Can an ESN Improve the Relationship Between Hourly Workers & Management?

March 5, 2019 - 6 minute read

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Imagine a restaurant that's located near the beach as the setting for a perfect love story. It’s summertime and the restaurant is fully booked evening after evening. A lot of students and other hourly workers are hired to be seasonal workers at this restaurant.

For them, it’s the perfect opportunity to work while they’ have some free time between school terms - plus, they can earn some extra money. It also seems like the perfect situation for the restaurant’s management. During the high season, new employees knock on the door to ask for jobs. As soon as summertime is over, these hourly workers continue their studies or other obligations. The relationship between hourly workers and management ends peacefully after a temporary summer love.

hourly workers

hourly workers

But as with most love stories (or romantic comedies), what I described above isn't always the reality. At times, the relationship between hourly workers and management can be difficult and strained for a few reasons. Since these employees are often young, hired for a temporary period and aren't always fully invested or committed to the company, it can lead to frustration from management.

Now consider this: In 2016, almost 80 million workers (58.7 percent of all wage and salary workers) were paid at hourly rates. That's a lot of hourly workers. Given these figures, it goes without saying that companies need to work on improving the relationship between these hourly workers and management if they want to keep business running smoothly as well as gain the trust and loyalty of these workers (to return again for seasonal work). Let's dig a little deeper into how an enterprise social network could improve the relationship between hourly workers and management. 

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An ESN can improve the on-boarding process for hourly workers

When hourly workers are hired, they need to be up and running as soon as possible to make the most out of the relatively short period of time they've been hired to work at the company. Therefore, it's essential that the onboarding process is easy, efficient and quick. Here's the real facts. Oftentimes, a seasonal employee will start working relatively soon after being hired, sometimes even on the same day. So with so little time to prepare, how can your company provide them with a comprehensive onboarding process that's not just easy to understand and engaging, but also makes the newly hired hourly worker feel confident enough to work with customers in a new environment?

Additionally, newly hired hourly employees need to be provided with documents containing important information, such as menus, information about ingredients and products, allergies and wines. They also have to be informed on (new) promotions. Another important aspect about working with hourly workers is rosters and payslips. Hourly workers often work part-time, which means they rotate a lot. Every single staff member has to know when they have to work to avoid chaos. Therefore, rosters should be clear and accessible to everyone. Imagine being a manager who oversees 30 hourly workers, all of whom don’t know when they are scheduled to work. That can become a huge mess. The same goes for payslips. If hourly workers can easily access their payslips, you'll avoid a lot of repetitive questions from them about their salary. But beyond that, they'll also feel more satisfied if they know where their payslips are and don't have to fumble around or ask several people in different departments for an update. 

Unfortunately, these types of situations happen all too often. Perhaps hourly workers don’t receive a comprehensive, effective on-boarding at the start of their employment. If that happens, they could have trouble knowing what communications tools and channels to use to get the relevant information that could help them perform their jobs better. For instance, if they don't check their private messages from their managers or fellow colleagues, they could end up missing a key update, such as a technical outage causing problems with the cash machines in their location/branch. Or if your business is a restaurant, this could turn into a serious problem if your front-of-house restaurant staff don't know that certain menu items have been discontinued, or new menu items have been added. Can you imagine how frustrating that would be to the customer? 

Hourly Workers 3

An ESN can forge digital bonds between employees and management

In certain types of businesses, such as retail stores, hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues, managers can work long and tiring shifts. Their roles and responsibilities can run the gamut, including managing reservations, buying and replenishing stock, food and supply purchasing, designing new menus and marketing activities. When you consider the multitude of responsibilities, tasks and teams these managers have to oversee, it can be even tougher to devote enough time or attention to attracting, hiring and retaining employees. 

As a result, managers often simply don’t have enough time to handle other tasks, such as creating and updating employee schedules/rosters, pay slips and other employment related benefits , let alone have enough time to distribute and communicate information about all these matters to all staff members. This is why internal communications is often scattered: managers make use of email, WhatsApp, messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and even good old bulletin boards in a poor attempt to inform their staff. Scattered communications make it difficult for employees to stay up to date. It’s not a pleasant way of communicating either and will eventually lead to employees ignoring messages. On top of that, social media and messaging apps aren’t the right tools to use when it comes to privacy and data protection.


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Written by Jozy