Even if you have been able to retain a job during the pandemic, COVID-19 has not been kind.
Because of the current service worker shortage in our country, many employees say they have felt pressured to take on extra shifts or not use vacation days out of fear of losing their job.
“At the hotel that I worked at last summer, they kind of would put me in these positions I was uncomfortable with,” said Allyssa Romero, a 20 year-old student who works when she is not attending college courses. “They’d be like, ‘Hey, can you stay a little later?' or 'I had to work two positions at one time.’”
“I felt that [pressure] a lot,” added Vince Castillo, who was working at a supermarket and concert venue. “I feel like these days the drive up there [to work] was expending a lot more resources every day.”
Because of the strain, the business Whole Sol, an organic eatery located in several locations across Colorado, made it its mission to offer more flexible work schedules to its employees, hoping the incentives would help them overcome their own labor shortage.
“It’s paying off to make all that investment in the employees because after all, it’s our team that’s front-facing with the customer,” said Phil Dumontet, CEO of the company. “It starts, obviously, with a good strong wage, so we did a 10% raise across the board for our employees.”
To entice workers, Dumontet also added a $50 per month stipend that employees can use on activities that help promote health and wellness, such as a massage, gym membership, or therapist.
The company has also started offering full healthcare benefits to employees, a $1,000 retention bonus after working at the company for more than 6 months, as well as automatic approval for paid time off.
“Those are the kinds of things we’re balancing so people don’t get burned out in the restaurant industry,” said Dumontet.
Dumontet says since he instituted the measures, he has found happier morale for his 100 employees across the company.