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Non-monetary ways to motivate and retain frontline workers

Updated on January 30, 2024

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Frontline and deskless workers

Are the needs of frontline workers different from those of online workers, who might be remote or hybrid? The latest data from Achievers Workforce Institute’s 2024 Engagement and Retention Report shows that while their needs are similar, frontline or offline workers are less likely than online workers to feel recognized, heard, or connected, creating motivation and retention gaps between different parts of the workforce.

While 42% of frontline workers say they will job hunt in 2024, they are actually less likely than online workers to say compensation is the #1 reason.

What are the main reasons frontline workers will job hunt in 2024?

The main reasons frontline workers will job hunt in 2024 are still compensation and work flexibility, but they are significantly more likely than online workers to list recognition, culture, and belonging as top motivators. This shows that offline workers are looking for the right culture fit and employee experience.

Frontline workers prioritize culture and belonging for job hunting more than online workers

What would make frontline workers less likely to job hunt?

Career growth, better benefits, more recognition, and better flexibility would reduce frontline workers’ likelihood of job hunting, according to the AWI survey of 3,800 employees. They are also 19% more likely than online workers to say a reduced workload or less stress at work would encourage them to stay.

What is the online-offline recognition gap?

The online-offline recognition gap is the difference between recognition frequency for online and offline workers. Offline workers are 32% more likely than online workers to say they are never recognized and are 20% less likely to say they are recognized monthly. However, research shows that receiving meaningful recognition at least monthly improves individual and business outcomes for all job types.

How can you increase recognition frequency for frontline workers?

You can increase recognition frequency for frontline workers by educating and empowering their managers. Managers can have the fastest possible impact on employee experience and sentiment. Help these people leaders understand the value of recognition, including social recognition, which is just as impactful as monetary recognition for driving results. Consider investing in a recognition platform that is optimized for an offline population.

What are the traits of a great recognition platform for offline workers?

The traits of a great recognition platform for offline workers are that it is accessible, intuitive, and has a track record of success. Look for a solution with a consumer-grade mobile app, comprehensive reward marketplace, spot recognition features, and communication support.

Frontline and online populations are motivated by similar things but need different approaches to solving the same problems. Understanding both the differences and similarities between online and offline workers empowers HR to create principles and initiatives to ensure both groups thrive at work.

From recognition and connection to taking action on feedback, there are clear steps HR leaders can take today to improve engagement and retention for their offline workers.

Learn more about motivating and retaining frontline workers in this one-pager and read the latest AWI 2024 Engagement and Retention Report for more insights .

The impact of recognition

Read about the impact recognition had on nurse turnover at CHRISTUS Health.

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Increase platform usage

Read how paper products producer Kruger increased recognition platform usage in their manufacturing facilities.

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Read the latest AWI 2024 Engagement and Retention Report

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