5 Things Your Hourly Employees Are Too Afraid To Say

4 min read
Nov 18, 2014

This post comes to us from our friends at When I Work, an employee scheduling app used by nearly half a million people in over 50 countries for employee scheduling, time clock, and communication. Most traditional workforce management software is clunky, cumbersome and difficult to install and maintain. When I Work is a simple, intuitive, mobile-first solution that owners and managers can implement and start using in five minutes, not five months—no IT required.4293345631_77e9ca7b94_m

It’s been reported recently that a whopping 70 percent of U.S. workers are disengaged at work. When your employees are unhappy, unmotivated, or unwilling to go above and beyond in their roles, it’s not only frustrating, it’s costly. Disengaged workers cost the U.S. between $450-550 billion each year in lost productivity.

As a business owner or manager, you’re responsible for creating a work environment and culture that encourages hourly employees to speak up when they feel frustrated, unhappy, overwhelmed, or unsure about something that relates to their job.

If you’ve been sensing that one or more of your employees is chronically unhappy or disengaged at work, it might be because they have something important to tell you.

Here are 5 things your hourly employees are too afraid to say:

1. “I have a better solution.”

Sometimes the great ideas and new processes you come up with don’t actually end up working or making things better for your employees—they just make things worse.

Your employees might have better ideas about how certain processes should be done, or how to make customers happier, or how to sell more product. After all, they are the ones working the front lines, right? In a lot of cases, they probably have a better grasp on how to make improvements to certain aspects of your business—like boosting customer happiness—simply because of the nature of their jobs. Some great examples: baristas, floor attendants, salespeople, or anyone else that interacts with your customers often and on a regular basis.

Make sure your employees know they can always come to you with new ideas and solutions that could help grow or improve your business.

2. “I never learned how to do this.”

Things move fast at your business, and because of that, it’s not always easy to recognize when one of your employees is struggling. It’s not a bad thing to expect a lot out of the people you hire and manage, but if you don’t take time to make sure everyone gets properly trained to do the tasks you assign to them, your team will never be as productive or as successful as you want them to be.

Make a habit of regularly checking in with your employees from time to time to ask them if there’s anything they need help with, if there’s anything they are struggling with, or if they feel like they could use a bit of extra training on a particular task.

3. “I want to learn and do more.”

Believe it or not, performing the same tasks over and over again can get a bit dull at times for most people. This is especially true for people working part-time or hourly jobs, but it really applies to everyone. No one really wants to feel bored at work. If your employees seem disengaged, it might just be because they aren’t being challenged enough in their roles.

Try giving your employees more responsibilities and the opportunity to learn how to perform new tasks. Chances are it’ll make your hourly employees happier, more productive, and more willing to stick around.

4. “Will I get a raise in the near future?”

Because hourly employees typically receive pay increases more often than salaried employees, you shouldn't be surprised at the thought of your employees wondering when they’ll be be eligible for a pay increase again or what they need to do in order to earn it. This is especially true if you never really took the time to explain how the raise structure works when you hired them on to work for you.

Make sure you’re honest and open with all your employees about how compensation and pay raise opportunities work at your business from the moment they start working for you. Make your pay raise structure less of a mystery for your employees by proactively communicating with them about it.

5. “I want an easier way to check the schedule!”

For your employees, nothing is more annoying or frustrating than not being able to easily figure out when they work next. If the only way your employees can see the schedule is by physically coming into your business on their days off, it’s time to make things easier and better for them and yourself.

Consider using employee scheduling software to schedule and communicate with your employees. With scheduling software, you can take the time you spend making the work schedule from an average of 8 hours per week all the way down to just 15 minutes! Using technology to streamline scheduling at your business can significantly boost employees happiness, accountability, and communication across the board at your business.

Do you have anything else to add to this list based on your own experience as a business owner or manager? If so, add it as a comment below!



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