How to make a staff rota that works (even in your busy salon season)
Planning a staff rota is always a balancing act. And no more so than during your busiest periods when it seems all your customers want an appointment… and all your employees want a holiday! Here are eight simple tips for making sure your rota works for everyone.
1. Make your rota planning as easy as possible
The summer months are likely to be among your busiest, so the last thing you want to do is spend ages poring over your rota. Especially when a study* found the average rota takes over five hours a week to plan and then manage. Ugh.
So before peak season hits, make sure however you organise your rota - whether that’s using paid-for rota software or your own created spreadsheet - it’s the most efficient way possible for your business.
“You don’t want your staff members burning out so be as approachable and flexible as possible”
2. Know your peak times
Before you start your rota, work out your busiest times. After all, there’s no point having all your staff in from 9 to 5 if the majority of your customers want later appointments.
Look back at your appointments for the past couple of years to see if there are any trends in popular times during the summer months and use that as your starting point.
3. Be aware of the law
Your full-time employees have a statutory right to 28 days (5.6 weeks) paid holiday every year. Meanwhile your part-time staff are entitled to the same amount of holiday on a pro rata basis.
The law also says employees over the age of 18 shouldn’t work more than 48 hours a week, are entitled to a 20 minute break if working more than six hours a day and one rest day in the working week.
4. Listen to your staff
You want your team to be happy so ask them if they have certain times they’d prefer to work - and times that might be trickier for them. You can then keep this in mind when creating your rota.
Also let them know they can talk to you if they feel overwhelmed – you don’t want your staff members burning out so be as approachable and flexible as possible.
5. Give staff plenty of notice
Hopefully your customers have all booked in with you weeks in advance so you know when you need each staff member. The earlier you can do your rota and let your employees know their hours, the better.
6. Manage staff holiday requests
It’s the summer, which means your staff are probably planning on booking a sunshine holiday. Yet for many salons, this is the worst possible time for their team members to be off.
There are ways to manage this: from limiting the number of employees who can be off at one time to asking for holiday requests to be submitted at least eight weeks in advance.
You can also write into your staff contracts that holiday can’t be taken in your busy periods, or only one week can be booked off in this time. Find out more about holiday entitlements for you and your staff here.
7. Hire temporary staff
Rather than overloading your team, think about taking on temporary staff to help during your busiest times. This is a quick way to cover all your appointments and works out cheaper than hiring another permanent member of staff.
8. Reward your team
Phew, after a busy few months your staff are likely to be worn out. Why not treat them to an end of summer party to thank them for all their hard work. Next stop, the Christmas rush!