The Shift - February 15, 2024

The Shift - February 15, 2024

Hello and welcome to The Shift, Blink’s bi-monthly newsletter for frontline leaders.

Coming up in this issue:

  • Purpose, wellbeing, humanity & belonging: EX principles to guide your efforts in 2024
  • Harnessing the power of the smartphone to engage Gen Z workers
  • Silent burnout on the rise? Find out how to spot it and what to do

As well as a glimpse into our latest webinar with JFE Shoji Power

Four EX principles for 2024

Have you mapped your employee experience priorities for the year ahead?  

According to The HR Director, four non-negotiable principles should be on every HR team’s list in 2024. These are:

1. Purpose – Creating and highlighting your organization’s purpose-led vision to help employees find meaning in their work.

2. Wellbeing – As the cost of living crisis continues to bite, proactively supporting employees with their wellbeing in and out of work.

3. Humanity – Seeing your workforce as individuals, not a collective, then recognizing their unique contribution.

4. Belonging – Facilitating connection and inclusion for everyone, not just in-person, office-based teams.

These principles can act as the foundation for all EX activity. And they’re particularly important for frontline teams. That’s because the latest research reveals growing discontent:

  • 51% of deskless workers feel that their employer sees them as expendable
  • 32% say they’re regarded as inferior by corporate, desk-based colleagues
  • Only 10% say have access to the right tech tools to keep them connected and empowered at work

Want to show frontline employees how much you value them and their contribution? Here’s how Blink can help.  

Tech for Gen Z engagement

Gen Z workers (those born between the late 1990s and early 2010s) are often blamed for workplace trends, like quiet quitting.

But according to CEO Steven Kramer, writing in HR Executive, Gen Z workers on the frontline are less likely to quiet quit than their corporate counterparts.

That’s because when workers on the frontlines of factories, warehouses, stores, and hospitality venues do the bare minimum, the impact on co-workers and customers is all too blatant.

Good news for frontline organizations? Not quite.

Kramer also highlights that Gen Z workers aren’t afraid to quit outright. And that the absence of quiet quitting doesn’t necessarily equal engagement.

For companies looking to improve engagement among Gen Z frontline workers, he recommends harnessing the power of tech:

Since they’re digital natives who rely on their smartphones to facilitate every aspect of life, equipping them in the workplace with the kinds of digital tools and apps they use outside of work is an obvious first step.

You can attract and retain Gen Z hourly employees by using high-quality, mobile-first tech to:

  • Provide workers greater autonomy and flexibility
  • Communicate company values and promote two-way communication
  • Provide the instant recognition younger workers crave
  • Prioritize upskilling and career development

Give tech tools to your digital natives and you’ll help them get better at their jobs. And feel more loyal to your organization, too.

February blues? How to combat silent burnout

In the UK, the first Monday of February has been named National Sickie Day. Supposedly, this is the day of the year when the highest proportion of employees call in sick.

The press uses the day to share funny sick day excuses. But should we be diving deeper into the underlying reasons for this February engagement slump?

In a recent HR Magazine article, Blink’s Chief People Officer, Simon White, points out that December is a busy time for frontline workers. It’s a time of extra shifts and increased workplace pressure.

He says that this increases the risk of silent burnout at the start of the following year. Silent burnout is when workers feel undervalued and unsupported – but are unable to raise the issue with their employer.

He reveals some concerning statistics:  

  • A 40% drop in enthusiasm and engagement levels among UK frontline workers during January 2024, compared with January 2023.
  • A decline in interaction. At this time of year, frontline workers are opting out of organizational culture by avoiding group chats and message boards.
  • An increase in churn. Year after year, this drop in engagement precedes higher levels of attrition.

White recommends swift action to understand and re-engage these employees – and prevent the cycle from reoccurring every year. He breaks it down into three steps:

Step 1: Communication

Creating an inclusive environment where two-way communication is easy and accessible – even for workers who don’t sit at a desk.

Step 2: Recognition

Making workers feel valued – by acknowledging their hard work over December and providing tangible recognition, rewards, and benefits.

Step 3: Action

Using data to identify employees who may be struggling, then taking actionable steps to address burnout and prevent churn.

Find more ways to combat frontline burnout. Get tips from our expert panel by reading Practical Advice for Frontline Stress and Wellbeing.  

Missed our latest webinar? Catch the recording!

It's no secret that frontline organizations face significant challenges when trying to communicate with their frontline workforce. Critical communications can be missed, resulting in unsafe and disconnected environments.

In our latest webinar, Blink sat down with the CEO and President of JFE Shoji Power, Ron Harper, to discuss these critical challenges that through their focus on employee experience, they have been able to overcome.

Download today to hear how launching Blink has improved their recruitment efforts, replaced their outdated internal communications, and led them to become an employer of choice.

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