For many business owners, maintaining a roster of casual staff is an essential element of managing their company operations. Keeping a casual payroll can help business owners fill staffing gaps during busy periods throughout the year, ranging from the holiday season to end of financial year sales, and everything in between.
There’s no denying, however, that the global job market has been in flux since the pandemic years, with phenomena like ‘quiet quitting’ and the Great Resignation holding lasting impacts on the relationship between workers and their roles. As a result, it has grown more difficult for employers to retain their casual workers, leading to many workplaces facing a sore skills shortage or even being locked out of the benefits that accompany keeping tenured employees.
So how can modern business owners keep their dependable casual workers around? We’ll be outlining 6 ways that you can boost your retention of casual staff, ensuring that your business stays ready for all of its peak periods.
1. Be proactive with casual roster and payroll arrangements
As casual workers forego select employee entitlements like paid sick leave and annual leave in order to receive a casual pay rate, it’s imperative that their employers work with them to ensure that their personal roster works perfectly for them. Employers can show that they care about their casual staff by organising their roster with respect and perhaps even asking for their employee’s input wherever possible.
For instance, if your casual workers maintain other commitments like personal study or caring for their children or other family obligations, you should feel encouraged to sit down with that employee in order to discuss what kind of workload they’d be comfortable with and if their availability is subject to change.
You should also ensure that your payroll arrangements are carried out swiftly and consistently every week so that your casual staff can work with absolute certainty that they will be receiving their payslip as expected every week. Delays with payslips can be a point of frustration and concern for many workers, but especially so for casual staff.
2. Provide casual staff with plenty of flexibility
For individuals who may be studying full-time, raising children, or even seeking treatment for chronic illnesses or mental health concerns, the flexibility of a casual employment contract can be a veritable godsend. This is predominantly because the flexibility of these arrangements allows people to provide for themselves without having to feel locked into any kind of set schedule.
Even if your casual staff members are maintaining a fixed schedule both within and outside of their work arrangements, it’s important to keep in mind that these employees still do have external pressures or demands that may not be apparent to you. As a result, there may be instances where your casual employee cannot work a particular weekly shift that hasn’t been any issue for them in the past.
In these circumstances, it’s important that employers maintain consideration for casual staff. At the end of the day, they aren’t contractually obligated to accept all the shifts given to them. In this regard, employers can greatly improve their relationships with casual staff by simply respecting and understanding when any amendments are made to their availability. After all, staff who feel respected at work are more likely to be team players!
3. Invest in professional development for casual workers
Speaking of being a team player, it’s important for employers to keep in mind that casual workers can often be just as invested in your company’s success as full-time workers. As a result, employers should extend professional development opportunities to casual workers as well.
Employers can engage in dedicated training and goal-setting activities with their casual staff in order to determine the scope of their involvement and investment in your company. If you feel that select casual employees may be interested in securing growth opportunities with your organisation, then be sure to share opportunities for career advancement that may be suitable to them.
Encouraging your casual employees to rise through the ranks and showing your own investment in their professional growth can naturally inspire your casual staff to stick around for a lot longer, as they can recognise the value that this employment opportunity provides for them.
4. Practice employee recognition
Casual workers are just as essential to your company’s operations as full-time employees, especially if you have casual workers that have been on your books for many years. So why not recognise the merits and milestones of your casual employees as well?
For instance, if any of your casual employees reach a milestone like their first full year at the company or their 5- or 1o-year mark, then commemorate this with a small celebration. Even if they haven’t worked every day or even every week during that year, they have still made a consistent contribution to your workplace. Companies that make a commitment to commemorating these employee milestones are also better positioned to inspire loyalty in their employees, both across their full- and part-time as well as along their casual payroll.
5. Make sure workplace perks extend to casual staff
It can be all too easy for casual staff to miss out on some of the most enjoyable elements of belonging to a workplace. For starters, casual staff are less likely to stay in the loop with company news simply because they’re not in every day. Similarly, it can be more difficult for casual staff members to forge strong interpersonal connections with their fellow coworkers, again due to a lack of opportunities to socialise during their limited work schedule.
Thankfully, there are steps that managers can take to make sure their casual employees can still enjoy one of the benefits that accompanies being an employee: workplace perks. If you offer your employees perks like free meals, discounts on products, invitations to industry events, or other little freebies, you should ensure that these perks extend to your casual staff rather than excluding casual staff. Doing so will not only aid in boosting the retention rate of casual staff, but may also help keep your company’s job satisfaction rate nice and high across the board!
6. Cultivate a strong workplace culture
Last but certainly not least, the #1 reason why most employees feel more inclined to stay in their job role in the long term is because of a positive, growth-oriented workplace culture. In truth, investments in your workplace culture also don’t have to be monumental in order to make a difference. Even something as simple as encouraging collaboration or maintaining a shared workplace calendar can work wonders when it comes to boosting your company culture.
Sadly, many employers across the globe are still yet to prioritise investments in culture, resulting in their companies falling victim to the career trends of today, such as employees being more likely to leave a position after just two or three years. Simply put, if you’re searching for employees who are more likely to stick around and grow with your company, then you will need to demonstrate that the company is not averse to growth and innovation themselves, which of course includes investing in its people. And an investment in people is inherently an investment in culture.
In this current economic climate, maintaining a high retention rate for casual staff is truthfully going to strengthen your company, both in the immediate future as well as in the long term. So rest assured, whatever costs are associated with the methods we’ve outlined above are likely to be returned to you as a business owner if conducted correctly. And costs aside, following these tips will also likely result in you strengthening your own professional relationships with both your casual staff members as well as your wider workforce.