By giving workers control over when and how they work, organizations can empower their workforce with the flexibility to update their scheduling preferences based on their needs—i.e. as caretaker or other domestic obligations change, scheduling around class or other jobs, swapping shifts, or adding more hours. And companies are finding that flexible scheduling (sometimes called worker-first scheduling) can improve the productivity and retention of hourly employees.
And, this type of scheduling is an example of “innovative flexibility,” which is thinking about flexibility more holistically. It’s the direction that companies must move toward if they want to put the Great Resignation behind them.
Technology Empowers Organizations and Workers
Frontline workers have rarely enjoyed the flexibility their back office counterparts have come to expect, but a dramatic labor shortage is driving new expectations. Intelligent technology can now enable the flexibility these workers crave, while helping the business maximize the workforce.
Empowering hourly workers with more flexibility requires planning on an organizational level, with artificial intelligence (AI) playing a key role.
Workday Scheduling and Labor Optimization is an intelligent, worker-first scheduling solution that leverages AI to match labor demand with worker qualifications, availability, and preferences to automatically optimize schedules for both workers and the business. By analyzing data across the organization, Workday Scheduling and Labor Optimization helps managers optimize schedules to meet both the labor demands of the business and numerous business parameters—such as labor regulations— and worker scheduling preferences.
Organizations are leveraging Workday Scheduling and Labor Optimization to deliver a better work experience for employees, empowering them to manage their schedules, adjust and add shifts, and more—all from a mobile device. In turn, managers can have quick access to a worker's information, allowing them to better and more efficiently manage their teams, schedules, time, and payroll.
Health club chain Life Time Inc. uses Workday Scheduling and Labor Optimization to manage daily labor costs for its 20,000 employees across 150 clubs in North America, ensuring that managers are maximizing schedules, particularly as location hours and demands flex with local mandates related to the pandemic. This allows Life Time to monitor costs and adjust schedules as necessary, while prioritizing worker need and preference.
“Most guests work out at the same time,” says Gregory Gilbertsen, senior national manager of human resources at Life Time. “So we're able to see a great snapshot of when our clubs are being utilized the most, and where we might need more workforce scheduled during those hours.”
Managing the 2022 Workforce: Integrated Workforce Planning
The demands on frontline and hourly workers are constantly evolving. In retail, for example, workers can be called in for a shift on short notice or be asked to work extra shifts to cover increasing customer demand. Organizations need to ensure they’re supporting employees and delivering experiences that meet their needs.