Employers Should Invest More in Frontline Employees, According to New Survey

  • 93% are eager to learn and grow at work.

  • 71% of frontline workers are highly motivated to go the extra mile for their companies’ success.

  • 64% would stay at their company another six years with better career support and training.

Kahoot!, the global learning and engagement platform company, released its Kahoot! 2023 Workplace Culture Report, a comprehensive study on the frontline workforce – essential workers not working behind a desk. According to McKinsey & Company, frontline workers are a vital component of nearly all sectors of the economy, accounting for 70 percent of the current US workforce.

The Kahoot! 2023 Workplace Culture Report spotlights the dedication, skills and ambitions of frontline employees: 71% are highly motivated to go the extra mile for their company’s success, while 93% eagerly seek more learning and development opportunities. A whopping 64% of respondents said they would extend their employment by six years with enhanced career support and training. Even more compelling, 44% would make an extraordinary pledge – staying an extra decade.

High turnover is a given on the frontlines. According to McKinsey, 50% of the frontline workforce in the U.S. have considered quitting and leaving their industry entirely. In addition, a global Workday survey found that 20% of frontline workers plan to leave their jobs within the next three to six months.

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“Although employers are struggling to retain talent, this data illustrates employees’ unwavering commitment and strong desire for personal growth within the company,” said James Micklethwait, Vice President of Kahoot!. “The frontline workforce is telling our leaders something important: When you invest in our growth, you’ll see our true potential and how we can benefit the company in the long run.”

The study also revealed the following insights:

Frontline Workers Bring ‘All-In’ Attitude to the Table
Frontline workers are highly motivated to acquire more insights and knowledge, with 71% expressing a strong desire for continuous learning and skill development at work, particularly among millennials. Frontline workers are also committed to going the extra mile for their employers, with 94% willing to make sure their company’s plans and goals succeed.

More than nine out of ten (91%) want to advance in their careers, with only 9% showing no interest. Some even have big aspirations; 18% said they want to make it to the C-suite.

Additionally, despite 87% of employees feeling confident about their ability to acquire new skills at work, 32% feel their employers do not invest adequately in their growth, while a quarter of them feel left on their own in the pursuit of knowledge. Moreover, 48% feel there are disparities in training opportunities between frontline and corporate employees.

Frontline Proactively Advances Skills with a Call for AI Training
Frontline workers are taking the initiative to enhance their skills beyond their regular job duties. According to a recent survey, 38% are proactively reading books, articles, or research papers to expand their knowledge, while 32% are challenging themselves with personal projects and hobbies. Additionally, 28% are learning through podcasts and educational videos, and nearly a quarter are pursuing certifications or licenses to validate their skills.

AI’s impact on the workforce is also on their radar. Sixteen percent are already taking AI courses or pursuing certifications independently, while 51% recognize AI’s importance as a skillset but need support to learn about it. This highlights the opportunity for employers to play a pivotal role in AI education for their frontline staff.

More Learning is the Secret to Decades-Long Company Loyalty
Most frontline workers want to advance within their field, with just 8% considering a crossover to corporate, desk roles. However, learning and development play a pivotal role in retaining these employees, as 44% would stay with their employer for an additional decade if offered a clear career path with advanced training.

In addition, when asked about how their employers can support their professional development, 38% emphasize the importance of regular training sessions and workshops to enhance their skills. Constructive feedback on performance and development matters to 37%, and 32% seek access to online learning platforms and resources.

Further, they yearn for closer collaboration with their desk worker colleagues, with 32% advocating for cross-team mentorship and knowledge transfer programs, while 41% believe that recognizing and rewarding collaborative efforts can foster cooperation between frontline and office teams.

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