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New research report: Frontline workers say their safety is still more important than salary

Feedback From The Field | Media Release | By | 27 Oct 2023 | 2 minute read

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Global technology company, SafetyCulture, has released its third annual Feedback from the Field report, which gives insight into the views of more than 2,000 frontline workers* in Australia, the UK, and the US. 

This year’s report, Feedback from the Field: Room for Improvement, has revealed that three in five (65%) workers observe operational issues monthly, yet less than half (48%) see actions taken to address them. Interestingly, workers in Australia were more likely to spot issues than their UK or US counterparts.

Frontline workers, who constitute a staggering 80% of the global workforce, play a crucial role in our daily lives and the Australian economy. However, they often face challenges in having their voices heard and their needs addressed. The findings reveal a significant gap between what frontline workers desire and what their leaders perceive, highlighting the need for improved communication and engagement.

When it comes to problem-solving and operational improvements, frontline workers overwhelmingly believe that the best ideas for improvement come from their own ranks (49%), not from leadership (23%). Further, 80% say the business they are working in is not operating at full potential.

Sam Byrnes, Chief Product Officer at SafetyCulture, says: “It’s important to understand the feedback of our workers out on the frontlines. SafetyCulture was created to help transform the working lives of the 2.7 billion deskless workers around the world, and tapping into what’s in their hearts and minds helps us do that. The world is changing quickly, so receiving this feedback at a time when we are preparing to launch the next era of SafetyCulture products is crucial.”

The research also found that workers are desperately overdue for valuable training, with more than three in four (77%) Aussie frontline workers believing workplace injuries they’ve witnessed could have been prevented had those involved received better training. Safety also remains a top priority for frontline workers, with 65% saying they would prioritize their safety over higher salaries.

While challenges persist in the relationship between frontline workers and their leaders, the Feedback from the Field report also offers hope. Two in three (65%) workers are optimistic about the future of their organizations, and recognize that with the right tools and communications, businesses have the opportunity to harness the latent potential within their frontline teams. 

The vast majority of Aussie frontline workers  (71%) are eager to use a one-stop shop (platform) for their training and improvement needs rather than separate apps, and more than half (64%) say they would be excited to learn about AI and emerging technologies.

The report provides timely insights as SafetyCulture prepares to reveal the next version of its workplace operations platform – currently used by over 75,000 businesses and 1,500,000 workers around the world – which will continue to revolutionize the way frontline teams operate and communicate.

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*Frontline workers are defined as individuals who must “physically show up to their job” including the likes of hospitality, retail, manufacturing, and logistics workers. 

About the research 
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2,057 adults (757 US, 531 Australia, 769 UK). Fieldwork was undertaken in June, 2023.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of US, UK and AU frontline workers (aged 18+). 

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