Strategic Communication: The Key to Better Hourly Employee Engagement
Discover how strategic communication for employee schedules helps companies realize the benefits of employee engagement.
Scheduling Communication Is a Strategic Process
Driven by global competition, now more than ever, organizations are dependent on nuturing healthy relationships across all levels of their business to align their workforce to a common goal. While most employee engagement and strategic communication is focused on salaried employees, we believe these same initiatives, when applied to hourly workers, can produce the same dramatic benefits seen by their salaried counterparts.
For hourly employees, the employee schedule is at the center of their daily lives. Employee schedules determine paychecks, vacation time, day-care planning, sleep schedules, transportation, teammates, job responsibilities and much more. Naturally, this means the schedule is a point of stress for most managers, schedulers, and hourly employees.
To best ensure hourly employee satisfaction remains high, strategic communication of the schedule must be made a priority. This guide also helps breaks down how properly communicating scheduling activities leads to less stressed hourly employees with improved focus and commitment. Improving schedule communication can also lead to better engagement, increased productivity, lower absenteeism, lower turnover and ultimately higher profits.
Our goal is to help organizations take realistic steps towards engaging their hourly employees by providing insights and best practices for improving communication efforts around their employee schedule.
This guide offers insights into the following:
- The value of an engaged workforce
- Key focus areas for building a communication plan around the employee schedule
The Value of an Engaged Workforce
Before we focus on optimizing communications about the schedule, we must first tackle why employee engagement is critical to employers. According to Gallup, improving employee engagement strongly impacts the overall well-being of the business. Improved employee engagement was found to have the following effects:
- 17% higher productivity
- 21% higher profitability
- 10% higher customer satisfaction
- 41% lower absenteeism
- 24% less turnover (in high-turnover organizations)
- 59% less turnover (in low-turnover organizations)
- 70% fewer safety incidents
- 40% fewer defects/quality issues
Similar results can be observed for hourly employees when employers focus their efforts on improving the communication between their schedulers and their staff. When hourly employees can engage in the scheduling process, job satisfaction is higher and, more importantly, less likely to actively disengage from the organization. Active disengagement decreases productivity, weakens revenue, and negatively impacts your existing labor force.
The Challenge of Disengagement
On a global scale, current employers are currently facing a cocktail of challenges. In an environment characterized by political unrest, social change and technological evolution, employees are feeling anxious about the present and future direction of the working world.
-Ken Oehler, Aon Hewitt’s Global Culture & Engagement
With questions about market conditions, job automation, and career opportunities still unanswered, employees are hesitant to engage with employers fully.
- Nearly 70% of all U.S. workers don’t like their job.
- 12.8 million US hourly workers age 16 or older are actively disengaged.
- Actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. $483 billion to $605 billion each year in lost productivity.
- Global engagement is trending downward (2015: 65%, 2016: 63%).
Did you know?
Shiftboard reduces overtime by 51%. Let us show you how.
Did you know?
With Shiftboard, scheduling errors are reduced by 51%. Click below to learn more!
– Redeapp & Edison Research
Did you know?
Shiftboard provides a rich set of communication tools. Check out our infographic!
The Role of Technology
Bill Gates put it best when he said, “Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without talking about the other.” Technology plays a huge role in how your employees engage with one another. Improving hourly employee engagement through strategic communication can be amplified by deploying the right employee scheduling software. Shiftboard understands that scheduling is only a part of what it takes to manage an active workforce. We see communication as the necessary sidekick to any scheduling pursuit. When evaluating scheduling software, we suggest considering the following capabilities, which we’ve built into our own solution:
Scheduling hourly employees requires that the scheduler has up-to-date information on the available workforce. The right scheduling solution should communicate the status of new employees, new certifications, relevant qualifications, general availability, shift limitations and other critical factors that may influence filling the right shift with the right worker
Schedule Communications must be available across numerous types of smart devices. Schedulers should engage workers with the tools they’re comfortable using. Features like SMS alerts, mobile-friendly schedules, mobile time clocks, two-way texting and in-app time-off requests greatly improve employee engagement.
Many times, the biggest barrier to communication is poor timing. Workers need an access point to consume important shift information on their own time. Scheduling software that allows managers to see who’s on the schedule while giving workers the ability to trade or sign up for shifts frees up the scheduler’s time.
If you’re considering a scheduling automation solution with robust communication capabilities, we’d love to talk. We’ve learned a lot from helping organizations across nearly every industry successfully schedule millions of shifts for countless workers. Let us show you how scheduling automation can improve your business and engage your workforce today!
Get smarter scheduling with Shiftboard
Thank you for reading this guide. We hope you found some helpful insights and best practices to apply to your own scheduling efforts.