Workforce Management and Technology: Remember Your Audience
by Casey Castellanos
April 28, 2022
Recently, Traci Chernoff, Director of Employee Engagement at Legion, joined Victor Akosile on the Humanalytics podcast to discuss Turning Hourly Jobs Into Good Jobs – How Technology is Changing the World. Listen to the full podcast on Spotify, Youtube, or Humanalytics. Vic and Traci explored how technology and innovation help businesses drive growth while also transforming the lives of hourly employees who are essential workers in those businesses.
Challenges in Managing an Hourly Workforce
There are many challenges in managing an hourly workforce. Thanks to the changing landscape of work and workplaces, employee engagement isn’t just about compensation – it’s also about flexibility and seamlessly weaving our work lives into our personal lives by building culture and commitment without compromising balance. Technology – and specifically, workforce management – enables companies to leverage innovation and technology to specifically improve employee engagement through greater flexibility and control over their day-to-day, especially for hourly employees. And it has the power to improve communication, build culture, and increase the financial health of hourly employees.
Hourly employees make up 60% of the US workforce. They are also some of the most vulnerable people because of their income level – according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, by Q4 of 2021, full–time employees had a median weekly income of about $1,000, that’s about $52,000 annually. If we assume part-time employees work up to 50% less than their full–time colleagues, they earned roughly $26,000 last year.
What Hourly Employees Need
Traci talked about her decade of experience in HR for retail businesses: Hourly workers often have the most unrealistic expectations placed on them. For example, hourly retail employees are expected to have open availability (meaning work any day of the week anytime, especially nights, weekends, and holidays). They’re expected to accomplish every task while handling the unexpected without warning. And to let go of whatever might be weighing them down and deliver exceptional service to every person who walks through the door. Hourly workers have personal challenges, responsibilities, and pressures outside of work, but they have fewer resources that help them achieve balance and stability.
How to Attract and Retain Hourly Employees
So what’s the solution to this complicated problem? AI-powered workforce management empowers hourly employees with more flexibility and control. And it reduces the routine tasks that take managers away from mentoring their employees. So employees can balance their work and home responsibilities and get help from their manager when an unexpected issue comes up.
Legion customers, including Claire’s, Dollar General, Mattress Firm, Portillo’s, SMCP, and many other leading businesses, rely on Legion WFM for automated scheduling. This feature matches the business needs with employee work preferences, so they both meet their goals. It also enables workforce sharing, so employees who want to pick up extra shifts have more opportunities to increase their earnings in a way that also supports the business. And managers benefit from labor optimization and automated scheduling because they have the right employees scheduled with fewer compliance issues and more time to focus on customer service and revenue goals.
For example, Traci previously worked as Director of HR at SMCP, a leading luxury retailer. When Traci’s team adopted Legion WFM, they saw a 50% decrease in scheduling administrative tasks in the first month. Managers were spending more than 10 hours a month on average, and with Legion WFM, that time dropped to fewer than 3 hours. In addition to that savings, sales generation increased by 20% as managers had more time on the sales floor.
WFM Technology and Your Hourly Employees
When you build your workforce management strategy, Traci advises, “Remember your audience. Hourly employees are human beings with needs, wants, and desires to grow and excel in their careers. Bring them into the change management process and recognize them as stakeholders. Listen to their input and understand what will improve their experience. You’ll see results with lower attrition and higher productivity and satisfaction.”
Traci and Vic covered many more topics on how to use AI-powered workforce management technology to meet business growth goals and empower your hourly employees. Listen to the complete Humanalytics podcast, Turning Hourly Jobs Into Good Jobs – How Technology is Changing the World, on Spotify, Youtube, or Humanalytics.
You can also listen to Traci’s podcast, Bringing the Human Back to Human Resources, on your favorite podcast app.
To learn more about how you can use Legion WFM, contact us for a demo.