Jun 04, 2021

5 Ways to Survive the Labor Drought

Calling it a labor shortage would be an understatement — most customer-facing organizations are currently experiencing a full-blown labor drought.

Savvy operators have already started to address their labor issues with the means they have available. How can businesses survive the labor drought?

1. Listen

Everybody wants to be heard — especially during trying times like these. While listening is not hard on a case-by-case basis, most organizations have traditionally focused solely on broadcasting.

Surveys and Polls are effective tools that capture the voice of your employees. Frequent pulse polls enable employers to quickly gauge the current atmosphere and gather votes for team recognitions like employee of the month. Dive deeper into more comprehensive topics by asking questions that can help drive strategic changes and use detailed feedback to drive engagement and retention.

2. Ease frustration

Every job comes with a host of frustrations — little things that are just not working. Those frustrations are a part of your frontline employees’ experience on a daily basis. Quirks of the equipment, unintuitive handling of the cash register, or that one nagging thing that the manager needs to correct again and again. The little things add up.

The thing is, most issues have known fixes. If only employees had an outlet to find and share tips and best practices. Targeted Communication channels enable peer-to-peer learning and ensure every single employee has all the information they need. Compile and publish FAQS that can be updated whenever procedures change or a problem comes up.

3. Show a clear path to growth

No one wants to stand still — especially not millennials. Go with the flow and offer a clear path forward. Use mobile training to leverage your current catalog of trainings in micro-form while ensuring proper execution and rewarding employees with leaderboards, badges, and gated access to open shifts.

Let employees and locations compete with each other for who finishes more trainings. Offer the winner swag or access to coveted shifts. And most importantly, show how trainings are connected to promotions or wage increases.

Most of our customers utilize micro-lessons during downtime to train employees, ensuring they’re well-trained and available when it counts.

4. Be flexible

One of the most commonly stated reasons for employees leaving is the lack of flexibility when it comes to scheduling. In fact, WorkJam research shows that 61% of frustrated employees cite scheduling as a reason for leaving (source: BYOD Data Study). It’s just no longer feasible to expect employees to work a schedule that has been agreed upon when they were hired. Life just gets in the way.

In order to cover their shifts while offering scheduling flexibility at the same time, our customers have taken advantage of WorkJam’s Open Shift Marketplace. The functionality enables employees to adjust their availabilities when necessary and allows them to swap shifts with eligible coworkers. If that’s not possible, we make crowd-staffing easy, ensuring coverage. Employees can be enabled to become proactive open shift bidders, while Managers can broadcast shifts to all employees in the area — even ones at neighboring locations.

What’s important is that every shift transaction automatically runs through all labor rules set in your Workforce Management system.

5. Help ease the financial strain

Not every business is able to increase wages. The good news is that it is not the only way to improve team members’ economic well-being. Wage timing is another powerful tool you can use to help ease your employees’ financial strain

and help you become an employer of choice.

Same-day pay options like ExpressPay allow employees to cash out a percentage of their accrued wages between paychecks. This helps address most unplanned costs without interrupting the regular payroll cycle.

To remain in compliance, most employers offer this for free as part of their employee wellness programs, for example, three times per quarter.

5 Ways to Survive the Labor Drought

There you have it, five strategies to engage your employees and improve your employer branding at the same time. Don’t let great be the enemy of good — there’s no need to apply all five at the same time.

In a highly competitive environment, each step offers some reprieve from the labor drought. Ensure resilient operations while building attractive company culture — you can find additional information in our data sheet.

About the author:

Steven Kramer

Chief Executive Officer

Steven is a technology entrepreneur with over 20 years of executive leadership experience in founding and scaling companies developing disruptive, enterprise-class technologies. In 1999, Steven co-founded iCongo, a leading global software provider for omni-channel retail and B2B commerce solutions, which merged with hybris Software in 2011 and became the largest independent provider of e-commerce solutions with 27 offices worldwide, 1000+ employees and more than 600 customers. Steven was part of the Executive Management team and Board Member at hybris. hybris Software was purchased by SAP in 2013. While working with companies on their omni-channel strategies, Steven identified a gap between traditional workforce management systems and how companies actually hire, schedule and manage their frontline employees. With this in mind, Steven co-founded WorkJam.

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