Learn how workforce management solutions can help drive engagement in your hourly workforce as well as boost revenue. 

Engaging the hourly worker

How workforce management tools can boost engagement and your bottom line

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2011 the number of hourly workers in the U.S. exceeded the number of salaried workers by constituting nearly 60% of the labor force.  At 74 million workers strong, companies are becoming increasingly aware of this major population and the critical role it plays in their success.

Ensuring that your hourly employees are engaged is important because not only does it lead to a more satisfied and productive workforce, but it can also drive a big boost to your bottom line.

“The link between engagement and top line revenue has been researched extensively and proven for many years,” says Jayson Saba, vice president of strategy and industry relations at Ceridian. “The Hay Group, for example, found that high levels of employee engagement can boost revenue growth by up to two and a half times.”

Employers looking for a more engaged hourly workforce can turn to workforce management (WFM) solutions that address scheduling, timekeeping and task management processes. Such tools can help yield significant gains in employee engagement, as well as increase business revenue by improving efficiency.

Driving engagement through technology

Workforce management tools are often where the rubber meets the road.  For hourly employees, WFM technology is where they interact most with employers, whether punching in and out, viewing their schedules, requesting time off or declaring their availability to their supervisors. 

Saba says, “Beyond ensuring that employees’ basic needs are addressed – accurate payroll, decent benefits and healthcare – putting employees in a position where they can perform their best and allowing them to be proactive with everyday functions creates an alignment between their activity and the goals of the company.”

Moreover, empowering and engaging employees are important for an organization’s revenue. Companies like Best Buy clearly understand this dynamic. As Bloomberg Businessweek notes, Best Buy finds that for every two percent increase in employee engagement in a store location, there is, on average, a $100,000 annual rise in same store sales.

“Best-in-class companies understand that giving employees flexibility to balance work and personal life requires real-time access and visibility into the needs of the company; it’s a two-way street,” says Saba. “And today’s technology creates a conducive environment to do so.”

Four WFM strategies that can lead to a more engaged hourly workforce:

  • Allow employees to bid on shifts
  • Provide real-time access to timesheets
  • Deploy mobile and web-based tools for easier employee access to shifts and timesheets
  • Show employees how individual and team tasks/activities contribute to company success

Complementing technology with workforce best practices

Relying on WFM tools and technologies to automate processes can be beneficial for organizations looking to boost engagement, but they are not, according to Saba, “the silver bullet that will address engagement challenges.” He adds, “After all, adding technology to unsound processes will result in a much worse outcome.”

Saba offers three tips to complement technology investments with processes that foster visibility and self-sufficiency for both employees and managers.

  • Payroll and schedule accuracy ­– companies that automate WFM and integrate with payroll have minimized payroll errors to less than 1% compared to 2.4% for their counterparts. Moreover, allowing employees real-time access to timesheets not only helps with errors but also drives engagement.
  • Issue escalation process – companies that allow employees to escalate their shift or other employment concerns beyond the immediate managers report 10% higher engagements than those that do not.
  • Self-service – self-service access to timesheets, schedules and aggregate reports empower employees through real-time visibility, while also reducing administrative burden on HR.

Your hourly workforce is a critical part of your business. Whether they are working the assembly line, taking care of patients, selling goods, maintaining equipment or managing possessions and property, engaging this vital contingency is not only good for your employees, it is also good for your business. Utilizing best-in-class WFM solutions can help you achieve both goals seamlessly.

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