Customer Story

EE improves agility and performance with UKG workforce management

  • Improve employee engagement, due in part to employee self-service capabilities of mobile app

  • Increase sales volume and net promotor score (NPS) in some stores through use of workforce analytics

EE improves agility and performance with UKG workforce management

Part of the BT group, EE Ltd. is a U.K. mobile network operator with more than 550 retail stores as well as call centres offering customer support. EE has been using UKG (Ultimate Kronos Group) for workforce management throughout its retail stores for several years, for demand forecasting, automated labour scheduling, time and attendance, and labour analytics. Its nearly 4,000 store employees use the mobile self-service app to check their six-week rotas, request shift swaps and overtime, review their leave balance, request holidays, and check the previous week's timecards. The app is also used to clock-in and -out for recording worked hours.

Challenges
  • Automation of time and attendance was needed to drive better control of costs, improve reporting, and assist in compliance
  • Sickness levels were too high, making it harder to fill shifts
  • A consistent and centralised approach to labour scheduling was needed that would optimise staffing levels in line with anticipated customer demand
  • Tighter control of overtime spend was needed
Solutions

An automated UKG workforce management solution with 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.”

Jim Haley

Resource and Planning Professional

Results

Automated time and attendance (T&A) 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 in 2017. Prior to this, rotas were created manually using spreadsheets, which was clunky and time-consuming and schedule fairness couldn't be guaranteed. "Previously, it took our store managers two to three hours to manually create their schedules each week. With UKG's automated scheduling, this time has been reduced by 90%, now taking just 15 minutes," noted Hale. 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, employees can also 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 continued to enhance its 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
  • Measure schedule effectiveness, which provides store managers with greater control of their budgets
  • Report on lost sales opportunities
  • 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. 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," explained Hale.

3
%
reduction in unplanned absence
90
%
reduction in time to produce labour schedules
1–2
%
reduction in overtime spend
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