INDUSTRY: Yard Management Solutions
National Shunt (NSSL) is a Toronto-based company that provides total yard management services to retailers, industrial companies, utility providers, grocers, and other large-scale distribution businesses across North America.
A new employee portal that strengthens engagement and improves operations.
Every Team Member Counts: Driving Team Member Engagement Through the Pandemic and Beyond
National Shunt (NSSL) is a Toronto-based company that provides total yard management services to retailers, industrial companies, utility providers, grocers, and other large-scale distribution businesses across North America. Known as “shunting,” NSSL performs trailer moves and gatehouse security operations (among other activities) that support logistics operations as a whole.
NSSL is a technology- and people-focused organization that uses its proprietary software, Shuntware, to drive better results in efficiency, safety, and profitability for its customers. Founded by former yard truck drivers, NSSL is also known for its “roll up your sleeves” culture where people are only limited by how much they are willing to learn. Many leaders in the organization also started as shunt drivers, having worked their way up with hard work and determination.
In this case study, we’ll tell the story of how we helped NSSL strengthen engagement and improve operations with technology.
Creating Connections and Improving Operations
Our team interviewed several successful NSSL shunt drivers to get a better understanding of the problems they faced in their jobs every day, what they liked about the organization, and what would make their jobs easier. Several of the team members we talked to mentioned that in the past, NSSL had an online tool where team members could read company news and see what was going on in the organization. They said that they enjoyed seeing what was going on and that it helped them feel more connected to the company as a whole.
At the same time, NSSL’s HR department was looking to streamline its functions. Having relied mostly on manual processes for things like PTO requests and scheduling, the paperwork was becoming more time consuming and overwhelming as the organization grew.
They also recognized that they needed a better way to provide information to team members regarding benefits. Getting documentation was a laborious process for everyone involved, with the team member needing to contact HR and then have the documents mailed or emailed to them.
Introducing the Portal
Covid accelerated the need for a centralized, digital place where NSSL team members could find resources and stay connected to the organization.
We worked with NSSL to create a team member portal that enhances connectedness and provides better access to resources while leaving room for new features to be added in the future. The first features we built focus on driving team member engagement and streamlining labor-intensive HR functions.
When a new team member is hired at NSSL, the HR team is able to input new team members and tag them with their appropriate department. When a team member is tagged, it allows HR to manage their access to areas of the portal. It also customizes the experience for the team member so they can see their yard assignments and weather for their assigned area. They can also view all of their benefits information in one place, which saves them the time they would have spent emailing HR to request that information.
Manage My Schedule
When a team member is tagged in the portal, they’re also assigned to their manager. Team members are able to request time off and those requests go directly to their manager, so the manager can approve time-off requests and manage their team’s schedule.
Team Member Referral
Hiring great team members can be a challenge, and a great way to get new team members in the door is to encourage team member referrals. NSSL team members are able to fill out a form on the site that shares information with Human Resources about team members who would be a good fit for NSSL.
Flexible Advantage (Canada Team)
NSSL offers a program called Flexible Advantage to their Canadian team members, where they are given a stipend to put toward benefits. Before the portal, every team member had to manually send an email telling HR how they wanted to allocate those funds. Now team members can fill out a form on the portal that goes directly to HR and the information is collected on the back end of the site. This feature alone saves NSSL 1–2 hours per request every time one is submitted.
Team Member Engagement
NSSL actively seeks team member feedback, on both what they’re doing well and what needs to be improved. The feedback feature on the portal has streamlined the flow of this information between team members and leadership. This allows leadership to take real team member feedback and improve systems and processes. This is not only allowing NSSL to improve, but team members feel engaged and heard when giving feedback, knowing that it’ll be considered.
The tagging feature also allows HR and management to communicate with NSSL team members when they need to send messages to a specific group of team members. The messages are sent through the portal, team members receive an email notification, and then can go check their messages tab in the portal. This allows managers and HR to communicate with ease and allows team members to keep all of those communications in one place.
Nominate a Team Member
NSSL team members can also nominate coworkers for recognition through the portal. These notifications go to the HR department and give NSSL the opportunity to highlight team members who are showcasing NSSL values on social media. This allows current and future team members to see the great things that are happening at NSSL and also showcases that it’s a great place to work!