Best Practices from Top Companies to Retain Hourly Employees

Ever wonder why recruitment, engagement, and retention are talked about a lot by top companies?  Increasing employee engagement and retention isn’t just good for employees, a 10% increase in efforts to keep employees engaged can increase profits for a business by $2,400 per employee. In addition, the cost of replacing an hourly employee can cost around $3,600. Large companies have big budgets to invest in employee retention, but even if your company doesn’t have a large budget for employee retention programs there are several ways to create retention strategies that aren’t high cost.

Flexible work schedules

A Gallup State of the American Workplace report, stated that 51% of workers would change jobs for one that’s more flexible. Flexibility in hourly positions can be hard to deliver on especially if you’re still using a manual system to schedule. Fortunately, hourly employee scheduling software options are abundant, cost effective, and most importantly, they allow the employees to take ownership over their schedules.

For example, most hourly employee scheduling software allows employees to enter their availability and swap shifts all from their phones. The changes are then automatically updated in the schedule and sent to managers for final approval. In the past, this could have created a lot of tension between employees and managers, but removing the frustration of fluctuating hourly schedules helps retain high-value employees and creates better relationships between employees and managers.

Career development

Career paths aren’t just for salaried employees. Make sure you are talking to your hourly workforce about their career goals. The same leadership training or other continuing education offered to full-time staff can help retain hourly employees seeking to learn new skills and round out their resumes. Staffing agency Adecco USA recommends providing opportunities for employees to attend seminars that will improve their skills and holding them in-house if costs necessitate. When budgets are tight, think creatively– order pizza and offer a free webinar during a scheduled work shift.

Encourage feedback

Employee engagement is something that top companies keep a close eye on and try to foster, with good reason– companies with employee engagement programs see increases in customer loyalty and profits. While there are a myriad of ways to keep employees engaged, an often overlooked but highly effective way to foster engagement is to create a culture that embraces feedback. Your employees are on the front lines with your customers every day, in some cases, they are more intimately aware of aspects of your business that you are not. Their feedback is beneficial to you and allows employees to add value to the company. You can easily create anonymous feedback forms through google forms so employees feel comfortable sharing their opinions, and you can keep track of the feedback to track for trends.

Small “office” perks

A study released by the University of Warwick in England found that 48 percent of job seekers weigh company perks, including the availability of snacks, in their decision to work for a company. You can provide your staff with perks that are traditionally reserved for offices. Free snacks, drinks, and nice break rooms are all little perks that go a long way. Other great small perks include reduced prices for employer’s goods or tickets to amusement parks or baseball games make employees feel rewarded.

The key to creating employee retention strategies that will work for your company is to think creatively. Consider implementing some or all of these perks, or better yet, survey your employees to get an idea of the programs they see the most value in.

Best Practices from Top Companies to Retain Hourly Employees
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When I Work makes one of the most popular employee scheduling appsemployee scheduling apps in the world.


Gita Sitaramiah

Gita Sitaramiah

Gita Sitaramiah is Director of Communications at GREATER MSP. She is a former journalist, most recently on the business desk of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. She also has reported for the Kansas City Star and other regional newspapers. She holds a master’s degree in public affairs from the Humphrey School at the University of Minnesota, where she also earned a bachelor’s degree in English.