Gannett keeps the news cycle spinning with Dayforce
The national news company leverages HCM technology to boost scalability, resiliency, and improve the employee experience.
Few industries have undergone as much change in recent decades as the news industry. How, when, and where people consume news has changed, spurred by the rise of the Internet and social media. Media organizations today are faced with getting the news to people in new ways, while keeping up with rapid technological advancements.
As one of the U.S.’s largest media organizations – and the largest print media organization – Gannett has been right at the center of this change, keeping readers informed while adapting to changes in the industry. The company has more than 200 newspapers covering news at the national, state, and local levels including USA Today, The Poughkeepsie Journal, and Detroit Free Press, to name a few. Every day, its reporters are out chasing the stories that matter to our communities, while its print operators, digital experts, and distribution staff work to ensure the news gets to people’s doorsteps and screens.
Behind every issue and every story is Gannett’s HR team. They work tirelessly to make sure staff are compensated fairly and on time and can access development opportunities. They also ensure that the organization has the people data it needs to navigate shifts in the world of work.
Steven DelVecchio, Senior Director of People Operations and Analytics at Gannett described some of the post-pandemic changes currently challenging the organization. “We're seeing a very competitive labor market right now that is largely driven by a low unemployment rate and the transition to hybrid work. And we certainly see a shift to more hybrid work across all areas of our business.”
To adapt to changes in the workforce and ensure the organization can remain resilient, adaptable, and competitive, Gannett requires a flexible and dependable human capital management (HCM) solution that can help it meet its business needs.
Adapting to hybrid work
Gannett operates in more than 300 locations across the U.S. and employs over 13,000 people worldwide. Having a workforce this large made the transition to hybrid work a complex undertaking.
While there are positive results from the shift, adapting the company’s systems, processes, locations, and people has been anything but straightforward. Supporting employees across the country where, in some cases, there might not be local support staff has also posed challenges.
“If a role is capable of being done remotely, we certainly want to allow that flexibility. The reality today is that most employees want to work in a hybrid sort of model. They want to be able to work where they want to and when they want to,” says DelVecchio. “Technology was always an important part of our strategy to really improve the employee experience and make work-life balance better for employees.”
DelVecchio says this has only become more important. Gannett uses Dayforce for managed payroll, time and attendance, recruiting, performance, compensation, succession planning, experience hub, and analytics. Dayforce allows employees to track their time from wherever they’re working. Gannett counts on Ceridian’s Managed Payroll services and flexible payroll tax system to manage compliance with payroll tax requirements and regulations in its operational jurisdictions, and for support in staying current on regulatory changes.
“Gannett chose Ceridian as our partner for a best-in-class payroll and time and attendance system,” says DelVecchio. “Having all our systems integrated has really been a game-changer for us. Dayforce allows us to let employees work from home or in the office and makes sure everything behind the scenes is being taken care of for them from a payroll and tax perspective.”
Integrated system, quality data
With all its information integrated in a single, configurable platform, Gannett can quickly and efficiently pull employee data and run reports to provide meaningful insights to leadership.
“In today's world, every decision needs to be data driven. We need to be able to access the data that’s available to us in real time,” says DelVecchio. “We have a very fast-moving workforce, and there’s a greater expectation of the HR function today, for us to be able to not just report on data, but also provide insights.”
Dayforce helps DelVecchio and his team deliver on that expectation. For example, having visibility into employee demographic data helped Gannett understand where its employees reside in relation to office locations. With that information, the company was able to assess the current and future state of its real estate portfolio and structure a hybrid work model that allowed it to be more competitive in recruiting and retention efforts.
Having employee demographic data at the click of a button has also helped the company better meet diversity, equity, and inclusion goals.
“One of Gannett’s North Star objectives is cultivating a workforce that reflects the communities it serves,” says DelVecchio. “We’re able to understand where our employees are coming from as they start as candidates, and how we can continuously improve our practices to cultivate a more diverse workforce.”
The flexible and customizable system has also helped the company respond to emerging challenges and changing regulations. In 2020, as vaccine mandates were established in many jurisdictions, DelVecchio’s team created a form and process to use in Dayforce to track employees’ vaccination statuses and help ensure the company followed emerging local requirements.
“I can't stress enough how valuable it is to have all our employee data integrated into one platform. We now have accurate data that’s up to date and accessible in real time. We don't have to deal with system lags or feeds from one system to another,” says DelVecchio. “I've been a part of organizations that don’t have that, and it’s incredibly inefficient and creates the potential for data integrity issues.”
Retention, upskilling, performance
The news industry is highly competitive. Retaining and upskilling talent is a requirement to adapt to evolving business realities, stay ahead of competition, and offer a high-quality news product.
To retain and engage a skilled and diverse workforce, Gannett offers learning and development opportunities to employees, and provides upskilling and reskilling opportunities to ensure employees can grow with the company.
Gannett uses the Dayforce Experience Hub to share learning resources and programs with employees. The company also uses Dayforce for performance and succession planning to empower leaders to drive conversations about performance with employees, and help them be proactive in identifying additional pathways for employee growth and development.
“Employees absolutely want the opportunity to grow and learn within their roles and within the organization,” says DelVecchio. “The performance modules and succession planning functions that we utilize are designed to help bring employee development to the forefront of every people manager's and employee's mind.”
Gannett is now looking at introducing Dayforce Wallet, a flexible pay solution that gives employees earned wage access on-demand, as an additional benefit to its workforce to support engagement and retention.
The value of partnership
In a fast-changing business environment, companies need responsive partnerships that provide the knowledge required for business agility and success. Gannett has found that partnership with Ceridian.
“I work just as closely with our Ceridian representative as I do with my own team members,” says DelVecchio. “Having a close partnership with our Ceridian representative makes me feel like we are well taken care of, and that Ceridian has our needs in mind as they are working with us.”
And the partnership goes both ways: Gannett’s teams have also contributed to Ceridian’s charter programs to support product development and ensure that Dayforce can continue to grow to meet Gannett’s evolving business needs.
There’s no doubt that the news industry – and the world of work at large – will continue to change in the years to come. One thing that will remain constant is people’s need for trusted sources to bring them the news they need to know. With Dayforce in place, Gannett can ensure its people are well taken care of so they can keep their communities informed.
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