The Shift - November 27th 2023

Missed The Shift in your inbox last week? Recap on what was covered in Blink’s fortnightly update for frontline leaders on November 27th, 2023 — and don’t forget to subscribe so you never miss another edition.

Helping frontline managers deliver (and stay)

Learning and Development (L&D) isn't only useful to upskill your employees. It can also work wonders for staff retention. Research shows that with enhanced career support and training:

  • 64% of employees would extend their employment by six years
  • 44% would stay an extra decade

Getting L&D right is particularly important for frontline leaders. This group leads 80% of a company’s employees and can be hugely influential on KPIs such as retention, eNPS, and absenteeism. First-line managers also your pipeline for wider company leadership and provide a vital link between head office and customers.

The frontline manager job comes with unique challenges, though. Chief People Officer at Box, Jessica Swank, compares frontline leaders to "player-coaches". They’re managers with their own deliverables and, as such, they have a lot to juggle.

In a recent Forbes article, Swank outlines all of the ways that Box works to develop and support its frontline managers, including:

  • Monthly Manager Power Hours, focused on frontline leaders, sharing the strategy and tools managers need to meet current challenges
  • Bi-weekly manager newsletters and a Chat channel exclusively for frontline leader questions
  • A 6-month manager accelerator program for all new managers, giving them the training, coaching, and enablement they need

But Swank says Box’s success in developing frontline managers goes beyond L&D. It’s part of their company DNA. A culture that prioritizes strong values, a sense of belonging, and collaboration helps all employees, including frontline managers.

Are you empowering employees to perform their best? Check out our ultimate guide to employee empowerment here.

Communication plans that bridge the gap

The infamous US writers’ strike may have come to an end, but strike action continues in many frontline sectors across the globe.

During a strike, a union acts as an intermediary, communicating on behalf of striking employees. But, according to a recent Employee Benefit News article, employers need a strategy for closing the distance this creates between company leadership and workers.

Good communication after a strike helps to rebuild trust — in fact, the same can be said for any crisis communications. Employers need to have built a communication plan and communication channels in advance to get on the front foot once an adverse event has been resolved.

With ways to connect your frontline already in place, you’ll find it easier to send out simple, empathetic comms that reach all employees and help you move forward together.

Read our guide 'Writing an internal communication strategy: your step-by-step guide' to get started.

Employee experience — it's not just for Christmas

Peak retail season is already in full swing, starting last week with Black Friday and running all the way through to early 2024.

Unfortunately for holiday shoppers, though, the line to pick up deals may be longer than they’d like as retailers struggle with staff shortages.

Around half of retailers say that voluntary and involuntary staff turnover has increased year-on-year. And 48% expect their stores to be understaffed two to three days per week this holiday shopping season.

Hiring new staff at this time of year, when demand is high, is a challenge. That’s why employee experience is something you need to work on all year round.

Retailers know that competitive pay, flexibility, growth opportunities, and transparent communication are top of a jobseeker’s list. And nearly 9 in 10 say they could be doing more to support store employees with mobile technology.

Putting these employee engagement perks in place for 2023 is likely a tall order. But for holiday season 2024, now’s the time to prep.

Develop a digital employee experience strategy for your retail teams now and you’ll find it easier to retain your staff and ring in sales during next year’s peak seasons.

Need-to-know frontline stats from November

📲 Just 35% of HR professionals say their company’s people management function is using relevant digital technologies. Let’s turn that stat around!

👫 A third of frontline workers would like to do more knowledge sharing and cross-team mentorship with desk-based co-workers.

📣 58% of senior leaders say that communication between senior leadership and frontline workers is ‘very good’. But less than half as many frontline workers agree.

💚 78% of Abellio London's workforce adopted Blink in just 5 days. Abellio has harnessed our frontline employee super-app to connect their workforce and build a great place to work. You can, too. Book a Blink demo today.

Know someone who would enjoy The Shift? Share this link and they can join you in receiving the only update for frontline champions.

Trusted by 300+ frontline organizations

Book demo
St Luke's logo