Management views on performance-based scheduling
Tobin, Eric R.
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This study examined restaurant managers' views of factors impacting employee tenure and the implementation of a performance-based scheduling system (PBS). A mailed written survey addressed perceived reasons for turnover, rewards restaurants offered to servers, aspects of a PBS, and types of restaurants that could utilize this customer service tool. A total of 512 questionnaires were distributed to full-service restaurants and 267 surveys were returned for a response rate of 52%. Study respondents were mostly female working in multiple locations prior to a short tenure at their current restaurant. Most restaurants posted a weekly sales volume of under $75,000 and employed less than 50 servers. Turnover rate was greater than 75% and managers spent between one hour and fifteen minutes and two hours scheduling weekly. Servers' tenures also were brief. Separation issues included management conflict and lack of performance. Servers were easily motivated by receiving regular performance evaluations, feeling appreciated, and perceiving a level of flexibility in their employment situation. Management utilized scheduling techniques primarily based on seniority rather than performance record. Managers thought PBS needed inclusion of multiple evaluation criteria with the exception of total guests served. Tying PBS to customer volume instead of guest service quality was thought to contribute to increased server aggression. Overall, PBS was thought to improve service, improve teamwork, and increase sales. Managers thought that PBS impacted employee motivation. PBS also reduced scheduling time and staff turnover. PBS appeared to be a viable option to solve employee and operational performance issues. Creating an environment where people want to work is important to retaining employees and increasing performance to yield sales levels contributing to profit. Management must provide the necessary elements to keep the employees motivated and interested. Results of this project indicated that a scheduling system recognizing and rewarding servers providing exceptional and consistent guest service could assist in achieving both employer and employee goals.