Rather than hiking the hourly wage it offers, Dollar General will be offering more hours and smoother schedules to make life easier for its employees and to attract workers.
Chairman and CEO Richard Dreiling said the retailer is "comfortable" with its wage base, but will continue to assess it and raise pay if it deems that necessary.
Getting enough hours and schedule flexibility has emerged as a retail labor issue that is as important, or nearly so, to retail workers as wages. Meanwhile, getting and keeping workers is getting more difficult for retailers.
“Money or time” is emerging as a sticking point for retail workers, many of whom say that getting enough hours is as much of an issue as getting enough pay per hour. Without enough hours or without enough notice about when they must or must not work, many find it difficult to make enough money or run their lives, even when their hourly wage is higher than the minimum.
While retailers like TJ Maxx and now Dollar General are choosing one or the other to attract and keep workers, they may have to consider both if the economy continues to improve and jobs become more plentiful. After all, retailers are boosting their wages to help their own operations. Along with its news-making hourly wage increase, Wal-Mart earlier this year also said that it will start including a more rational scheduling system for workers.
“I am getting paid more per hour, but I am getting less hours. It’s a drastic change for me to go from 30 [hours a week] to 25,” a Maryland Ikea worker told the Guardian newspaper. “The full-time is the most important to me. If this is the only job I have, I don’t want to work five hours a day. I would like to be there full-time, eight hours a day.”