There’s no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic created significant stress for everyone around the globe, which rings especially true for frontline workers amidst the quarantine. Representing 80 percent of the global workforce, these employees stocked grocery stores, ensured the power grid stayed up and running, provided essential healthcare services, and many more critical duties.
However, as we leave the pandemic behind us and enter a new digital age, this sector of workers has realized how essential they are and are beginning to search for new experiences and greener pastures elsewhere. In November of 2021, a record 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs as frontline workers rethink and revalue their role for businesses.
There are numerous reasons why frontline workers are looking for more prosperous work. Among the reasons, to make more money, to have a better work-life balance, not receiving pay increases, working for a company with better benefits, and looking for more flexibility in how they work, stood out as the top reasons.
“The core problem for frontline workers is that the job skills required for an hourly pay position are almost survival skills, as they live paycheck to paycheck. The return on investment (ROI) for work they are doing is no longer worth it,” said Mark Rogers, Head of Sales and Digital Transformation at Eleviant, an IT Services and IT Consulting company. “With everything today revolving around how much money you can make in an eight-hour day, it makes sense that employee loyalty is at an all-time low. Sixty percent of workers are actively looking for a new job while already holding a position elsewhere.”
Enterprises are now emphasizing employee retention, looking for ways to keep their workers happy and productive and keep them from leaving for a new job. Favorable workplace culture is essential to modern-day business, as it can either strengthen or undermine an organization’s objectives.
As of the beginning of 2022, however, fifty-one percent of frontline workers in non-management positions don’t feel valued as employees, and many workers (60 percent) wish more were being done to help with physical exhaustion or support mental health (57 percent). Even 68 percent of frontline workers in management positions, such as department heads, store managers, and shop-floor supervisors, believe leadership does not prioritize building workplace culture.
Many organizations are prioritizing improving the culture of their workplaces to increase satisfaction and collaboration while driving down stress within the work environment. In the past, an enterprise would try to foster culture through an event like an annual retreat or a monthly award. However, today, culture needs to be promoted weekly, if not daily, to keep employees motivated, satisfied and productive. Many businesses are finding the solution to their cultural problem by adopting technology.
“Today, we live in a world where a culture of caring is the currency on the frontline. The only way to receive employee loyalty is to offer employee loyalty,” said Rogers. “While many businesses have been forced to increase their hourly pay to keep up with competitors, they’re also finding that simply creating better working situations and offering improved rewards stimulates employee loyalty to their desired levels.”
Many innovative devices and applications available today can play an essential role in improving workplace culture. Still, out of all the technology, organizations find communications platforms to be the most helpful in achieving their goals. These platforms offer a range of vital functions such as voice and video calls, instant messaging, document sharing, conference calling, collaboration, and more, all of which employees have access to through an integrated suite of software.
Employee communication apps can help build a stimulating, dialogue-driven environment that benefits everyone, from remote or frontline workers to C-suite executives. For example, these platforms help optimize an organization’s communications, improving employee culture. The apps also flatten organizational hierarchies and create natural opportunities for workers to share their culture’s positive (and negative) aspects, ideally generating a cycle of meaningful, motivating conversations and actionable feedback.
A communications platform can also provide a more comprehensive and richer picture of the company and the people you work with, humanizing aspects of internal comms and generally providing a heuristic for comms, productivity and culture. In turn, the management understands what truly the employees’ motivation is, allowing them to create a more unique, tailored employee experience. And these human connections, even more than the work itself, are the core of employee engagement and workplace culture.
“Communications platforms are critical for any business wanting to improve their workplace culture. They’re mobile-based, encouraging internal dialogue among co-workers, which helps embrace and foster a better culture,” explained Rogers. “On the management side, they also do wonders in customizing the employee experience and motivating employees. With a platform, businesses can offer weekly or daily employee empowerment, instead of the traditional employee of the month, which is no longer often enough for the digital workplace.”
Finally, these platforms can help frontline workers move from traditional analog work to the present and future technology-driven processes. Training programs through the platform can ease the digital transition, reducing anxiety for employees and helping them become more motivated and productive.
Overall, choosing the right communication platform can significantly strengthen workplace connections. And in this world where the employees hold more power than ever in the business relationship, loyalty is driven by culture and return on time investment. Organizations must take all possible steps to keep their workers motivated, productive, happy, and empowered.
For those interested in learning more about how to stimulate employee loyalty and foster a productive and engaged workplace culture, Mark Rogers will be hosting a session covering the subject matter in detail at the ITEXPO Super Show being held June 21-24, 2022 at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. To learn more about the event, click here.
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