By Pavan Gudapati, Keri Louick and Samantha Messina
When you think about Louisville, Kentucky, what comes to mind? Horse racing, baseball bats, bluegrass music and that famous fried chicken recipe, perhaps?
Louisville is also the home to more than 90,000 blue-collar workers with an unemployment rate that currently sits well under 4%. It was under this backdrop that EPAY headed to the Bluegrass State for last week’s Business Service Contractors Association International (BSCAI) Executive Management Conference.
The common themes we heard from the janitorial companies on hand were that finding talent, keeping talent and communicating with those workers has been challenging for business service contractors as of late.
As the Great Resignation continues, we hear this problem emanate from all across the country from sea to shining sea. Even with more than 2.2 million janitorial workers in the country, businesses are finding it difficult to find and keep their best workers.
Communication can be a huge problem since many of these workers do not have access to cellphones, so organizations cannot rely on the typical channels that other businesses with white-collar workers rely on. After all, giving these workers some “slack” has nothing to do with organizing a new Slack channel to talk about their pets or pet peeves.
In a promo video for the conference, one of the keynote speakers, Rachel Druckenmiller, the CEO of workplace culture organization Unmuted, asked a question that, on the surface, sounds pretty straightforward: “What can we do to retain and engage and connect our employees in meaningful ways so that they want to stick around and continue to work for us?”
Still, Business Service Contractors (BSCs) are struggling to answer that seemingly simple question.
As we met with dozens of companies at the show, we explained how EPAY’s Time and Attendance solution can help them communicate with their workers. After all, our friend Walter is not only a great conversation-starter but also a great conversation-facilitator.
And we also explained that relying on old-fashioned payroll processes won’t work anymore. Employees from small companies want the same options to track their pay, benefits and more in one place just like any large company typically offers. Companies that don’t understand this are more likely to struggle bringing in and keeping talent, and sadly be left behind in the pursuit of the best people.
It’s a slippery slope, too, because when maintenance and cleanliness slip, it has ripple effects on recruiting for other roles as well.
Additionally, BSC workers who are struggling to make ends meet might not be able to wait two weeks or even a month to get their paychecks to pay their bills. Being able to offer an on-demand pay option for these workers is essential to help them make ends meet.
Another pain point we heard from companies that already use human resources management systems (HRMS) is that they can’t get the support they need when they need it. When issues come up at 1 p.m. or 1 a.m., companies cannot afford to wait till regular business hours to get the help they need. Having 24/7 customer support is essential.
We were thrilled to meet with so many amazing companies at the BSCAI Executive Management Conference because we know the great people they employ are the same people who serve so many vital needs in the community.
As the late, great Muhammad Ali, one of the most famous Kentuckyians—and Americans for that matter—once said, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”
While service can mean many things, of course, what is most important is that the companies that employ the people who provide service to so many people are able to take advantage of the same great payroll and benefit services as any other worker would. That’s why, as we explained to many BSCAI attendees, EPAY is the better way for them—and their workers.
Oh, and if you missed us at the show or weren't able to attend, we'd still love to love to be in touch.
Now please excuse us as we check out some of that local bluegrass music.
Pavan Gudapati, Keri Louick and Samantha Messina are EPAY sales representatives based in Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Miami, respectively.