The past year has seen staff turnover reach an all-time high, especially among hourly employees. Workers are reevaluating their jobs in record numbers, and many are not afraid to work at companies that better meet physical and mental needs.
For businesses, finding ways to fill operational holes and ensure current employees stay long term have become the top priorities – just to keep the lights on. Stories abound of restaurants seeing wait times skyrocket, hotels having to limit amenities, and retailers reducing operating hours due to lack of staff. Employee turnover greatly hampers throughput and cuts into available revenues.
Research points to pay raises and traditional benefits (i.e., health insurance and 401k plans) as most effective, but for businesses without the resources for these, consider adopting flexible pay and benefits strategies to create a work environment employees desire.
Expanding Paid Time Off
Despite conventional thinking, an expansion of PTO offerings helps retain overworked employees, especially with small businesses that may lack the financial resources of brand-name competitors.
Sick leave has taken on greater debate over the COVID era, but even with the worst of the pandemic hopefully behind us for good, workers will continue to appreciate knowing they will not lose out on wages due to sickness. Finally, trust between management and staff grows when employees don’t have to risk illness themselves working alongside sick coworkers.
Additionally, the idea of traditional two-day bereavement leaves are coming under scrutiny. Forcing mourning employees to return early only contributes to lost productivity and burnout, and once that happens, quitting is a certainty. Giving staff enough time to mourn close losses allows for a return to work at full productivity.
Expanding vacation time (or offering in the first place) is a proven benefit to retain employees. Employees need a healthy work-life balance to reduce burnout and protect long-term retention, so offering more PTO that’s flexible pays off.
Training and Continuing Ed Opportunities
While professional training for entry-level workers has been seen as a route to losing talent, at the same time a lack of upward mobility achieves the same effect. Employees don’t want to stay in their positions forever or wait years for natural promotion. Providing cost-effective courses in Hospitality Ops, Restaurant Management, or Certified Hospitality Professional certification increases your teams’ buy-in through a roadmap to professional and organizational growth. Employees able to take on new tasks and challenges contribute to increased operational effectiveness and capacity.
Every service industry workforce is filled with ambitious high schoolers, college dropouts, and degree holders alike. While partial tuition reimbursements for college or training may cause some employees to pursue opportunities elsewhere, it can also be an effective way to source and refine in-house managerial talent.
Hilton recognizes the value of uptraining the workforce, recently announcing they’ll offer skills training and professional certifications to all employees. If a global hospitality leader thinks continual training and apprenticeships make for sound long-term retention strategy, they’re likely wise options.
Give Healthy Boundaries
The pandemic presented workers with an opportunity to reevaluate the employee-employer relationship. The pre-COVID status quo ended long ago. To retain employees over the long term, you need to rethink work-life expectations.
Fairer hours go a long way toward building trust and retention among hourly workers. Despite notable wage gains, many businesses under-schedule part-time service employees in the name of flexibility. While this benefits managers in the short term, employees who as a result have hectic schedules or cannot make the hours they desire will look for employers who can better respect their requests.
On a similar note, employees desire advanced scheduling notice. Having to cancel plans because of last-minute schedule changes makes anyone feel disrespected and only incentivizes job applications elsewhere. While a number of local governments have enacted scheduling regulations aimed at limiting these practices, businesses outside the jurisdiction of Fair Workweek legislation would be wise to minimize last minute schedule changes.
With inflation on the rise, hourly workers have struggled to keep up with escalating prices for common staples and necessities. Flexible pay, also known as on-demand pay, gives employees the option to access earned wages as soon as immediately after a shift.
Instead of having to wait two weeks for the next direct deposit, employees can flexibly distribute the earnings they’ve amassed as financial responsibilities come due. The hope is to reduce financial stress, which 80 percent of employers say negatively impacts employee morale and productivity.
Offering flexible pay to employees means it is easier to hire talent and keep current talent in place when you offer a real benefit your competitors do not.
For HotSchedules customers, Fuego offers flexible pay services – while syncing with HotSchedules data. In addition to early paycheck withdrawals, workers with HotSchedules and Fuego can view their clocked shifts to calculate available funds and view earnings potential for upcoming shifts.
Amid today’s fight for talent, every offering you give employees gives provides an edge in attracting and retaining talent. Learn how Fuego can give your business a leg up in the recruiting race: https://getfuego.com/getdemo.