Leading International Mountain Resort Uses Legion WFM to Optimize Labor Efficiency and the Employee Experience
A leading mountain resort, with locations in the United States, Canada, and Australia, has a highly seasonal and complex operation with more than 300 distinct locations, including lifts, restaurants, shops, and rentals in two resorts alone. The resort experience surges in demand based on holidays, local events, and fresh powder. The complexity makes optimizing labor efficiency a huge challenge and necessity.
Before choosing Legion, the resort faced tremendous challenges forecasting guest demand and optimizing labor efficiency.
The resort has to ensure they have the right people, with the right skills, in the right place at the right time to meet demand and ensure a great guest experience. For example, in the morning, it’s critical that employees are at the base of the mountain, operating chairlifts, helping guests in the rental shops, and staffing the coffee shops. Then, as the day progresses, the resort needs more workers to staff the mountaintop lodges and lifts. And finally, at the end of the day, they need more workers back in the rental shop to check-in equipment and staff the restaurants and bars. So the resort must place employees with the right skills at the right location at the right time to keep the resort operating smoothly and safely.
Before choosing Legion, the resort faced tremendous challenges forecasting guest demand and optimizing labor efficiency. For example, in more than one instance, the executive staff of the resorts had to staff the chairlifts at the base of the mountain themselves to get the guests up the mountain. As a result, the resort turned to Legion to improve labor optimization and create a shift swap culture that would create a rotational staff to cover surges in demand and fill prioritized roles.
Delivering a great employee experience is also critical. The company employs more than 40,000 seasonal workers across its resorts, and more than two-thirds of seasonal employees are rehired every year. It’s critical that the seasonal employees, especially the highly skilled instructors, groomers, and ski patrol, have a great experience and want to return. Schedule flexibility and predictability are also important. Many seasonal workers have multiple jobs in the mountain towns, like working in a restaurant or retailer when the resort is closed.
Optimizing Labor Efficiency with AI-Powered Demand Forecasting
Accurately predicting demand is critical for the resort. Before selecting Legion, they lacked the ability to precisely and automatically predict demand at the retail and rental shops, restaurants, and ticket stands. They understood the impact of holidays on demand, but with Legion, they can automatically incorporate data about local events, weather patterns, and more at every location. And the AI-forecasting models were self-learning and continuously improved over time.
Automatically Creating the Optimized Schedule
Based on the demand forecast, budget constraints, and labor models, Legion creates the optimal labor plan for the resort. So managers don’t have to spend hours managing and creating schedules. Instead, they can create a fully compliant schedule that matches business needs with employee preferences with the click of a button. Legion’s optimal labor plan captures critical information about when and what roles are needed at the resort, based on the granular demand forecasts. Employee skills and work preferences are automatically considered when creating the schedule. And Legion has a 96% match rate of business needs and employee preferences.
Legion helps the resort deliver a better employee experience that helps entice employees to keep returning for next season.
Delivering a Better Employee Experience
Legion helps the resort deliver a better employee experience that helps entice employees to keep returning for the next season. Employees get gig-like flexibility. They can set preferences for when and how long they want to work, along with what type of work they want to perform. Employees can update those preferences as often as needed with a few taps on their mobile phones. And they can swap shifts and pick up extra shifts without the business risking overtime pay. When managers need to create additional shifts based on demand, such as fresh powder, the Legion platform automatically suggests the right employee for the role based on skills, compliance considerations, and employee preferences.
Better Communication and More Opportunity
Creating a shift swap culture for the resort requires modern communication tools and sophisticated shift prioritization capabilities. Through the mobile app, employees can see their schedules, view prioritized open shifts that they can claim, initiate shift swaps, request time off, and communicate with their company and team. The app provides them with true schedule empowerment and modern communication capabilities at their fingertips. And it saves managers valuable time because there’s no more scrambling to fill open shifts. Instead, the most critical shifts are filled first with the right employees and within budget and compliance constraints.
The Legion Frontline Communications module has unlocked the power of digital communications for the resort. Legion WFM is the perfect platform to deliver better communications for hourly employees because they love the mobile app. It has high adoption rates, so management knows the messages will be read. Legion WFM is also clock-aware, so it knows when employees are on the clock and can receive messages. And Legion Frontline Communications has strong moderation controls, giving the resort greater peace of mind. The Newsfeed feature enables the resort to communicate key information about Covid health-related updates, special events, and resort news. The resort is seeing up to 70% engagement with its Newsfeed posts.
Strategic Insights into the Business
The resort relies on Legion’s Strategic Insights to understand key trends in employee engagement and labor optimization while measuring performance against top objectives.
Legion Strategic Insights enables the resort management to measure and monitor the number of new employees who have completed their Legion platform onboarding, and it tracks employee engagement. The company wants to build a shift swap culture and optimize labor efficiency, and managers rely on the solution to provide insights into their progress. For example, resort management can track the volume of shifts being picked up and traded by location, team, individual employees, and more.
With Legion Strategic Insights, resort management can track the demand forecast versus the budget plus the forecast versus the scheduled hours. A variance between the budget and the demand forecast may mean that the resort needs to adjust the labor model or adjust the budget.
The solution can also provide insight into the top locations, managers, teams, or individuals incurring overtime. For example, excessive overtime could require hiring or training more employees for specific roles or adjusting shift priorities.
Measuring Performance and Identifying Key Trends
Legion Strategic Insights enables resort management to benchmark and compare the performance of locations, teams, managers, individuals. It provides insight into training opportunities, good location management, and recognizing positive behaviors. And the insights can be shared easily across the organization.
Optimizing labor efficiency and the employee experience in such a complex environment can be challenging. However, with Legion’s AI-powered workforce management, the resort can be sure to have the right employees in the right place at the right time and keeps them coming back year after year.