3 Techniques for Creating a Positive Culture for Hourly Employees
According to data from the 2017 Top Company Cultures Program, hourly workers rate their perception of company culture consistently lower than salaried employees.
This isn’t a surprising finding. By definition, hourly employees seem to share more in common with temporary workers than permanent ones. And since creating culture and increasing employee engagement requires a sense of community and shared identity, it makes sense that a company culture split between hourly and salaried workers would need extra attention.
However, we also found that hourly employees rate a company’s level of Support and Collaboration lower than salaried employees – two culture qualities that can directly impact the productivity and innovation that takes place within a company.
If you’re managing a team made up of both hourly and salaried workers, creating a positive culture can help you maximize each type of employee’s contribution and enable them to work together more effectively. Here are three strategies to try first:
Involve hourly employees in culture development opportunities
Because hourly employees often run on a different schedule, they can miss out on a baseline level of face time that other employees enjoy. And if your workplace isn’t set up with the virtual basics that allow employees to engage in team-building and collaboration when they’re not in the office, it’s no wonder that hourly employees feel like they’re missing out and salaried workers come to see them as less invested, engaged, or simply less present. The solution? Make a concentrated effort to involve hourly employees in activities focused on creating a solid culture, even if it means you pull them in and pay them for it. The benefits that come from a more engaged and supported worker will quickly overtake the extra investment.
Consider benefits specific to hourly employees
By the nature of the position, hourly employees tend to receive less investment from employers than salaried employees. However, that doesn’t mean an employer can’t opt to include a few low-cost perks or benefits that will help with creating culture and deeply impact how hourly employees experience their jobs. One area of flexibility within most organizations is using policies and processes to make life easier for hourly employees. For example, it might make sense for your organization to offer employee-led scheduling. This gives hourly employees more flexibility and control over their schedule, which in turn leads to higher levels of loyalty and engagement. There could also be business benefits – you may find that your hourly employees have deeper insight into the best way to schedule their time that turns out to be more effective than your current policies.
Don’t skimp on career development for hourly workers
Career development is enormously appealing to salaried workers and recently overtook salary as the #1 reason an employee would leave a position – and hourly workers are no exception. Fostering loyalty and creating culture among hourly employees through career development directly translates to higher retention, lower turnover, and lower hiring costs. The solution? Start talking with hourly employees about their career goals. As Jayson Saba, VP of Strategy and Industry Relations at the Bloomington, Minn.-based HR services firm Ceridian, says in a SHRM article, with enough support, hourly workers can turn into great long-term, salaried workers. Don’t ignore opportunities to speak with hourly employees about their career aspirations – especially when they’re in-house aspirations. Caring about or investing in an hourly employees future is a great way to increase employee engagement and retention, as well as help hourly employees feel supported.