Rethinking employee engagement

Rethinking employee engagement

Rethinking employee engagement

Employee engagement has recently been emphasized and recognized as a crucial factor in driving organizational success. However, as the workforce landscape evolves, it's becoming increasingly clear that traditional engagement tactics are not always effective, especially for shift and hourly workers. In particular, young employees new to the workforce and between 17 and 24 years of age, who form a significant portion of this demographic, have distinct preferences and expectations that traditional approaches fail to address. In this blog post, we'll explore why old employee engagement tactics fall short for shift and hourly workers in this age group and why leveraging modern technology and platforms is essential for engaging them effectively.

Understanding the Shift and Hourly Worker Landscape

Shift and hourly workers play a vital role in many industries, from retail and hospitality to healthcare and manufacturing. These employees often have non-traditional work schedules, making it challenging to engage them through conventional means. Moreover, the workforce is increasingly dominated by younger generations, particularly those aged between 17 and 24, who bring their own set of expectations and preferences to the table.

The Pitfalls of Traditional Engagement Tactics

Traditional employee engagement tactics, such as annual performance reviews, recognition programs, and one-size-fits-all communication channels, often fail to resonate with shift and hourly workers, especially those in the younger age bracket. These tactics are outdated and disconnected from the realities of modern work environments, where technology plays a central role in daily life.

The Disconnect between Traditional Tactics and Young Hourly Workers

Recent data sheds light on the disconnect between traditional engagement tactics and the preferences of young hourly workers. According to a survey conducted by Deloitte in 2023, 78% of employees aged 17 to 24 prefer to use mobile devices for work-related tasks, compared to only 45% of older workers. Additionally, a study by PwC found that 64% of Gen Z employees believe that traditional communication methods, such as email and phone calls, are outdated and inefficient.

Why Young Hourly Workers Won't Engage with Traditional Tactics

The assertion that "hourly employees and shift workers between 17 and 24 years of age won't engage with traditional tactics and HR platforms that don't leverage or reflect modern technology and platforms that they are attracted to and use most often" is supported by several key factors:

  • Preference for Mobile and Digital Platforms: Young hourly workers are digital natives who prefer to communicate and engage through mobile and digital platforms. Traditional tactics that rely on outdated communication methods fail to capture their attention or interest.

  • Desire for Personalization and Flexibility: Young employees value personalized experiences and flexibility in their work environments. Traditional engagement tactics often lack customization and fail to adapt to the unique needs and preferences of individual workers.

  • Expectation of Real-Time Feedback and Recognition: In today's fast-paced world, young workers crave and expect real-time feedback and recognition for their efforts. Traditional annual performance reviews and recognition programs are too infrequent and impersonal to meet their expectations.

  • Alignment with Modern Work Culture: The modern work culture is characterized by collaboration, transparency, and innovation. Traditional engagement tactics that prioritize hierarchy and top-down communication are out of sync with the collaborative and dynamic nature of modern workplaces.

The Role of Modern Technology and Platforms in Engaging Younger Hourly Workers

To effectively engage younger generation hourly workers, organizations must leverage modern technology and platforms that align with their preferences and habits. This includes:

  • Mobile-First Communication Tools: Implementing mobile-first communication tools, such as work specific messaging apps and collaboration platforms, allows organizations to reach young hourly workers where they are most comfortable and engaged.

  • Real-Time Feedback and Recognition Apps: Investing in real-time feedback and recognition apps enables organizations to provide timely and personalized feedback to young workers, fostering a culture of continuous growth and appreciation.

  • Social and Community Platforms: Creating social and community platforms within the organization facilitates connection and collaboration among young hourly workers, promoting a sense of belonging, team and camaraderie.

With the ubiquity of mobile first social interactions traditional employee engagement tactics fall short when it comes to effectively engaging shift and hourly workers. To effectively engage this demographic, organizations must embrace modern technology and platforms that align with their preferences and habits. By leveraging mobile-first communication tools, real-time feedback and recognition apps, as well as social and micro-community platforms, organizations can create a more inclusive and engaging work environment for hourly workers, driving productivity, satisfaction, and retention in the process.


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