Increasing Hourly Workforce Productivity Not a One-Size-Fits-All Proposition : New paper from The Workforce Institute™ explores differences in hourly employees; provides recommendations for talent management strategies

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More than 60 percent of the United States workforce is employed in hourly work, with this workforce predicted to grow even larger over the coming years. Despite the significant size of the hourly workforce, relatively little attention has been paid to understanding this segment of the labor pool. A new paper from The Workforce Institute™ at Kronos® Incorporated explores approaches for improving hourly workforce productivity by examining the characteristics of hourly workers and provides recommendations for talent management.

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By understanding the differences in work and the differences in the people likely to be performing this work, organizations can design their talent management strategies to be more effective

The paper, "Increasing Hourly Workforce Productivity: Different types of work, different types of workers," is written by Steven Hunt, SPHR, Ph.D., director of business transformation services at SuccessFactors and a member of the board of advisors of The Workforce Institute. In it, Hunt identifies four types of hourly work:

Simple-transactional (i.e., data entry clerk) Simple-experiential (i.e., retail sales person) Complex-transactional (i.e., machinist) Complex-experiential (i.e., registered nurse) In the paper, each of these categories of work is ascribed a definition as well as a list of characteristics of the employees who tend to perform this work. The characteristics range from typical gender and ethnic background to level of education and median household income.

"By understanding the differences in work and the differences in the people likely to be performing this work, organizations can design their talent management strategies to be more effective," said Hunt. "Whether it's offering a tuition reimbursement; planning for technical training; or deciding whether or not to use customer service staffing assessments, talent management decisions must be tailored to the specific hourly population they are being created for; otherwise, they are doomed to be ineffective."

"This new paper from Steven Hunt furthers The Workforce Institute's commitment to identifying human capital management issues that affect productivity and organizational performance and empowering organizations to address these issues," said Joyce Maroney, director of The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated. "In addition, this paper gives some much-needed attention to better understanding the vast hourly workforce, which is frequently misunderstood."

To hear Steven Hunt discussing the role of the frontline manager in retaining hourly workers with Joyce Maroney, director of The Workforce Institute, please visit:

To read this paper in its entirety, please visit: hourly-workforce-productivity. (Due to the length of this URL, it may be necessary to copy and paste it into your Internet browser's URL address field. You may also need to remove an extra space in the URL if one exists.)

About the Workforce Institute

The Workforce Institute was founded by Kronos® Incorporated in 2006 as a think tank to provide research and education on critical workplace issues facing organizations around the globe. By bringing together thought leaders, the Workforce Institute is uniquely positioned to empower organizations with the knowledge and information they need to manage their workforce effectively and provide a voice for employees on important workplace issues. A hallmark of the Workforce Institute's research is balancing the needs and desires of diverse employee populations with the needs of organizations. For additional information, visit

© 2008 Kronos Incorporated. Kronos and the Kronos logo are registered trademarks and The Workforce Institute is a trademark of Kronos Incorporated or a related company. All other product and company names mentioned are used for identification purposes only and may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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Laura Souza
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