Iconic retail brand HMV employs a team of over 1200, across its online business and 120 stores - which expanded with 10 new openings and 7 store refits in 2022.
HMV has been supported by Quinyx for around five years, after the business sought an alternative to its legacy scheduling system.
Central Operations Manager Rupert Banning-Lover says: “Back in 2016, our rota system was functional but very basic. We printed out schedules and put them on the wall – a staff member might come in at the end of their shift and get a photo of the rota on their phone. The manager might then have altered something ten minutes later, by which point the employee had gone home, not knowing their hours for the following week had changed.
“Importantly, from a business perspective, we didn't have a completely accurate view of scheduling across the whole business. We wanted to know what different stores were doing and what ‘good’ looked like, in terms of operational effectiveness.
“HMV has always been the kind of the business that does really well around calendar events, Father’s Day for example. When we were building a business case for a new WFM system, we looked at the rotas for different stores and could see the difference in staffing levels – we knew immediately which ones would have a great Father’s Day, and which ones wouldn’t, because they didn’t have the staff available.
“We needed those figures in front of us at the touch of a button, so we could always have the right people in the right place at the right time.
“We looked at available options and Quinyx felt like the most natural fit for us. The mobile app means we can communicate across the entire company; staff have the ability to swap shifts, apply for time off and check their schedule – the Quinyx solution was the best in class of what we saw.
“We trialled it with some ‘super users’ before rolling it out across the company in 2018. It was a big change for some of the store managers, but after some training and practice they soon saw the benefits - scheduling became a lot more efficient and Quinyx benefitted all colleagues, not just management.
“Then Covid hit in 2020. During that period, we needed to communicate with our colleagues constantly, and the Quinyx system became essential in keeping everyone up to date. When we went into lockdown, colleagues were at home, all keen for information about the business and their jobs, what furlough would mean for them and so on. The Qmail function via the Quinyx mobile app was fundamental in getting messages out. We could get onto the portal and could turn around communication really quickly; an instant push notification on someone's phone.
“We were able to reach out to everyone from a welfare perspective too - we sent information on mental health and made sure colleagues knew where to find mental health support services.
“So while Quinyx’s internal communications and engagement abilities weren’t the priority for us when we were looking at investing in WFM, they became invaluable.”
Charlotte Lawrance, Central Operations Co-ordinator, explains that, now that ‘normal life’ has near enough resumed following Covid, Quinyx continues to facilitate employee communications, and has significantly increased scheduling efficiency.
“Overall, we’ve saved a vast amount of scheduling time across the entire business; it’s much more efficient and we’ve got a complete overview across all stores.
“Staff engagement with the app is really high. For our younger colleagues, using an app is second nature – they’re not used to answering the phone! Plus the app means their work schedule is separate to everything else. They’re not getting a message on WhatsApp or Facebook, but they can still access it whenever they need to. It’s obviously important to have that access, particularly for part time colleagues who might change their hours depending on college, uni or other jobs.
“We have a weekly newsletter for all colleagues called ‘What's Going On’, featuring the latest news from the business, team successes, there are profiles of team members talking about products they love and so on.
“Pre-Quinyx, it went out as an email, maybe it’d be printed and put up in staff rooms – and probably ignored! Now I send it via the Quinyx app and there’s a lot more engagement. It’s reaching people and they want to read and interact with it, sharing their own news.
“For any retailer, there’s always going to be a gap between stores and head office teams but using Quinyx has helped bring head office closer to store colleagues. Its value in increasing employee engagement cannot be underestimated.”
Rupert says there is scope for HMV to make more of Quinyx’s features in the future.
“We’re able to contact teams to say ‘there are some available shifts, click here if you want to apply for them’. We could also look at highlighting different roles within the business, ‘if you’ve got this skill, why not apply for this?’ We know there’s a lot more we could do with the system.
“We're very lucky that we’re an interesting business selling things that people are really passionate about. Using Quinyx helps us to convey some of that passion and increase engagement across the entire business, while making scheduling run a lot more smoothly for everyone.”