Public-facing work (frontline work) received a shock during the COVID-19 pandemic that has not yet left us. Some employees moved away from retail, hospitality, care, tourism and charities for good or started to rethink their priorities in public-facing roles. This caused a recruitment and retention crisis that is still ongoing. Yet there are those companies, charities and public sector organisations that have found this crisis easier to navigate than others – they have kept their workers and attracted new ones.
What did they do that others did not?
Answer: They saw workplace wellbeing and involvement as their “bread and butter” basics during the crisis. They continue to think of their workforce as the key to their success and they invest their time and effort in keeping good levels of wellbeing and performance. Other organisations can learn from this research and enact 4 ‘boosts’ to make their jobs ‘good jobs’. See how in the evidence-based video, infographic, handbook, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document and evidence supplement below:
The University of East Anglia (UEA) and Norwich Good Economy Commission launched ‘The Good Jobs Project’ to find ways to support managers and employees to embed good employee experiences of work into the way they build back after the crisis. The project focused on the challenges for public-facing or ‘frontline’ workers in areas such as care, hospitality, retail, tourism and charities.
The three phases of the project so far have brought together academic findings on what supports wellbeing and performance with first-hand accounts of the challenges and successes facing organisations and their staff. The team identified ‘4 Boosts for frontline workers’:
- ‘Let me connect’ – Give frontline workers the time, support and flexibility they need to be able to connect with customers and feel pride in their work;
- ‘Care about me and my life’ – Get to know workers and show care for their needs and goals, e.g. around childcare, working hours or learning;
- ‘Have my back’ – Ensure workers feel safe and are trained and supported to deal with difficult situations;
- ‘Make me part of the conversation’ – Involve workers in discussing decisions that could impact their lives, ensuring managers are open and approachable.
To learn more about the 4 boosts and how to apply them, view the video here and download the accompanying infographic, 8-page handbook and FAQ document below. A document summarising the discussion at the 1st November 2022 Open Space event for Good Jobs Project Mile Cross can be found separately here.
The handbook includes a section on each boost called ‘why is taking action on this a win-win?’ This part is written in plain English without references, but if you are interested in the academic sources of each statement you can download the reference supplement below.
NB: Some of this material was originally published on the PrOPEL Hub website at: https://www.propelhub.org/how-to-improve-frontline-work-4-boosts-for-frontline-workers/