Every business’ owner faces a variety of challenges every day. One of those challenges is to select the right people for a given position. Maybe you have salaried employees as part of your staff. That is ok, but sometimes you need to perform a specific task and it is not helpful to hire new personal. How do you solve this problem? You could hire hourly employees.

This option has many advantages. But, how do you manage these people? Can you connect with them as you do with your fixed staff?

Outsourcing; Yes or No

Every small or medium business has a fixed budget. They can not “spend” huge amounts so they must be clever with their accounting.

Maybe they should not hire a full-time designer to get their site up and running. Perhaps they should get some freelancers. This gives the business a chance to save a lot of money with a one-time job (per hour basis).

The employer can also make mistakes. If the employer picks the wrong freelancer to perform a given task, you can solve this in no time by choosing a new one and with small loss. If you hire a salaried employee and he doesn’t fit in the vision and mission of the firm, it will be more difficult to get rid of the employee leading to expensive issues to consider.

When you choose hourly employees you can pick-and-test with a small investment until you find the correct one for the position.

Once you found the right professionals, how do you manage to get the most of them?

A manager’s guide to hourly employees

Hourly employees tend to work differently from salaried ones, which need a different approach to maximize their potential.

They have unique motivations and work styles. One can easily find a freelancer to work late at night or even weekends.

As a manager, you should take some advice in order to get the most of these workers.

  1. Tell them about scheduling, do not force them to accept it but suggest them a way to get the job coordinated. Give them some freedom so they trust you and do not feel you are watching them but coordinating the job.
  2. The vast majority of hourly employees may want to work more hours than what they’ve being assigned. These high-performing employees are pure gold and you should manage them the right way.
  3. Train them properly. This will make them feel a sense of belonging. They will feel that you invest in them so they will return that investment with a job well done.
  4. Improve their royalty with rewards and training. Nurture your employees’ future with new possibilities and responsibilities if apply.
  5. Always mentorship and support the newcomers. A new employee needs a certain time to know the ins and outs. Help them to feel comfortable and confident.
  6. Get a perfect plan. Define exactly your team’s objectives. Do not assume. Give perfect instructions, simple, easy to follow guidelines.
  7. As a manager, you are the one to ask for. Share your expertise. Teach your employees. A well-trained worker is the best investment you can have.
  8. Be sure you can reach everyone and that any member of your staff can contact you. Communicate the right way, this means that you should be able to easily tell your goals to your staff and they should understand you perfectly.
  9. It is absolutely necessary to give feedback. The hourly employee needs constant communication and feedback to keep the right path. Be sure to answer any question. Never assume. You are not them. Everyone thinks uniquely, so be straight.

Why should I use scheduling software for small business?

There are many advantages. If you are a business owner you’ll get your managers free to focus on specific issues rather than creating manual schedules for your employees. If you are a manager, you’ll get a lot of time to adjust, track, and optimize your staff.

  • Self-scheduling: if you get a cloud-based tool your employees can connect with each other behind-the-scenes and self-schedule. They can even use an-app messaging systems. This allow employees to make the appropriate changes to their schedules without requesting managers’ help.
  • Audit, metrics, adjustments: if you can connect your scheduling system to your CRM you’ll get a lot of metrics regarding your business. For example, you can discover how to adjust shifts to certain dates and time with a high demand.
  • Total access: You can reach your employees every day at any hour. You can set up your system to automatically notify employees via email, SMS, etc. Even after working days.
  •  Unlimited and automatic changes: in case you need to, you can always generate new schedules at any point during the week. If you do that using spreadsheets, you’d need hours to create a full new schedule with all your employees’ preferences. But if you get a scheduling software this is automated and every staff member will be notified if he/she gets a shift moved.

Finding and training quality talent in an hourly employee

A manager should be able to discover the skilled workers and to get their loyalty. As we mentioned before, if you happen to hire a worker who asks you to work more hours than the ones that you assign them, keep an eye on this employee!

Another way to detect the good ones from the standard workers is to examine their tasks and get the ones that over deliver. You’ll always find one or more of these hourly employees. Every freelancer knows that this is the way to “shine in the dark”. If they give not only what you asked, but more, this employee should be rewarded and motivated. They are used to work the right way. You should keep them in your staff.

These kinds of employees enjoy what they do and love to be trained. Get the most of them by investing in their education. Support them and feed their energy with new responsibilities and challenges.

You can even train your employees via e-Learning. They’ll feel fulfilled if they are allowed to take part in proper instruction to improve their skills. An excellent way to keep them motivated is to offer certificates or recognition milestones when they complete a course or module. The investment is worth.

Tips to train your employees

Listen to them: let them know you are open to suggestions, ideas, styles, new ways of doing things, etc. If you do the opposite, they’ll think that you are “the one who knows it all” and you’ll get no feedback. When you listen to them, you learn from them, you understand their motivations and you can even detect a “genius” or an epic idea for your business.

Understand them: discover what motivates each one of your hourly employees. They are all unique. Workers are driven by salary, skills, training, experience, perks, etc. Once you know what they want, you can encourage them the right way.

Help them: every newcomer make mistakes, you do too, so be kind to them and show your employees the way instead of punishing them. Do not blame but assist, help, solve and teach. You are the manager, the one to ask for help and advice. Try to find together what went wrong and how could it be done right. Earn their trust.

Summary

Use a good scheduling software for small business to coordinate, audit and manage your hourly employees.

Discover the ones that are eager to succeed and motivate them.

Train your employees.

Reward them.

Mentorship and support the newcomers.

Define your goals.

Share knowledge.

Communicate well.

Give feedback.

Do not control them but check for results (I mean, there is no point to “screen capture” to “watch” what the employee is doing, just give the deadline and test the result).

Ask and give feedback. Find the connection. Every employee is a whole world. Take the proper approach.

Inspire them, tell them how good they are (if they deserve it, of course). If not, just correct them and give it a try. It takes some time to learn a new job.

As you can see, the best way to get the most of your hourly employees is to know them and to know their motivations.