Frontline workers make up 80% of the global workforce and are more in demand than ever. And yet, frontline companies are dealing with systemic challenges like high turnover, burnout, and low levels of employee engagement.
At Beekeeper, we recently surveyed over 6,000 frontline workers and managers to find out what motivates frontline employees. Our findings, coupled with our experience working with frontline companies, and additional third-party research have led us to identify what we call the great frontline disconnect.
This disconnect often happens because what frontline workers really need and what management thinks is important aren’t fully aligned.
In 2023, we predict that frontline organizations will be making radical changes to help solve the frontline disconnect.
Let’s look at two ways we think frontline leaders will make this happen:
Companies Will Take Immediate Action to Support Frontline Teams
In our Frontline Worker Survey, we found that the main sources of stress for frontline workers center around understaffing, inflation, safety, and frequent policy changes. For workers in customer-facing roles, abuse from the public is another significant source of stress.
We’re seeing an increasing number of frontline organizations step up in providing support for their employees:
- Lowe’s announced $55 million in bonuses for hourly workers to ease the effects of inflation
- Tyson distributed $50 in year-end bonuses (and used Beekeeper to engage their workforce)
- Walmart rolled out its Mental Health First Aid training program
Our survey findings revealed a key finding about the disconnect between frontline workers and upper-level leadership.
Frontline workers are less motivated by abstract company values and more by concrete factors that affect their daily life. Workers are still worrying about having their basic needs met: being able to pay for gas to commute, affording childcare, and providing healthcare benefits to their families.
In 2023, we predict that frontline organizations will take steps to meet the basic needs of their workers and address foundational problems that affect the quality of life of their workforce.
Organizations Will Digitize Workflows for Frontline Success
To help organizations overcome the frontline disconnect, we’ve developed our frontline success system to better help workers communicate, find information, and track tasks. We’re predicting that more frontline organizations will adopt systems that digitize their operations and give teams the technology and tools they need to stay connected.
The goal of a frontline success system is to create:
- A frontline workspace that provides easy access to employee services, facilitates collaboration, and boosts productivity
- A mobile-friendly referral solution that allows companies to fill positions more quickly and reward employees in the process
- Streamlined onboarding with digitized paperwork and processes to help engage new hires more efficiently at less cost
- Improved safety management and reporting to optimize safety culture