Every woman is unique. From her personality to her hair, body type, and style. And while these differences are rightfully celebrated, they can make it difficult to find clothing that feels bespoke and fits each woman’s needs. This becomes even more challenging when looking for the perfect bra to provide comfort and support, day in and day out. This is a challenge that la Vie en Rose, a lingerie and swimwear retailer, is looking to help women solve.
La Vie en Rose was founded in 1985 by Harry Kanner. Current CEO, François Roberge, acquired the company in 1996 when it had just 23 stores. Over the last 25 years, la Vie en Rose has grown to include 270 locations in Canada, and 95 locations in 16 other countries across the globe. Its portfolio of stores also includes its Bikini Village banner, which specializes in swimwear.
La Vie en Rose employs more than 3,000 people across Canada, with most working at retail locations. The rest of the company’s workforce is split between its head office in Montreal, and its distribution center where the company prepares merchandise for both stores and online purchases.
“What sets us apart is that we are a very growth-oriented company,” says Roberge. “I would say that there are two things that are essential for me: respect and passion. Respect for our customers, our employees, our suppliers, and the passion to be a retailer.”
Le Vie en Rose looks for employees who have this same respect and passion for retail. “We want employees that are friendly, are going to work hard, be responsible, and be able to help our customers find whatever product or accessory they're looking for,” says Alessia Pariselli, la Vie en Rose’s Senior HR Advisor.
One of the biggest challenges the retail industry currently faces is turnover. Retailers like la Vie en Rose must think strategically about how to retain talent long-term.
“For la Vie en Rose, we really decided to put our culture at the forefront in order to retain people,” says Karine Turgeon, Human Resources Director. “The biggest difficulty in retail is being able to differentiate yourself from the competition. So, this is where the culture of the company becomes especially important.”
Pariselli points out that a happy employee is going to be more productive, more motivated, and have a greater desire to develop and grow within the company. “We need to really focus on giving a wow-factor experience to our candidates from the beginning of their hire all the way throughout their career with la Vie en Rose,” she says.
Technology is at the core of an employee’s experience – they use it to clock in and out, check their schedules, request time off, view their pay, and communicate with their manager. To deliver that “wow-factor” experience that Pariselli speaks about, modern, streamlined technology is crucial.
“Communication is very important. Like in a relationship, if you want to stay together long-term, you have to communicate well. In a company, communication is also extremely important to retain your employees and to understand where you want to be,” says Roberge.
Prior to Dayforce, the company had five different systems for its HR processes, which caused challenges with duplicate entries, manual work, and interfaces that were not user friendly for employees. None of the systems communicated with each other, which was a problem – one that worsened as the company grew.
After taking stock of its situation, la Vie en Rose concluded that its current mix of platforms would no longer allow the company to continue to scale efficiently or improve its employee experience, and decided it was time for a change.
“We were growing rapidly, and we needed support from our system. We needed something that would allow us to grow and to do so in a way that was time and cost efficient,” explains Pariselli.
La Vie en Rose decided to partner with Ceridian and went live with Dayforce in April 2019. The company uses Dayforce for HR, payroll, benefits, time & attendance, recruiting, onboarding, learning, performance, compensation, and is implementing engagement and succession planning.
“It was April 28, 2019. It's a day that stays in my memory because it was a great accomplishment for the human resources and payroll team,” says Turgeon, referring to the day the company went live with Dayforce.
Lina Di Liello, la Vie en Rose’s Chief Merchandising Officer adds, “We had five systems. Now we have one great solution. It simplifies everything.”
Dayforce has helped la Vie en Rose achieve flexibility and agility that wasn’t possible before with multiple systems. Pariselli says that everything now connects seamlessly. When she makes a change in one place, it automatically updates across the system. This level of efficiency has allowed the HR team to spend more time on value-add tasks and continue to manage the growing workforce. “We quantified that even though our workforce has increased by 25% in the last five years, we did not need to add more staff in our department to manage all the data for those employees,” says Turgeon.
Roberge also stated that by being efficient with resources and time, the company has saved approximately $300,000 in payroll operating costs each year. “Dayforce is an application that is at the cutting edge of technology. It allows us to reach and work with our employees daily, in real time, to allow us to be very efficient,” he says.
Given both the average turnover rate in the retail industry and the current labor shortage in Canada, la Vie en Rose recognizes that it’s important to focus on the employee experience in order to retain its top talent.
