What Matters to Hourly Workers

For construction workers and others, employers should focus on the basics. But more money isn't the sole answer to retaining them.

1 Min Read
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 If the constant scramble to fill shifts and the growing threat of strikes aren’t enough to cause employers headaches, here’s another problem that could keep them up at night: Nearly half of hourly workers are searching for another job, according to a new survey report from SHRM, titled Understanding Hourly Workers: Motivations, Expectations and Experiences.

That’s an alarming statistic, says Kyle Holm, vice president, compensation advisory, at Sequoia Group, a San Mateo, Calif., consulting firm that specializes in benefits and compensation. “That number is just not sustainable,” Holm says, because employers need to have experienced workers on hand.

Stagnant wages are one factor forcing hourly workers to switch jobs. Many hourly employees also are in entry-level and more-junior positions, so they’re less established and more likely to be thinking of leaving, Holm says. He thinks workers don’t really want to take on the stress of starting fresh somewhere else, but “[y]ou do because you feel like you have to if your prospects are not great with where you’re at.”

The turbulence among hourly workers is driven by multiple factors, including a lack of significant pay increases in recent years, a tight labor market that gives employees the option to jump ship and get paid more elsewhere, and the push by younger generations for better work/life balance.

To read about all the specific things that hourly workers want from the Society of Human Resources Management, click here.

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