Top 6 Retention Strategies for Hourly Employees

Stick to these tried-and-tested hourly employee retention strategies to reduce turnover, boost engagement, & improve wellbeing

February 22, 2023
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A low hourly employee retention rate can put the handbrake on even the biggest business’s growth plans.

While retaining hourly employees might not seem like your organization’s top priority, bear in mind it usually costs 16% of an hourly employee’s annual salary to replace them. Which means having to replace hundreds of hourly workers a year will take its toll on your profit margins.

Luckily, there are plenty of hourly employee retention strategies that will help you keep turnover down in your business. Read on for some simple and effective tips that will help you recruit and retain hourly employees.

How much does a company save by retaining hourly employees?

Once you add up the direct and indirect costs, replacing an hourly worker on $8/hour can cost up to $3,500.

That means losing a hundred hourly workers would shave a massive $350,000 off your bottom line – the difference between profitability and bankruptcy for a lot of businesses.

How to retain hourly employees

Solving the retention challenge has a huge return on investment for any company that relies on hourly workers. 

These creative ways to retain hourly employees will help any organization boosts its retention rates:

Give them engaging work

The key to keeping your hourly employees around? Giving them engaging work to do.

Just 47% of disengaged employees plan to work for their organization for the next year – compared to 90% of their engaged teammates.

If the only hourly employee retention strategy you put in place is looking out for how engaged your people are at work it will go along way to helping you retain your top talent.

So, make sure to run regular engagement surveys, paying particular attention to your hourly employees’ responses. And encourage your managers to set up weekly or bi-weekly check-ins to touch base with their hourly reports – and train them to ask the right questions in those one-to-ones.

Book a demo of Assembly to get access to all the tools you need to boost employee engagement in one place.

Be flexible

A massive 71% of people open to looking for a new job think their current company isn’t flexible enough. And according to one survey, 100% of hourly workers say flexibility influences their decision on taking a new role.   

The fact is: rigid work schedules are the bane of a lot of hourly workers' lives. The more flexible you’re willing to be with your staff, the more likely your hourly employees are to stick around.

Absenteeism – when workers don’t turn up for a shit without good reason – actually costs US businesses $3,600 per year for each hourly worker. So, if you force your hourly teammates to work shifts that don’t suit them at all then don’t be surprised if they start calling in sick more often – and ultimately leave for a more flexible job.

Help them grow

Most hourly employees don’t want a job – they want a career. And you’re making a huge mistake if you’re not laying out a clear career path for your hourly employees to follow. 

In fact, 38% of hourly workers are thinking of leaving their current job because it only offers limited career growth opportunities. And 72% say career growth opportunities are their top priority for a new role.

Provide your hourly workers with opportunities to climb the career ladder, learn skills that will help them land a promotion, and get leadership experience under their belt you’ll be giving them a lot of reasons to stay.

The most effective tool at your disposal when it comes to making sure you’re supporting your hourly staff with their career goals are one-to-ones. Regularly ask your reports what direction they want to head in – and how you can help them get there – will do wonders for your hourly employee retention rates.

Try Assembly to see how easy it can make taking the pulse of how your hourly employees feel about their career opportunities at your company.

Show you care

One of the most effective ways of retaining hourly employees is a simple one: look after them.

A lot of organizations treat their hourly staff as if they’re disposable. Unsurprisingly, those companies struggle to recruit and retain hourly employees – especially in the age of employee wellbeing and mental health benefits.

You won’t have a problem retaining hourly employees if you:

  • Offer healthcare plans that include mental health options.
  • Make sure not to overwhelm them with more work than they can fit into their hours (since 77% of workers say they’ve experienced burnout at their current job).
  • Encourage them to take real breaks rather than work through them.

Showing your people you care isn’t rocket science. But it is one of the most effective hourly employee retention strategies there is. 

Give them a say

A misstep a lot of organizations make is failing to recognize that hourly employees aren’t any less interested in having their say on how your company operates than their salaried teammates. 

Despite this, 41% of hourly workers say their employer never asks for their feedback. Of the 59% who are asked for their input, 8% say they’re only asked to provide feedback once a year and 70% say their voices aren’t heard.

Keeping your hourly workers at arm’s length from is bound to alienate them and likely leave them looking for another job.

It’s therefore crucial you run regular employee pulse surveys and give your hourly workers a chance to have their say during one-to-ones. If they don’t have these channels to express themselves through, it can be easy for your hourly employees to feel like they don’t have a voice. And this can have a huge impact on how long they stay employees.

Book a demo of Assembly today to get access to all the tools you need to empower your hourly employees with a voice in one place.

Recognize them

Organizations often fall into the trap of taking their hourly employees for granted.

And when a teammate doesn’t feel like they’re getting the recognition they deserve, they’re not likely to stay a teammate for very long. In fact, 79% of people who’ve quit jobs say a lack of appreciation was one of the main reasons they left. 

