Part of the BT group, EE Ltd. is a U.K. mobile network operator with more than 550 retail stores and nearly 4,000 store employees and has call centres offering customer support.
EE had been using manual methods to track the time and attendance of its employees, a time-intensive and inconsistent process. Employee sickness and absence levels were high, making filling shifts difficult. The company also lacked a centralized and consistent approach to labour scheduling to optimise staffing levels in line with anticipated customer demand. Rotas were created manually using spreadsheets, which was clunky and time-consuming, and schedule fairness couldn't be guaranteed. Overtime also was a concern, with tighter control of overtime spend needed.
To overcome these challenges, EE implemented an automated UKG® workforce management solution, giving EE easy access to detailed labour data for informed decision making and better management of labour resources, costs and performance.
“Our use of UKG labour analytics enables us to spot trends and home-in on anomalies that would previously have gone unnoticed.”
Resource and Planning Professional
Automated time and attendance was deployed throughout EE's retail stores, replacing inconsistent and laborious manual methods. Employees can now clock-in and -out using the self-service app on their mobile phones leveraging geotagging to assist in more accurately recorded worked hours when employees are not in a traditional environment with no access to a physical timeclock.
Unplanned employee absence at EE stores has reduced. "Through our use of UKG, our absence reporting has improved, and we now have a healthier grasp of what's going on," said Hale. "We can spot trends and better understand the reasons behind absence. As a result, sickness has reduced to 3%, which is lower than expected for this sector."
With the aim of reducing overtime costs by at least 1%, demand forecasting — based primarily on historic footfall data — and automated labour scheduling were introduced. "Previously, it took our store managers two to three hours to manually create their schedules each week, noted Hale. "With UKG's automated scheduling, this time has been reduced by 90%, now taking just 15 minutes". Manual adjustments can be made by store managers as needed.
The self-service mobile app has proved popular with employees due to its flexibility, as it can be used on any mobile device, even when not at work. In addition to using the app to clock-in and -out, they also can view their rota for the next six weeks, review their timecard from the previous week, request shift swaps and overtime, review leave balances, and request holidays. Additionally, managers can use the app to approve or reject overtime and leave requests. "We can see from our employee surveys that the UKG self-service app has — without question — contributed to our improved employee satisfaction levels," added Hale.
The team at EE has continued to enhance its UKG solution and realise business benefits by introducing workforce analytics to:
- highlight unnecessary overtime spend, enabling the overtime reduction target of 1% to be comfortably met. They also can
- measure schedule effectiveness, which provides store managers with greater control of their budgets as well as access reporting on lost sales opportunities. In addition, EE can
- measure management cover, which highlighted that manager presence on Sundays in some stores improved sales figures and NPS values (used to measure customer satisfaction)
"Our use of UKG labour analytics enables us to spot trends and home-in on anomalies that would previously have gone unnoticed,” explained Hale.. “Customer services is at the heart of EE's business and many of our in-store customers need support. As a result, stores are often just as busy on Sundays as on Saturdays, but our analysis of management coverage showed that store managers were typically scheduling themselves to work on Saturdays and not Sundays. Leadership is needed to manage high customer numbers, so we increased manager presence on Sundays and saw a rise in both sales and NPS,".