Happy employees, low turnover, satisfied customers. That’s the dream. And it starts with effective workforce collaboration.
Collaboration in an hourly work environment isn’t always easy, but it can be. Cracking the collaboration code can benefit employers, managers, and workers. Read on for nine tips for effective hourly workforce collaboration.
1. Streamline communications
Whether you manage a hip retail store or a popular pub, your team needs to understand how their day-to-day responsibilities impact the bigger picture of the business. Sometimes it’s hard for them to see how cleaning the stock room really makes a difference to their success.
So when you don’t keep them informed, you can see low morale and engagement. And that can lead to poor customer service. According to TINYPulse, poor workplace communication is ranked in the top three pain points for global workers.
Flexible mobile apps for communication are key for an hourly workforce. Use apps to notify employees about important announcements in real-time.
2. Allow staff to swap shifts
80% of employees make decisions about where to work based on schedule flexibility, per an IWG study. Businesses who offer flexibility unlock greater productivity and lower talent turnover.
It can be challenging to provide flexibility to hourly employees when staffing is tight. Sometimes, it’s impossible to balance employee scheduling preferences with staffing needs — after all, someone has to work weekends.
While it’s impossible to give everyone exactly the schedule they want, you can provide tools for employees to trade shifts with coworkers. A scheduling app with shift-swapping features gives flexibility to employees without creating a scheduling burden for management.
3. Promote continuous training
Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly knew he would have to make big moves to compete with Amazon, per Inc.com. After visiting countless Best Buy retail stores to speak directly with employees, Joly decided to invest in continual training. Best Buy unlocked industry-leading employee satisfaction score as a result.
Flexible, on-demand training benefits everyone, especially in an hourly environment where things can change quickly. Mobile apps can give employees the opportunity to learn on the go, and has the added benefit of fostering social collaboration around new concepts.
"When you provide your people with mobile training, you not only keep them constantly up to date on new products or information, but you also keep them connected. 63% of surveyed deskless workers said that access to additional training would help them feel more connected to their company’s values and mission.", says Athena Maroussis, lead researcher of the TalentCards survey.
4. Create a buddy system
Employees with a buddy or mentor are happier at work, says a CNBC/SurveyMonkey survey. Around half of employers offer a mentoring program. A formal buddy program can offer numerous benefits. For example, new hires paired with a buddy may feel less stressed and anxious on the job and be more likely to stick around. And mentoring programs can foster a learning culture and improve teamwork.
5. Improve task management
A sudden influx of customers or a scheduled sale can throw everything off in an hourly work environment. The customer should always come first, and that means all staff should know exactly what they need to do — and when. Task management can improve transparency and communication, even in environments where things change quickly.
Collaboration technologies for communication can boost productivity 20-25%, according to Dynamic Signal. A task management app can help hourly managers balance workloads and automatically assign recurring tasks.
6. Offer job shadowing
Literally walking a mile in a coworker’s shoes is a valuable experience. Job shadowing is a chance to be mentored by a coworker for a day. The best job shadow programs provide employees with a first-hand look at a different part of the company, like sales, shipping, or customer service call centers.
Employees who job shadow a coworker can become team-players and more tuned in to business goals. Let high-performers job shadow a member of the leadership team.
7. Let employees be decision-makers
Customer happiness is a core value at Trader Joe’s, says Forbes. At Trader Joe’s hourly employees are empowered to make decisions and go above-and-beyond to help customers.
Remember, your front line employees are experts on customer happiness. Everyone benefits when employees share knowledge and feedback with social collaboration tools.
8. Foster healthy competition
Healthy competitions can inspire great performance among hourly workers. Competitions can be especially valuable if teams work toward shared goals. Reward teamwork above individual performance to encourage collaboration. Set goals for customer satisfaction or sales and reward staff for exceeding expectations.
9. Be transparent
Employees need to see the bigger picture to feel connected at work. Technology is crucial to hourly workforce transparency. Tools for communication support a culture where employees feel valued. In fact, an effective collaboration system can reduce employee turnover by 50%.
Deskless collaboration at its best
Technology is an important tool for collaboration in an hourly workplace. Flexible mobile apps can streamline communication and conversations for retailers, restaurants, and health clinics.
When apps are paired with a culture of collaboration and employee feedback, the result is happier, more productive hourly workers. Boost your hourly workforce collaboration when you sign up for a free trial of Deputy.