In 1998, the tiny country of Bhutan introduced a new way to gauge their country’s success: the Gross National Happiness Index. Since then, the Gross National Happiness Index has sparked conversations around the world. What does happiness mean? How do we create it? Why does it matter?
Every great business leader knows the following to be true:
Happiness is good for business. But creating the conditions for a happy team can be difficult.
Keeping frontline workers happy poses its own unique challenges. A dispersed workforce can feel isolated and disconnected, leading to a lack of engagement. But new innovative collaboration tools that improve communication, facilitate recognition, and boost morale are changing that. With these tools, frontline workers can be more productive, more engaged, and happier at work.
The Importance of a Happy and Engaged Workforce
First, the good news. Happy and engaged employees are more motivated, have reduced absenteeism, and perform better. That has a ripple effect on day-to-day processes and long-term growth.
Researchers have found:
- Companies with engaged employees are 21% more profitable
- Companies with “high-performing” cultures can have up to 4x as much revenue as those with low-performing cultures
- Engaged workforces have 41% lower rates of absenteeism
Losing out on revenue is never good. But in today’s economy, an unhappy workforce means your business risks losing the most precious commodity of all: trained and dedicated employees.
Creating a solid company culture takes work, but the investment gives great returns.
Why Maintaining Your Workforce Numbers Is Crucial
The American economy is at a fascinating and unprecedented inflection point. The number of people looking for work barely exceeds the number of jobs available. This labor shortage is largely driven by people unhappy with their jobs who are demanding more from their work lives.
The “unhappiness index” is no exaggeration. In a study of people who have voluntarily left jobs since 2020, 92% said that they realized life was too short to be in a job that they weren’t passionate about.
Even those who don’t necessarily need to feel passionate about their work do need to feel engaged. And right now, most workers are not. A 2020 study found that 66% of US workers feel anywhere from “disengaged” to “actively disengaged”. And workers who feel that way are leaving their jobs.
Retention is complicated, and high turnover is expensive. It costs thousands of dollars to recruit and onboard an employee. For frontline-majority businesses, especially those with a customer-facing component, retaining trained staff is crucial to success.
Keeping employees engaged and motivated is key to performance and retention, but it’s vital to providing excellent customer service.
So how do you keep frontline workers happy? By keeping them connected.
How to Create Happier Frontline Workers
Helping frontline workers become more engaged and happier requires the right strategies and technologies that are optimized for a mobile workforce.
Make Internal Communication Accessible
Internal communication is fairly easy in a traditional office. You can simply send out an email blast or put a notice in the coffee room. Such communications, whether they’re about processes, personnel changes, or birthday announcements, do more than convey information. They build community and ensure everyone is on the same page.
Internal communication is much more challenging for frontline workers. Many don’t have a company email account, and they aren’t spending their days at a central office. Too often, important information doesn’t reach them.
Not having easy access to internal communication disconnects frontline workers from the rest of the team. They are more isolated, may miss critical updates, and feel left out of the loop. That makes their jobs harder and more frustrating. Harder, more frustrating jobs are not jobs people want.
Innovative collaboration tools that facilitate internal communication keeps frontline workers connected and part of the team.
Create More Opportunities for Feedback
Employees want and deserve to be heard. Frontline workers in particular are full of ideas and suggestions on how to streamline daily operations. They have intimate knowledge of how policies and plans are applied to real-life situations.
Empowering frontline workers with easy-to-use channels to provide feedback is good for business and good for your workforce. It gives you insight into what’s really happening while ensuring employees feel heard and valued.
Use the Power of Recognition
It should come as no surprise that recognition is a growing field. More and more companies are expanding their recognition programs because they know that employees deserve to be acknowledged and celebrated for the vital work they do. And the numbers back it up.
- 24% improvement in work quality
- 10% reduction in staff turnover
- 27% reduction in absenteeism
Additionally, a full 37% of employees consider recognition the single most important factor in job satisfaction—more than any other factor.
Recognition is more challenging with a frontline workforce. They might get recognized by their supervisor or in a team huddle, but the audience is limited. Not only are they not seen by everyone, but they aren’t seeing the great work done by their colleagues at other locations.
Having a tool that facilitates company-wide recognition increases both individual morale and group solidarity. When everyone from the CEO to the newest hire sees someone being recognized for their good work, motivation grows. Recognition is one of the biggest factors in retention, and it’s crucial for building a high-performing company culture.
Use Innovate Collaboration Tools To Increase Happiness
When employees are connected and feel like they are heard and seen, you have the foundation of a strong workplace culture. That may be more challenging with frontline workers. But it doesn’t have to be.
Beekeeper’s innovative collaboration tools provide an easy-to-access digital workplace for everyone in your organization, whether they’re behind a computer at the head office or on the frontline of customer care. Our mobile-first platform encourages two-way communication, allows everyone in the organization to share ideas, and ensures that the entire workforce is getting the same information. It’s also an ideal way to create company-wide recognition initiatives. Taken together, these capabilities open up the door to extraordinary new possibilities and nurture a sense of community.
Your culture is why workers choose to leave or stay at your business. Happiness is why they choose to stay. Deploying innovative collaboration tools isn’t just about communication and efficiency. It’s about empowering your workforce and building a brighter future, together.