Schnucks lets associates pick their own stores and shifts
Mimicking on-demand working, Schnucks has introduced a “Schnucks Flexforce” option at select St. Louis-area stores that lets associates select both their shifts and preferred store locations.
Workers log onto Schnucks’ scheduling app to view and claim open shifts as well as to opt-in to receive notifications when shifts are available.
“Much like rideshare and food delivery service employees, Flexforce teammates will be able to seek and claim shifts at the time and location of their choosing,” Laura Freeman, Schnucks’ chief people officer, said in a statement.
Flexforce represents a new classification of Schnucks’ hourly associates. The flexibility is designed to expand the grocer’s pool of candidates amid a tight labor market. Stacy Brandt, Schnucks’ VP of store operations, told Supermarket News, “It helps us to stay relevant and flexible for the modern workforce.”
Flexforce offers workers the same benefits and perks that traditional Schnucks teammates get. Existing associates can also pick up shifts on the app.
Even before the pandemic, retailers were increasingly giving associates the ability to swap shifts and pick up unfilled shifts via scheduling apps, but staffing shortages have prompted retailers to offer even greater flexibility.
Amazon.com last fall announced that workers in certain roles, ranging from warehouse to delivery, can cancel a shift “in as little as 16 hours” before it begins or can swap shifts at the last minute.
In September 2021, Target said its enhanced app supporting on-demand scheduling “has quickly become a popular option among team members who are full-time students, retirees, and those who want to work less frequently.”
An NBC News article from earlier this year found that Walmart, Meijer and Big Lots were complementing their staff with gig workers.
Retailers have to increasingly compete with corporate workers being offered the flexibility to work from homes.
As noted by Fast Company and other sources, some of the negatives of generous flexible scheduling include an interruption in work flow for staff versus regular schedules and managers spending an inordinate amount filling shifts not picked up. Charles Mitchell, co-founder of the staffing firm All About People, told Fast Company, “Being understaffed can lead to costly gaps in service, and disappoint otherwise loyal customers.”
- Schnucks Introduces New Flexforce Employment Option Allowing Teammates To Choose Shifts And Store Locations – Schnucks
- Meet the ‘Flexforce’: Schnucks, in push to keep and attract workers, debuts new staffing strategy – St. Louis Business Journal
- Schnucks now offers flexible work shifts for employees. Here’s why they’re doing it. – Supermarket News
- The Seven Flaws Of Flextime – Fast Company
- Disadvantages of Alternative Scheduling for Employers – Small Business Chronicle
- No more familiar faces at the checkout? Why stores are hiring gig workers. – NBC News
- Is an on-demand workforce heading to retail’s selling floors? – RetailWire
- Target Readies Team for Holiday with More Hours, Pay and Training – Target
- Amazon Launches FamilyFlex to Give Front-line Employees Flexibility and Support and to Help Parents Transition Back to the Workplace – Amazon.com
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think of Schnucks Flexforce and the potential to bring more of an on-demand working option to retail selling floors? How confident are you that the benefits to stores from flexible scheduling offset the drawbacks?