In the post-pandemic economy, organizations across the US are facing challenges attracting and retaining frontline employees.
In fact, as many as 45% of deskless workers report wanting to leave their field in the next year.
These statistics are worrying. Frontline workers are a crucial part of the economy, spread out over various sectors including retail, hospitality, manufacturing, healthcare, construction, production, agriculture, and more.
Frontline employees don’t sit at a desk to perform their responsibilities and are always “on the ground.” They work in stores, warehouses, hospitals, and more.
So, what can organizations do to better retain frontline talent?
Employee recognition — when done right — can improve employee retention and motivate workers to perform better.
But how do you recognize frontline employees in a way that actually resonates with them?
Gamification is a new approach to employee recognition that allows your employees to challenge themselves, introduces an element of friendly competition to your company culture, and makes work processes more fun.
Which, in turn, increases employee engagement and makes it easier to retain talent.
In this article, we’ll explain why frontline employee recognition matters and how to use workplace gamification to effectively motivate and recognize your employees.
A common misconception around frontline employees is that they’re only there to collect a paycheck. This is why one of the first things that organizations do to try to improve their turnover rate is to offer financial incentives, such as raising wages.
But it turns out that frontline employees want more than just money. In fact, raising wages from 7% to 10% hasn’t proven effective in motivating & retaining deskless employees.
Because the truth is, like all human beings, frontline workers want to feel appreciated.
They want to feel recognized for the hard work that they do to move the day-to-day operations of the company forward.
The research backs this up:
But how do you include employee recognition into your work environment in a way that’s engaging, motivating, and actually makes your employees feel recognized?
Gamifying employee rewards is a promising solution that more and more organizations are turning to.
Gamification uses digital software — such as Secchi — to introduce elements of a game to standard work processes and make them more engaging.
The possibilities for gamification are endless. For example, you can choose to reward top performers with special badges or statuses. Or you can challenge your frontline employees to a friendly competition and score rewards for being productive.
Everyone loves a good game. Gamification can make mundane tasks more interesting, increase satisfaction, and make your employees more productive at work.
TalentLMS found that 9 out of 10 workers feel more competitive and eager to complete a task when it’s gamified. Similarly, a survey by Zippia showed that employee engagement increases by 48% with a gamified work experience.
Workplace gamification can make your teams healthier, too.
88% of employees report that gamification makes them feel happier at work.
This is crucial in the frontline environment, where 58% of workers cite burnout as their top reason for wanting to leave their job.
Scoreboard recognition in the workplace can help you turn day-to-day operations into engaging competitions.
For example, you can give your employees a point every time they perform a repetitive task, such as serving a customer or restocking an item, and reward them if they reach a certain number of points by the end of a certain time period (ex: a day, a week, or a month).
Alternatively, you can use scoreboard recognition to improve discipline by tracking attendance or tardiness and rewarding employees that were the least absent or late. Or you can break your employees up into teams and make them compete against each other.
Anything measurable can be turned into a scoreboard to boost your employee motivation and productivity.
It’s no secret that goals make people more productive.
You can break down the tasks your employees have to complete on a regular basis into measurable goals and have them compete with themselves.
Once your employee reaches a goal — such as, for example, clocking in on time five days in a row, they get a special badge or move up a level.
Frontline workers often struggle with feeling that their work is valuable because it can be so repetitive and mundane. Gamification of goal setting & tracking can make them feel more accomplished and motivated.
You can reward your frontline employees for reaching certain milestones, whether it be completing a new training program or staying at your organization for a certain period of time, such as 6 months or a year.
The goal with milestones — and with gamified rewards in general — is to make them achievable enough for your frontline employees to not lose their motivation.
Secchi is a digital software designed specifically for hourly & frontline teams with built-in gamified rewards and processes. It allows you to easily engage your employees and clearly see performance trends for better leadership.
To make your frontline workers feel genuinely recognized & valued, look beyond the numbers of tasks they’ve completed or the goals they’ve achieved.
You can also use gamification to reward the number of times your employees have been kind to one another and for their character. For example, you can praise your employees work ethic, creativity, or problem-solving skills.
Recognizing your employees as people and not just performance numbers & trends will make them feel more connected to your organization.
Instead of theorizing about what your frontline employees need to feel recognized, go straight to the source and ask them.
You can ask them questions like:
When asking for feedback, it’s important to prioritize open conversations and make your employees feel that it’s safe to share their honest opinions.
To effectively gamify employee rewards, you need a high-performing digital tool that streamlines performance data and makes it easy to communicate with your frontline workers.
Secchi simplifies the performance management process and has built-in gamification features that allow frontline leaders and HR professionals to effectively recognize workers and improve employee engagement. Book a demo today to get started!
With Secchi, leaders across your entire organization have access to turn-by-turn leadership directions and actionable data that guides them on how to engage their teams through recognition, coaching, engagement, and accountability.
Request a Demo
Connect With Us