Bringing flexibility to hourly workforce management

Traci Chernoff, senior director of employee engagement at Legion Technologies, suggests workforce sharing

More than half (55.8%) of the American workforce is paid at hourly rates, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The hourly workforce demands the same financial wellness, career advancement opportunities and work-life balance as their salaried counterparts.

In this interview with HRD TV, Traci Chernoff, senior director of employee engagement at Legion Technologies, suggests the number-one benefit to attract and retain hourly workers.

To view full transcript, please click here

John: Welcome to HRDTV. I'm John Corrigan with HRD America. And today, I'm joined by Traci Chernoff, senior director of employee engagement at Legion Technologies, a workforce management firm in Silicon Valley. Today, we'll be discussing how to bring the future of work to hourly workforces. Traci, thanks for joining me. How are you? 

Traci: Thank you so much. I'm really glad to be here. I'm doing well. 

John: Excellent. Well, let's get right into it. First things first. How is AI revolutionizing hourly workforce management? 

Traci: It's revolutionizing everything from beginning to end. And I'm going to break down what I mean by that. When we think about the hourly workforce, I really try to break it down to who and what we're talking about. We're talking about human beings who are earning an income on an hourly basis. And many of you might not know this. Many of you might. But 58% of eligible working Americans are earning an income on an hourly basis. So that means that 58% of Americans have an opportunity to have their lives improved by workforce management software like ours. And so when we think about AI, we like to call it intelligent automation. And that intelligent automation is what enables us to provide incredible employee experience, labor optimization. This amazing intersection is met through our software where we I always like to juxtapose the two as saying technology and people and where the intersection where they meet. And so when I think about AI, when I think about intelligent automation, I try to keep in mind that we're thinking about the impact on human beings and that it's through this automation that human beings who are using our software are getting access to their schedules, time and attendance, self service. In that way, they're the managers and the businesses and the leaders within the business are seeing demand forecasting. They're seeing their business in a whole new light. So AI is truly transformational in this way. 

John: Absolutely. You know, the idea of the hourly worker has really evolved since the COVID 19 pandemic and since the great resignation and since this red hot market for labor and the stiff competition when it comes to employers trying to recruit these types of workers, what types of benefits and perks should employers be offering to bring them in? 

Traci: 1,000%. I mean, I think we've heard this a million times over in the last few years, but flexibility is the number one driver for not only retention, but also attracting new talent. And if we even think about ourselves, we're recording this over Zoom. We don't have to meet in person anymore. Right. That that provides us a flexibility that you and I both probably would not trade for a whole lot. At least I know I would not trade it. And so hourly employees are no different. We're talking, again, about 58% of the American workforce. And when we think about that, know, we have to understand what human beings, what these people are experiencing. When you're working on an hourly basis, a large majority or a large percentage of those individuals could potentially be working on a part time basis, which means that their actual average income could be lower. And so they're potentially working multiple jobs. They're probably trying to make ends meet for their families or at least for themselves. And so when we think about flexibility, we're actually saying, hey, we really care about the individual who's impacting our business because we're giving them the opportunity to truly own and be accountable for their experience at work. And it's life changing. 

Traci: I actually was a customer of Legion's before joining on the HR team, and I was the person who like sourced legion and then rolled it out collaboratively with other functions within the business. And I worked at retail. I should have started with that. I worked in retail my my whole career before joining Legion Workforce Management. And when I think about the problems that I was solving when I was on the customer side, I mean, it's, it was truly night and day seeing how the large majority of our employees who were earning an income on a part time basis were able to have full ownership over their schedules because of that flexibility. So again, coming back full circle to your question, flexibility, predictability goes along with that as well. We know that across most states now that there are state legislations out there, legislative bills coming to pass that talk about scheduling predictability and what happens when businesses are not in line with predictability laws. So now is the time for businesses to really think about not just the legal implications when they don't provide that flexibility and predictability, but also what they can do to elevate their workforce and engage their workforce when they do provide those things. 

John: Excellent. Couldn't agree more. Now is also the time to find this talent. Because it is. It's a tough market out there. What advice do you have for recruiters as to where they should be looking, what talent pools they should be sourcing from to man this ship and fill the staff? 

Traci: So I might I might be sharing a hot take here. But I would say first should go to your active employee, your active employee's right. And when I say that, you know, it's not to be facetious, but actually it's to say, are we tapping into the workforce that we already have invested in? I can tell you from my own experience, having again, been on the customer side in my retail career before joining Legion, that we were not really tapping into that that workforce. And when I say tapping in, I'm going to be very specific here. One of the things that we do really well within our solutions is enable workforce sharing. And throughout all of my years in HR for retail, not in retail, when I've talked to people, especially HR leaders, about workforce sharing, it seems like this mind blowing idea that someone from location A or store A could also work in location or store B and it's not. It's that is how we revolutionize the workforce. That's how we enable individuals more access to wages. That's how we enable them to to feel super engaged in the business and the values that the business puts forward. So, you know, when you think about Suzy salesperson or, you know, Bobby barista, let's say when they're working in one location, but then they have access to hours and shifts in other locations, you don't have to go back out into the talent pool or back out into a workforce that you've already tried to solicit employment through or from your enabling, not only enabling that employee that you already have invested in to be more invested by earning more hours, you're increasing their the opportunity for them to take home more pay. But then again, you know, if a store is only in need of 15 more hours of coverage, but you have an employee in another location who's only working 20 hours, why not give them access to that? 15? So I think that leaders across the board, HR and non HR leaders really need to think differently about the workforce again that they've already invested in. And, you know, when when we are investing in that workforce, kind of coming back to this last question that you asked, when we think about access to wages, one of the things that we're really passionate about that's super connected to our ethos and our mission, which is to turn hourly jobs into good jobs, is earned wage access. So when we think about this revolutionizing the talent pool and workforce by workforce sharing within our organizations and beyond, then we can say, Oh, well, now we're enabling people through our solutions to actually access their pay to a certain percentage before they're even approaching their pay date. So now we're, you know, through our solutions, again, through intelligent automation, we're seeing this full like end to end engagement for the hourly employee as well as for their managers and the business leaders. 

John: It's a fantastic tool that HR leaders should take advantage of that companies need to be thinking about. And Traci, I appreciate you taking the time today to share your insight and your advice. And this has been tremendous. Thank you. 

Traci: Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it. 

John: And I want to thank everyone for watching. This has been another episode of HRD TV.