With around 85% of staff unable to access a computer during working hours, North Lanarkshire Leisure was actively looking for a secure and cost effective communications tool to manage its remote workforce.
The leisure trust, which manages 18 venues across a wide geographical area, went live with the Our People workforce management platform for its aquatics team in January 2018, enabling management to directly communicate with more than 50 aquatics employees who work across a number of venues on a variety of days and at different times.
How we helped
Graeme Morrison, Operations & Business Development Manager for North Lanarkshire Leisure says: “Our biggest challenge was reaching out staff to efficiently cover swimming lesson classes. Key staff were spending up to two hours each day trying to communicate with the wider aquatics team to arrange lessons cover, relying on multiple communication methods to get in touch with instructors, including Facebook, WhatsApp, text messages, emails and phone calls. It was very time consuming and certainly not the best use of our staffing resource.
“But it was also ineffective, often leading to disrupted programmes and cancellations to swimming lessons, which had a significant direct cost to the business each year. Our People has surpassed all our expectations. Mass communication can be completed in minutes, freeing up personnel for other, more productive duties and we are already seeing real term improvements, with a 50% lift and subsequent protection of crucial income streams, as well as improved customer confidence and retention.”
Dealing with adversity
North Lanarkshire Leisure offers more than 400 swimming lesson classes for over 5,500 children each week, as well as 800 fitness classes a week, and employs around 860 contracted staff, as well as relief and voluntary staff.
When hit by the ‘Beast from the East’ during March 2018, the trust took the decision to close all its venues in the interest of customer and staff safety. The Our People app enabled management to quickly and effectively communicate with its teams, advising them to stay safe in their homes and not venture out to work.
“Quite often, operators are so busy getting the message out to members of the public that their facilities are closed that they forget to tell the staff!” continues Morrison. “With Our People we were able to send staff regular venue by venue updates and service disruptions notices, reinforcing national weather warnings. It also allowed us to very easily issue policies, such as our Adverse Weather Policy, advising staff of what to do in the event of bad weather. And, when the weather warnings were lifted, the OurPeople App allowed us to quickly mobilise our team to reopen our facilities and reinstate public services.”
Morrison says he is most empowered by Our People’s ease of use, staff engagement and the speed of development of new functionality. The leisure trust is now looking to roll out the platform across its entire workforce.