Quiet quitting, remote work, flexible schedules and inclusive environments are just a few examples of the recent vocabulary of employment these days. These new words reflect shifting employee expectations which small and large businesses alike must contend with. The home improvement industry faces some challenges in adopting the way people want to spend their working hours. The fact is, to have something built, repaired, designed, etc., someone has to show up to do it. How can businesses like yours balance these hands-on customer needs with employee satisfaction? Below we curated some ideas from the experts to help answer that question.
Flexible Work Schedule
Having flexibility within their schedule is top of the list of how employees want to work these days. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, there are many ways to provide them with what they want. Two, in particular, could apply to the home improvement industry:
1) Flextime is a model that allows employees to choose the hours they wish to work or the freedom to change those hours from week to week. Setting up shift blocks that employees can sign up for week to week – or even month to month to start – could be a good way to shift your business into this alternative scheduling.
2) A compressed work week takes the 40 hours a typical employee works and spreads it over fewer days. Models include four, 10-hour shifts, or a 9/80 schedule where employees work 80 hours over 9 days with one day off every other week. Employees with long commutes or childcare/eldercare responsibilities may find this model especially valuable.
Employee satisfaction is not just about fair compensation, good PTO and health benefits. Increasingly, team members are looking for purpose behind how they spend their working hours. The Harvard Business Review provides great insight on how companies can offer their employees this less tangible benefit.
1) Making work interesting is the first step in developing purpose. Fortunately, the home improvement industry is inherently interesting – at least to us. Human brains are attracted to change, so implementing opportunities to tackle new challenges can keep employees engaged. For example, allowing them to vary the projects they work on or spreading the problem-solving responsibilities outside of the management team allows employees to stay excited about their work.
2) Connecting work to company culture helps promote a feeling of purpose by giving employees the ability to contribute to the greater good. “We provide a superior customer experience so they always call us” is a good intention, but providing team members with measurable ways to participate in that goal shows their direct contribution to it. Taking employee suggestions seriously also creates an atmosphere of respect and value for everyone’s skills and experiences.
3) Providing opportunities for skill building keeps employees engaged in their own success at your business. No one wants to sit in a rut, so if they are not getting opportunities for learning with you, they will find them somewhere else. Encouraging one-to-one mentorship, offering frequent training, or taking the time to support employees in their desired career track are some ways you can promote a feeling of purpose within your organization.
Insightful notes that the rise in employee burnout and quiet quitting is highlighting the need for employers to set manageable workloads for their employees – or create sustainable productivity expectations. With the hiring challenges in the home improvement industry, this aspect can be particularly difficult as there are not enough people for the work that needs to be done. However, creating a workplace that encourages healthy work habits has the added benefits of more satisfied employees, improved employee recruitment and retainment, and better-quality work. And as you know, growing your business at a pace that recognizes the impact on your employees is a wise best practice.
The Wharton and Power Insurance Team helps the great small businesses in the Indianapolis home improvement industry care for their employees by offering group health benefits. If you are considering adding employee health coverage or would like to review your current plan, reach out to us. Send us an email or give us a call at 317.663.4138.