Based on feedback from more than 1,500 hourly employees and 500 managers, a new report from Legion technologies uncovered that the seasonal workforce values gig-like flexibility above all else, and not offering flexible, modern employment could be detrimental to businesses this holiday season.
Gig work is slowly eating away at traditional hourly jobs. For many, it is just easier to get on Uber or Doordash to make some extra cash.
According to the National Retail Federation, the retail industry alone hires approximately 500,000 temporary workers for the holiday season. The widespread need to fill positions has created a shift in power between hourly employees and their employers. With so many open positions, seasonal workers can be more selective in choosing their employment opportunities.
Hourly employees are seeking positions that allow them to manage their own schedules, prioritize family events and avoid burnout. Thats why gig work is so attractive. Retailers, restaurants, and hospitality businesses must evolve to attract and retain employees while simultaneously improving the lives of their managers.
“While the pandemic forced the knowledge work sector to evolve by offering more flexibility in working hours and location, the hourly workforce sector didn’t develop alongside it. This has created a significant gap between what hourly employees want and what hourly employment currently offers,” said Sanish Mondkar, CEO and founder of Legion Technologies. “On top of that, outdated manual processes and concerns over economic uncertainty are creating stress ahead of the holiday season, but it doesn’t have to. Retailers must rely on smart tools to optimize labor operations while simultaneously enhancing the experience of frontline employees.”
Legion’s research found that hourly employees are opting for gig-like flexibility because it gives them more control over their schedules and allows them to create a better work/life balance. In fact, 62% of hourly employees said having a schedule that meets their preferences is the most important thing about a seasonal employment opportunity. Further, nearly half would take a different job if the schedule better matched their preferences. Legion workforce management enables the intelligent automation of demand forecasting to instantly predict demand across all locations based on thousands of data points. By automatically matching business demands with employee skills and schedule preferences, Legion WFM creates the optimal schedule to meet both business and employee needs in seconds.
Additional findings from the more than 1,500 hourly employees surveyed include:
Hourly employment must not only modernize to attract hourly talent, but it must also evolve to ease the burden for management. Last holiday season, managers struggled with understaffing, call-ins, no-shows, and burnout; and they have similar concerns this holiday season. The 2022 Seasonal Hourly Workforce Report revealed that 70% of managers agree matching employee preferences with the needs of the business is the hardest thing about creating schedules. On top of that, managers are spending the majority of their time handling manual tasks that waste time and lead to miscommunication. According to the report, half of the time an employee misses or is late to a shift due to miscommunication, is because the schedule was changed last minute by the manager.
“The holiday season is arguably the most stressful time of year for hourly employees. Trying to balance work schedules with travel and family events takes a toll on their happiness and overall work experience,” said Traci Chernoff, Director of Employee Experience at Legion. “Knowing their people are incredibly valuable, it’s time for retailers, restaurants, and hospitality businesses to start catering to their needs or risk losing them to an opportunity that offers the flexibility, autonomy and experience they’re looking for.”
Additional findings from more than 500 managers surveyed include:
For more information about the seasonal workforce or to view the full 2022 Seasonal Hourly Workforce Report, click here.