Retaining Your Casual Workforce
The human touch is key for retaining the best casual workforce.
Whether in events, retail, hospitality, or facilities management, the realities of casual staffing has many pitfalls for the employer. Being able to keep the best casual workers is vital to ensuring quality of service. This is why many service providers gear their business to be a rewarding and exciting work environment for their casuals. Employers must also remember that the human touch is important for casual workers to not feel like expendable cogs to a larger machine - being trusted is as important as any other perks to the job.
The Elephant in the Room
Being honest about the relationship between employer and (casual) employee is a good step in establishing this trust. Zero-hour contracts, seasonal workforces, and the 'gig economy', are all controversial topics but there are many great companies that engage in these employment practices in ethical ways. What's consistent among them is that they do not ignore the giant elephant in the room: "We benefit from employing casual workers."
With this acknowledgement comes the staff become aware of the mutual benefits from the relationship and the potential downsides to hiring casual workers. This line of thinking leads to an understanding that the business wants to be considered as a good employer and will reward the most consistent of it's casual workforce with a reliable source of work.
But is that enough?
Trust depends on more than promises - promises must be kept. You can tell which companies don't know (or care) what their staff's names are - they're the ones with poor service. Casual employers with a revolving door of bodies will get found out and, in most casual staffing markets, reputation matters. Unethical employers will not be able to benefit from quickly downsizing at low-peak periods if they can't quickly upscale due to nobody wanting to work for them.
So what else?
You need to stand out. This could be done with competitive pay and additional benefits. For example, companies that rely on a young casual workforce can offer growth & training opportunities to attract the most ambitious out there.
Branding is also important. Does your brand align with your worker profile? Also, is the contribution of your casual workers reflected in how your business positions itself? Businesses benefit from promoting it's culture from the bottom up because it allows even its newest team members buy into the idea from the start.
Combined with a trusting relationship and competitive benefits, a strong identity that everyone wants to be a part of goes a long way to retaining the very best casual workforce.