There’s an old saying: if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. But what if you don’t love what you do? Does that mean you can’t find any value and satisfaction in your day job?
We don’t have to love our work to find it rewarding and enjoyable. Our 9-5 doesn’t necessarily have to reflect our main passion in life. But we do need to be engaged with the work we’re doing.
For frontline organizations, maintaining an engaged workforce is particularly important. Employee engagement can lead to more productivity, higher retention rates, and a better customer service experience.
Quick Definition of Employee Engagement
First, let’s go over what employee engagement really means.
One way to think of employee engagement is how involved and invested employees are in their work. This can include both the day-to-day operations and the big picture, long-term success of the business. It can manifest as really wanting to help a particular customer and caring about what that interaction means for the overall organizational goals.
Here’s the thing though: employees aren’t engaged by default. It’s not a quality that a good worker has and a bad worker doesn’t. Employee engagement has to be cultivated by the employer.
This can be done by initiatives like:
- Creating great working conditions
- Recognizing good work
- Fostering communication
- Removing frustrations
Fostering employee engagement has to be a company-wide effort, and it isn’t always easy. But creating higher levels of employee engagement is worth it. Let’s look at some reasons why.
The Benefits of a Highly Engaged Workforce for Frontline Businesses
The benefits of a highly engaged workforce are real and tangible. In other words, they affect a company’s bottom line. Here’s how:
Absenteeism can be a silent killer within an organization. It lowers production, weakens customer service, and puts a lot more stress and pressure on other employees. This is especially true in frontline workplaces, where oftentimes certain production quotas have to be fulfilled regardless of who shows up to meet them.
Making people want to come to work, or at least not want to skip it, is the bare minimum when it comes to employee engagement.
Higher Retention, Lower Turnover
Frontline turnover rates are consistently above the national average, and we know that has serious consequences. That’s why so many companies are developing strategies to combat turnover rates.
Luckily, we know that workplaces with engaged employees have 18-43% better retention rates than those that don’t. Even on the low end, that’s a nearly 20% reduction in the cost of high turnover. That makes a real difference in the bottom line.
Better Customer Service, More Loyalty
There are two main ways that higher engagement leads to better customer service:
- A fully-staffed location with experienced employees is going to be more productive
- When employees are engaged, they want to do their best work and go the extra mile for customers
Engaged workplaces, according to Gallup, have a 10% jump in customer loyalty. But you don’t even need numbers to back that up. What kind of store would you keep going back to? One with engaged, helpful employees or one where it’s clear they have no support?
Employees Become Brand Representatives
Ideally, you want your employees to become brand representatives in a couple of ways.
First, you want them to be really good at and excited about their jobs. You want them to stay engaged and keep going the extra mile.
Second, you want them to care about what you make, do, or sell so that they can convey that excitement to customers.
This kind of engagement comes from making sure everyone feels like they’re part of the team. It means that employees understand the goals and the context behind what they do. That way, the company they work for is a place they can be proud of, even if they’re not fully in love with what they do.
A Safer Workplace
One of the most important benefits of a highly engaged workforce is safety. Engaged employees cut fewer corners, look out for each other, and pay more attention to company policies.
Safety regulations and enforcement come from the top, of course, but all employees contribute to making a safer workplace. That’s why an engaged workforce is also a fundamentally safer one.
If you are in manufacturing or production, you know that every part of the process matters.
Low-engagement workplaces see 41% more product defects than their highly-engaged counterparts. Fewer defects mean less money spent filing or recalling them, as well as a better overall reputation. It also means products that employees are proud of, which—yes, again—boosts engagement.
Whether it takes the form of stealing money directly from the till or grabbing some merchandise, theft happens in the frontline workplace. It won’t be stopped by draconian security measures, but the rates of theft can be decreased by focusing on improving engagement.
Remember that engaged employees care about their work and the organization they’re part of. Simply put, employees who care about their workplace are less likely to steal from it.
It’s safe to say that more customer loyalty, less waste, less spending on training, and more sales equals more money.
How much more? How about a 23% increase in profitability solely because of higher engagement. That’s the kind of return that businesses dream of and often pay millions to consultants to try to achieve.
The Best Way to Boost Engagement on the Frontline
The benefits of a highly engaged workforce are significant. But creating engagement on the frontlines can be tricky. That’s where a digital workplace platform comes in.
Beekeeper’s innovative platform is a powerful way to keep employees engaged no matter where they are. From instant messaging to automated training to company-wide recognition, Beekeeper helps frontline workers connect, learn, and perform at their best.
Employee engagement is earned. By giving employees the tools and motivation they need, you can reap the benefits of having people who want to do good work.
Check out our Frontline Trends Report to go deeper into the digital revolution that’s transforming the frontline workforce. Or, talk to one of our experts to learn more about what Beekeeper can do for you.