An employee’s experience starts from the moment they join the company. Their onboarding can set the stage for a successful career with the company and give them the knowledge and tools they need to integrate into the existing workforce. With Dayforce, Pariselli and her team can send new hires an onboarding email and give them immediate access to forms, videos, and other instructional materials. “With Dayforce, we set a really strong foundation for them right from the get-go,” she says. “We also have the ability to customize our platform to reflect our values and our two different banners, so we're able to adapt our messages to our employees wherever they're located in our business.”
Once new employees are successfully onboarded, the next crucial step in the experience is to ensure they have seamless access to their information, schedules, and pay. La Vie en Rose is using the Dayforce mobile app to allow employees to clock in and out, view their schedules, request time off, see their pay information, and communicate with their managers. “We're finding that most of our employees in stores don't have computers or laptops anymore, and they're able to do absolutely everything from their phone. So, having the Dayforce mobile app on their phone, with their schedule or with the ability to speak to their manager has been crucial,” says Pariselli. “It's really empowered them.”
In addition, Pariselli said that being able to clock in and out on their phones has saved employees time, as they don’t have to wait for a computer to be free when the store is busy.
Another way that la Vie en Rose is looking to improve employee retention is through development and internal promotion. “Training our employees and making sure they're ready to take the next step in their career is really important. We want to make sure they’re empowered with all the tools and skills they need to access another position,” says Pariselli.
Turgeon adds, “By using Dayforce for learning, we’re able to create learning groups by different employee roles, which allows us to be much more agile and develop training plans that are relevant to our employees in the course of their work.” In addition, once la Vie en Rose completes its implementation of Dayforce for succession planning, it will help the company identify candidates for internal promotion and aid in filling leadership positions and opening new stores.
The company is also implementing Dayforce’s employee engagement capability and is looking forward to reaching more of its workforce with surveys to track and benchmark employee satisfaction.
In addition to improving its employee experience, la Vie en Rose has also increased its focus on giving managers the tools they need to manage their workforces strategically and efficiently.
Tracking labor cost is crucial in retail, and la Vie en Rose aims to match scheduling with peak hours in stores to maximize productivity. “In the past it used to take longer for us to compile timesheets at the head office and make decisions,” says Roberge. “Now with Dayforce, we can make decisions the same day or the next day based on the schedules, lack of employees in a store, or increased traffic. So, it’s really a much faster interaction now.”
One of the biggest changes Pariselli has seen since implementing Dayforce is that the HR team is able to empower store managers to approve and adjust time, something that they couldn’t easily do before. By streamlining this process, Pariselli estimates that managers have reduced their hours spent on timesheets by 35%. Turgeon points out that if you multiply that time savings across managers at 270 retail locations, the savings are substantial. “Having access to real-time data has really helped us empower our sales leadership to make informed decisions about their workforce,” says Pariselli.
Roberge summarizes his thoughts on the value of data: “As a CEO, what I appreciate is to have precise, fast information every day. Dayforce is a tool that give us all the data we need to make decisions. So Dayforce has been a great return on investment.”
Not only has Dayforce helped la Vie en Rose streamline scheduling, but it has also given each store manager the ability to directly recruit for their open positions. Prior to Dayforce, store managers did not have access to an external email, so all job postings were created by the HR team. This led to a complicated chain wherein the HR team would receive a resume, forward that resume to the regional manager, and the regional manager would have to pass it along to the store manager. “It was a lot of steps for something that is now so streamlined,” says Pariselli. “With Dayforce, store managers have complete control over recruitment. They're able to post positions, receive resumes directly, and get the ball rolling a lot faster and more easily than before. It's really allowed them to really take charge of their stores from an administrative standpoint.”
Pariselli also says that this efficiency has helped improve the company’s time-to-hire metric, as managers are not bogged down with manual data entry and multiple intermediaries.
Natalie Charette, Senior Sales Manager for the Ottawa-Gatineau region shares her first-hand experience: “I use Dayforce for everything. It's amazing. Everything is in one application instead of five. The schedules, payroll, recruiting, training, everything is there. So, it's much easier for us to work with Dayforce.”
Over the past year, retailers have faced some of the most challenging times they’ve ever experienced, and this ripple was felt deeply by the workforce as well. “Throughout the pandemic, communication was, I believe, at the core of everyone's either success or failure. I think our employees had a lot of expectations, and rightfully so, about information that we needed to give them. So, Dayforce was a really important tool in getting that information to them,” says Pariselli.
As the world continues to move forward and the retail industry adjusts, Pariselli says they will continue to partner with Ceridian to engage employees and improve their experience with la Vie en Rose.
“As we go forward, Ceridian will be an incredibly important partner, and Dayforce will be an incredibly important tool for us to improve our employee experience,” says Pariselli. “It will allow us to stay competitive, stay innovative, and keep giving our employees what they want.”