Almost half of frontline workers in the UK are thinking of leaving their jobs because they feel disconnected from their employer.
Research by Workplace from Meta found that 49% of workers in frontline roles are planning to move jobs in 2022 or beyond, and 47% would move for “better perks and growth”.
Its survey revealed a major perception gap between C-suite executives and those working in frontline roles: 53% of workers would move for a better salary, for example, but only 25% of C-suite respondents said they were increasing investment in wages, while 12% plan to decrease salary investment.
Similarly, almost nine in 10 C-suite professionals said they valued frontline workers more than they did at the start of the pandemic, yet 52% of those workers feel they are seen as less important than their counterparts working in company headquarters.
Frontline workers also believe that colleagues working in HQ get better perks and benefits (according to 53%), or better tools to help them manage their work (49%).
In terms of support that would help to retain frontline workers, C-suite should be looking at providing tools and improving processes to help them improve their mental health, according to Workplace.
More than three-quarters of frontline workers (77%) said they experienced or felt at risk of burnout over the 12-month period from September 2020 to September 2021, yet only 41% of C-suite leaders said supporting frontline workers’ mental health would be one of their top priorities this year.
More than half (56%) of frontline workers said they would move to another role if it provided access to better tools and technology, and 84% felt tools should be of an equal standard whether working in an office or on the front line.
With this in mind, Workplace has announced it will integrate with WhatsApp, which is also owned by Meta, so organisations can share important updates and increase interaction between frontline workers and their office counterparts.
Christine Trodella, global director at Workplace from Meta, called the trend the “great frontline resignation”, and urged managers to take action to reconnect with their frontline teams.
She said: “While it’s clear from this year’s report that business leaders recognise the fundamental role frontline workers play in their organisations, actions speak louder than words.
“Now is the time for leadership to listen, learn, and more importantly, take action to build a workforce that is inclusive of the workers who brought them through the pandemic.”
Ujjwal Singh, Workplace’s head of product, said integration with WhatsApp, which should emerge this year, would address the “clear disconnect between frontline and HQ workers”.
“Our integration with WhatsApp is designed to help fix that: Helping bring frontline employees closer to their organisations and ensuring the information they need to do their jobs is at their fingertips,” he said.