As the U.S. economy continues rebounding, job openings abound while layoffs have dropped dramatically. As an example, the food services sector laid off 188,000 workers in April versus 1.9 million in 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
While indicating a strong economic recovery, many employers, particularly high-volume hourly employers, are grappling with a record-setting quitting rate. In the hotel and restaurant sectors, this quitting rate stood at 5.6% in April according to Bloomberg, a figure that represents a loss of nearly half of the new hires these sectors added over the same period.
Many employers are deploying incentives to help attract candidates including free iPhones, signing bonuses, and even raffles for new vehicles. While these tactics may help in gaining new hires, what is being done to retain existing team members?
In interviews with retail workers who recently quit their jobs, the Washington Post learned that many workers cited longer hours, understaffed stores, difficult customers, and insufficient compensation as reasons for leaving — issues often compounded during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As we've noted in previous posts, the pandemic placed a spotlight on hourly workers and proved how essential these roles are for the functioning of our society. While many employers have adjusted stances on compensation and addressed other long-standing issues, there remains an opportunity to engage these workforces and solve these labor shortages at various stages of the employment lifecycle.
At the height of the pandemic, Traitify released Traitify Engage, a product focused on helping employers engage and develop talent in personalized and automated fashion. While Engage can be used within any company, the Traitify team took special care to design and develop a product that focused on hourly workers, an audience who has traditionally been left out of the "learning and development" conversation.
Traitify team took special care to design and develop a product that focused on hourly workers, an audience who has traditionally been left out of the "learning and development" conversation.
Engage utilizes the Traitify Big Five assessment results (often collected during the application process) to produce an insightful, yet succinct report that can be shared with new hires during the onboarding period. This report includes bite-sized pieces of content that give employees views into how they can manage stress, work better with team members, and communicate with customers based on their unique personality. These insights are designed to assist the employee in better understanding their strengths and also allows them to identify areas for growth.
"Success Skills" are continuously sent to employees via SMS or email and can be used to keep team members engaged and growing in their roles, while not requiring a huge time commitment on the part of managers.
As employees interact with this content, they are able to gain new confidence in their abilities and feel a sense of commitment and care from the employer.
While the first version of Engage focuses on employees, the Traitify team is developing a companion report that will focus on developing Managers and arm them with the skills to engage with employees in a personalized manner
The Traitify Engage Manager Toolkit will provide ongoing development content to Managers, allowing them to garner insight into management concepts and human psychology in minutes. These learnings are then applied to each member of the Manager's team, allowing them to put their knowledge into practice in a practical and personalized way.
Micro-exercises are available for Managers to assign to team members to create a low-friction channel of communication and feedback and analytics provide a view into a team's overall satisfaction including indicators of "flight risks" (identifying employees who may be at risk for quitting based on dissatisfaction).
The Traitify Engage Manager Toolkit is scheduled for release later this year.
While the pandemic has brought into focus just how important hourly workers are, there's a long-standing bias against these types of roles and the employees who fill them. If employers are committed to solving retention issues, they'll have to develop a workplace culture that prioritizes growth and engagement alongside speed and efficiency.
Hourly workers are people and people desire to feel valued and cared for. With Engage, we've given employers a tool that can be used to give back to these employees who have so often put themselves on the front line in the most stressful, dangerous scenarios.
If you are a current Client or Partner and would like to learn more about Traitify Engage, please reach out to your Customer Success Manager or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. We always appreciate your feedback and love building great things with you and for you!
Want to learn more about engaging talent so they'll want to stay? Let's chat!