While hourly rates and overtime pay prove decisive for most hourly workers, varying schedules and income stand in the way of their financial goals. Budgeting is difficult with a varying income, and more often than not, hourly employees grapple with economic hardship and debt, which can negatively impact their performance in the long run.
For employers, the hourly setup ensures that you don't pay for unnecessary time. Unfortunately, the best employees may not always be at your disposal round the clock. While traditional financial wellness can help retain salaried employees, these programs hardly cater to the hourly workers. The value of this unaddressed market calls for a shift in a company's benefit offerings.
What are hourly workers looking for today?
First, you need to know what hourly employees value most. From a more generous wage to better scheduling stability, today's hourly workers have a large assortment of employment goals - including having supportive managers and paths for promotion.
Hourly workers generally prefer to work for companies and businesses with growth opportunities. These opportunities could be anything from training to an encouraging manager and supportive team members. Hourly employees gravitate toward working environments with mentorship and teamwork. A flexible schedule for hourly workers helps empower employees and allow them to balance their work with their personal needs. Employers who make their workers' lives easier will likely retain the best employees.
Given these preferences, blanketed, generic benefits may not appeal to many employees. Health benefits and hourly rates alone won't work for hourly workers. Enter financial wellness. Financial wellness has become an integral component of any successful employer. Companies try to match employee needs with credible benefit offerings find themselves focusing on financial wellness.
But what does financial wellness mean?
Financial wellness entails the ability to manage day-to-day finances, long-term milestones, as well as unexpected expenses. Financial wellness also extends to the flexibility that comes from adequate funds.
Unfortunately, most companies only offer financial planning services along with health savings accounts and a 401(k). These benefits are more likely to be adopted by the corporate workforce and executives of the company. But because hourly workers have 40 percent of hourly workers have $0 saved for an emergency, hourly workers are less likely to be in the financial position to take advantage of them and often miss out on such benefits.
Millennials, who form a large portion of hourly employees, are concerned about their finances in the here and now. Their monthly bills, electricity, water, rent, and so on, are immediate concerns. Because they’re still trying to build emergency savings, retirement benefits may not be a good financial wellness benefit to offer.
With the growing popularity of financial wellness programs, employers get an opportunity to address the financial concerns common among hourly workers. These programs call for a strategic plan with an emphasis on helping employees improve their financial behavior.
Rather than focusing entirely on employees' retirement plans, new financial wellness programs empower workers to manage their daily financial concerns. From financial goal-setting to consumer credit building and personal budgeting, such programs ensure that smaller emergencies don't throw employees off-balance.
What are the options?
Earned Wage Access (EWA), where employees can get instant access to their earned wages ahead of the two-week pay period, can be a powerful benefit. The traditional pay cycle is even a struggle for full-time employees, who know how much and when to expect their wages. But it’s an even greater issue for hourly workers, who have to deal with irregular earnings. EWA can help increase stability for employees and offer them a tool to better manage these fluctuations.
With this benefit, your employees have a better tool to meet their day to day needs. Such offerings reduce the risk of financial strains from fines late fees. EWA also ensures that predatory lenders can't take advantage of their financial difficulty.
That’s why companies in the retail and manufacturing space are embracing EWA in a bid to retain their employees. For a more comprehensive tool, Branch includes a budgeting module within their EWA plan. Users can keep track of their wages before and after the payday so that hourly workers can have better insight into and control over their finances to attain financial stability.
While financial wellness and inclusion matters for employees, employers enjoy considerable benefits, including greater productivity.
Financially stable workers worry less about their finances and focus more of their energy on their work. The result is increased efficiency. Employees who struggle to make ends meet often transfer their frustrations to the workplace, ultimately hampering a company's productivity. Financial wellness also comes in handy for companies looking to boost engagement among their employers.
Another benefit? Decreased turnover. As an employer, you want to spend as little time as possible training new employees. Besides taking up a vast amount of your time and resources, employee turnover is also a costly affair. Employers pay well up to $2,500 to fill an hourly position. Training, lost productivity, on-boarding, screening, and interviewing all contribute to this incredible cost.
A consistent workforce will ultimately result in better customer experience and efficiency in service delivery. It also results in minimal shift disruptions. Financial inclusion plans go a long way in empowering your hourly employees. For one, workers should be able to find and pick suitable shifts providing a predictable working cycle. As the employees boost their wages, your business grows in the process. With a more consistent workforce, you’re also better able to anticipate and scale labor appropriately.
Why choose Branch?
Tailoring financial wellness benefits to the needs of hourly workers, Branch provides valuable insights and data for the best possible outcomes. The benefits from this platform will support your bid for both improved customer and employee retention.
From turnover rates to engagement trends, Branch allows you to measure activity in your company. You'll know when things are getting out of hand and find suggestions on how to improve your performance.
For the employees, there is no minimum commitment. The mobile-first platform is easy to set up and supports well-over 98 percent of banks and credit unions in the US. It also offers users the option to sign up for a free checking account and debit card.
With adoption rates of over 90 percent, Branch continues to grow in popularity as more companies embrace this option as part of their employee benefits. Most employers are keen to take advantage of the platform's 97 percent engagement rates. It’s risk-free for employers too — neither you nor your employees there’s no need to pre-fund to make the most of its services.
With today's highly competitive market, employers with substantial benefits are better positioned to retain top employees. Financial inclusion services like Branch help employers to keep their employees happy and get the best possible results in the process. When employees know that they can count on you for efficient financial services, they’re likely to be more engaged and stay at their workplace.
Do you want to excel at financial inclusion in the workplace? Understand that the tide is shifting with new trends hitting the market. Familiarize yourself with the most recent financial wellness benefits along with inclusion initiatives suitable for today's workplace.
Find out why the trend is shifting focus and the options that will help you remain on top of things. This knowledge will inevitably help you attract and retain your hourly employees. Want to learn more? Contact us today.