How SoulCycle Reduced Scheduling Time by 50%
Industry: Health and Fitness | Employees: 1,500+ | Locations: 99
Manual process for scheduling and employee preferences
No by-location forecasting
No automated way to capture employee preferences
Inefficient shift swaps
Highly accurate, by-location, by-day forecasts
Automated processing of shift swaps, covers
One-click schedule generation
Employee schedule preferences captured via app
50% reduction in managers’ scheduling time
9 minutes per swap saved with automated shift swaps
Zero compliance violations due to built-in controls
“The biggest benefit is saving time for our managers so they can do business-critical activities like build their ridership in the community, train their staff, grow their teams—the time savings for managers is critical.”
Director of Operations
For those who haven’t experienced SoulCycle, the fitness brand offers more than just an intensive indoor cycling class. Designed to benefit “mind, body, and soul,” the dark, candlelit rooms have positive affirmations on the wall while booming music and instructor-curated playlists provide an immersive music experience. Jordan Fontini is not only the Director of Operations for SoulCycle, she is also the embodiment of its transformational promise.
“We consider it a transformative experience for your mind and body,” Fontini said. “We are founded upon acceptance, equality, love, inclusivity, community, strength, resilience.”
“Instructors become beacons of hope and light for our riders,” she continued. “At the heart of SoulCycle is community and reaching new heights.”
Embracing the SoulCycle Philosophy
Fontini started at SoulCycle, just out of college, as a part-time front desk associate. Now, she manages three employees on her team while overseeing all studio operations – safety, expansions, strategy, scaling growth, scheduling, crisis management, and a host of other operational activities.
“I turned into who I am here,’ explained Fontini. “I learned more than I ever have in my life. I’ve met incredible people, learned how my body works, and truly understood my emotions just from being here.” Fontini said that rolling out Legion WFM was her first big project when she joined SoulCycle’s headquarters staff. It was a great experience as she learned how to “coordinate across locations, implement a company-wide process change, and train new studio managers on the scheduling process.”
Manual Processes Were Difficult to Scale
As SoulCycle grew rapidly in 2017, Fontini said there came a point when manual methods of collecting employee preferences and creating schedules just didn’t work. She also looked for accurate, by-location demand forecasting because each SoulCycle location has distinct patterns for in-class registrations and requires its own forecast.
Immediate Scheduling Time Savings
Fontini explained that SoulCycle piloted Legion WFM for eight months at 12 studios throughout the US and Canada, going through the system with a “fine-toothed comb” and got weekly feedback from managers. The biggest immediate benefit was “being able to click a button, and a schedule appears.”
The fully-automated shift swaps and covers, which they were doing by hand, saved tremendous time. “This automation is huge for us,” said Fontini.
The Legion WFM mobile app allows employees to indicate scheduling preferences, ideal shift length, chat with co-workers, see upcoming shifts, and initiate shift swaps and time-off requests. Legion WFM accurately predicts labor needs based on projected forecasts. In SoulCycle’s case, the forecasts are based on class registration patterns by studio. Legion WFM then matches employee preferences with business labor needs – meeting employee preferences 96% of the time. It also enables employees to offer their shifts to other available employees if they can’t make a scheduled shift. With Legion WFM, managers can either allow fully automated shift swaps or require a manager’s approval. Fontini explained that most SoulCycle locations are enabled for self-service with no manager approval required. On average, Legion WFM automated shift swaps save 9 minutes per swap.
Asked to summarize the benefits of implementing Legion WFM, Fontini pointed to Legion’s automated scheduling system.
“The biggest benefit is saving time for our managers, so they can do business-critical activities like build their ridership in the community, train their staff, and grow their teams – the time savings for managers is critical,” she said.
“Some managers said they spent 15 hours per month on scheduling, others said it was 50 hours, but scheduling time has dropped at least in half with Legion WFM,” said Fontini.
Labor Compliance Considerations
One other benefit Fontini described is labor compliance. She worked with the Legion Customer Success team to configure labor regulations for each region. Legion WFM preloads compliance regulations and gives organizations the ability to customize locally based on in-house policies. When automated scheduling occurs, compliance is automatically factored in. The same goes for shift swaps. Suppose a manager edits a schedule that would be out of compliance (for example, she makes edits after the schedule is published or edits a schedule, so a worker is scheduled for a shift longer than eight hours), Legion WFM automatically flags the compliance violations.
“The compliance features are big for us,” said Fontini. “Our staff doesn’t have to think twice about whether their scheduling is honoring local laws or not.”
Labor Compliance Considerations
Bach pointed to another benefit of using Legion WFM: the budgeting feature. Budgets are set based on check-in data that feeds the demand forecasts. “Legion WFM’s automated forecasts may allocate 415 hours of labor, but I can input 400 as the number, and Legion WFM will schedule according to this budget,” said Bach. She noted that Blink payroll also uses Legion WFM to dig into employee-specific workforce data and review audit data, such as meal break adherence.
“Scaling is much more possible…”
When asked to summarize the overall benefits of Legion WFM, Bach points to employee satisfaction and visibility, including the ability to see all employee schedules, overspending, and underspending. One of the more important benefits, she added, is Blink’s ability to scale its tools as it continues to rapidly grow its business. “Our investment has been very valuable with Legion. All of our employees and area managers have bought into Legion WFM, and they like using it,” said Bach. “We have grown tremendously in the past year...as we grow, scaling is much more possible with an automation tool like Legion WFM,” she concluded.