Frontline employee experience, more often than not, is something that gets left by the wayside. Frontline employees, regularly referred to as essential workers, are the backbone of many industries, such as mining, energy, healthcare, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. They interact with customers directly, carry out operational tasks, and are responsible for delivering a company’s raw materials, products or services. However, frontline employees often face challenges such as low pay, long working hours, and limited growth opportunities, leading to low morale and high turnover rates. To address these issues, employers need to focus on improving the employee experience for these frontline employees.
7 Ways to improve the frontline employee experience & the potential benefits for each
1. Provide Competitive Pay and Benefits
One of the most crucial ways to improve the employee experience for frontline employees is to provide competitive pay and benefits. Frontline workers often receive low wages, making it difficult to make ends meet. As a result, they often turn to loans, and this indebtedness adds to their stress. Offering competitive pay, benefits and services that support their and their family’s needs can improve morale, reduce turnover rates, and increase employee loyalty.
One study by the Society for Human Resource Management reveals that employees who are satisfied with their pay and benefits are more likely to be engaged, committed, and productive. Moreover, offering benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off can help employees feel valued and appreciated.
2. Offer Opportunities for Career Growth
Frontline employees often feel stuck in their jobs with limited opportunities for career advancement. Providing opportunities for career growth can improve employee morale and retention rates. Employers should offer training and development programs, mentorship, and job rotations to help employees acquire new skills and knowledge. These opportunities will help employees advance their careers within the company, leading to higher job satisfaction and engagement.
In further research, also conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, it is clear that employees with career development opportunities are more likely to stay with their current employer. Moreover, employees who feel that their employers are invested in their professional growth are more likely to be engaged, committed, and productive.
3. Promote a Positive Work Culture
Promoting a positive work culture is essential for improving the employee experience for frontline employees. A positive work culture includes a supportive work environment, open communication, and recognition for employee contributions. Employers can create a positive work culture by providing regular feedback, listening and responding to feedback, celebrating employee achievements, and promoting teamwork.
According to research conducted by Gallup, employees who feel that their opinions are valued are more likely to be engaged and committed to their jobs. Moreover, employees who feel their contributions are recognised are more likely to be motivated and productive.
4. Provide Flexible Scheduling
Frontline employees often have unpredictable schedules, making balancing work and personal life challenging. Offering flexible scheduling options can improve employee satisfaction and retention rates.
The Society for Human Resource Management has also carried out a study that indicates that employees with access to flexible scheduling options are more likely to be engaged and committed to their jobs because they are more likely to have a better work-life balance, leading to higher job satisfaction and productivity.
5. Implement Safety Measures
Frontline employees often face safety risks, such as exposure to hazardous materials and accidents. Safety measures can improve employee morale and reduce the risk of accidents and injuries, but it is important that these safety protocols are adhered to and that there is a working reporting system. Furthermore, employers must be mindful of the effect of fatigue and stress that lead to shortcuts resulting in incidents.
According to a study by the National Safety Council, implementing safety measures can reduce workplace injuries and illnesses by up to 60%. Moreover, employees who feel that their safety is a top priority are likelier to be engaged and committed to their jobs.
6. Provide Access to Mental Health Support
Frontline employees often face high levels of stress and burnout due to their demanding jobs and numerous societal and economic factors. Providing access to mental health support can improve employee well-being. Employers should provide access to mental health resources such as employee assistance programs, counselling services, and stress management training.
According to a National Institute of Mental Health study, providing access to mental health support can improve employee well-being and reduce absenteeism and turnover rates. Moreover, employees who receive support for their mental health are more likely to be engaged and productive on the job.
7. Empower Employees with Technology
Empowering frontline employees with technology can improve their efficiency and job satisfaction. Employers should provide tools such as mobile devices, software applications, and automated systems to help employees perform their jobs more effectively. This can reduce manual labour and enable employees to focus on more value-added tasks, leading to higher job satisfaction.
According to a study conducted by Deloitte, organisations that invest in digital technologies to empower frontline employees see an average increase of 11% in productivity. Moreover, employees with access to technology tools are more likely to be engaged and satisfied with their jobs.
Benefits of Improving the Frontline Employee Experience
Improving the frontline employee experience can have numerous benefits for both employees and employers. Here are some potential benefits:
- Increased Employee Morale and Engagement: When frontline employees feel valued and appreciated, they are more likely to be engaged and committed to their jobs. This can lead to higher productivity, better customer service, and positive work culture.
- Reduced Turnover Rates: Improving the employee experience can reduce turnover rates, which can be costly for employers. High turnover rates can lead to decreased productivity, increased training costs, and a negative impact on customer service.
- Improved Customer Satisfaction: Frontline employees play a crucial role in delivering products and services to customers. When employees are happy and engaged, they are more likely to provide excellent customer service, increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- Increased Productivity: Improving the employee experience can increase employee productivity by reducing absenteeism, turnover rates, and burnout. Employees who are engaged and motivated are more likely to be productive on the job.
- Enhanced Employer Brand: Employers that prioritise the employee experience for frontline employees can enhance their employer brand. This can attract top talent and improve the organisation’s reputation as a desirable workplace.
Improving the frontline employee experience is crucial for maintaining a productive and engaged workforce. Employers should provide competitive pay and benefits, offer opportunities for career growth, promote a positive work culture, provide flexible scheduling, implement safety measures, provide access to mental health support, and empower employees with technology, for example, the Wyzetalk solution.
These strategies aim to improve morale and employee engagement, reduce turnover rates, improve customer satisfaction, increase employee productivity, and enhance the employer brand. By prioritising the employee experience, employers can create a workplace that values and supports frontline employees, leading to a more successful and sustainable organisation. To find out how you can fast-track your employee strategy, talk to a Wyzetalk expert.