Managing hourly employees, especially part-time ones, can be a big challenge. As of 2012, the 59% of American workers were paid on an hourly basis, with all signs pointing to an increase in this trend going forward. All too often, though, hourly employees feel like they're less valuable than salaried employees because, at many companies, they're seen as expendable and treated accordingly.
Obviously, this doesn't create the kind of work environment that helps you attract high-quality hourly employees. Fortunately, you can make changes that make your workplace magnetic. Start by getting into the mindset of your hourly employees and pinpoint why they detest working for you.
Here are seven things that makes hourly employees want to quit:
1. You Hand Out Schedules Less Than a Week in Advance
No one likes feeling taken for granted, but a short-notice schedule makes it seem like you only care about the business. Hourly workers have lives and need to make plans, and nothing says "I don't care about your personal life" like giving someone their schedule less than a week in advance.
If you want quality employees, get the right tools and make the time you need to get schedules done more than one week in advance.
2. You Pay Minimum Wage and Rarely Give Raises
Minimum wage is certainly legal, but but when you only pay the minimum required, you get employees who only do the bare minimum that they can get away with without getting fired.
When you pay only minimum wage and give paltry raises--or none at all--you're telling your staff that you don't care if they stick around. They'll follow suit and go somewhere else that'll pay them enough to cover their bills and life expenses.
3. You Don't Trust Your Employees
No one likes working for a micromanager or having someone assume the worst about them. Unfortunately, many managers and business owners treat hourly employees as if they can't be trusted. Maybe you had a bad experience with an hourly employee in the past, but don't let that color your judgment of everyone else. If you do, you'll end up with a resentful and unproductive workforce.
The truth is, salaried staff can be just as careless. Trust employees until they give you a reason not to.
4. You Don't Bother With Training Programs
Every employee can learn something from working for you, even part-time or seasonal workers. Rather than simply throwing hourly employees in the mix and expecting them to learn on the job, invest in formal or informal onboarding training programs that get new-hires ready for the work.
In addition, conduct ongoing training to help employees and take an active role in helping guide their development. If you consider training a waste of time, your hourly employees will notice that you aren't willing to invest in them and their careers. Would you stick around and work for a business that clearly doesn't care about you?
5. You Play Favorites
You might have a particular employee you trust more or have a longer relationship with, but that doesn't mean you get to play favorites at work. When you hand out choice assignments to only the "brown noser" at work, people will resent that employee and make his or her life harder. And guess what? When you do this, it's inevitable that your favorite worker will come to dislike you as well, simply because others will give him or her a hard time.
At the same time, these actions demonstrate to your staff members that you don't think they'll ever be able to rise to the occasion, which will undermine your overall perception as a leader. Treat your employees like your team members, and keep your friends for your personal life.
6. You Don't Accept Feedback
No one is perfect, including you. We all need some feedback from time to time to help us improve in our work. Refusing to take feedback or constructive criticism turns your workplace into a tense battle field where everyone will talk behind your back, rather than confront the issue at hand.
Being approachable is a big deal for managers, and if your team doesn't feel they can bring up important issues as they arise, you're in for some unpleasant surprises down the road.
7. You Make a Big Deal Out of Small Things
Some people work well under pressure, but no one enjoys working for a boss who blows every issue out of proportion. If you operate in a mode of perpetual crisis, your employees will burn out on the workplace culture and start to avoid the mere sight of you. It makes sense. If your employees are afraid that even their slightest mistakes will be turned into major problems, there's virtually no incentive for them to be proactive about solving issues while they're still small.
To prevent this from happening, strive to be a manager who maintains perspective and knows when to sound the alarm and when to take it all with a grain of salt. It's not only better for your team, it's better for your health as well.
Being a great boss for all of your employees, even your hourly workers, is definitely a challenge, but improving your management skills is one of the best ways to address employee retention issues. By avoiding these seven common problems, you'll develop the kind of rapport with your staff that convinces your best workers to stay on and rise through the ranks of your business.
What other characteristics of a great boss for hourly workers would you add to this list? Share recommendations based on your own experiences in the comments below: