There’s no denying it: frontline workers are disillusioned. Countless surveys, including a recurring series from Gallup, have demonstrated that employee engagement is tanking among America’s population of hourly workers.
The problem with many engagement surveys is that they often seek a binary response: yes or no; engaged or disengaged. Engagement, though, is a spectrum, and in order to get to the roots of the issue some more serious digging is required. A question as blunt as “do you feel engaged?” lacks the nuance to produce any insight into potential solutions for the engagement dilemma.
In a new survey of 2,000 individuals, MomentSnap sought to explore the links between certain workplace trends and relative engagement levels. People who identified as hourly workers at retail stores, restaurants or hotels answered a series of questions about transparency, recognition and self-awareness on the job. The results paint an unsurprisingly bleak picture of the current state of frontline engagement, but also uncover some silver linings.
Only one in three managers consistently makes store performance data available.
16% of servers weren’t even sure if store data was available.
Less than a quarter of managers consistently makes personal performance data available.
18% of servers didn’t know if their personal data was available.
Only one quarter of servers consistently checks performance data when it is available
Less than a third of servers identified as highly satisfied with their job.
90% of servers said that they were dissatisfied with a least one aspect of their job.
One in three of servers said they don’t feel appreciated.
27% said they don’t feel engaged.
26% said they aren’t recognized enough.
Looking at the results, one conclusion can be gleaned immediately: there is little emphasis on performance data. Even when managers do go out of their way to regularly supply it, only a fraction of servers are taking the time to consult it and audit themselves. The top three reasons that employees were dissatisfied with their jobs — lack of appreciation, engagement and recognition — are likely a product of this gap in awareness. If employees aren’t sure how they’re doing, how can they improve? Further, without actively tracking performance, managers are hampered in their ability to recognize, which in turn disengages employees by making them feel unappreciated.
The silver lining: there is a solution. When asked whether mobile access would make them more likely to consult performance data, a staggering two thirds answered positively.
One doesn’t have to imagine the potential effects of mobile performance integration, because the proof already exists. When a mobile platform is introduced, the seed users are so enthusiastic that it begins to spread virally, proliferating well beyond two thirds of the store. In fact, mobile access to performance data has driven opt-in levels of up to nearly 90% — virtually unheard of among frontline workers.
The best part? Hosting data on a mobile platform actually takes work off the manager’s plate. All the benefits with none of the work.
What’s stopping your company? See what your frontline can do — empower your employees.