Improving the hourly employee experience with scheduling tools and on-demand pay

December 15th, 2021

The “Great Resignation” is here, and it’s not going away.

The “Great Resignation” is here, and it’s not going away. People are leaving their jobs in record numbers. Many who were forced to work from home saw the mental and physical health benefits of not commuting and spending more time with their families. The will-we, won’t-we nature of a return to the office left workers pondering what makes them happy, with many even quitting rather than going back to work in an office. Employers are making concessions and changing up what they offer in an attempt to keep employees from leaving.

Employees currently control the labor market, and employers need to learn to adapt.

The Changing Landscape of Employment

The pandemic exposed the issues that workers have with the current culture of work, and the flexibility that remote work has given employees has kick-started a change in American work culture. 

Shutdowns and stay-at-home orders left millions unemployed at a rate of 14.8%. Among the hardest-hit industries were restaurants and hospitality. While unemployment has recovered to a 4.6%, the restaurant industry still holds a much higher than normal 7.5% unemployment rate. But that’s not because there aren’t jobs to be filled. 

National Restaurant Association data shows that 81% of full-service and 75% of limited-service operators say that their restaurant does not have enough employees to meet customer demand.

The reality is, employees don’t want to come back—yet. Much like the broader employee landscape, restaurant employees en masse are not prepared to go back to an industry and a workplace still filled with problems of the past.

But what kinds of changes are restaurant workers looking for? 

Flexibility is a big one. 77% of employees said they’d return to the restaurant industry if needs such as flexible schedules were met alongside health insurance, paid time off, and a supportive company culture. 

Another major change that has surfaced in the wake of COVID-19 is a greater focus on financial wellness. Financial wellness is more top of mind than ever before—for both restaurant workers and restaurant owners—as workers deal with the economic impacts of the pandemic. Student loans, inflation, and unemployment are all sources of stress that inevitably follows workers into the workplace.

What employees are looking for in 2022 and beyond

Hourly workers are the backbone of the US economy, and make up well over half of all workers in the United States. But the hourly schedule can be unpredictable, and it leaves some shift-based workers unsure of what their paycheck will be every other week.

No doubt influenced by changes in the employment landscape at large, restaurant workers want change. Much of that can come in the form of flexible scheduling and financial security. Here’s why:

Flexible Scheduling

Most restaurant workers fall into the hourly worker category, especially younger ones. The nature of hourly scheduling is unpredictable, forcing many workers to put parts of their lives on hold because they don’t know when they’ll be working.

This makes planning vacations, spending time with friends and family, and tending to obligations difficult—in turn taking a toll on mental health. It makes a healthy work-life balance difficult to achieve.

It also leaves many with inconsistent wages, not sure what they can count on week-over-week. Workers may find themselves in troubling financial situations, resorting to temporary solutions that end up doing more harm than good.

Financial wellness, beyond higher wages

In a bind, workers turn to fast fixes that end up having negative long-term consequences on their financial wellness. Overdraft charges, high-interest payday loans, credit cards, and borrowed cash are all means in which workers make ends meet, but these methods are often detrimental to workers’ long term financial health.

Financial stress not only takes its toll on mental health—it’s also a safety hazard. Team members who are stressed over money troubles are 50% more likely to be involved in a workplace accident.

With 80% of workers living paycheck to paycheck, locking funds behind a two-week pay period is no longer an option. 

Modern Tech Solutions

The workforce has spoken, and technology companies are listening. Modern workplace technology has made it possible to offer flexible scheduling and real-time pay.

Clair has made it their mission to fight the financial inequality that locking earned wages behind a paywall can cause—and is making earned wage access possible for hundreds of thousands of frontline workers. On the scheduling front, 7shifts’ mission to simplify team management drives their product and features, which give restaurant workers a platform to easily manage availability, switch shifts, and communicate with their peers. 

With a shared mission for improving the employee experience, 7shifts and Clair have teamed up to provide restaurant employees with access to their wages—as soon as they’ve earned them, and at no extra cost to them or their employers. Here’s how:

Flexible Scheduling with 7shifts

With dozens of moving parts, scheduling is one of the biggest headaches for restaurants. It can be enough of a challenge to get a schedule together—which can make offering flexibility a daunting task. Time off, availability, and shift changes can eat up time and mental energy for restaurant owners. But scheduling software can change that. 

Schedule in minutes

With 7shifts, you can create schedules in minutes. The platform eliminates guesswork by accounting for your team’s availability, time-off, state-regulated breaks, and more. Staff gets automatically notified by text, email, and app notification whenever you make a schedule change. 

Make adjustments seamless

Shift changes, too, are a breeze. Team members can offer up shifts that they can’t work to the shift pool for others to bid on. If they want to swap directly with another, they can do that in a few taps, too. Managers can approve them just as easily as team members request, from any device at any time.

No more last-minute headaches

And if someone calls in sick, it doesn’t have to be a headache with the Find Who’s Available feature. Managers can easily find someone to cover lates, call-outs, or no-shows while avoiding overtime and schedule conflicts.

Technology like 7shifts makes it easy to follow scheduling best practices, and makes a healthy work-life balance possible in an industry that it’s traditionally been hard to come by.

On-Demand Pay with Clair

An alternative to long pay cycles and unpredictable paychecks, on-demand pay has emerged as a saving grace for the restaurant workforce. Instead of waiting weekly or bi-weekly to access earnings, with on-demand pay, employees can receive an immediate payout post-shift. 

Get what you’ve earned—in real time

Modern financial tech like Clair On-Demand Pay allows hourly employees to take an instant advance on their earnings that they can use to put gas in the car, pay the babysitter, or stock up their refrigerator. This saves restaurant employees from having to resort to harmful practices to make ends meet, and helps foster financial wellness even beyond the workplace.

Take care of today—and prepare for tomorrow

Clair On-Demand Pay is not just an on-demand pay tool—it also has all the financial features of leading banks. This includes a built-in savings and spending account, as well as access to more than 40,000 free in-network ATMs. Help with savings is something employees crave, too: A survey by Commonwealth found that the majority of employees agreed that employer-offered savings tools would encourage them to work harder (62%) and would make them more likely to stay with a company (76%).

7shifts and Clair: Better Together

You may be wondering: how does all of this work? Do I have to run payroll every day now?

The good news is—by using the power of integration between 7shifts and Clair, you can improve the employee experience with scheduling tools and on-demand pay without adding to your already busy workflow. 

Upon clocking out, 7shifts automatically calculates the day’s earnings—based on hours worked and employee wage. With a quick tap on the “Get Paid Early” button in the app, employees can decide how much they’d like to withdraw from the available balance. 

Clair On-Demand Pay slots right into the 7shifts ecosystem to automatically calculate the day’s wages, while socking away the right data for tax purposes. It reduces admin headaches for managers and boosts financial security for staff, making it an easy win-win for attracting and retaining a top-quality team. 

Innovative strides in HR tech are helping employers support and nurture their staff in generous new ways. Perks like on-demand pay ease the minds of financially strained employees and help foster a more productive, focused, and loyal workforce. Restaurant scheduling tools are making it easier for restaurants to give employees the lifestyle they want. It’s all helping to make happier employees eager to stick around for the long haul.

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About the Author
Dominick "DJ" Costantino

Dominick "DJ" Costantino

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