“The biggest difference is their dependability.”
A lot has changed since Storr Office Environments opened their doors for business over a century ago. Their town, Raleigh, North Carolina, has grown significantly. Storr has too.
Business needs have evolved, and the company has kept up. Sure, they still deliver desks, but now they’ll install the entire space to put it in. More than furniture, they sell an office experience.
But something else had changed in Storr’s hundred plus years of existence— American workers.
At their current size, they employ a range of forty to eighty contractors to service their broad client base. Their requirements? Simple: show up on time, dressed appropriately, and execute the specialty installations.
In recent years, finding contractors had become difficult enough. Of those who showed up, many were late, dressed in offensive or sloppy clothing, and slow to complete the work. They also weren’t sticking around.
As a company with both a busy schedule and a commitment to excellence, Storr was stuck between a rock and a hard place. When we became connected to Storr, they immediately caught the vision for how the refugee workforce could be exact solution to their needs. They told us they had used other staffing companies before, which often resulted in aforementioned unmotivated workers, but were open to giving us a shot. They hired nine refugees, and after overcoming a few initial hurdles, the company and their new team settled into a groove.
Their refugee workforce didn’t show up on time— they showed up early. And enthusiastically wearing their clean company polos. When projects ran late, they stayed late— never losing their smiles.
“The biggest difference is their dependability,” team lead, Cody Lagana shared in an interview. “If anyone thinks they’re going to be even five minutes late due to unforeseen circumstances, they’ll call me. From the second they get here, they are ready to work. They even check in with me at the end of the day to make sure I don’t need more help before clocking out. It means a lot.”
While dependability used to be a trait companies took for granted, now its a quality that has rapidly deteriorated from the American workforce.
However, there are other companies like Storr, who have found high motivation in the refugee workforce.
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When companies call our office looking to hire employees, it seems no matter how specific the job or unique the industry, most of them communicate the same message: they are simply looking for legal workers who will show up, on time, ready to work.
At Amplio, we simply call this responsibility.
Responsibility over time equals dependability.
Dependability is the most supreme value of the refugee workforce.
While many Americans don’t seem interested in putting in a hard day’s work for a fair pay, and are ready to jump ship at the next opportunity that comes along— refugees show up, work hard, and they stay.
The reason is not complicated: where refugees are welcomed, they are loyal. Their gratitude for a positive, welcoming work environment compels them to stay longer.
In a study by the Tent Partnership for Refugees, researchers found that rates of turnover among refugee employees were “seven to 15 percentage points lower than for the overall workforce. In their interviews with 26 employers across several industries, 19 firms reported lower turnover rates for their refugee employees, when compared to other employees.
In our experience, the industry standard for retention after three months sits at a dismal 40%. After four years of staffing local companies with the refugee workforce, we are seeing an 80% retention rate after 3 months, and nearly 70% after an entire year.
The dependability of the refugee workforce is how clients like Gourmet Foods International have finally been able to gain traction, instead of spending precious time, energy, and resources into constant hiring and rehiring,
After filing their team with refugees, they were able to meet their production goals without incurring overtime.
“It impacted the department greatly,” supervisor, Orlando Morrow shared. “We have built our workforce. We have dependability. It turned our productivity from probably thirty to forty percent to ninety percent.”
Ninety percent. Simply because his workers were showing up on time and doing the work— something companies can no longer take for granted.
In the search for dependability, many companies are finding their answer in the dependable refugee workforce.
Refugee Workforce releases Fall 2019. Text Refugee to 444999 sign up for more info.