Three steps to winning frontline employees after the great resignation

Mark Williams
28 November, 22

There is no such thing as an unskilled worker. There was a time when businesses tried to differentiate between skilled and unskilled positions. The differences were evident in pay structures, duties, recruitment and training. In this structure, the so-called ‘unskilled’ worker was left with less pay, fewer duties and responsibilities, and fewer training opportunities.

Some managers still view some workers as unskilled and instead view them as employees whose purpose is to do all the laborious tasks that keep a business ticking. Few executives would admit to recognising how important these workers are. Nor would they own up to how easily they felt they could replace frontline staff.

The real truth is that every position is important, especially on the frontline and every position requires skill. Each role deserves the correct training, benefits and attention.

The World of Recruitment is Evolving

Hiring for frontline vacancies is becoming increasingly difficult. With fewer workers due to the ‘Great Resignation.’ and the after-effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, many firms are struggling. Due to this difficulty to attain and retain staff, we’ve reached a stage where most managers can see the advantages of treating their employees fairly, providing good benefits, and training them effectively.

Frontline Employees Are The Face Of Retail

The reduction of captive retail audiences is occurring like never before because of online shopping. This is great in part to the proliferation of online technology but was certainly escalated by the pandemic where shopping in-store was impossible.

Customers can access the entire online marketplace anytime, and from any location they want. Customers consider retailers to be additional resources rather than their first destinations for retail.

Brick-and-mortar shops have evolved into a place to encourage brand loyalty and differentiation. It is now common practice to visit physical shops to collect online orders, get inspiration or ask for face-to-face help.

It’s all about the customer experience, so the staff your target audience first interacts with are indispensable.

Recruiting and Retaining Frontline Staff – The Challenge

For the first time ever, the UK has more job vacancies than unemployed people. This is only going to get worse, as recruitment experts estimate that there will be 85 million unfilled jobs worldwide by the year 2030. This will result in an annual income loss of $8.5 trillion.

The answer here is employee retention. Upskilling and retaining employees should be top priorities across all sectors.

So how can companies make this happen?

Three Solutions to Employee Recruitment and Retention

Educate and train

Frontline personnel generally receive the least training. This must change. On many levels, educating and upskilling frontline personnel makes sense. Of course, it can help them – and, by extension, your business, by providing a great customer experience while generating brand loyalty.

It also makes your employees feel valued, which leads to another type of loyalty—staff retention. And you protect your company from a potential future skills shortage. If you can teach all employees and create opportunities to progress for all, there will always be someone ready to cover skill gaps.

Emphasis on Company Culture

According to a Glassdoor survey, 77% of respondents research a company’s culture before applying for a job. Over half (56%) thought business culture was more important than money. WorkJam, the leader in the digital frontline workplaces, surveyed the newest generation to enter the workforce. The most frequently stated reason for Gen Z employees seeking new employment is a lack of gratitude or feeling under-appreciated by their employer (36%).

Creating a pleasant working environment to attract and retain employees at any level requires investment. Areas to improve are management training and facilities. You should enhance digital communication to ensure frontline workers are heard and updated on news and developments. These steps foster a culture in which everyone feels appreciated and heard.

Make Use of Digital Tools

Digital management tools create value in positive organisational cultures. The right digital workplace solution can help businesses optimise the working environment and employee experiences.

You can use these solutions to track employee performance to assess the need for extra support. These tools will provide direct feedback and put in place personalised training opportunities. Most importantly, you will ensure that every team member has access to the information they need.

A digital frontline workplace is essential. Technology such as surveys, training, messages, and anonymous responses improves communication. Employees are happier and more fulfilled with optimised communication, and thus will be more likely to stay with your business.

There are no unskilled workers in a successful, effective business. Brands can boost employee productivity, satisfaction, and retention by investing in employees. As a result, they will be able to provide the necessary customer experience to excel.

Mark Williams, Managing Director EMEA at WorkJam. WorkJam was founded in 2014 to improve the lives of frontline workers. As the world’s leading digital frontline workplace, WorkJam combines communication, task management, scheduling tools, learning, and more – all on one app. It is the only complete and unified system designed to revolutionise the way HQs and their frontline work together, boosting efficiencies and productivity

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