Two Confectionery Factory Workers In White Coats Using Icing Bag
Two confectionery factory workers in white coats using icing bag to fill pastry with chocolate cream.

Four in 10 frontline employees in manufacturing left their jobs over the past year, according to Beekeeper’s new Frontline Workforce Pulse Report

To find out how to keep these workers on the job, Beekeeper surveyed more than 8,000 frontline workers, managers, and head office personnel across industries — including hospitality, retail, healthcare, construction, and manufacturing — in the US, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. While pay was the top reason frontline employees quit (38%), many also cited work/life balance (34%) and better prospects (24%). Managers had the same top three reasons, but they placed work/life balance (41%) above pay (36%). 

Many surveyed workers (48%) and managers (36%) said wage growth not keeping up with inflation was a primary source of stress at their job. Other top sources included understaffed shifts (27% of workers, 37% of managers), workplace safety (23% of workers, 16% of managers), and adjusting to changes (15% of workers, 27% of managers). 

While these things could drive them away, frontline employees also noted what makes them stay. Workers (33%) and managers (36%) agreed on their top workplace motivator— a friendly, fun work environment. Getting the job done (30% of workers, 24% of managers) and learning and development (21% of workers, 23% of managers) were also highly motivating factors, indicating that a strong, productive team and growth opportunities are keys to a fulfilling frontline job. 

However, when it comes to productivity, the report found a significant disconnect between the insights of workers and head office staff. While workers named understaffed shifts (36%), lack of recognition (26%), and poor cross-team communication (18%) as their most common productivity inhibitors, head office staff placed the blame on low morale (52%), unclear team goals (41%), and lack of training (36%). This means leaders could be ignoring the real issues at hand and leaving workers feeling unheard. 

To learn more about Beekeeper’s recommendations for supporting frontline workers and reducing resignations, see the full report.

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