- Seventy percent of hourly workers have faith in their job prospects, compared to only 50% that had faith in the economy, according to the latest Branch Report. Branch, a mobile platform for hourly workers, polled 3,000 hourly workers across industries representing mostly restaurants, retail and healthcare. However, the report also found that more than three-fourths of hourly workers have less than $500 saved for emergencies and that the main concern for most were basic living costs such as home affordability (58.4%) and utilities (47.1%).
- The report found that hourly workers are twice as interested in earning a promotion at their current employer via their work experience than in changing jobs to climb the ladder.
- For workers surveyed, higher pay was the first priority, followed by a predictable work schedule, a positive work culture, scheduling flexibility and supportive managers.
Employers of hourly workers have had to take a close second look at their compensation and benefit strategies. Various studies point out that pay still reigns as the number-one incentive for both hourly and salaried workers, and money stress can also seriously hurt productivity, giving employers incentive to focus on financial wellness. But the biggest surprise out of the Branch study might be that hourly workers prefer to be developed for advancement internally rather than look elsewhere for career growth opportunities; a recent Akumina survey revealed that 75% of millennials said that job-hopping helped their careers.
Some employers are already primed to take advantage of this preference for development, as many have begun to adopt education benefits explicitly for their hourly employees. Walmart recently revamped its employee education program into an accessible, $1 per day degree program — partly to retain workers and partly to prepare its workforce for the upcoming economic shifts heralded by changing tech. And names from Taco Bell to Lowe's to Disney have adopted some form of education benefits through Guild Education, one of HR Dive's 2018 Dive Award winners.
The compensation landscape remains complicated, particularly in a low unemployment market. Workers want flexible work schedules, a positive culture and support for their development from the boss — conditions they're willing to job hop to attain. Predictable work schedules, in particular, have risen as a potential avenue of regulation for states and cities across the U.S. And the battle over minimum wage continues. Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart, recently called on Congress to raise the federal minimum, while various states have recently passed incremental increases to the $15 dollar mark.