At an upcoming meeting of the Workforce Institute Board of Advisors in Boston, we plan to spend a good deal of time investigating best practices in retaining hourly workers. Although much is written about the retention of white collar knowledge workers, it’s harder to find actionable advice for how to achieve the right retention equilibrium point for hourly workforces. While a certain amount of attrition is healthy in an hourly workforce, just as it is in the salaried world, many organizations relying on hourly labor struggle mightily to keep their shifts covered.
Dr. Charles Handler recently wrote about this topic in ERE in an article entitled “Turnover: Insights from the Real World”. One of the key points he makes is that for many hourly workers, the job is not where they turn for personal fulfillment, but rather to pay the bills while they seek personal satisfaction through other channels.
We’ll be writing much more on this topic after our upcoming meeting. We’d love to hear from any of you who have real life examples of organizations who do a good job in managing voluntary turnover in their hourly worker populations.2