Since 1989, Popeye’s Supplements Canada has provided health-conscious consumers with leading sports nutrition products. With 25 licensees managing 140 locations across Canada, Popeye’s is the largest sports nutrition retailer in the country.
When you walk into one of the Popeye’s stores, you are immediately greeted by a three-foot tall statue of the iconic Popeye character himself, offering up the latest promotion. The second thing you’ll notice is the huge selection of products. This might seem a bit overwhelming at first, but there is always a Popeye’s employee ready to help you find exactly what you are looking for – with enthusiasm and expertise.
“Our mission is to be the number-one brand in our industry by inspiring lifestyle change and motivation, while also building healthier bodies,” explains Aaron Labarre, the owner-operator of 21 Popeye’s locations, and a National Operations Executive for the company. “To support our customers, we look for employees that are passionate about the industry. They can be triathletes, CrossFitters, or just people that are genuinely passionate about health and good eating.”
Given that its customers are looking for products that will help them achieve their health and fitness goals, Popeye’s employees need to have extensive knowledge of the products, and be experts that customers can approach for recommendations and advice.
“We spend three to six months training all of our associates in terms of product knowledge across the store, and even after that, we're doing weekly training through webinars,” Labarre explains. “We really focus heavily on product knowledge to make sure that our staff are asking good qualifying questions and are giving great recommendations to customers.”
With Popeye’s locations across Canada being owned and operated by different licensees, managing its workforce in a consistent way can be challenging.
“As you go across Canada, every licensee is a unique case. Some of them are multi-city, some of them are single-city, and there are different challenges when it comes to hiring and training,” says Labarre. “You could have a 13-year veteran store manager who's amazing at training running the same program as somebody who just got promoted to store manager three months ago and is still trying to figure out how to do their job. A new employee in the two different environments with the exact same training program could produce very different results.”
With such extensive training comes an increased cost to turnover. Labarre recognized that Popeye’s needed a way to create consistency across the locations with regards to training, scheduling, compensation, and communication.
Prior to migrating to Dayforce Payroll, Workforce Management, and Learning, Labarre was using Powerpay– a small business payroll solution from Ceridian – at his locations. Scheduling was on a separate system that had to be calculated and entered manually, and training was done completely on paper. Having payroll, scheduling, and training online through a single system presented Labarre with data and efficiencies that he never had prior to Dayforce.
“With Dayforce, we are able to track the number of hours each store is spending on training, and if there is one location that's spending more than the rest, it could indicate a turnover issue,” explains Labarre.
“We also look at how much revenue per labour hour we are making by using the reporting from Dayforce, and analyzing it with our point-of-sale information to evaluate our scheduling efficiency.”
Labarre also made the decision to transfer his entire training program onto Dayforce Learning.
“When a new employee comes on, they are going to use the new Learning program, which is fully digital. All employees will have the exact same content shared with them from the same source. We're able to really fine-tune what the user experience is going to be,” said Labarre. Once Labarre started using Dayforce, he quickly saw an opportunity to assist other Popeye’s stores across the country to get them on the platform as well. “With Dayforce, the consistency of training and workforce management extends to our locations across Canada,” said Labarre. “We’re all-in on this program, we think it’s just brilliant.”
Since migrating to Dayforce, Labarre has seen immediate improvements. The single platform has enabled employees to access their information, anytime, anywhere. “The staff love Dayforce because they can see their schedule on their phone, and there's no surprise changes to an Excel printout that is posted on a bulletin board like our old system. When we have staff that work between multiple locations, we never have to worry about them being double-scheduled,” says Labarre.
Labarre also expects to see a decrease in turnover resulting from more consistent communication and training, as well as improved customer service. Looking to the future of Popeye’s partnership with Ceridian, Labarre has big plans to enable his workforce with Dayforce.
“When I saw the Learning module, I thought of all the capabilities. We can do product launch training on the system, measure all the stores in terms of product knowledge, and provide advanced training for our managers. The sky is the limit of what we can do with Dayforce.”