Hourly employees, by their very definition, may convey a sense of impermanence, with their compensation tied directly to the amount of time they work in a given week or day. But with nearly 60 percent of the workforce being paid by the hour, how can managers develop relationships that will foster a sense of loyalty and commitment to the company?
“For some managers, it can be difficult to develop relationships with hourly employees, and there can be a bit of an unwritten two-tier system between [full-time] managers and hourly employees,” said Louie Shapiro, director of human resources at Hotel Nikko in San Francisco, where Shapiro works with 350 employees. “Among the reasons this happens are that these two work groups may have different things in common and be at different places in life—for some hourly employees, their work is a job and for some managers, their work is a career. These can be two very different perspectives.”
And that can spell trouble for employers and HR managers as well as for hourly workers, specialists say. If management doesn’t develop an environment where hourly workers feel part of the team—even if they are not on the same compensation level as salaried employees—“the employee has to look for another job, and the employer has to do more recruiting,” said Joshua Ostrega, the chief operating officer and founder of WorkJam, a Montreal-based employee relationship management firm.