In the midst of The Great Resignation, employers of in-person hourly service jobs are losing the most workers, Fast Company reported. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 750,000 leisure and hospitality workers are dropping out of the workforce every month. So, what can be done to reverse this trend? What do hourly workers want from prospective employers that will entice them to fill open roles?
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To find out, Branch surveyed over 3,000 hourly employees across a variety of sectors, including food service, retail and healthcare. According to the workers themselves, these are the top perks companies need to provide.
The No. 1 Thing Hourly Workers Want Is Higher Wages
When asked what they want out of their current workplace, 69% of hourly workers said higher wages. Other top workplace priorities include scheduling predictability (51%) and flexibility (41%), as well as a positive work culture (45%) and supportive managers (31%).
“Businesses need to offer hourly workers opportunities for growth — both in their positions and pay,” said Atif Siddiqi, CEO of Branch. “Across the board, hourly workers cite higher pay as a major factor out of what they want in their current and prospective workplaces. So while workplaces may not be ready or able to give immediate raises, they should be prepared to address development plans for getting promoted or a raise, specific goals and ways to help workers foster their careers. Greater scheduling predictability is also top of mind for workers, so if you can offer greater scheduling consistency and stability, that’ll also be incredibly valuable for workers.”
Higher Pay Isn’t Enough
Although pay and scheduling predictability are top priorities, nearly half of hourly workers also said that a positive work culture is important to them. One way employers can create a culture that supports their employees is to establish channels of communication and to regularly engage with them, Siddiqi said.
“It’s not only about keeping workers updated on company news, but also for the company to receive regular employee feedback and sentiment,” he said. “Creating a safe, open forum for employees to discuss the workplace allows companies to improve their work cultures. Companies should also create opportunities for and incentivize employee collaboration. Teamwork offers valuable training and communication opportunities. If workers can see their success as intertwined, they’re better positioned to find ways to support one another and realize company goals.”
If Employers Don’t Give Employees What They Want, The Great Resignation Will Continue
Siddiqi doesn’t see The Great Resignation coming to an end anytime soon, so employers will need to provide attractive compensation and other perks to entice workers to fill their empty positions.
“The labor market remains incredibly tight right now and will only get tighter heading into the fall, as high school and college students return to school and preparations for holiday hiring begin to ramp up,” he said. “Businesses will need to provide a competitive set of benefits in order to retain current and attract new workers. While workers may not be able to find a job that has every single benefit that they want, they have their pick of opportunities right now.”
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Siddiqi notes that the COVID-19 pandemic has made many workers reevaluate what they need from their employers.
“The pandemic has been a very difficult time for workers across industries, but especially hourly workers,” he said. “With most hourly workers deemed essential very early on in the pandemic, they have had to navigate a myriad of challenges including evolving local mandates, fear of COVID-19 exposure and frustrated customers. Especially with the ongoing labor shortage, many workers are burned out and are willing to take the time to reassess what they want out of their jobs. Companies need to offer job opportunities and benefits that offer greater flexibility, stability and growth.”
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Last updated: Sept. 13, 2021