- More than half of hospitality and retail workers still depend on paper schedules posted in break rooms to determine their weekly shift assignments, according to a WorkJam study of more than 1,000 U.S. workers.
- "Miscommunication and scheduling inconsistencies deepen the disconnect between employers and their frontline employees," said Steven Kramer, co-founder, president, and CEO of WorkJam, in a statement. "This drives down employee engagement, which can have a major impact on a company’s bottom-line." Parents said they were especially impacted by difficulties requesting time off, difficulty communicating with managers and switching shifts with co-workers.
- The study, The Economic Impact of an Hourly Workers Missing a Single Shift, also revealed that for half of hourly workers in retail, hospitality, logistics, healthcare and banking, missing a single shift would keep them from paying their utilities on time, while 27% would be unable to pay rent on time and 25% would have to forego groceries for the week.
The financial precarity of the hourly workforce has been at the fore of collective conversations this year, with 19 states instituting wage hikes in 2019. Last month, New Jersey lawmakers agreed to increase the state's minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2024, and national lawmakers have proposed a similar commitment with the Raise the Wage Act of 2019, which would gradually raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 in the same timeframe (though its likelihood of success is low).
The cost of a missed shift is significant to employers, too. Unplanned employee absences waste one hour for every 10 hours of budgeted retail labor, according to a recent Kronos survey. To combat this problem, some are turning to stable scheduling; Gap found that workers were more productive and efficient when their scheduling was predictable in a study of 28 stores in Chicago and San Francisco. Walmart, too, has embraced the idea and launched a bespoke scheduling app to make schedules more predictable and flexible. The hope is that the can make it easier for employees to swap shifts without burdening managers, enabling more workers to tend to parental duties and life’s other emergencies without missing out on wages. Such tech also helps employers better plan their work load in the long run.
Leaning in to such self-service technology and improving scheduling communication could help employers prevent missed shifts and safeguard employee well-being and engagement.