Modern AI-Powered WFM Is More Than Time and Attendance

March 10, 2022

by Kristin Brennan

Three smiling co-workers looking at mobile phone

Legion was recently included in this Convenience Store News article, The Wonders of Workforce Management, by Tammy Mastroberte.

The labor shortage is a topic that’s on every retailer’s mind. How to attract and retain employees when the employees have moved into the driver’s seat of the hiring process is a big question. Legion CEO Sanish Mondkar explained, “The labor issue is not a temporary situation. [It] is something that is going to last, and everyone in the industry has to raise the bar to provide a better experience for employees.”

The pandemic was a catalyst for what many are calling the Great Resignation or perhaps the Great Renegotiation, which Greg Rosalsky at NPR defines as, “The popular phrase [that] refers to the roughly 33 million Americans who have quit their jobs since the spring of 2021.” With fewer people in the hourly workforce, retailers have turned to technology to meet their goals:

  • Optimize labor efficiency to reduce labor costs – the #1 cost center for retail businesses
  • Attract and retain hourly employees by providing employee empowerment
  • Reduce the time managers spend on repetitive admin tasks, so they can focus on customer satisfaction and mentor employees
  • Enhance the employee experience with modern communication tools and schedule flexibility so they’re happy and committed

Sanish’s vision for Legion is turning hourly jobs into good jobs. He sees it as a mission to serve both businesses and hourly employees. For example, he advises businesses on how to take advantage of AI and machine learning technology to optimize labor efficiency while making scheduling more predictable for hourly workers:

Today’s WFM technology also utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning so that stores can create optimized schedules based on the demand at a specific location. This way, they are not overstaffed or understaffed. At a location where there are always three people, demand might show they can get away with two people for a certain day or week. The advanced technology can bring in external data such as weather forecasts, or if a c-store is next to a football stadium and there is a game this week that will impact traffic, and apply machine learning to help with labor optimization based on demand.

Sanish recommends businesses use technology that enables hourly employees to share their schedule preferences. AI-powered WFM uses those preferences as input to build an optimal schedule for the business and increase hourly employees’ job satisfaction – leading to higher performance and happiness. “I’m impressed by the trend of not just optimizing labor and reducing cost, but prioritizing the employee’s well-being and their experience with the company – and you will actually save money if you retain workers. The No. 1 driver of employee satisfaction is giving them a say over how, when, and even where they want to work within a company.” Legion conducted a research study that found nearly 60% of employees leave a job because they have no control over their schedule.

Sanish also highlights the importance of businesses directly communicating with hourly employees to make them feel more engaged and connected to the company culture and purpose. “The communication and messaging piece is also important to today’s workforce and something technology makes easier.”

Last, Sanish believes that helping hourly employees in their financial well-being is an important benefit that gives them peace of mind and leads to higher retention for the business. “Offering instant pay for shift workers is available and another expectation set by Uber and other companies who are paying employees this way, so they can get paid every day if that is what they choose. Many employees live paycheck to paycheck and are stressed, so if you can take care of that and give them access to the money for the work they did, that is a plus.”

We’d love to show you how you can use modern, AI-powered WFM to transform your business and enhance the employee experience. Please request a demo, and we’ll get in touch.