How a Forever 21 Manager Reduced Absenteeism by 75% with Shyft
“If there’s an accomplished goal, everyone knows about it. It lets other team members know and they think, ‘maybe I can work toward getting a shout out too.”
For too long, when an associate needed to get a shift covered at the Forever 21 location in Rockaway NJ, they had to rely on slips of paper. The associate was required to sign, then collect the signature of the person who would be covering the shift, and then submit it to the location’s manager.
The team sought a solution that would be more efficient than this “prehistoric method.” They started to use the Shyft solution to swap shifts, and now this location’s manager gets a notification on his phone when associates would like to swap a shift. He simply approves the swap within the app within minutes.
The Rockaway manager told us he’s saving 6-7 hours per week thanks to Shyft. About 60 of his team members at the store use Shyft, and in the past 180 days, the team has swapped over 5,000 shift hours, posted more than 1,000 newsfeed comments, and sent 1,678 chat messages.
We interviewed the manager at the Forever 21 in Rockaway, as well as other Forever 21 store managers, to learn more about the impact of Shyft’s shift swapping, scheduling, and communication features in their stores.
Now that associates are using Shyft, the Rockaway manager sees an increase in covered shifts. “Some of the previous excuses, like you didn’t send me the schedule, are no longer valid,” he said. “Each employee is trained on the app, and I’d say we’re at 75% or higher reduction in absenteeism.”
“We’re at 75% or higher reduction in absenteeism.”
He has seen this create significant benefits for the business and the team. With the sales floor fully-staffed, the team is better able to support customers and convert sales. The associates on his team also “love being able to pick up more hours.” The ability to pick up extra shifts helps with financial stability, which in turn increases job satisfaction.
Before, distributing the schedule was an all-day event for the store manager, but now it takes just a few hours. He said he can easily see what areas of the store associates are trained for, “which saves [him] time.” Because he distributes the schedule in Shyft, employees don’t have to go into the store or call between shifts to get their schedule.
Associates can review the schedule on their own time and adjust their shifts if personal conflicts come up. Shifts that are available to cover are displayed in the Shift Feed, where other team members can easily see it and offer to cover.
Communicating as a Team
When the Rockaway location won a “Best of the Best” competition, the store manager shared the exciting news with his team in Shyft. He says the Shyft communication features allow him to make frequent shout outs, which he believes improves team morale. “If there’s an accomplished goal, everyone knows about it. It lets other team members know and they think, ‘maybe I can work toward getting a shout out too.”
He also uses Shyft to update the team on sales goals and promotions or the arrival of a new collection. He might remind the team of an upcoming visit from a District Manager, a store meeting, or other events, such as team outings or potlucks. Even for small issues like an umbrella left in the back of the store, it is “so much easier than hunting down each person,” he said. “You get a response immediately.”
Shyft Users are Nationwide
Shyft is used at Forever 21 locations across the country. We also spoke to managers at Forever 21 stores in Austin, Texas and Marlborough, Massachusetts. They reported experiencing similar benefits.
In Austin, using the app is “better than texting” and helps everyone communicate “with a press of a button.” The store manager called out that this is especially important for helping newer employees – who might not know their coworkers yet – feel more comfortable about reaching out when they need help getting their shift covered.
The manager in Marlborough was also quick to mention that Shyft saves her “quite a bit of time – a few hours collectively along with the headache of people not being able to get in touch with me.” In using Shyft, she has also noticed a “lot less call outs and a lot less missed shifts.”
Reduce Absenteeism in Your Stores
When asked if he would recommend Shyft to another manager of a retail store, the Rockaway manager replied, “I already do.” The other managers shared the sentiment. To us, this best captures the value of Shyft.
Managers are crucial to a store’s ongoing success. Using Shyft, managers are able to focus their time and energy on high-value projects, like setting up new promotions or finding new ways to engage their team. By saving time, improving morale, and reducing absenteeism, Shyft is empowering managers – and their teams – to be more effective.