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HR’s Guide to Recognition for Offline Workers

Updated on June 12, 2023

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Frontline and deskless workers

Achievers Workforce Institute (AWI) research shows that offline workers are less likely to feel recognized, trust their leaders, or say they would recommend their company compared to online workers. They are also less likely to say they have access to technology such as communication, feedback, recognition, or wellbeing tools.

HR leaders in industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and hospitality are looking for ways to engage and retain offline workers.

The latest research from AWI shows that offline workers are highly motivated by frequent recognition. A recognition platform for offline workers looks a bit different to one for someone sitting at a desk all day, but the right program can drive impressive results.

What is an offline worker?

An offline worker is someone whose job requires them to spend most of their time onsite. Common offline industries include healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and hospitality. An offline worker is distinct from an onsite worker whose job could be done elsewhere but works in an office due to either company policy or personal preference.

How can I improve productivity for offline workers?

One way to improve productivity for offline workers is by increasing recognition frequency. Offline workers who receive at least monthly social recognition are 39% more likely to report being highly productive compared to the average offline worker.

Does a recognition platform increase recognition frequency for offline workers?

The right recognition platform increases recognition frequency for offline workers. More than half (58%) of offline Achievers users report receiving at least monthly monetary recognition, compared to just one-third (38%) of those that use a different platform. Achievers users are 63% more likely than average to say that they feel meaningfully recognized at work.

Achievers recognition platform drives higher recognition frequency for offline workers than other platforms chart

The five traits of an effective recognition platform

According to AWI research, there are five traits that make a recognition platform effective:

  1. Drive frequent AND meaningful recognition
  2. A consumer-grade mobile app
  3. The right rewards
  4. The ability to give recognitions on the spot
  5. Communication and campaign support

What’s preventing offline workers from recognizing each other?

There are two reasons offline workers give for not recognizing their colleagues: lack of budget and lack of recognition culture. HR leaders can help reduce these obstacles by educating on the impact of social recognition and introducing manager training to increase top-down recognition.

Educate employees on the impact of social recognition

Achievers Workforce Institute asked employees what kept them from recognizing more often and offline workers were more likely than other workers to say they didn’t have enough budget to recognize. However, social recognition is just as impactful as monetary recognition for increasing engagement and productivity. Ensure employee understand on the power of a meaningful “thank you” to help build a culture of social recognition.

Facilitate top-down recognition

The other reason offline workers give for infrequent recognition is that “People don’t recognize each other around here”. This indicates that many organizations do not have a culture of recognition. A high-impact starting point for building a culture of recognition is to train managers on recognition best practices. Employees who say they feel meaningfully recognized by their managers are much more likely to say they regularly recognize others. If HR can empower managers to recognize their teams, this will kickstart a culture of recognition throughout the organization.

Read the Offline Worker Recognition Guide for details on the five traits of an effective program and more data on the impact recognition has for this employee group.

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