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The connection between a digital frontline workplace and employee retention

Mark Williams, Managing Director EMEA - WorkJam

High employee turnover has catapulted retention to the top of the priority list for many businesses across the UK. As a result, employers are taking a hard look at the importance of non-monetary benefits and how to cost-efficiently create an environment where employees feel valued. The goal? To increase employee retention so that  members of their frontline choose to stay long term, rather than seek out new job prospects. Presently, post-pandemic and with long-term stability in mind, employees are searching for mobility and growth opportunities within employment. 

Traditionally considered ‘financially challenging’, mobility options (such as continued education or promotions) are becoming far more cost-efficient for employers. Evolving technologies are providing innovative, cost-effective solutions to meet these new demands. 

Why is employee mobility so important?

The disruption and instability caused by the Covid-19 pandemic have demonstrated an increased need for job stability and mobility. Employers need to provide more than a reasonable salary – people need reassurance that their job will also develop their skills and provide future opportunities, rather than imprisoning them into one role indefinitely. Flexibility has also become increasingly important as employees seek a healthier life-work balance. 

That said, employees are not the only ones to benefit from mobility.  Businesses also receive significant benefits, including the reduction of onboarding and recruitment costs, increased employee engagement, and the reinforcement of a skilled workforce. Mobility also facilitates a more positive and inclusive company culture, with employee wellbeing at its centre. 

How should mobility strategy be built, and where can technology assist?
New technology can provide enormous benefits to every area of mobility strategy, with a digital frontline workplace providing centralised communication, employee education, skills tracking, task management, and easier internal recruitment. 

Digitally administering employee education (whether company-wide or for individuals) improves accessibility and trackability. Traditionally, employee education has a worryingly low completion rate, damaging the trust between businesses and their workforce. Online education allows employers to monitor course completion, recording the notable achievements of their employees. 

Improved training and education result in several benefits – firstly, employees feel more confident in their skills. By completing each educational program, they can build on the last, generating higher personal and professional growth. Secondly, employers can quickly identify any gaps in their workforce’s knowledge. For example, suppose there is a particular module in a business-wide training course with a low success rate. In this case, increased training can ensure correct standards are maintained. Thirdly, internal promotion becomes more straightforward, benefiting both employers and employees. An employee can demonstrate their capability for new roles within the business, while employers enjoy the ability to sidestep the arduous external recruitment process, promoting an existing and trusted member of their team.

How do a digital frontline workplace and employee mobility fit with the future of employment?
All businesses consider long-term benefits and drawbacks when planning their retention strategy.. The advantages offered by a digital frontline workplace correlate with projections of the trajectory. 

Employee wellbeing will likely continue to dominate in the years to come, regardless of the pandemic’s presence (or lack thereof). During the Covid-19 lockdowns, many employees had the time to rethink what they wanted and needed from their employment, with a healthier work environment being particularly prominent. Increased flexibility and mobility contribute significantly to this well being-conscious movement, maintaining morale and motivation in the workplace with the prospect of new opportunities in mind. Concepts such as the 4-day work week also appear to be taking off in many sectors. A digital frontline workplace allows for greater flexibility and remote support to ease businesses and employees into these new structures. 

Another popular projection for the future of employment is the hybrid working model, which allows employees in certain industries to work from home several days of the week. A digital frontline workplace facilitates the easy distribution of information regardless of employee location, assisting in coordinating any workforce, whether for five employees, or 5,000. 

Most importantly, technology can easily evolve with a business. With the emphasis on employee mobility growing, digital applications can foster a communicative, progressive, and collaborative workplace. Employees can demonstrate their abilities with ease, allowing employers to make informed decisions on internal promotion and movement. Loyalty is encouraged and workers are respected, boosting both productivity and wellbeing. 

Employee mobility and flexibility are the future of the workplace, and the transition to this future workplace has already begun. The digital frontline workplace will prove vital in making this transition seamless, providing improved opportunities and insights to employers and employees alike. 

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