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Three key factors to retaining frontline workers

Providing access to the right technology is a crucial step in frontline retention.

A new survey reveals what frontline employees are looking for in their work experience.

Employees who feel a sense of belonging at work are more included to remain on the job, according to "Frontline Workers: How to Connect, Enable, and Support Them in the Modern Workplace,” a survey of 3,000 global frontline workers from Workday.

The survey identified three key factors to delivering work experiences that meet the needs of modern frontline employees:

  • Belonging. The survey shows that respondents who feel a sense of belonging at work are nine times more likely to have a supportive manager, and 79% of them have no plans to leave their employer. Conversely, respondents who do not feel a sense of workplace belonging are four times more likely to say their mental health and well-being has declined in the last year, and only 33% intend to stay with their current employer.
  • Technology. According to the survey, respondents who have flexible scheduling tools that enable them to manage their schedules and adjust and add shifts are 71% more likely to say their company is open and transparent. However, respondents who don't have access to the right technologies to do their work say they are 20 times more likely to say their employer is not open and transparent.
  • Supportive leaders. The findings show that 80% of respondents who say their manager understands and regularly supports them indicate they are happy in their job with no plans to leave. But only 20% of respondents who say their manager doesn't consistently support them say they are happy in their current role. In fact, survey data indicates a supportive manager can improve a frontline worker's likelihood of retention by 300%.

In addition, the survey reveals that eight in 10 (79%) respondents want to share feedback with their organization monthly or more frequently, yet only 55% of employers give them a chance to. This directly impacts retention, as only 15% of respondents who want – and receive – daily or weekly feedback have plans to quit their job.

"The last few years have placed a significant amount of pressure and demand on frontline workers, yet organizations continue to face challenges in supporting and retaining this critical segment of the workforce," said Mariana Santiago, GM workforce and payroll, Workday. "The survey uncovered that experience is at the very core of frontline worker engagement and retention. Organizations that listen to the evolving needs and preferences of frontline workers, empower them with the tools to do their jobs, and support them when it matters most will flip the script and dramatically increase their ability to recruit and retain this workforce."

[Read more: Survey reveals frontline worker communication issues]

The Frontline Workers: How to Connect, Enable, and Support Them in the Modern Workplace survey was conducted by Lighthouse Research & Advisory and commissioned by Workday. It is based on a survey of 3,000 global respondents in Australia, Canada, China, India, Ireland, New Zealand, U.K., and U.S. and across industries including construction, energy, healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, retail, and transportation.

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