schedules, resulting in increased ROI.

Read Full Article