Jun 30, 2015

Hourly Workforce Management Is Flawed, Let’s Fix It

Hourly workers are the backbone of companies in the retail, hospitality and other service sectors. For the more than two million service companies in the U.S., labor accounts for between 20 and 70% of all costs. Unfortunately, the process for finding and managing hourly labor is fatally flawed and represents a constant strain on organizational resources.

Many employers struggle to align the core pillars of hourly employee relationships, from on-boarding and training to scheduling and evaluation. Instead, hiring and shift management operate in silos, resulting in weak internal communication, low staff morale and excess spend. With solutions like WorkJam, this no longer has to be the case.


Here are some ways solutions like WorkJam help organizations better manage their hourly workers:

  • Responsive Scheduling: Plenty of service companies rely on manual scheduling processes, which make it even more difficult to accommodate employer and worker needs. In order to create one week or month’s schedule, managers must parse through a variety of fragmented inputs including emails, texts, written and verbal staff requests for time off, and even demand forecasts. It’s an overwhelming task, even when using spreadsheets and simple online software tools.WorkJam makes shift management a two-way street. The platform lets employees take a proactive role in the process, and gives employers a way to consolidate the key details they need to generate schedules that work for everyone.Unlike paper-based or basic scheduling software, WorkJam provides transparency into hourly employees’ availability, bridging the gap between employers’ needs and workers’ personal lives. WorkJam also simplifies how scheduling managers interact with employees by presenting a unified front for schedule changes to be communicated and traded. Taking the guesswork out of scheduling not only benefits shift managers’ productivity, it improves the work-life balance for hourly staff.
  • Compliance and Communication: Chaotic scheduling practices have triggered a wave of recent regulatory scrutiny. In response, all levels of government are rolling out, or at least contemplating, new laws to protect the hourly workforce. New York recently launched investigations of major retailers like Target and Gap for their scheduling practices, indicating that what once was acceptable may no longer be sustainable.WorkJam allows service organizations to automatically log all schedules and shift changes that are made; creating an audit trail for managers in case their organization ever comes under scrutiny. In addition, WorkJam adapts to a variety of industry, local and national regulations, helping shield employers from noncompliance penalties and employees from unfair treatment.
  • Smarter Hiring: WorkJam lets employers finally overcome persistent hiring obstacles. Many retail and service firms’ contend with tight hiring budgets, forcing them to lean heavily on referrals and word-of-mouth for recruitment. By taking into account candidates’ availability and employers’ shift needs through an automated platform, WorkJam makes it easier to find people whose skills and schedules match business demand.In the long run, this helps employers combat turnover and increase the number of quality hires made. The higher quality of new employees saves managers time and lowers employee attrition, in turn, improving customer service levels and fostering more meaningful staff relationships.

The current employee-employer relationship lifecycle is broken. As long as recruitment, scheduling and management happen in isolation, the tension between hourly workers and the companies that rely on them will persist. Our hope is that, with help from integrated solutions like WorkJam, neither side has to settle for the status quo.

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WorkJam is the platform industry leaders choose for true frontline orchestration: task management, training, communications, staffing, and more.