Managing Hourly WorkersWhat Is Your Value Proposition?

Managing hourly workers presents many challenges. Managing caregivers is no different. Tumultuous personal lives, demanding childcare arrangements are beyond your control. But other issues can be controlled by employers. Because unemployment is down, finding quality caregivers is harder than it used to be. Fewer workers are actively seeking work. The ability to retain caregivers is tough as other industries seek to lure them away with higher wages and better career opportunities.

Agencies with an attractive value proposition are positioned to recruit and retain the best caregivers. Here are some pointers to help you identify your value proposition as an employer. Create a list of the “top 10 reasons to work here.” Consider what makes you different from other employers in your industry and in your community. See how these points can be showcased in recruitment and to engage your staff.

Your best hourly employees are also the most likely to be recruited elsewhere. Focus on finding ways to show your top performers how much you value them. The simplest approach is to listen. Find what they need and what they want. I often recommend implementing “stay interviews.” Don’t wait until your top-performing workers leave to tell them how much you value their contribution.

Supervisors play a big part in retaining the best hourly workers. They are the embodiment of your value proposition. Employees don’t leave good managers easily, even for more money. The key to developing supervisors who create loyalty is selecting the right people for supervisory jobs and to train them well. Having supervisors willing to go the extra mile sets a good example for hourly staff. Remember, the best supervisors are those who get to know their employees as people. You want supervisors who can walk the fine line between being personable while remaining professional.

Provide your top players growth opportunities. Assign them interesting work. Mentoring younger workers is a great way to recognize senior caregivers’ expertise and grow new skills. Whenever possible, promote from within to fill staff positions.

Offering predictable schedules is a definite plus. Taking an individual approach is important when it comes to scheduling. Unpredictable hours are a common problem for hourly workers. Scheduling at least 10 days in advance is a perk appreciated by your best caregivers. Employees want to plan their lives out. Being able to offer more advanced notice is a perk you should advertise when recruiting.

Use technology to your advantage. Look for a scheduling software where staffing needs can be based on historical data and be matched with employees’ requests. Personalized schedules give employees more control over their time. They might not want to lose this control by going to another company.

Not getting enough hours are big drivers of turnover. Know your employees and focus on giving them the hours they need. Some want to work part-time. Many need to work longer hours and want a chance at earning overtime.

Consider Wal-Mart’s new approach to scheduling to cater to both types of workers:

  • Fixed shifts guarantees the same weekly hours for as long as a year,
  • Flex shifts allow employees to build their own schedules from the hours available in two-and-a-half-week increments.

With unemployment near 5 percent, the labor market is tight. It’s now crucial to show candidates why your agency is a great place to work. Savvy employers have shifted their strategy to reflect this new reality. Consider how to provide competitive pay and attractive benefits to draw hourly workers from other employers.

Finally, if you don’t already have an employee referral program, consider starting one. Many of my clients know that new hires recommended by employees tend to perform better than those recruited “off the street.”

Want to work on your employee value proposition? Contact me for an initial consultation.