Why Has Frontline Employee Retention Dropped So Low?

Angela Ash


Frontline employees are the driving force of any business. These people are usually the first stop customers go to, so it is important to empower them to perform at the top of their abilities at any given time.

Needless to say, it is also crucial to keep your frontline employees happy and listen to their feedback.

When you know all this, the task at keeping your frontline employees happy with their work is easy, right?

Not exactly.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 11 million unfilled jobs, the majority of which are related to frontline work — hospitality, health care, manufacturing, and transportation and warehousing.

What is the catch?

Communication and Engagement Should Be at the Top of the List

First of all, managing frontline employees is not an easy feat. According to the study mentioned above, the common reason for employee turnover after the COVID- 19 pandemic is a bad relationship with the manager.

Frontline managers need to take into account employee retention tips and actually learn to properly manage their teams.

New Tech Should Be Offered

Always offer new tech. In this time and age, it’s pointless to ask of your employees to do things manually unless it is absolutely unavoidable.

Take into consideration all aspects of a frontline employee’s job and look for the best apps and tools. Also, make sure to provide proper training and ask for employee feedback.

Other small touches can also boost your managerial skills. E.g., instead of a traditional punch clock, consider using a clocking in app.

There Should Be a Job Management System

Make sure to set in place a proper job management system.

Management is, believe it or not, in fact clearly defined through a number of steps to be followed through:

  • Customer acquisition – Use marketing, advertising and promotion
  • Estimating & quoting – Estimate a cost and ask for customer feedback
  • Task outlining – Divide the job into smaller tasks
  • Scheduling – Allocate the necessary resources and staffing +
  • Timesheeting –Record employees’ working hours
  • Emailing & document exchange – Dispatch documents relevant to the job to stakeholders
  • Cost management
  • Work-in-progress management
  • Invoicing
  • Reporting – Collect the data for further reference

AI and Automation Should Be Considered to Boost Performance

For construction jobs, you need to go an extra mile to ensure each phase of the project is being managed properly.

Stay up to date with the current management trends and always offer only the latest tech.

Here are the current field service trends :

  • IoT for asset management
  • Cloud-based software for remote work
  • Artificial intelligence for business automation
  • Inventory management software for supply chains

Train Your Frontline Managers

As we’ve already seen, poor relationships with a boss are the major reason for frontline employees leaving their jobs.

This needs to be addressed fast and efficiently, so make certain to train your frontline managers.

Classic frontline management training usually consists of theoretical knowledge delivered in a classroom which is to say — it can hardly be any further from reality on the field.

You’ll need to improve your training methods, hence. Depending on the roles in question, make sure to provide actual expertise as opposed to theoretical knowledge.

Establish Anonymous Feedback System

Listening to your employees is always the easiest way to make things right. However, when employees fear repercussions, they aren’t likely to be honest.

That’s why anonymous feedback is usually the best option. It will give employees the sense of freedom and assurances that nothing will go south if they have complaints.

Provide Onboarding And Skill-Building Programs

Education is one thing that never goes out of fashion, especially in the case of frontline employees.

However, it is necessary to pay attention to two things:

  1. Training should begin ASAP — starting with onboarding training
  2. Information overload should be avoided at all costs

It’s no rocket science, really. Every serious business absolutely must invest in onboarding training and in skill-building programs.

The programs need to be devised skillfully and allow sufficient time for employees to adopt the new knowledge. The best approach is, usually, one that serves smaller chunks of information, like interactive or eLearning.

On this matter you can also consult employee feedback. Give your frontline staff exactly what they’re looking for!

Finally, rethink employee schedules. We live in a time when flexibility is highly valued, so make an effort to offer flexible schedules to your frontline employees.

In addition, offer career advancements and set up strong HR policies and resources to reinforce the management system through and through.

Key Takeaways

To keep your frontline employees happily engaged, listen to their feedback and offer flexibility, training, and career advancement prospects.

But, even before that, you simply must train your frontline managers to be better at what they do to prevent poor relationships from forming.

As for the employees, start training them from the moment they have joined the company.

Last but not least, provide proper communication channels, offer new tech, and keep up with the latest trends.

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Angela Ash is a professional writer and editor, who focuses on topics related to business, remote work, digital PR, marketing, clean tech, mental health, travel and more. She also enjoys playing the piano, writing poetry, and music festivals.

Louisville, KY

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