Retailers have been rocked by the pandemic for two years. They now face a tight labor market and difficulty in retaining employees. Workers themselves are often stressed by shift schedule uncertainties and still lingering pandemic restrictions and impacts. Now a Dallas-based company has come up with a solution that aims to make things work better for retailers and workers alike.
Logile—a leading retail labor planning, workforce management, inventory management, and store execution provider—today launched new “Gig-Style Scheduling” functionality in its Employee Scheduling solution, which it calls “the market’s only task-based and most accurate labor demand-based scheduling system.”
As usual, there’s an app for that: The solution lives on Logile’s Employee Self-Service Connect mobile app.
The company says Gig-Style Scheduling enables retailers to utilize their workforce more fully in two key ways—with “gig-status associates” on their company staffs, supplemented by labor from outside “crowdsourcing” to cover additional staffing needs.
‘A real opportunity for retailers to change the game’
Logile CEO Purna Mishra, who founded the company in 2005, sees the new functionality as a game changer.
“The world has already embraced and witnessed the gig model’s success in other industries, and we see a real opportunity for retailers to change the game by using gig-style scheduling to their advantage,” Mishra said in a statement.
“Workers gain flexibility and can earn additional income without having to accept a set schedule,” Mishra added. “Retailers gain an extended resource pool to help fully cover the staffing hours necessary to optimally run their business. This win-win is an exciting new strategy retailers can leverage to address staffing challenges in a tight labor market while enhancing associate engagement, service levels, sales, and their overall attractiveness as an employer.”
Gig workers can view and bid on shifts at other store locations
In the Logile solution, “gig workers” are company employees who request gig status approval for eligibility to work shifts outside of their own home store or department. If approved for gig status at other locations, they can “view and bid” on shifts at those locations when managers open shifts to gig workers. The arrangement gives gig workers flexibility—they don’t have to commit to a recurring schedule at the gig locations, and they retain their primary status at their home store or department.
Crowdsource workers are vetted and preapproved
Unlike gig workers, crowdsource workers in the Logile solution aren’t company employees. Logile says they are vetted and onboarded, then preapproved by retailers to bid on shifts for specific roles, departments, and stores. This happens only if managers open those shifts to “crowdsource status.”
St. Louis-based Schnuck Markets, which operates 112 stores in five states, is a Logile client that has been dealing with labor challenges of its own.
“Retailers have increasingly been challenged to cover labor hours and retain talent,” said Schnuck’s Chief Data Officer and Deputy CIO Tom Henry, in the statement. He sees the Gig-Style Scheduling functionality as an “exciting” prospect, and believes its “easy implementation with its simple request, approval and bidding process along with automatic application of scheduling rules and workflow to gig and crowdsource workers” is likely to lead to its adoption.
Vallarta Supermarkets, a California-based company with 52 stores and over 8,000 team members, is another Logile client that sees promise in the new functionality.
“Logile’s unique Gig-Style Scheduling vision holds much promise as a supplemental strategy to meet labor needs while delighting workers,” said Steve Netherton, Vallarta’s CIO and VP of continuous improvement, in the statement. “Especially at a time when staffing shortages are a critical concern for many retailers.”
From ‘same-day pay’ to feedback and performance ratings systems
Dan Bursik, Logile’s SVP of product management, says there are assurances in place for retailers in the new functionality—as well as benefits for workers, like “same-day pay.”
“Store and department managers retain full discretion to decide if and when to open shifts to gig or crowdsource workers,” Bursik said. “Logile Employee Scheduling ensures seamless continuity of corporate and regulatory compliance by automatically applying the retailer’s customized workflow, company rules and mandates to all gig and crowdsource workers in the system.”
“Retailers also have the option to implement feedback and performance ratings systems and the ability to support same-day pay as an added enticement to associates seeking extra earnings,” Bursik added.
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