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Supply Chain News: Interesting Results from Annual “Voice of the Blue Collar Worker”



EmployBridge Says Schedule Flexibility Growing Priority for Warehouse and Manufacturing Workers

Aug. 2, 2022


SCDigest Editorial Staff

Staffing firm EmployBridge is recently out with its annual “Voice of the Blue Collar Worker” survey and report, and as always it’s an interesting read.

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This is no trivial effort. This year, over 19,000 workers were surveyed in early 2022. Of that total, 48% were warehouse workers, 32% came from manufacturing, with 11% drivers and 9% clerical staff."

Among warehouse workers, the top role was forklift operator, at 32%, followed by general warehouse worker at 26%.

In terms of survey results, the report notes that “In past years, we might have said that “culture is king” for blue-collar workers. Today, compensation reigns - meaning pay rate plus benefits. When combined with a flexible schedule, this blend of factors appears to significantly influence “Should I stay or should I go?” decisions."

Again this year, pay rate naturally remains the top factor applicants look for when considering a job. And for workers to stay at a job, consistent pay increases are now the second-most-important factor (behind schedule).

Interestingly, the survey asked workers if they would prefer a $1.00 per hour wage hike or five days of paid time off. 82% voted for the paid time, despite the fact the wage hike likely was worth a lot more money.

The survey has shown schedule flexibility is an increasing important issue for blue collar workers. It was the top factor for workers considering whether or not to stay at a job and the second most important factor (along with job security) for job seekers.

In terms of shifts, 70% of respondents prefer first shift, with 16% for second shift, 12% voting for third and 2% for weekends.

In perhaps a surprising result, 48% prefer a traditional five-day, eight hours per day schedule, versus just 31% who would opt for four ten-hour days.

What pay hike would make a first shift worker take an alternate shift? That would be $2.03 per hour in 2022, a big jump from just $1.48 in the 2021 survey.

What do workers value beyond wage rates? As seen in the graphic below from the report, advancement opportunities top the list in 2022, cited by 20% of workers. That was just ahead of flexible schedule at 15%.



Source: EmployBridge

(See More Below)





How do, if at all, do viewpoints vary by worker gender?

The differences are modest. For example, a slightly higher percent of woman say schedule flexibility is highly important to them versus men.

Another difference: The majority (53%) of male workers in 2022 said they are actively looking for a new job, while only a minority (37%) of female workers are.

In terms of recommendations for distributors and manufacturers, EmployBridge tells employers to “provide what workers value most.”

More specifically:

Offer competitive pay, especially for off shifts.

• Include benefits like health insurance and retirement so employees can build secure financial futures with your organization.

Build clear paths to advancement, including upskilling to new roles.

Review attendance policies and eliminate mandatory overtime whenever possible.

Establish a great on-boarding experience for new hires that includes career advancement specifics.

Demonstrate empathy and respect for the blue-collar workers.

The full report is available her: Voice of the Blue Collar Workers 2022

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