How the Green New Deal Highlights the Need for Smart Staff Scheduling Technology
In an effort to finally achieve a carbon-neutral future, the newly proposed Green New Deal (GND) outlines two goals:
1. To achieve 100 percent renewable electricity within 10 years
2. To create family sustaining employment nationwide
While the environmental factors of the GND are widely known and debated, the federal jobs guarantee as a means to end unemployment is another significant portion of the proposal, with the potential to completely shift how organizations manage their employees.
With a promise to create up to 20 million new jobs in industries including sustainable energy, transportation, agriculture, clean manufacturing, and public services, many of the new jobs introduced by the GND would be hourly based. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, however, service-providing sectors are expected to capture 94.6 percent of new jobs created between 2014 and 2024, with or without the GND. Combine this with a younger workforce holding certain expectations regarding real-time communication, and it becomes clear that smart staff scheduling technology is essential for organizations looking to maintain happy employees, effective staff schedules, and a healthy bottom line.
Regardless of whether the GND passes or not, companies looking to keep up with a dramatic increase in primarily shift-based employment should expect the following:
1. Increased competition for hourly/shift-based workers
The country is already at record low unemployment levels, and demand for skilled work is high. The GND supports various major investments in projects addressing clean energy, including widespread solar panel installations and retrofitting all existing buildings to zero-carbon standards. From the manufacturing process to the distribution of required materials, the upsurge of typically hourly based positions driving these projects means the vast majority of U.S. job growth will be shift based. A federally funded backstop on well-paying jobs means that all companies employing hourly workers are going to see increased competition for hiring.
With an influx of employees, companies should be prepared to leverage scheduling tools to ensure simple and error-free staffing to avoid common scheduling mishaps such as last-minute changes to availability, miscommunication between employees and managers, or lack of adequate staffing based on sales forecasts and customer needs.
2. Rising wages
Minimum wage is another hot topic in today’s political climate, with the most recent debate revolving around gradually raising the federal minimum wage to $15 from the current $7.25.
Although not a provision of the GND itself, many GND supporters are also largely in favor of a nationwide increase in the minimum wage. As such, there is a high chance that the government jobs created as part of the GND would start at a minimum of $15.
With widespread increases in wages, maintaining productivity will be of utmost importance to preserve a business’s bottom line and avoid costly overtime. Tools such as cloud-based scheduling platforms can help ensure organizations are not over- or understaffed.
3. Increased business revenue
As wages increase and unemployment rates decrease, consumers will have more discretionary income to spend, and, therefore, an overall increase in business revenue. The largest unknown is whether that same stimulation to the economy also would cause broader inflation, offsetting the margin impact of these revenue increases for businesses.
Smart staff scheduling platforms are instrumental in helping businesses spend less time managing employees and more time investing in their company growth and profitability.
Although understanding and planning for the factors associated with a surge in hourly based employment is going to be critical for businesses if the GND is enacted, shift management professionals need to prepare regardless of this initiative passing.The days of handwritten staff schedules posted on a bulletin board are no longer adequate for upkeeping scheduling needs—companies must leverage smart scheduling technology to avoid scheduling mishaps and achieve a smooth and profitable transition into managing a much larger workforce of hourly and shift-based employees.
Chris Amani is CEO of Humanity, a leading provider of cloud-based employee shift scheduling for the enterprise.