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Frontline Trends and Predictions for 2023 from McKinsey and Lighthouse Research

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You don’t need a crystal ball to look into 2023. The Frontline Trends and Predictions session at the 2022 Frontline Success Summit revealed what’s in store for the nondesk workforce in the coming year. 

If you missed the session, here’s a recap of what we covered.

Our Chief Marketing Officer Sarah Moore sat down with two industry experts to talk about where things are and where they’re headed.

There are several challenges frontline organizations face right now. The labor and skills shortage is disrupting frontline industries, the Great Resignation continues, and the rising cost of living is creating economic challenges for frontline workers.  

These conditions have tipped the scales in favor of frontline workers who are expressing what they need and expect from their employers more than ever. 

They want:

  • Greater flexibility
  • More predictable scheduling
  • To feel a sense of belonging

Watch a replay of the Frontline Trends and Predictions session for all of the key takeaways on what to expect in 2023. 

These expectations are setting the trends and shaping the priorities for frontline organizations.

Strengthening DEI Initiatives for the Frontline Workforce

Frontline workers are already struggling with belonging in the workplace. So it’s no surprise that diversity, equity, and inclusion is emerging as a critical element in shaping the frontline experience. Monne Williams shared some insights from McKinsey & Co.’s “Race in the workplace: The frontline experience” report.

“We realized there just wasn’t enough research on frontline workers and so we decided to take a deeper dive there this year,” Monne said.

“You really can’t disentangle talking about frontline workers from talking about diversity and inclusion because about 70% of all Black and Latino workers happen to work in frontline jobs.” 

– Monne Williams, Analyst at McKinsey & Co

Frontline workers lack confidence in the policies and programs their employers are providing. They want companies to walk the walk and demonstrate their commitment to extending DEI initiatives and benefits to the frontline workforce. 

Ensuring Advancement Opportunities for the Frontline

A recent Lighthouse Research & Advisory study revealed that frontline workers want assurance of advancement opportunities. 

“Two out of every three workers have quit a job at some point because they did not see a path ahead for them,“ Ben stated. “They’re looking for that company that’s not just going to hire them to do the job today, but invest in them for something longer term.”

McKinsey found that sponsorship supports the likelihood for frontline workers to advance in their organization, but 72% of them say there’s a lack of sponsorship in their organization. Sponsorship is “people really taking a chance on you and investing in your professional growth” according to Monne, like “giving you an opportunity to lead a team when somebody else is out on PTO.” 

People want opportunities to shine—to demonstrate the leadership skills that will put them in the running for higher positions.

Digitization of the Frontline

Creating equity in the workplace can be done through policies and initiatives. But digital transformation is a key strategy for leveling the playing field. 

According to Ben, data shows that “The things we put in their hands to help them manage their work life” with things like shift scheduling can sway how workers feel about their employer. “That gives them more control, more authority in their work and it makes them feel like they’re getting treated more fairly.”

Sarah offered Beekeeper’s perspective. “I think companies are going to accelerate the adoption of digital solutions that will help improve the productivity of the talent that they have.” This will allow companies to deepen their connection and strengthen frontline engagement. 

Ultimately, it’s up to companies to listen to the frontline workers and take action.

“Think about how you can support and serve your frontline workers in a deeper way,” Ben said, “because they will appreciate it and they will return that with the kind of results, the kind of commitment that you’re looking for as well.”

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