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Women on the Frontline | How to Better Support Shift Workers and Their Families 

Improve Shift Scheduling
woman frontline worker

“I’ve worked shift work for years, and never bat an eye. But now I’m a new mom, and I never realized the struggle before. Newfound respect for other shift working parents.”

Female frontline worker (sourced via Reddit)

March is International Women’s Month, and we’re taking this opportunity to shine a spotlight on how organizations can better support working moms, female shift workers, and women of the hourly workforce

Flexible work has been the buzzword among HR departments for the past two years. As former office workers enjoy the flexibility and freedom that comes with working from home, frontliners are asking a tough question — what about us?

Female shift workers (and working moms in particular) are one of the core groups of frontliners waiting for the flexible work trend to reach them. 

As companies continue to struggle with staffing shortages and low frontline engagement, workplace flexibility and predictable shift scheduling for frontline workers are becoming more common. 

“Lots of frontline workers don’t yet have access to the same benefits that corporate employees do. We heard a lot about really increasing predictability in scheduling and making it so that people have more control over their schedules with advanced notice so that they can live the other parts of their lives in a healthy way.”

Monne Williams, Partner at McKinsey & Company

Click here to watch the complete recording of our webinar on frontline trends with Monne

We’re taking this opportunity to highlight some of the critical issues that impact female frontline workers and reveal how companies can be better allies to the women who make up the backbone of their workforce

The theme for IWD 2023 is #EmbraceEquity. This year’s theme is designed to spark positive change to dismantle gender discrimination, stereotypes, and bias in the workplace. These disparities are not a new phenomenon. They have existed and been systematically swept under the rug for decades. Starting in the C-Suite and insidiously trickling all the way down to the frontline. 

So how can businesses truly embody the #EmbraceEquity ideal of this year in a way that makes sense for their frontline workforce? Some forward-thinking leaders are looking to the power of digital innovation to help facilitate meaningful change around gender equality that extends to female shift workers

By leveraging better technology to improve daily life for frontline workers, little by little the frontline disconnect and gaps in equity can begin to be mended. Work becomes less stressful. Outdated processes are streamlined. And frontliners are better integrated into the culture and communities that they work so hard to support. The result? Lower frontline turnover. Higher engagement. Better customer service. And happier team members.

When frontline disconnect evolves into frontline success, everybody wins. 

The Importance of Predictable Shift Schedules for Working Women

One of the key ways that companies can better support women frontline workers (and all shift workers!) is by giving them stable, predictable, and consistent work schedules

Frontliners who have children, family obligations, or serve as caretakers in their households need to know in advance when they’re working, and how many hours they’ll get. 

Shift Planning Best Practices for Frontline Workers

  • Give frontliners at least two weeks’ notice of when they’re scheduled to work
  • Utilize mobile-friendly shift schedules (see our latest shift coordination solution to learn more!)
  • Ditch paper schedules. Team members should be able to access their work schedules 24/7. Anytime. Anywhere
  • Make shift swap requests easy and seamless
  • Make open shifts more visible to workers who might want extra hours
  • Give your frontline workers a consistent number of hours each week. This increases income predictability and makes maintaining a household budget easier

When frontline workers have a stable work schedule and predictable income, they experience reduced stress, better sleep, and are less likely to make mistakes or get injured on the job. This is especially true for women frontliners who must juggle childcare, family obligations, or other commitments outside of work. Stability equalizes the impact of stress and makes it more manageable. 

What is your organization doing to support your female frontline this month?