Category Archives: Corporate Risk Management

What Do You Know About the Hourly Workforce?

data point tuesday_500

Here’s an eye opener:

“As of 2014, hourly workers make up 56.7 percent of the United States workforce. Think about that for a moment. More than half of all people working the U.S. make an hourly wage. That’s 77.2 million workers aged 16 and up. Yet there is little data to be found about the hourly worker. The U.S. Census publishes a total number of hourly workers and breaks that number down by very broad age characteristics, full-time vs. private sector and race. But that’s all. The segment is so ignored that even the monthly unemployment report doesn’t categorize the workforce by salary vs hourly. The U.S. Department of Labor recognizes them only in an annual report on minimum wage workers. To understand the majority of laborers in the United States, we are left to guess.”

redeapp is changing this through the commission of a series surveys and reports from Edison Research. The first, Profile of The Hourly Worker: Demographics, Devices and Disconnection, crossed my desk right before the end of 2015. And it’s pretty interesting.

Redeapp provides private and secure communications platforms that connect companies with their hourly, front-line employees and those without company email access. So they have a vested interest in having a deep understanding of this segment of the workforce. What they’ve found, in some cases, seems counter-intuitive. Like this, for example:

Profile of Hourly Worker 1.png

If the data are to be believed, more than 30% of the U.S.’s hourly workforce has 1-3 years of college or more – with fully 24% having some graduate credits or an advanced degree! I would not have expected that 49% of our hourly worker population would have a 4-year college degree – or a high school degree and some college credits.

Another surprise: email is used by this segment of the workforce multiple times each day in their general work responsibilities. But here’s the rub: only 50% of this segment have an email address provided by their employer. And 42% report that they use their personal email account for work communication either sometimes or often. How many liabilities and risks can we count here?

Given that scenario, this chart becomes very interesting:

Profile of Hourly Worker 2

The risk and control issues that exist in an un-secured corporate communication environment are quite large. Clearly, understanding hourly workers and how to communicate with them is a priority for organizations that employ this segment of the workforce. And perhaps, this segment of the workforce isn’t quite what you pictured.

Take a look at this survey report. It’ll make you think about your communication strategies. In a good way.

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Filed under Big Data and HR, Bureau of Labor Statistics, China Gorman, Corporate Risk Management, Data Point Tuesday, Employee Demographics, Employee Loyalty, Hourly Workers, HR Analytics, HR Data, redeapp, Strategic Workforce Planning, Uncategorized, Workforce Management

Data Point #8: Risk of talent and skills shortages

I recently came across a fascinating report published by Lloyd’s, the world’s leading market for specialist insurance.  Lloyd’s Risk Index is based on a survey of global business leaders by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and Lloyd’s.  It’s the second of its kind, the first having been published in 2009.  The survey is global and breathtaking in its scope.  It measures the top 50 Priority Risk factors for business – as identified by business leaders – as well as measuring how prepared businesses are to face these identified risks.

The headline for this survey is that business has gone from identifying credit as one of the biggest business risks in 2009 to focusing on talent as one of the biggest risks in 2011 and beyond.

As I read the report (see it here), I am struck that in the top 50 individual risks, as many as 12 have to do with people:  talent shortages, impact of regulation, demographic shifts, population growth, industrial/workplace accidents, changing legislation and others.

The respondent profiles are from more than 500 C-Suite executives (although it doesn’t look like CHROs were included) from large global enterprises.  The survey rated their attitudes regarding risk and their preparedness to face risks across five key categories:

  • Business and strategic risk
  • Economic regulatory and market risk
  • Political, crime and security risk
  • Environmental and health risk
  • Natural hazard risk

As the report explains, anything high on an executive’s risk priority list can be considered in terms of a potential critical point of failure of business.  So we’re talking big risks here.  Identified by board members and C-Suite executives in the largest global businesses in the world.

So of all 50 identified risks, guess what made the number two spot?  Talent and Skills Shortages (Including Succession Risk).  Woah.  Here’s what it looks like:

Talent and Skills Shortages — Priority and Preparedness by Region

The big headline for me is that more than 500 of the business leaders of largest businesses in the world agree that that the talent shortage is real.  That it’s big.  And it’s global.  And it threatens every business.

The second big headline is that this evaluation is being made by business leaders who do not identify themselves as HR Executives.  And that’s big.  If the board members and C-Suite executives of the largest enterprises in the world believe that the second biggest risk to their success is the looming talent shortage, then HR better be prepared with solutions for critical talent acquisition, retention and development.  And they better be prepared today.

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Filed under Business Success, Corporate Risk Management, Demographics, Economist Intelligence Unit, Lloyd's, Talent pipeline