Upgrades – June 2017

Shift Agent Upgrade - June 26, 2017

Upgrades include:

  1. Pay Rates Feature
  2. Productivity Bar
  3. Updates to the User Interface

ATTN:  The recent upgrade to Shift Agent’s pay rate system effects every store where:

  • You use the pay rates to track labor expense
  • You may have used position specific pay rates or training wages
  • There might be more than one pay rate per employee

Upgrades June 2017 – Shift Agent from Shift Agent on Vimeo.

The Pay Rates Upgrade

  • Now, only Admins can see actual pay rates.
  • Managers CAN NOT see actual pay rates and they can use an Avg Labor Cost for one hour that you set.
  • In this update, we took great care to make sure that the previous pay rates were accurately reflected in the new system.

Before:

  • You had to specify the pay rate for every employee in every position any time you gave someone a raise.
  • It was the normal practice to have position specific pay rates.

Now:

  • You do NOT have to update pay rates in every position, and you can just update the base rate for an employee.  (hooray!)
  • The Base Rate is a default pay rate for each employee in Shift Agent.
  • An employee base rate is always used to calculate the cost of a shift, unless you provide an exception that would apply in a given situation.
  • Exceptions are either:
    • Training Rates:  Rates used when the Training flag is applied to a position for a specific employee.  When the training flag is turned off in the position, the training wage is not used in that position.  For example, if you hire a new employee and they will get paid $10.00/hr when they are done training but they are paid $9.00 while they are training, you can set the Training Base Rate as an exception.
    • Position Specific exception:  You can select a position and make a pay rate specific to that position for an employee.
      • You will ONLY want to do this if the position should override every employee’s base rate.
  • Position pay rates should only be set when the position should be paid the same amount no matter who is working it.  (ie. Wait staff who receive tips)
  • Pay Rate Exceptions are now added to employees in the pay rate management area, and it is not required to add/remove pay rates from positions.

In order to make the best use of the new pay rate system:

  1. Please navigate to the Employees area and click on the Pay Rates tab at the top.
  2. Go through each of your employees and check their new Base Rate to be sure it is accurate.
  3. Add/remove any pay rate exceptions that need to be updated.
    1. Exceptions can range from:
      1. special training base rate
      2. position-specific pay rate
      3. position training pay rate
  4. If employees in your store are always paid the same individual rate no matter where they work in the store, you can hit the MULTI-REMOVE EXCEPTIONS button at the top.

Heads Up on Position Pay Rates

We have removed all of the default position pay rates in your store.  You can actually go and re-add them if you need to, but this should be done with the knowledge that the position default pay rate WILL create an exception for every employee that overrides their base rate.  The default pay rates for a position are now used to automatically create an exception for an employee who is added to that position.


Productivity Calculator

There is now a new metric in the Guide Bar for Productivity.  To use this feature, make sure that you fill out the Set Projections area for the week using at least Gross Revenue and Labor Hours projections.  This will calculate your daily productivity and allow you to display it on the guide bar on the scheduling page.

Updates to the Look and Feel of the App

You will notice a lot of changes to the look and feel of the app now that will be reflected in employee profiles, the store profile, and many of the major feature pages as well. You may need to take a second glance to find where something is now, but our hope is that the information is presented in a more organized and user friendly way.

Base Rates and Exceptions (pay rates)

The Base Rate is the default pay rate for every employee in Shift Agent.  The base rate is used unless you provide an exception that would apply in a given situation.

Exceptions are either:

  • Training Rates:  Rates used when the Training flag is applied to a position for a specific employee.  When the training flag is turned off in the position, the training wage is not used in that position.  For example, if you hire a new employee and they will get paid $10.00/hr when they are done training but they are paid $9.00 while they are training, you can set the Training Base Rate as an exception.
  • Position Specific exception:  You can select a position and make a pay rate specific to that position for an employee.

Productivity Calculation

One of the most helpful metrics for gaining insight into the effect of scheduling on your business is the measurement of productivity.

Productivity is Sales/Hours Scheduled.

Shift Agent provides a productivity calculation within the Projections area.

How to See Productivity

In order to see the projection data, you need to:

  1. Input the Sales Projection for the day
  2. Input the Labor Hours Projected.

The resulting Productivity will appear on the bottom line of the projections input area.

