Staff Engagement for the New Worker Paradigm
Why is staff turnover so high?
What can I do to improve worker retention?
How can I keep track of staff that work off-site?
Can I even do anything to improve the worker experience for hourly, on demand and/or off-site staff?
After hearing these concerns from many business owners who schedule and manage remote and hourly workers, I put together a list of core concepts and even unpack a few specific features that will improve worker engagement for event driven businesses that rely on hourly workers.
The growth of on-demand workers dramatically altered the classic employer/employee relationship. In the past, workplace relationships were built nourished by employers and employees sharing time and space. Loyalty and accountability were natural extensions of the relationship. It was not uncommon for people to hold the same job for ten years or more.
In the new worker paradigm, hourly workers are assigned event based shifts by catering, hospitality, security, fashion and staffing agencies. Event duration can be a couple of hours and event frequency can be irregular.
Loyalty, communication, and accountability often suffer as collateral damage of this new worker paradigm where the employer and the employee have minimal interaction, irregular schedules and few points of contact.
Tech to the Rescue
Technology solutions can benefit business owners and workers. Software will save your business (large or small) time and money, by automating processes and providing business insights to make more informed staffing decisions. Empowering workers by providing them with a mobile technology platform will lower improve staff engagement, boost communications, reduce absenteeism and improve productivity.
1. Mobile Automated Scheduling Solution
Manual scheduling can be a hassle. Workers have to sift through emails, text messages, calls, and/or excel sheet and then keep track of their personal schedules for their shifts for multiple non-recurring events at different sites.
To address this pain, employers should find a mobile solution that automates much of the scheduling process. Here’s why:
Today’s workforce is mobile first, you have to meet workers where they are: on-the-go and on their phones.
If a comparable alternate employer offers an easier process for scheduling, on-boarding, and keeping track of events — it will be more difficult to retain good talent.
Offering on-demand workers the option to accept and decline shifts to comply with their scheduling needs, offers hourly workers more control over their upcoming schedules and improves their satisfaction.
Providing a platform and dashboard where the booking requests and confirmed gigs can be easily accessed removes much of the burden of scheduling from hourly workers.
Being able to easily schedule events to a mobile calendar and set reminders can reduce absenteeism.
2. Improved Communication
Workers that work hourly shifts can find it hard to keep track of their employer, manager and/or team. Working one-off events with different teams makes it difficult to feel connected.
Even in a scenario where it is hard to feel connected, if you choose the right platform, a mobile app will improve communication between workers and management and benefit all parties. Here’s how:
Managers that have access to staff profiles + photos which can help develop familiarity enjoyed by people who have worked together for longer periods and improves managers’ ability to create a more pleasant team environment.
Having an easy way to connect with fellow workers and managers helps teams build emotional connections, trust, and respect. Stronger teams do better work.
Creating a method to report issues or concern to management via a mobile app normalizes the reporting process, providing a comfortable and convenient way for workers express concerns which increases worker appreciation and loyalty.
It’s easy for hourly workers that work off-site to feel removed from the business.
Giving contingent workers access to a system provides workers with a sense of accountability so they will be more likely to achieve their goals.
Providing workers access to a dashboard, allows businesses to remind workers of their brand.
Tracking time is a burden for workers and managers alike. Providing workers with a mobile solution with GPS check-in/check-out will track hours with greater accuracy.
Having a mobile app is a great way for businesses to ask workers for feedback allowing businesses to harness the collective ideas and feedback of staff that are on the front lines of the business. Feedback is also a great opportunity for businesses to demonstrate to workers that they value worker input and insights. When workers feel like their voice is heard, their investment in their work increases.
Another option to increase accountability is to utilize a rating system built into mobile a workforce management solution. Knowing managers will evaluate worker performance, gives workers incentive to improve and excel.
Adapting a mobile solution will improve team communication, satisfaction, and efficiency.
Ubeya has a free mobile app for your workers. Our technology allows managers to schedule shifts from the web, which will trigger push notifications on your workers’ mobile phones. Want to see how it works?
An earlier version of this article originally appeared in HR Tech Weekly