good jobs case study gap

National retailer Gap conducted a 35-week scheduling experiment that yielded about $2.9M in increased revenues for Gap across 19 pilot store locations.

Key aspects of the experiment included:

  • Elimination of on-call shifts.
  • Creation of 14-Day Advance Schedules: managers finalized work schedules at least two weeks in advance, and associates had to request planned time off two weeks in advance.
  • Addition of Staff Hours: adding hours for employees increased weekly sales by 10% in small stores (both units per transaction and conversion rates both increased).
  • Establishment of Part-Time Plus: high-performing staff members were given a “soft” guarantee of 20+ hours per week, enabling employees to have more consistent hours, as well as greater familiarity with the products, stocking practices, cashier codes, and customers.
  • Creation of Core Schedules: Gap identified employees who can consistently work certain shifts on specific days of the week, assigned the same people to the same shift for the majority of days, and created tools to enable managers to reuse the same schedule with minor tweaks, as needed (providing a core schedule of closers, openers, and other shifts to build from).
  • Stable Shift Structure: managers sought to set the same start and end times for the majority of scheduled shifts, creating an environment where staff members worked the same times and the same shifts, helping them to structure days better and anticipate staff arrival times.
  • Tech-Enabled Shift Swapping: Gap instituted a tool (Shift Messenger) that allowed peer-to-peer communication and coordination, which helped to decrease call-offs and save time for employees seeking coverage for shifts.

Key Results of the Scheduling Experiment:

  • Estimated $2.9M in increased revenues in the 19 stores over 35 weeks.
  • Part-Time Plus staffing created a core group of committed and well-trained associates.
  • Core schedules saved time and provided employees with greater stability.
  • Managers spent less time creating and revising schedules.
  • Labor productivity increased by 5%, with pilot stores generating an additional $6.20 of revenue per hour of labor versus non-pilot stores.

Read more in the New York Times piece, Time at Gap: Steady Hours Can Help Workers, and Profits