The study, from digital workplace firm, YOOBIC found that job vacancies advertised across the UK increased by 88,000 in April to hit a post-pandemic high of 747,000.
The biggest demand was found in in accommodation and food service, frontline employers must address the specific digital and motivational needs of Millennial workers – who now make up more than three quarters of the frontline workforce.
However, original research of 1,000 frontline workers in YOOBIC’s latest ‘Frontline Employee Workplace Survey 2021’ report, reveals employers are falling behind expectations when it comes to providing an engaging work environment and fulfilling career options.
28% of Millennial frontline workers report not feeling empowered on the job, compared to 17% of other age groups. Additionally, just 28% of Millennials find it easy to understand whether their work meets company expectations, in comparison to 41% of workers aged over 54. Over a third (34%) of frontline employees in this demographic reported a lack of career as opposed to 17% for other age groups.
Key to meeting millennial workers’ desire for career progression and workplace engagement is understanding the importance of their digital world – both personally and professionally – which is reflected by Walmart’s decision to offer new smartphones to more than 740,000 of its almost 1.6 million U.S. workers by the end of the year, free of charge. Staff can then use Walmart’s new workplace app tool while working but will be able to use the device for personal use.
Fabrice Haiat, CEO of YOOBIC commented: “Millennials are digital natives and accordingly see mobile technology as a crucial part of daily life. Therefore, mobile workplace tools are essential as they deliver the information and communications frontline staff need to perform their best on the job. These devices, and the format of the information they deliver, must be modern and user-friendly to meet Millennial workers’ high expectations of technology and content. Providing outdated or ineffective technology will only have a negative impact on staff retention and engagement.”
Reflecting this sentiment, Livio Tabbi, Retail Director for The Kooples – speaking on a recent YOOBIC webinar commented: “The average age of my teams is 28, they spend on average four hours per day on their smartphone so we need to design solutions that fit to their expectations.”
Almost three quarter (72%) of frontline workers surveyed indicated they would feel more connected if communications were delivered via their smartphone or tablet, while a further 76% felt digital formats would increase their productivity and simplify their workload.
Haiat concluded: “There is no denying the significant impact Millennial workers play as part of the UK’s frontline workforce. Recognising their needs and specific talents, and responding accordingly, is key to engaging, motivating and retaining staff in this demographic. As they do in their day-to-day life, millennials expect a digital employee experience that allows them to use mobile devices to communicate with their peers and managers and access training information and documentation easily. Providing this information in a gamified, digital format empowers the Millennial frontline workforce and meeting their needs in this way ensures businesses can build with them into the future.”
For further information on how employers can engage the UK’s frontline workers download the latest YOOBIC report.