Jobs that Work for Hourly Employees
Retail jobs are among the many service occupations that are projected to account for nearly half of all jobs by 2016. Yet, workplaces dependent on a lower-wage hourly work force have been slow to adopt workplace practices that characterize quality employment. This fact seems particularly puzzling given the high turnover common within the retail industry. One strategy retail companies use to address costly high turnover rates is to make efforts to promote employee engagement among their hourly workers. Engaged employees, some say, invest in the job, are willing to go the extra mile and are loyal to the company. In addition, engaged employees have an impact on other business outcomes, such as customer satisfaction and organizational performance.
The intent of this component of the CitiSales Study is to examine the employee and organizational benefits associated with a work environment that is responsive to the needs of workers employed in lower-wage hourly jobs.
We designed the qualitative part of study to determine the meaning of workplace flexibility for hourly retail workers; the benefits that flexible work practices have on hourly workers' business outcomes; the management and supervisor strategies used to cultivate a flexible and responsive workplace for workers in hourly jobs. The quantitative part of the study examines the workplace dimensions that comprise job quality among hourly retail workers, and their relationships to employee engagement and customer satisfaction.
We translate our research findings into seven issue briefs with corresponding action steps for supervisors and managers.