As we progress into the new year, the need for a flexible, nomadic workforce grows, but many traditional housing providers and businesses in travel-heavy industries lack the time and resources to meet their workforces’ housing needs. For HR and upper-level management of businesses in these industries, such as healthcare and construction, looking to support existing employees and attract new talent in 2022 requires a housing strategy.
Employee expectations are rising. They expect their employers to support them and provide competitive pay, benefits and great working conditions. When their expectations are not met, they can become disengaged from their work, and some even resign. The Great Resignation continues to make headlines because expectations are not being met; employees feel unsupported and dismissed. This especially rings true for nomadic workforces, and so the focus needs to be on one of their biggest pain points: housing.
Oftentimes, HR and staffing managers are limited in the short-term housing that they find because inventory is scarce and search efforts can take hours. In 2020, we witnessed how essential nomadic workforces were, and this category of workers continues to rapidly expand in numerous industries ranging from infrastructure to sales to healthcare. It is all the more reason why housing strategies are important.
What are some great housing strategies? Here are a few ideas and tips to build out a strategy that will enable you to further support your employees and, in turn, attract new talent.
Utilize third-party housing companies. HR and other upper-level management do not have access to the inventory that a workforce housing-on-demand or corporate housing company can offer. Lean into these organizations; they can make your job a lot easier and create a more straightforward housing strategy. Corporate housing is one avenue to take, but they can be more limited in what they offer. However, workforce housing-on-demand has a nearly infinite virtual inventory that is only limited by the boundaries of the housing market of the particular area. Another added benefit of housing-on-demand is their ability to save you money, something that corporate housing and other short-term housing agencies struggle with.
Stay organized. A housing strategy is indispensable if you are organized. When you learn of a new project, stay on top of dates, location, how long the project should take, the number of workers needed for the job and the like. A housing-on-demand company will do a lot of the legwork for you, such as setting up grocery delivery services, wifi, furniture and other necessities. If you stay organized, it makes for a more seamless planning and execution process.
Honesty is the best policy. It’s important to be forthcoming with information that your employees need. They need to know the expenses that will and won’t be covered by the company, the job location, the projected timeline, the neighborhood they’ll be residing in and so forth. Being upfront and transparent with employees results in more positive attitudes. In turn, they are more productive, and their trust in you and the company will also be positively impacted by your level of honesty.
Communicate with your nomadic workers. Ask ahead of time what your employees want and need for their short-term housing. Communication enables you to further understand them. Acknowledging what your employees want and need is a key point to a housing strategy. Once they arrive at their location, email them weekly or bi-weekly to ensure their housing needs are being met and things are running smoothly. Ask what could be improved. Seeking feedback typically makes employees feel valued and more willing to work away from home and their loved ones.
Finding suitable accommodations for your nomadic workers has always been extremely important, and with the need for them expected to grow throughout 2022, you must have a good housing strategy. Being in the realm of HR comes with many processes, tasks and pressures to recruit and retain employees. With the right strategy, you can secure comfortable and safe short-term housing, showing your employees that you want to support them and do value them. This can result in a multitude of positive results, including attracting new talent.