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    Healthcare | 3 min read

    Assisted Living Hourly Workers: How to Create Career Progression

    Hourly workers are the backbone of many businesses, the frontline troops that hold the specter of bankruptcy at bay. However, while these positions are immensely important for a company's ability to grow and offer competitively priced products, they can hardly be considered coveted positions. 

    One such industry that particularly needs to cultivate and motivate its employees is senior living. Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, turnover rates for the senior living industry can go as high as 50%. An assisted living hourly worker faces a heavy workload, an emotionally taxing job, and relatively low compensation - and thus needs to be consistently motivated and given the chance to progress.

    Providing the opportunity to grow as a professional and advance within the company is a far better way to get people excited about their job than throwing a few extra bucks their way. With this in mind, let's go over some effective ways to build a sturdy corporate ladder for your hourly workers to climb over time.

    Enforce a healthy and positive corporate culture 

    Statistics show that millennial workers will go through an average of 7 different jobs before they turn 30. We're talking about jobs complete with perks and benefits, so expect hourly workers to be even more prone to job hopping. This is why the first thing you need to do is create a positive atmosphere even for entry-level jobs. 

    Engage your hourly workers and make them feel like they're a part of a community. This is very crucial for assisted living facilities, as both the employees and the residents tend to form a bond with each other. Involving your employees in the community will ensure they are invested, and that they’ll stay long enough to start exploring different avenues of building a career with your company. 

    Transparency in next steps 

    Oftentimes, hourly workers hesitate in aiming for something bigger if they don't have a clear target in their sights. Make sure that there's a clear career progression for anyone who starts out as an hourly worker on one of your entry-level positions. 

    An hourly worker in charge of creating activity schedules for residents will want to do a good job if they can see themselves transitioning to coordinator or assistant concierge in another 6-8 months. This is a general example, but there's lots of room to experiment and make the model fit your business.

    Provide on-the-job training and mentoring 

    Let's say that your new hourly worker has been there for about 6 months and has moved up to a better-paid position with more tasks. They're still an hourly worker, but they're beginning to take on more responsibility within the business. 

    At this point, you should have the more experienced workers show the junior employee around and help them get settled into their new position. This should be a part of the corporate culture and you should promote this helpful spirit. 

    You can also have a designated mentor, a more seasoned employee with a couple of years under their belt, who would get paid a bit extra for offering some training and coaching to the younger employees. There's all kinds of mentors that can guide an inexperienced employee, you just need to make sure that there's always someone there to offer a helping hand. 

    Offer paid training courses and specialization

    If someone's been working for your company for a couple of years, chances are that they already know the ins and outs of your operation. However, while they might have tons of practical knowledge and good soft skills, they  lack the more in-depth knowledge needed for higher salaried positions. 

    You want to give employees who've shown initiative in taking on tasks and an eagerness to improve with a chance to learn and develop. Give an ambitious hourly worker an opportunity to train and try to advance. 

    You can always restructure if things don't work out, but you'll be surprised at just how driven and hard-working some of your loyal workers can be when given the chance. 

    Incentivize employees to work hard 

    Simply climbing up the corporate ladder to a salaried position isn't what most people consider the end goal for their career. Always keep throwing in the right employee incentives for people to put in that extra effort. From small cash bonuses and gifts, to a few extra days of paid leave or a little corporate vacation time, all these things can really help keep your employees happy and show hourly workers that there's always more to strive for. 

    The basic rules for keeping your hourly workers happy are treating them with respect, helping them improve, rewarding their hard work, and giving them something better and more exciting to shoot for. Once you're able to put all these strategies into practice, you'll have highly-motivated employees lining up to work for you.

    Workstream has helped companies such as Brighstar, Morrison Living, Nurse Next Door, Envoy, and Clarion Medical Transport resolve their recruiting challenges. Schedule a chat with us today and find out how we can help you automate your hiring process and fill roles faster. 

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    Camille Ranullo

    Part-time content marketing writer at Workstream, full-time mom and chef wannabe. Currently catching up on her reading and trying out new recipes in the kitchen.

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