2019 was a year of new adventures. I transitioned into an advisory role at Poynt, where I had spent the past five years helping over 100,000 businesses get access to technology to supercharge their business growth. I navigated the early days of learning how to be “Dad” after welcoming my son into the world in late 2018. I had the opportunity to work with some incredible founders as an angel investor. Now, as a new decade begins so does my next chapter: Legion.
82 million people are hourly workers in the United States — almost 60 percent of the U.S. workforce. These people are the driving force behind many of our largest industries, including food & beverage, retail, and hospitality. Unfortunately, these employees have often been viewed as a commodity by employers — a cost line item that needs to be optimized as much as possible which creates challenges for both employees and employers. Workers don’t have flexibility or predictability in their schedule, which leads to low worker satisfaction and high churn. The combination of worker churn, the high cost of worker replacement, and often confusing compliance requirements put incredible pressure on operations and H.R. teams who, in turn, try to reduce cost even further and the vicious cycle continues. In our modern, Uberized times, employees are looking for predictable schedules, gig-like flexibility, and mobile-first technology that lets them schedule meaningful work. They shouldn’t need to haggle on a weekly basis with their managers. At the same time, managers and operations teams shouldn’t have to use Excel spreadsheets or bloated, on-premise technology solutions to figure out the right combination of employees required to operate their stores successfully. As the nature of work continues to change, the nature of the employee management and employee engagement needs to transition with it. Legion’s mission is to enable this transition.
Legion is a workforce engagement solution for businesses that employ hourly workers. The company has built technology that applies machine learning and artificial intelligence to accurately forecast demand and automatically match employees with work best suited for them. The platform provides flexible, efficient ways for employers and employees to engage with each other, and it does so in a fair, compliant, and efficient manner to boot.
I met Sanish, Legion’s founder and CEO, almost four years ago when the company had just incorporated. I remember being struck by his compelling vision and infectious passion. Sanish had seen tremendous success as the Chief Product Officer at Ariba and later SAP, and showed no signs of stopping. Since we met, Sanish and the Legion team have been busy at realizing the vision. They have built an incredibly robust product, signed major customers that employ anywhere from 500 to 500,000 people, and surrounded themselves with seasoned investors and advisors. The quality of product execution and focus on customer needs has been exceptional.
My experience enabling small and medium-sized businesses to compete against large retailers through better commerce and payments solutions taught me how technology can serve as a great equalizer. It has also shown me how, unfortunately, access to technology can sometimes be limited to select groups. I’m thrilled to join Legion as its SVP of Strategy and Business Operations, and help bring the future of work for all employees into the present. Let the next chapter begin!