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How to Motivate Frontline Employees

How to Motivate Frontline Employees

Motivation is the desire to do something. In the workplace, leaders need to find creative ways to elevate that desire to create a thriving, high-performing workforce, especially for their frontline employees. These workers have the highest turnover rate and lowest employee engagement of any workforce population. Finding innovative ways to motivate frontline employees is essential to the success of your business. 

By creating communication strategies that include them, frontline workers will be happier, and they will have that extra incentive to go above and beyond in their work.

Here are 5 ways to motivate frontline employees in your company:

1. Motivate Frontline Employees Through Recognition

To give you a real-world example, my partner, Will Silver, makes motivation a priority of his leadership strategy. As the Manager of Building Services and Grounds at the California Academy of Sciences, Will saw the custodial team needed a morale boost. The frontline crew keeps the 400,000-square-foot museum clean for over 500 employees and thousands of daily visitors.

To recognize the team’s hard work, Will started a Gratitude Gathering. Over a catered lunch, executives and managers told the custodial staff how their contributions positively impact specific departments and the museum’s mission.

This recognition resulted in higher employee engagement, a more productive team, and earned the custodians the highest scores in customer satisfaction in the museum’s history.

According to one survey, 72% of employees are more engaged when their work is recognized. Find ways to motivate employees by acknowledging the value they add to your organization.

2. Motivate Employees From Day One

Most companies miss a great window of opportunity for energizing new hires. Onboarding should be more than just learning the ropes. Motivate employees from day one. Stress the importance of their role and the value it brings to the team. Let them know about their room for growth within the company.

50% of all hourly workers leave their job within the first four months. To overcome those dismal retention odds, make sure there are policies in place to increase retention. One idea is to provide a mentor for each new hire. This will solidify their attachment to the job and give them a support network during these important first months.

3. Connect, Engage, and Motivate Through Internal Communication

Mobile employees are hard to keep up with. Technology can keep them connected. A mobile-first, team app like Beekeeper facilitates open and transparent internal communication between all levels of a company.

Frontline employees are often overlooked in corporate communications. The simple act of including them is the first step to getting them engaged them. Use targeted messaging to motivate them. Some ideas include:

Introduce new hires and recognize employees for hard work.

Encourage feedback from the frontlines for bottom-up communication that will give you insight into your customer-facing team and new ideas that can highlight future leaders.

Offer opportunities for growth with video training over the team app.

With a team app like Beekeeper, you can track the progress of employee engagement through a customized analytics dashboard. If a motivational strategy isn’t making that needle jump, try a new approach.

4. Emphasize the Perks of Being a Frontline Employee

With more than 24,000 coffee shops worldwide, Starbucks has a lot of mobile employees — 291,000, to be exact. They call their employees ‘partners’ and offer health insurance to both their part-time and full-time workers, as well as tuition assistance for those still in school. Needless to say, they have a reputable employer brand and have no trouble filling job openings.

While motivation and inspiration will be led by philosophy, values, and culture, think of perks you can offer to your employees to help their work-life balance and add extra encouragement, like travel allowances, cell phone coverage, or subsidizing a fitness membership.

5. Huddle Up!

Watch any organized sporting event and you’ll see the coach gather the team around throughout the game. These huddles are motivational talks, a moment to reconnect as a team, refocus the energy, and win the game.

At 1 Hotels, the housekeeping team has morning rallies, the equivalent of a team huddle. They sync up the day’s missions to their Beekeeper team app so they’re aligned, working together towards the same goal. As they check off items from their ‘to-do’ list they can send each other messages of encouragement and strengthen their teamwork.

So huddle up to motivate frontline employees!

To discover new ways to motivate your frontline employees, download our ebook, 15 Best Practices For Employee Engagement.