1. Lead With a Heart
One of the main reasons cited as to why hourly employees leave a company is because of their manager or supervisor. To counter this, ensure that all managers and supervisors are trained in the simple concept of treating others with respect. Managers and supervisors are the starting point for keeping good employees and reducing turnover. A Gallup study
defines engaged employees as those who are involved in, committed, and enthusiastic about their work. The same study uncovers that managers are responsible for 70% of variance in the engagement and that the best managers make an effort to get to know the employees to improve engagement.
Engaged employees are those who are respected by their managers and have managers who respond to their questions and concerns in a timely manner. Companies that rely on hourly employees should train managers to lead with a heart. That means the supervisor should treat employees as fellow human beings, showing empathy where needed as well as direction and guidance. Managers who focus on the strengths of the employee, rather than weaknesses, have a stronger chance of keeping employees engaged, according to 67% of employees surveyed in Gallup study.
Considered by some as the "soft" side of managing, leading with a heart is not a difficult thing to teach. In the world of HR, it is known as Emotional Intelligence (EI), which is simply a fancy term for finding the good in others and focusing on those traits. If an employee likes their manager, they are more likely to be engaged in their work and perform at a higher level than those not engaged. Developing managers to lead with heart is worth the effort and is foundational to keeping good hourly employees.2. Be Creative With Benefits
There is a limit to what an employer can provide in way of benefits to attract hourly employees. However, with a little creativity, some benefits may not take away much at all from the businesses' bottom line. For example, allowing employees to cross over to other job functions to learn a new skill, work with others in a different department, and to simply break up the day-to-day routine, can go a long way toward increasing engagement. Also, offering opportunities for employees to work on the weekend or different shifts, either for regular pay or overtime, provides some variety in the work and offers insight into the functions of the business.
Other benefits can include allowing employees to paint their own parking space, buying small tokens of appreciation like gift cards to a favorite restaurant, car detailing, books, sporting events, concerts, or massages. The point is that even though not expensive, creative benefits show that the company appreciates the employee and took the time to think of them and their value to the organization.3. Provide Flexible Schedule
It's not just Millennials who appreciate flexibility in their work schedule, but they do make up the majority of hourly workers
. Some hourly workers like to know that they work the same hours on the same days so they can plan their lives accordingly. Others may need time off for school, family needs, appointments, etc. By offering flexibility in scheduling, employers stand a better chance at keeping the good employees from leaving. While not always an option, employers that can flex to the needs of the employee, may be able to keep that employee. Using scheduling apps to help organize shifts for employees such as When I Work
, Branch Messenger
, or 7Shifts
, just to name a few, give advance notice for employees so they can plan their work lives accordingly.4. Point Out the Road Ahead
It's obvious that many hourly workers use the job as a starting point for future endeavors. When interviewing candidates, you should show them a path they can follow to help them reach their goals. Even if they don't decide to stay very long in the same company or industry, they will remember the guidance they were given. Offer to pay for seminars or courses that will develop their skills for positions they desire.