The Shift - May 16, 2024

The Shift - May 16, 2024

Hello and welcome to The Shift, Blink’s bi-monthly newsletter for frontline leaders. Coming up in this issue:

  • Workplace from Meta is discontinuing - what does that mean for their customers?
  • Addressing a primary frontline manager pain point with automated scheduling software
  • Actionable ways to improve the physical, mental, and social wellbeing of your frontline workers
  • Easing the labor shortage in manufacturing: how to attract, engage, and retain Gen Z

FRONTLINE NEWS
Workplace from Meta is discontinuing. Learn how Blink can help.

After yesterday's news about Workplace from Meta discontinuing its service, our concern goes to the hundreds of customers and millions of users now affected.
Sean Nolan, CEO and Founder of Blink - The Frontline Experts is asking leaders impacted by the closure of Workplace to pause, and take a look at the alternatives.
This could be your opportunity to upgrade your employee digital experience. Read the article here.

Shift scheduling tech: a frontline manager must have

Frontline managers are a linchpin of frontline organizations. But only 26% of them trust their company’s upper management.

According to a recent Forbes article, leaders looking to prevent this disconnect need to understand and address frontline manager pain points.

Top of the list? A survey of hourly workplace managers revealed that shift scheduling is the number one task they want to see intelligently automated.  

Many managers are still using spreadsheets to manually create and update schedules. And they’re relying on phone calls and text messages to fill shifts. This approach is error-prone and time-consuming.

Scheduling software makes life easier. Managers can maintain records, send notifications, and predict staffing needs. Employees get the self-service tools they need to claim and swap shifts without manager involvement.

By implementing scheduling software, frontline leaders free their managers up to focus on more valuable tasks. And by taking their pain points and priorities into account, they may also help to close the manager-leadership trust gap. 

Scheduling solved with Blink

Blink’s employee app acts as a digital front door for your organization. You can promote open shifts through the news feed and give employees access to a self-serve scheduling dashboard.

Take a look at the Blink Hub to learn more.  

Ways to improve frontline worker wellbeing

Frontline workers face unique challenges in their day to day work, including frustrated customers and irregular shifts. 

As a result, they’re more likely to experience poor mental health and wellbeing when compared with their office-based co-workers. Concerningly, frontline workers are also 30% less likely to seek professional support.

A recent Cornerstone article says this is where frontline employers need to step in, providing and signposting wellbeing resources for employees. Here are some of the article’s tips for improving frontline worker wellbeing. 

The physical component:

  • Providing proper equipment to reduce strain and risk of injury
  • Enforcing rest and break periods
  • Providing access to healthy food options and hydration stations

The mental component:

  • Making employee assistance programs (EAPs) and confidential counseling services available and easy to access
  • Offering stress management and mindfulness training 
  • Scheduling regular mental health check-ins or counseling sessions 

The social component:

  • Creating employee resource groups (ERGs), a place where employees can share concerns or interests
  • Establishing dedicated spaces for social interaction and relaxation
  • Making DE&I part of company culture to ensure that all frontline workers feel valued, respected, and included

For more advice on frontline wellbeing, read our article: Our panel’s practical advice on frontline stress and wellbeing

What it takes to get Gen Z on the shop floor

The manufacturing labor pool is shrinking, in part, because not enough young people are entering the manufacturing workforce.  

McKinsey says that getting Gen Z (people born between 1996 and 2010) to work in manufacturing is key to overcoming labor shortages. 

But, currently, manufacturing companies don’t get many Gen Z applications. And when they do manage to hire Gen Z workers, they don’t tend to stay for long.

So McKinsey conducted research into what these younger workers want. Here’s what they found.

Flexibility, connectivity, and meaning

For Gen Z, it’s not all about the money. When looking for a job, they prioritize flexibility, connectivity, and meaning. 

So use technology to support shift swapping. Support co-worker connections. And highlight the impact your company has on the local community and environment.

Tech tools

Early-career workers don’t always have top-notch technical or people skills. But Gen Z brings other attributes to the table. 

Unlike older workers, they’ve grown up getting instant digital answers to their questions. They like using self-help videos to solve problems. Harness this initiative by giving Gen Z workers innovative tech tools.

Training

In manufacturing, 48% of Gen Z workers say they intend to leave within the next three to six months. This compares with 41% for those working in other industries. 

Lack of career development and advancement is the number one reason Gen Z workers choose to leave. So invest in programs that help employees learn new skills and move up the ladder.  

Know another frontline leader who’d enjoy The Shift? Share this link to loop them in. 

 

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