Blue Collar Retention - The Victor Vroom Approach

Author: Amrit Elango
Last Updated: Jul 01, 2022 11:18
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Blue Collar Retention - The Victor Vroom Approach

Recruiting can be a challenging task for the HR team of any organization. The challenge to find the right candidate amidst a pool of applicants takes time, effort and experience. Blue-collar recruitment brings to the table its own set of challenges for recruiters to tackle, though none as big as retention. Especially in Blue-collar recruitment, retention rates are low and this can be a constant struggle for recruiters to keep replacing candidates.

Victor Vroom, a professor in psychology at Yale University, renowned for his work on the Expectancy Theory of Motivation, in which he examines why people chose to follow a particular course of action, in 1964 proposed that the expectancy of a certain outcome drives motivation, and the failure to meet said expectation decreases motivation. How much the motivation of individual dips or rises is based on the valency of the subject. Valency is simple the importance or priority given to an object. If important expectations are not fulfilled, the motivation drops significantly. If the unimportant expectation is not fulfilled, the motivation may not dip, but it will not rise either.

We can apply the expectancy theory to the retention of blue-collar workers because the expectation of these workers that employers will fulfil certain perceived needs is what determines if they choose to continue working for an employer or leave the organisation. Understanding these felt needs of the Blue-collar workers presents the path to figuring out how to retain their services to your organisation. Below are a few expectations of Blue-Collar workers that when met, can be powerful motivators to ensure retention.


Expectation #1: On-time Payments

Few things hold more importance to a Blue-Collar employee than one-time payments. This makes the expectation to be paid regularly, a big part of an employee’s decision to stay or leave an organization. Blue Collar employees rely heavily on the regularity of wage payments in order to cover their expenses. Small delays in payment will have adverse effects on the Morale of the employee and the perception of the employer in their eyes because the valency of timely salary payment is high.

Ensuring that the employer has structures in place to consistently manage the payroll process, from the clear recording of attendance to the timely disbursal of salary to the employees’ accounts meets the expectancy of the employee and so morale is lifted (or at least doesn’t dip).


Expectation #2: Opportunities to Learn and Upskill

Blue-collar jobs, normatively just use the skills of the employee in exchange for a salary. The work is unskilled or semi-skilled and incredibly repetitive. This places blue-collar workers in a situation where they work for a living in a role which will evolve faster than they can hope to, eventually leaving the skill that they had obsolete.

Therefore, blue Collar workers constantly look to update their skills in order to stay relevant or ahead of the changes that may come with their job role. Offering Blue-collar employees opportunities to upskill themselves can be seen as an organization aiding the growth of the employee and also as investing in existing manpower to tackle future problems. This also helps blue-collar workers see that there is an opportunity to grow in their roles.


Expectation #3: Transparency in Work Management

The exploitation of labour is a serious concern for anybody in blue-collar employment, and justly so. The stereotypical bias of managers to see blue-collar workers as uneducated leads to them taking advantage of opportunities to exploit their employees. The scruff between team managers/supervisors and blue-collar workers is time-consuming and ugly when one sees the other as exploitative.

Implementing ways to ensure transparency in matters that affect payment such as attendance, task completion, incentives achieved, leaves available, etc. gives a sense of security and awareness to the employee regarding his employment.

Using apps to keep track of work, leaves, salary and attendance helps the employees see that their efforts or lack thereof reflect justly on their remuneration and thus motivates them to work harder. The lack of such systems leaves room for interpersonal clashes and the possibility of the employee seeing the company as untrustworthy based on their impression of the supervisor.


Expectation #4: Healthcare Support

The rise of the gig work economy has given organizations the opportunity to mass hire blue-collar employees without having to provide the benefits of a permanent employee. Healthcare support is one such benefit that, when provided, gives the employee a reason to stay on the job.

Blue-collar workers especially suffer from occupational hazards and also have less access to affordable healthcare services. Employers looking to avoid the high attrition rate of the gig work economy can provide health insurance, cashless medical consultations and access to discounted medicines in pharmacies to retain their employees.


Expectation #5: Rewards and Recognition

Recognition for work well done is a motivator for all employees. For blue-collar workers who often receive incentive-based pay scales, a just and fair incentive structure that acknowledges their work and rewards them for the same goes a long way in motivating them to continue offering their services to the company. It’s each for blue-collar employees to simply feel like a cog in a machine that is much bigger than themselves, recognition from their superiors and being paid for their extra work help make them feel like a part of the organization. This may take the form of an employee of the month awards, bonuses for achieving your target and some more, paid holidays, etc.


Job Booster works with multiple candidates who require blue-collar jobs and industry-leading clients who need blue-collar workers. We constantly lobby for the candidates to receive appropriate remuneration and benefits in order to help the client reduce attrition and help the candidate make ends meet. We play the part of beneficial mediators looking to bring synergy between candidates in need of opportunities and organizations in need of a workforce. Just a consultation, or an end-to-end execution, get in touch with Job Booster India for all your blue-collar hiring needs.


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