'A happy employee is a good employee': Windsor, Ont. company transitions to four-day work week to improve work-life balance
Local cleaning company Men in Kilts is transitioning to a four-day work week in hopes of improving employee retention and satisfaction.
“One thing that COVID may have taught us is that mental health is a big factor. A happy employee is a good employee,” said franchise owner, Ben Snow.
Instead of working eight hour days, five days a week, employees at Men in Kilts will work longer hours during the four days.
The compressed schedule will allow workers to spend more time with loved ones and improve work-life balance.
“A lot of them have kids so they'll be able to save a little bit of money on daycare,” said Snow.
He said as long as the jobs are done, there will no reduction in pay.
“We pay what we call ‘performance pay.’ We give them a percentage of the job. So the better of a job they do, the safer and faster of a job they do, the more they'll get paid,” Snow explained.
From a business standpoint, Snow expects their bottom line to take a hit but believes profits will be made in the long run.
“On the back end, we'll see an increase in retention. I've read it cost 30 per cent of an employee's annual salary to rehire,” he said. “If we have to constantly rehire, that should be negated a bit.”
More and more bosses are thinking like Snow.
According a recent survey by recruitment firm Robert Half, 91 per cent of senior managers would support a four-day work week for their team.
Nearly seven out of 10 managers also anticipate their company will transition to a shorter working week within the next five years.
“The cost of hire is exceptionally high and the time it takes is approaching 13 to 14 weeks,” said Michael French, national director of Robert Half. “If you can keep your people in the seat and doing well, you're going to be miles ahead of your competitors who may be struggling with some of these very progressive ideas.”
The CEO of the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce points out this model is not a one-size-fits-all and won’t work for every sector.
“What happens to the wages? Who picks up the tab? Is it the employer or the employee?” Chamber CEO, Rakesh Naidu questioned. “There are many things that need to be discussed.”
Naidu said the shortened week may not be suitable for many in the local auto industry.
“The supply chain is very synchronized and is mostly dictated by the original equipment manufacturer. When Ford, General Motors or Stellantis operates a five day work week, the supply chain will have to work similarly,” Naidu explained.
Men in Kilts is actively hiring for home maintenance technicians. Interested candidates can apply online.
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