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Tesco goes all gig economy with its new HR technology

Tesco goes all gig economy with its new HR technology

Tesco is looking to tap into the gig economy’s labour model by giving its staff greater flexibility over when and where they work at the supermarket.  Speaking at Oracle’s recent Modern Business Experience event in London, Nigel Fletcher, group HR transformation director for Tesco, revealed plans to introduce a scheduling system that will see employees’ “queries answered, requests actioned, and changes made anywhere, at any time”.

The system, which is based on Oracle’s Fusion platform, is set to transform the way Tesco staff organise their schedules, giving them greater control over what hours they work.

Fletcher gave a few nice examples of how staff will benefit from the platform:

  • If somebody is meant to be working the next day, but they’re up all night looking after their sick child, they can log their absence there and then, without having to phone up in the morning.
  • If somebody wants to swap their shift because they need to go to see their child compete in sports day at school, they can use the platform to switch shifts with somebody else.
  • If somebody is out of the area visiting a family member, but has a bit of spare time, they can log in and see if there’s any overtime going at the local store in their location instead of cutting their visit short.

However, he acknowledged that, like any system, it is open to manipulation, so effort will have to be made to ensure that everybody has an equal chance of getting the hours they want.

“Overtime has to be fair. It can’t be that if you’re in the right place at the right time you just get some overtime. Our colleagues have told us they want that process to be fair,” he said.

Similarly, the allocation of holiday has to be a fair process so that “it’s not the same people all the time getting school holidays off.”

Explaining the transformative strategy, he said: “We believe that by delivering a simple, helpful and trusted experience for our colleagues, that our colleagues will choose to give us more flexibility which will allow us to make our organisation more productive as a result.”

He called on other organisations to join Tesco in offering people more choice and flexibility, and contemplated the potential of companies optimising their workforces together.

What do you make of Tesco’s strategy? Have you implemented anything similar?

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