Despite this, one survey revealed it’s been an average of 50 days since its respondents last felt recognised in any way at work. And employees aren’t asking for the red carpet treatment here. In fact, 70% of people say their motivation and morale would improve “massively” if their manager simply said “thank you” more often.

The fact is: recognition is one of the most effective tools at your disposal when it comes to increasing employee retention. Giving your people managers tools that make it easy for them to praise their colleagues – like Assembly’s Give Recognition Flow – is a simple but effective retention strategy.

The final word

Your hourly employees are a lot less likely to leave if you give them engaging work, a flexible schedule, a clear career path, and the recognition they deserve. 

Stick to those tried-and-tested hourly employee retention strategies and turnover is bound to drop across your business.

Browse our Free Employee Recognition Guide

Get the foundational knowledge on creating an employee recognition program that boosts employee engagement and helps them feel valued.

Explore Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Assembly SOC 2 compliant?

Yes, at Assembly, security is a top priority. Each quarter, we have ongoing security work that is everyone’s responsibility. While we maintain a strong security posture, it was important for us to prove to our customers that we do everything we claim to do. This led us to pursue a SOC 2 Type II report that would provide evidence of our compliance with industry gold-standard security practice.

What's the ROI for employee recognition?

There is study after study showing that employee recognition leads to increased engagement. This in return creates an environment where employees are happier and more motivated which increase productivity and reduces voluntary turnover significantly. In order to filled critical roles, companies tend to spend nearly twice the value of an annual salary. Assembly is an investment in your employees that supports your bottom line.

Does Assembly offer longer-term contracts?

Yes, we will offer contracts for companies with longer-term agreements to help larger customers have more certainty around future costs.

The minimum agreement term is a 12-month subscription.

Does Assembly offer onboarding support?

We do and for FREE! Any new customer needing further support to get started with Assembly to ensure you're set up for success can request custom onboarding support. Improving your employee experience is about much more than just using our amazing software; it’s about transforming your business to create a workplace that people love. That’s much easier to do with the personal support and advice from our passionate people experts.

Is there a free version of Assembly?

Yes. We offer a completely free plan for up to 50 team members. This plan is intended for teams or organizations that are looking to get started with an employee engagement tool. Keep in mind, this plan is limited in features.

All customers can open an Assembly account for free and get started without a credit card. Then you can change plans as necessary.

How much do rewards cost?

At the time of redemption (when your employees exchange their points for a paid reward) you'll pay face value. If a reward is a $10 Amazon gift card, your cost will be $10. All paid rewards are billed for on a monthly basis.

The good news is that you don't have to pay for rewards upfront because we only charge you when points are redeemed, not when they're earned.

Does Assembly offer discounts?

We offer discounts or educational or charitable organizations. In order to secure a discount, you'll first need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

For all other organizations, we are willing to consider longer-term agreements in exchange for discounts. To set up annual plans or longer, you will need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

How do I cancel my plan if needed?

If you're on a month to month plan, you can go here and cancel anytime. If you're having concerns or need help setting up your account for success, you can always book a demo with a customer support specialist.

If you're on a longer-term custom plan, you'll need to reach out to your customer support specialist to cancel your account or email us at

What customizations are available?

Great question! You can customize your core values to match your organization's to boost and track alignment. You can change your currency from the 🏆 emoji (our default) to any emoji of your choice. You can swap our logo for your own. You can also set up company culture rewards such as, "Lunch with the CEO," "Buy a book on us," and so much more!

Who can give or receive recognition?

While we recommend a peer to peer set up where anyone in your organization can give or receive recognition, you can set up Assembly however you want. If you need to limit the people who can give or receive recognition, that's perfectly fine and can be done from your Admin, here.

What integrations are available?

Assembly connects to the tools your employees use every day to offer an easy, seamless experience with minimal change management.  

Assembly has integrations with HCM/HRIS systems like ADP, Google, Office 365, and Slack. We also integrate with communication tools like Slack and Teams so you and your employees can access Assembly wherever they work now.

What's your average adoption rate?

That depends on the company's permissions set up. That said, over 90% of the employees on Assembly's platform are recognized on a monthly basis. That means nearly every employee across all of our customers are receiving regular recognition from their peers, managers, or leadership. We're extremely proud of this.

Must rewards be set up to use Assembly?

They are not required. You can use Assembly without having rewards set up. However, we don't recommend it if you intend to have a high adoption and usage rate. You can always keep the costs down by offering internal culture rewards that are fulfilled by you internally.

Are points required to use Assembly?

No, you can remove allowances from anyone or everyone. It's up to you but we do recommend using points whether they're worth a real dollar value or not. Companies that use points have a much higher engagement rate even if those points don't exchange for real dollars.

Could find the answer you are looking for?

Please schedule time with an expert and we will help you to get all your questions answered