The rise of e-commerce has changed retail’s playing field significantly over the past few years, a trend that has only accelerated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Traditional brick and mortar retailers have been forced to think of ways to compete with online retailers who offer customers more convenience, wider assortment and often lower prices. As a result, service has become a significant value lever for retailers to compete with. However unstable schedules, unpredictable deployment of staff and a lack of work-life balance has meant that the retail industry suffers from high staff turnover rates. High staff turnover leads to higher recruitment and training costs, lower morale, and decreased levels of employee satisfaction and engagement, negatively impacting customer service. Self-rostering offers an alternative way to increase satisfaction and employee retention and subsequently customer service.

Hidden costs

Because labor in the retail industry is generally the largest controllable expense in stores, many retailers are tempted to minimize the cost of labor by employing as much temporary and flexible staff as possible to allow for short term allocation of store associates. At first glance it may seem like retailers create cost savings by matching supply to demand at short notice. However, the kind of unpredictable schedules these practices create inevitably lead to higher costs in the form of lower customer conversion rates and lower average basket sizes (lost sales). These higher costs can offset savings created by short term unpredictable schedules. Self-rostering offers a way to stabilize schedules and make them more predictable, it puts pressure on a retailer to improve their capacity planning and demand forecasting capabilities. Because in self-rostering, retailers must design a set of shifts for staff to choose from in advance.

Improved customer service

The empirical evidence from research on the positive relationship between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction is well established. Store associates with higher levels of job satisfaction are many times more likely to achieve better customer service, which in turn leads to higher revenues. Self-rostering offers a way to improve employee satisfaction by offering them influence over their schedules. The concern retailers have is that they might lose grip over their coverage. However, the reality is that depends on how effectively self-rostering is structured. Using our methodology before employees choose their preferred shifts, the “rules of the game” are decided. Depending on expected workload, a set of unassigned shifts with associated rules such as number of employees required and what qualifications/skills per shift are determined beforehand. With the right methodology and software, retailers keep a grip on capacity while improving employee satisfaction and subsequently customer satisfaction.

Change management

At the self-rostering factory we are experienced in guiding organizations from current rostering methods to more flexible methods such as self-rostering. We understand the changes needed not only from an administrative and organizational design perspective, but also the cultural shift needed from both management and workers. As a functional expert in rostering, we have a bird’s eye view on how certain industries have become more advanced in the use of self-rostering. As a result, our clients benefit from our ability to transport knowledge and best practices across industries.

Benefits of self-rostering for retail

As brick and mortar retailers develop their omni-channel capabilities, it is important to ensure that they are extracting optimal value from their physical stores too. A large part of that value is contingent on how effectively the workforce is managed. Self-rostering approach can help retailers reduce scheduling burden from store managers, improve their customer service through a happier and more engaged workforce and lower costs through higher staff retention.     

Our service offerings for self-rostering


Try-out Self-rostering

A year-long guided introduction to self-rostering, with no further obligation.
  • Active client involvement
  • Feasibility study
  • 1 year software and support
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Most popular

Professional Self-rostering

Self-rostering implemented throughout your organisation following a successful pilot.
  • Pilot with opt-out
  • Implementation organisation-wide
  • 3 year software and support
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Data-driven Self-rostering

We take over all your workforce planning for a period of three years. All your planning costs will be transparent and scalable.
  • Feasibility study
  • KPI-based takeover of your workforce planning
  • 3 year software and support
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