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The Frontline is Being Left Behind
Every day, new work management technology continues to improve efficiency and convenience, however, only a very small amount of these developments cater to the substantial majority of the world’s workers. The global deskless workforce makes up a staggering 80% of the world’s employees.
Industries such as retail, healthcare, food & beverage, construction, and hospitality are just a few that rely on a workforce that isn’t bound to a desk to keep their business moving forward. Even so, most of the digital tools used for workforce management fail to meet the needs of frontline workers: customer-facing staff, production floor workers, bus drivers, home healthcare providers, field service technicians, and scores of other jobs that don’t need a desk.
The vast majority of workforce management software solutions are designed for office employees, boasting features and functions that are irrelevant to most non-desk workers. These solution providers are creating a huge technology gap, plus, they’re missing out on an enormous market.
Deskless & Disengaged
The lack of adequate software is trumped by (or perhaps leads to) the high turnover rate within the deskless workforce. A BCG survey conducted on more than 7,000 non-desk workers around the world found that 37% were at risk of quitting their jobs within the next six months.
The same poll found that Gen Z and younger millennials – a demographic prone to taking on non-desk roles – feel less valued, and believe they have fewer opportunities in the workplace to develop professional skills. These employees crave a deeper relationship with their employer and yearn for a more satisfying work experience.
The Right Tools to Engage
Replacing an employee can cost as much as one-half to two times their annual salary. In light of this, organizations must find a way to address high turnover rates among their workforce.
Today’s younger workers are less likely than previous generations to remain in a role if they do not feel supported. Although, the previously mentioned BCG survey found that more than a third of Gen X employees and nearly a quarter of baby boomers were contemplating quitting their non-desk jobs.
Granted, management policies and compensation are significant factors affecting turnover, but the right workforce management platform can drastically increase engagement, improve employee experience, and raise retention levels of non-desk workers. The challenge is finding a solution that best caters to employees’ daily needs, which are greatly affected by the nature of their work.
Today’s frontline employees rely on their smartphones for nearly every aspect of their life, and their work life should be no different. Mobility must be a key consideration for engaging a non-desk workforce. A mobile app that is easy to deploy and includes a user-friendly interface is essential in order to reach each and every employee in the field.
A centralized solution to engage staff members enables businesses to provide direct communication channels for all levels, obtain employee feedback, and conduct training & development programs, all in addition to managing daily operations.
Customization is also an essential factor. The non-desk workforce includes many different sectors – each of which requires a different set of tools to do the job. Take for example the difference between a healthcare worker, who needs to be frequently updated on changing procedures, and compare it to a retail worker, whose main concern may be finding someone to cover their shift.
Workforce management solutions make up a $7.5 billion market, projected to reach $12.5 billion by 2030. However, there’s still a massive blindspot when it comes to the needs of the non-desk workforce. To address the rising retention levels, it’s imperative to start developing and implementing innovative solutions to support and improve the everyday work environment for employees within these already challenging industries.