This pandemic has not been easy on anyone. The U.S. Census Bureau recently found that more than one third of U.S. adults report symptoms of anxiety, depression, or both. The American Psychology Association found more than 80% of Americans find the future of the U.S. a significant source of stress. I have no doubt these feelings are shared around the globe. Hourly workers are no exception. What are employers doing about it?
I had the privilege of joining a discussion with several HR leaders last week with our partner Fountain on the importance of the candidate experience for the hourly worker. Carolyn Frey, Chief People Officer at Philz Coffee, and Marc Hinson, Vice President of People at Bartaco, both discussed various ways they have experimented with keeping their current and furloughed employees engaged. From newsletter updates to "coffee with the CEO" to grant programs for laid off employees in need, it was very exciting to hear how their companies are adapting.
Employers may be turning to learning & development tools as a way to confront some of the issues we're facing right now, but far too often, hourly employees are neglected when it comes to both the candidate experience and employee engagement. Logically, it's no surprise that in the fast-paced, cost-cutting hourly world it's rather difficult for managers to give their team members one-on-one time. But how companies engage with their employees and show them they are valued emanates into their culture. And as Hinson noted,
"Companies that have really strong culture, that took care of their employees during this process... [are] going to have a leg up when it comes to taking care of the guests... And I think that's who's going to win."
Companies are experimenting with and starting to invest in programs to develop their hourly teams. But they can't stop there. This has to be a continuous process. And it has to start from day one for the employee. Learning and development tools that are an extension of the application process, with no adverse effect on the candidate experience, will be the driving forces for company culture and by proxy, the company's future success. Frey shared,
"No matter what happens with our team members and decisions they make, they're future customers."
We must recognize that how much companies invest in their hourly employees as candidates and then show they are valued team members, how much they understand that employees are people with stresses and worries and career aspirations, is inherently an investment in the company's bottom line. Ensuring that a customer, who wants to be an employee, has a seamless candidate experience, whether they are hired or not, affects the bottom line. Using available technology to better take care of current and furloughed employees is also essential to the bottom line.
Yes, this pandemic has been difficult for all of us. But it's also providing an opportunity. As I said on the panel, hourly candidates have low expectations, but high hopes. Now is the chance for companies to go above and beyond to create that "leg up" mentioned by Hinson.
To find out more about Traitify's culture-building tools for enhancing the candidate and employee experiences, reach out!