New Research Guides Employers in High-Turnover Industries to Engage, Retain Offline Talent

Achievers research finds that career progression and work flexibility are the top reasons offline workers job hunt

Toronto, ON – July 31, 2023– Offline workers who feel meaningfully recognized and empowered to work as they please are significantly more likely to have strong job commitment, according to the Ultimate Guide to Engaging and Retaining Offline Workers from Achievers Workforce Institute (AWI). AWI is the research and insights arm of Achievers, the global leader in employee voice and recognition solutions.

One-third of workers say they must do their work on-site, which means 1 in 3 workers are part of the “offline” workforce. The offline worker is one of the fastest growing and most understaffed worker types, serving essential industries like healthcare, manufacturing, retail, construction, and warehouse and transportation.

“Though offline workers are 50 million strong in the U.S. alone, they are left out of a lot of workplace conversations. These workers are traditionally harder to reach because they are not at a computer all day and disparate shifts and locations make it hard for organizations to create a consistent employee experience,” said Caitlin Nobes, Lead Analyst, Achievers Workforce Institute. “However, our findings show that these workers’ needs are not as different from online workers as business leaders might think. The right programs and tactics implemented throughout an organization will increase productivity, retention, and engagement for all employees, regardless of how, where, and when they work.”

Keeping Essential Workers on the Payroll

According to AWI data, recognition and feedback are essential retention tools. Offline workers who feel meaningfully recognized are 2.5 times more likely to have strong job commitment.

Recognition also is a vital strategy for keeping employees on the payroll for a long time. In the retail industry, employees who feel meaningfully recognized are twice as likely as the average to say they can see themselves having a long career with their company. This sentiment is rare in an industry many employees see as a temporary stop in their overall work journey.

Employers acting on their workforce’s feedback are also likely to witness increased retention rates. Offline workers that say their employers take meaningful action on feedback are two-thirds (66%) more likely than average to say they will not job hunt in 2023. Listening to employees and acting on their needs can serve as a valuable strategy for mobilizing another key retention driver, employee-driven flexibility.

Flexible Offline Work is a Fan Favorite

For offline workers, the top reasons for job hunting were career progression followed by work flexibility. AWI findings show that offline workers who are allowed to work in the way they prefer are almost three times more likely to feel a strong sense of belonging and are 66% less likely to say they will job hunt in 2023.

There are several ways employers can strive to drive flexibility for offline workers and empower workers to balance home life needs and professional requirements, including paid time off, sick leave, and regularly occurring shifts.

“We’re hearing from customers with large offline populations that they are increasing their employee roster where necessary to meet the growing desire for flexible schedules,” Nobes added. “These companies are finding that flexibility is a key differentiator for their employee value propositions that pays off favorably when it comes to retaining and attracting talent.”

Belonging Gaps in Offline Work

Belonging drives significant business benefits for every organization, and AWI research reveals that organizations employing offline workers should foster belonging throughout the workforce to drive business results.

Upon analyzing offline worker populations, AWI research reveals a gap in these workers’ feelings and knowledge of belonging. Offline workers are less likely to say they feel a strong sense of belonging at work and that belonging at work matters to them. However, like online workers, offline workers with a strong sense of belonging show higher engagement, job commitment, and productivity rates.

About the Study

This report is based on Achievers Workforce Institute research from 2022 and 2023 including the HR Preparedness Report, 2023 Engagement and Retention, and 2023 State of Recognition. Overall, almost 15,000 people were surveyed, including more than 4,000 HR leaders.

About Achievers

Achievers’ employee voice and recognition solutions bring your organization’s values and strategy to life by activating employee participation and accelerating a culture of performance. Achievers leverages the science behind behavior change, so your people and your organization can experience sustainable, data-driven business results. Visit us at

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