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TECH CHECK FOR THE ON-DEMAND ECONOMY: When it comes to technology, outfit your hourly employees like you would office workers.

Nine-to-five office workers have long enjoyed the benefits of productivity tools such as Slack, Google Drive and Trello. But historically, hourly workers have gotten the short end of the stick. Until now. Tech providers are increasingly aware that hourly employees require tech solutions, too.

For example, Microsoft recently announced new functionality for its Teams application--an office chat tool designed for office workers. The latest updates to the tool specifically target shift workers, including employees in the restaurant, service and retail industries

HOURLY WORKERS&' NEEDS

Microsoft's Teams update is part of a larger trend that leverages technology to improve efficiency for hourly workers. Although these solutions are usually associated with office workers, tech providers and hourly workers themselves now recognize the impact technology can have on shift work. With a burgeoning job market, the rise of the gig economy and a growing number of options for hourly employees, employers must prioritize the employee experience to retain talent.

The push for technology in shift work may come as shock to some franchisees. But faced with a 49 percent turnover rate among hourly workers and an average cost of $4,969 to replace a single shift worker, it's in the best interests of franchisees to embrace technology as a resource for improved efficiency and retention. So what do modern hourly workers require and how do you equip your worker with the tech tools they need?

TECH TOOLS

Hourly workers are tech-savvy employees. They expect the same level of technological empowerment as their white-collar peers. To prevent your employees from defecting to competitors with better digital tools, there are several tech-related issues worth considering:

BYOD (BRING YOUR OWN DEVICE)

Sixty-seven percent of employees already use a personal device at work regardless of their employer's BYOD policy, according to Microsoft. Allowing the use of employees' preferred devices is key for reaping the benefits of an improved employee experience. With the right apps and tools available for download on any device, your business data will remain secure within the productivity app and you'll no longer need to supply additional mobile devices for use on the job.

SCHEDULING

Scheduling already occurs via mobile for many shift workers. Managers often create a schedule and text individual employees to inform them of their shift assignments. But a centralized tool allowing employees to request shifts based on their availability can deliver significant time savings. Managers also benefit from a faster and formalized strategy for communicating schedule assignments.

COMMUNICATION

Communication with hourly workers typically flows down from management. But with a frontline view to the operations of the business, shift workers can offer valuable perspectives about the customer experience. If hourly workers encounter a mandated process that doesn't work well in practice, they should bring it to the attention of management--an action that can be easily accomplished with digital productivity tools.

ENGAGEMENT

As a franchisee, you're not always in the same physical location as your employees. That distance can make it challenging to develop relationships with the people who serve as the face of your business. Productivity and digital communication tools make it possible to develop a stronger rapport with frontline employees, whether it's sending kudos for solving a problem or a shout out for wowing a customer and garnering a Yelp mention. Engagement is key to earning employee loyalty. In fact, McKinsey found that 67 percent of employees rate praise from a manager as a top motivator on the job, surpassing financial motivators such as salary increases, bonuses and stock options.

HIRING

Set the tone from the beginning by defining your hiring process using tech tools that ease recruitment and onboarding. A normally lengthy application process can be streamlined with the tools that automate candidate vetting and interview scheduling. They can also ease the application process by helping management move toward a simpler, five-minute application--a significant departure from some of the longest application-completion times clocking in at 52 minutes.

ENGAGEMENT BOOST

By prioritizing these aspects in the hourly worker experience, your business can benefit from decreased attrition and a higher engagement rate--a key benefit of a thriving job market where candidates have an array of work opportunities. Salaried office workers have benefited from tech-driven productivity tools for years, but the franchise world is just now understanding the benefit these same tools can provide their hourly workers. By moving to adopt this trend, you can better equip your shift workers to work more efficiently and feel a higher sense of loyalty to their jobs.

By Keith Ryu

Keith Ryu is the CEO and Co-Founder of Fountain, a hiring platform. A native to the San Francisco Bay area, he spent most of his childhood in Korea and Arizona. Learn more at franchise.org/fountain-supplier.
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Comment:TECH CHECK FOR THE ON-DEMAND ECONOMY: When it comes to technology, outfit your hourly employees like you would office workers.
Author:Ryu, Keith
Publication:Franchising World
Date:Apr 1, 2019
Words:782
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