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How to retain and motivate deskless workers

Employees want to stay. Yet sometimes they feel they have no choice but to leave. Something doesn’t add up. Here are five ways to help you retain, motivate and engage your workforce.

Around the world healthcare workers, grocery store employees, warehouse employees and couriers have shown everyone what a vital role they play in society during the challenges we’ve all faced in 2020.

These essential workers have often worked tirelessly and selflessly to provide for others and to keep the wheels of the world turning.  

Now it’s time for us to take better care of them. 

Our new report The State of the Deskless Workforce 2020, found that nearly half of employees in the UK and at least 1 in 3 deskless workers in the US, Germany and Sweden didn’t feel valued by their employer. In Finland, the figure was one in four, and significantly less in both Denmark and Norway.

Not very positive, right?

Human nature is the basic cause of wanting to feel valued. Unfortunately, in our report 64% state of the US deskless workforce that they’ve considered quitting because they are unhappy at work. 

In addition to that statement, more than half of the US workforce want to stay in their job long term. Still, industries who rely on deskless workers usually have churn rates topping 70%. (Curious to see the changes occurring in your market? Download The State of the Deskless Workforce report for your region.)

Something doesn’t add up. Employees want to stay. Yet sometimes they feel they have no choice but to leave. 

The solution often lies in making your employees satisfied and happy, which ultimately also can make your business prosper even more than today. Here are five ways to help you retain, motivate and engage your deskless workforce:

1. Flexible working

The results from our report showed deskless workers are currently unable to achieve a work life balance, with around two in three giving up sleep, hobbies and normal eating routines due to inflexible schedules. 

The majority also stated missing social events, holidays or major milestones such as funerals or weddings due to inflexible schedules.

Did you know that during the last few years, a shift has occurred among the Millennials' and Gen Z's career priorities? 

Number one on the list is now to have a functional work-life balance. It’s from this shift the real benefits of ‘Happynomics’ stems. Employees with a far better work-life balance are happier, more engaged and generate more value for the business.

As an employer, you can offer your workers choice by having the right tools in place to make the process seamless and hassle-free. Read more how flexible schedules can help your business soar here.

2. Purpose & culture

The concept of ‘Happynomics’, also states that meaning is the new money. Employees who feel like they have a meaning and significance in their workplace and are able to see how their contribution makes a difference, often value purpose over salary and are much more likely to stay with their current organizations.

Having a strong culture and prioritizing employee engagement are critical in both attracting the right people and then making sure they stay with you. 

So let’s ask yourself this - do our employees know what they are working for and do they understand our company’s purpose?

3. Rewards & recognition

On average, people are thanked for doing a good job once every four and a half months - which works out about three times a year. Imagine that for a second - you only get thanked three times every year for doing your job. It’s hardly a great incentive for wanting to be better at the job, deliver a better service, or provide a knock-out customer experience.

This makes even less sense when recognition consistently ranks as one of the highest influences on employee happiness - far more than salary. We need to start thanking our employees more often, be better at doing it and improve how we recognise work done well. 

4. Health & wellbeing

With the majority of employees believing ‘workplace wellbeing’ is the secret to employee happiness it makes sense to focus your efforts on it. 

While Baby Boomers and Gen X are consumed with climbing the ladder, Millennials and Gen Z have other priorities, with the quality of their work life being top among them. Autonomy, empowerment and giving them control are all ways to help give them better work life balance and to keep their health in phase.

But there are countless ways to promote health and wellbeing in the workplace. Your job is to find out what works for you and your employees. 

The results your business will get out of it are deal breakers. Not only will it reduce stress and create a positive working environment, it can be the catalyst for increased happiness, engagement and performance.

The majority of deskless workers receive communications from their employer that disrupts their personal lives, but doesn’t add value to their job. This was compounded at the height of COVID-19, when many did not receive clear communication from their employer during the pandemic.

With the technology we have at our fingertips, there’s no reason for employers to be poor at communicating with employees. You can easily communicate when your employees are working, what the open shifts are, salary slips and other vital information.  

5. Communication

But as with everything else, you’ll need a smart and efficient tool to achieve great 2-way communication with your employees. Whether it’s a fully integrated workforce management solution or just an automated scheduling solution, is your choice. 

Download our report on the state of the deskless workforce in 2020 for more insight and analysis.

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