Leveraging AI in Workforce Management: The Legion Approach

June 27, 2024

by Farshad Kheiri, PhD

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Effective workforce management is crucial for the success of any organization, particularly those that heavily rely on hourly workers.

Legion Workforce Management (WFM), a leading workforce management platform, is revolutionizing this space by integrating advanced AI capabilities to streamline and optimize processes. An AI-powered WFM platform can have different components, the main parts of which are outlined in Figure 1.

Figure 1: WFM is comprised of many different components that help manage hourly, frontline employees.

Legion WFM integrates advanced AI to maximize labor efficiencies and the employee experience. A few examples have been outlined in Figure 2 below.

Figure 2: Legion leverages AI across our WFM platform to deliver an automated, intelligent, employee-centric solution.

A Sample of Legion’s Advanced AI Capabilities

1) Demand Forecasting

Every business location can have unique data sets and requirements. Understanding and predicting customer demand accurately is essential for managing hourly workers. However, every product category in every location can also have unique data sets and requirements. Legion uses sophisticated, unique AI algorithms that are purpose-built to produce accurate forecasts down to the level of each product category at each location.

Legion demand forecasts are accurate and consistently more precise than traditional methods, outperforming internal and external systems used by potential customers over the years.

Key Features:

  • Dynamic Adjustments: Legion automatically creates and trains each model as new data is available. Or, if a user disagrees with the AI forecast, they can make edits, prompting the system to automatically re-forecast and regenerate labor forecasts and schedules accordingly.
  • Accuracy: The AI models are trained weekly and continuously improve, providing forecasts for the next eight weeks. Users can specify how far in advance they want forecasts to remain unchanged, ensuring flexibility and adaptability to real-time changes.
    External Data Integration: Legion’s forecasts are refined using external data such as weather conditions, local events, and holidays. This integration helps capture these factors’ impact on demand, making the forecasts more reliable and location-specific.

2) Labor Forecasting

Once demand is forecasted, the next step is predicting the labor needed to meet that demand. Legion uses these demand forecasts to determine the required number of workers in 30-minute intervals based on predefined labor standards.

Key Features:

  • Precision: Legion automatically generates the most compact set of hours required to meet demand. For instance, if serving ten customers in a 30-minute slot requires one cashier, the system builds an ideal distribution of shifts throughout the day, automatically distributing labor as needed. Staffing guidance is regenerated based on demand changes.
  • Compliance and Constraints: The system considers labor laws, compliance requirements, and budget constraints, ensuring legal and financial guidelines are met while optimizing workforce allocation.

3) Automated Scheduling

Creating an optimal work schedule is a complex task involving multiple factors. Legion’s AI-driven scheduling incorporates budget constraints, compliance laws, and granular employee preferences (i.e., shift length, location, availability, preference) to generate the best possible, fair, and equitable schedule.

Key Features:

  • Optimization Algorithms: The platform uses advanced AI algorithms to balance business needs with employee satisfaction across multiple locations, creating efficient and employee-friendly schedules. The optimization algorithms also fully automate the open shift process, from creating targeted shift offers that employees can claim to approving the claim and automatically updating the schedule.
  • Employee Preferences: By considering employee availability, skills, and preferences, the system helps improve worker satisfaction and retention.

4) Budget Forecasting

In addition to managing immediate workforce needs, Legion helps businesses plan for the future with its budget forecasting capabilities. Legion Labor Budgeting aligns the top-line finance number with what can be spent by location and when, including any minimum requirements, to build a bottom-up labor budget based on your actual labor model. AI models generate detailed demand forecasts up to 18 months in advance, aiding in long-term financial planning. Budget generation and regeneration with a new scenario can be achieved in a matter of minutes.

Key Features:

  • Long-Term Planning: Businesses can use these forecasts to plan budgets more accurately, ensuring financial resources are allocated effectively. With scenario planning, you can easily model the impact of compliance changes or new channels or roles, for example.
  • Complex Labor Standards: Legion automatically creates long-term budget forecasts while handling complexity, such as how labor should be easily spread out over different weeks.
  • Separate Feature: This capability is offered as a separate module, providing flexibility for businesses to use it as needed.

5) Generative AI Assistants

Legion’s Generative AI Assistants leverage large language models (LLMs) to redefine how people interact with the software by providing natural language-enabled assistants to help them with specific tasks. Our initial assistants are focused on scheduling and communication, with more to come.

Key Features:

  • Schedule Assistant: Location Managers can streamline scheduling processes with AI-generated schedule summaries, quickly access schedule data, and request edits using simple, natural language inputs.
  • Communication Assistant: Managers and HR can effortlessly create engaging news posts with the help of AI-assisted writing.

6) Employee Retention

Legion is developing AI capabilities to enhance employee retention by analyzing behavior, time, and attendance data.

  • Automated Scheduling: Granular employee preferences, such as the number of hours desired, location, and availability, are incorporated when generating schedules, along with rules and compliance. Schedules meet business requirements and employee preferences 96% of the time.
  • Automated Timecard Approvals and Earned Wage Access: With automatic approvals on exception-free timesheets, employees can get paid instantly after their shift is worked if the time card data they provided is accurate and complete.

Enhancing Accuracy with Continuous Learning

Legion’s AI models are continuously updated to improve accuracy. Users can set how far in advance they want forecasts to remain unchanged, providing flexibility and adaptability. The platform’s ability to integrate external data ensures that forecasts are responsive to real-world events, making them more accurate and reliable.

Conclusion

Legion’s integration of AI in workforce management for hourly workers showcases the transformative potential of advanced technologies in optimizing business operations. By harnessing AI for demand forecasting, labor forecasting, AI scheduling, budget forecasting, and conversational interfaces, Legion offers a comprehensive solution that automatically addresses the multifaceted challenges of workforce management. As Legion continues to innovate and expand its AI capabilities, businesses can look forward to even more sophisticated tools to enhance efficiency, productivity, and employee satisfaction. To learn more, schedule a demo today.