You can adjust the sales, or adjust the hours to achieve the productivity you desire.

Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 4.46.53 PM

 
This same productivity figure will also appear on the guidebar.

Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 4.16.05 PM

Assign Positions

Select the first position in the upper left corner, and then begin selecting employees by click on them one-by-one.  You will notice that a gray bar will appear on their employee card.  From here, you can carefully think through and select:

  • Their skill level in this particular position.  Rate them from zero to three stars.  *Only managers and admins can see this information.
  • Whether or not they are training (TR) in this position at this time.

Once you are finished with the first position, go through and do the same process for each position.  Later on, you can add positions to employees from their individual profiles, but for large sets of data at once, this method is much quicker.

PLUS Plan

Shift Agent has three subscription plans to choose from:  BASIC, TEAM, & PLUS.  This article is about the PLUS plan.

The PLUS plan has the following options:

  • All Scheduling and Team Messaging options *
  • Smart Notes™ feature
  • Print the Schedule on paper or to PDF.
  • Managers can login and approve requests.
  • Employees each have their own login and can see their schedule and make change requests.

PLUS plan pricing is based on the number of active employees in your store.

PLUS plan has everything that TEAM plan has with the addition of the Smart Notes™ feature.  You can manage your subscription plan at any time.

* Includes an optional ability to send announcements via SMS (text messaging) and this comes with a small additional purchase of SMS tokens.

TEAM Plan

Shift Agent has three subscription plans to choose from:  BASIC, TEAM, & PLUS.  This article is about the TEAM plan.

The TEAM plan has the following options:

  • All Scheduling and Team Messaging options *
  • Print the Schedule on paper or to PDF.
  • Managers can login and approve requests.
  • Employees each have their own login and can see their schedule and make change requests.

TEAM plan pricing is based on the number of active employees in your store.  You can manage your subscription plan at any time.

In order to use the Smart Notes™ feature, you must upgrade to the PLUS plan.

*Team Messaging includes an optional ability to send announcements via SMS (text messaging) and this comes with a small additional purchase of SMS tokens.

BASIC plan

Shift Agent has three subscription plans to choose from:  BASIC, TEAM, & PLUS.  This article is about the BASIC plan.

The BASIC plan has the following options:

  • Use the powerful smart scheduling tool,
  • Print the Schedule on paper or to PDF.
  • Only one account is allowed to log in and make the schedule.
  • Employees CANNOT login themselves.

BASIC plan is FREE forever.

In order to have Employees be able to login, your store must upgrade to either the TEAM plan or the PLUS plan.

You can manage your subscription at any time.

 

Days Off – Grant Overrides

As a result of your store day off policy, there may be situations where you need to allow an employee to make a request for a day off that is outside of your normal pattern.

There are three main parts to how Shift Agent give you control of Day Off requests:

  1. Days Off Policy
  2. Soft Limits
  3. Overrides & Exceptions– explained in this post

Note:  Unless you grant an override, if they are outside of your policy, they can’t make the request.

  • To grant an exception, simply navigate to the employee’s profile and go to the Overrides area.
  • Press the Grant Exception button, and the next time they attempt to make a day off request, the system will allow them to do it.
  • Each exception is good for one and only one request.

Screen Shot 2017-01-25 at 10.07.40 PM

Set an Availability Policy

You can set an availability policy to help set the right level of flexibility and communication surrounding the issue of availability changes for your team.

By default, Shift Agent allows team members to request availability changes at any time.  Typically, this works well, but there are cases where it may be important for you to limit this communication.

Choices:

  1.  Limit requests for availability changes to ONLY during an availability campaign that you create.
  2.  Allow requests to come in organically, at any time of the employee’s choosing.

Overrides and Exceptions:

You can grant exceptions.  If you choose to restrict the availability updates to only during campaigns, you may grant individual exceptions to employees at your discretion.   It unlocks the ability for a team member to make a request to update their availability without you having to run an availability campaign.  This lets you build a culture of responsibility for the employees to communicate their availability without you having to fill in the information for them.

Access:

  • Navigate to the Company Profile by clicking on your store name in the upper left corner.
  • Click on the Policies tab.