Written by: Lori Malcom, Northeast Region — Archdiocese of Boston
Determining the appropriate amount of labor hours is critical for an efficient retail operation and can appear to be a very daunting task. Guessing can often lead to overstaffing or understaffing, each of which has negative effects on the bottom line and employee morale.
The following tips will help guide you through the process and may be applied to existing stores operations as well as those in the planning or feasibility stage.
Start by determining the size of the store and hours of operation. Be sure to include the hours the store is open for donations. A manager/assistant manager or lead staff person must be in the store at all times. You can determine if your store will have an assistant manager or lead based on the size and hours of your operation. Some smaller stores may not need an assistant manager. You will need to consider any break periods for the staff to insure you have proper coverage during these times.
Consider all of the duties needed, including sales, production, merchandising, janitorial etc. For example, you will need a cashier and a donation attendant during all business hours. Be sure to include hours when multiple cashiers and or donation attendants may be need for busy times.
Allocate an appropriate amount of time for each job duty for each weekday of operation. Some duties have established labor standards, such as production, others will be reasonably determined estimates. Discuss this with your store leadership and consider their input. Staff acknowledgement and buy-in is the key to an efficient labor standard, accountability, and success!
Please consider attending the National Assembly Stores Meeting on September 6, 2023 in St. Louis, MO to learn more ways to serve your thrift store customers.
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