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Frontline workers survey findings revealed in ‘Feedback from the Field: Room for Improvement’

Feedback From The Field | SafetyCulture News | By | 27 Oct 2023 | 3 minute read

Feedback from the Field: Room for Improvement banner

Since the pandemic, our frontline workers have taken center stage as our unsung heroes, the ones on the ground who are typically the first port of call. They’re indispensable to our lives and economy, making up 80% of the global workforce*.

The SafetyCulture platform is designed with frontline workers in mind. We want to help make their work lives easier and safer. To do that, though, we need to know what it is they need – and a lot of the time, there’s a disconnect between what frontline workers want, and what their leaders think they want. Without that insight, leaders don’t have the full picture to drive their businesses forward.

“We designed the SafetyCulture platform to give frontline workers a voice. We purpose-built our tool for frontline workers so they can raise issues and call out improvement opportunities to better the organizations they work for. We find that workers on the frontline are often the real experts on workplace operations.”

– Sam Byrnes, Chief Product Officer, SafetyCulture

That’s why we conducted a survey, with the help of YouGov, where we asked more than 2,000 frontline workers to shed some light on their experiences and needs. And we’ve packaged up those findings in a neat report – Feedback from the Field: Room for Improvement. The research aims to uncover the gaps between employers and frontline workers, and to answer the question: How can leaders unlock the latent potential in their frontline teams and move towards a better way of working?

Here’s a preview of the report

Stand up and take action

Being on the ground, frontline workers are the eyes and ears of the operation. Three in five (65%) workers say they observe operational issues at work at least once a month, yet just under half (48%) say they see people doing anything about it. Why is that? How can we encourage a culture where more action is taken to rectify issues? Notably, workers in Australia are more likely to spot these issues compared to those in the UK and US.

Infographic from Feedback from the Field: proportion of workers who take action on workplace isues

A call for more training

Learning is a high priority for frontline workers. One-quarter (25%) of workers say they’ve had valuable training from their organization, which helped them improve at their jobs over the past year or so. Alarmingly, nearly two in three (64%) workers believe that at least a few workplace injuries could have been prevented had they received better training. It’s simple, really – better training means safer workers. Our new Training feature on the platform can improve how your team learns – including a useful tool called AI Create, where you can build a course within minutes, not days.

Feedback from the Field: Room for Improvement - quote about training

Safety vs salary

With the cost of iceberg lettuce skyrocketing across the globe, you’d think money talks. But turns out safety still has the upper hand on a bigger salary. If forced to find a new job, most workers prioritize safety over a better salary, with only one in five (22%) saying they’d choose a job with a higher salary and a higher level of risk. The vast majority (65%) say they’d choose jobs with equal or lower risk levels and a similar salary. For leaders, it’s important to make it clear that you consider your frontline workers’ safety a top priority too.

“We empower our drivers to call a timeout if something doesn’t feel safe. [Alerts] go to me, our safety director, and all the top operation leaders. Out goal is to call that driver beore they leave to say thank you for pointing this out, and to get more information. It’s an all-hand-on-deck [operation] for something that hasn’t happened yet.”

– Kyle Close, Vice President of Operations, North America, Brenntag
Brenntag is a German-based international company. It’s the largest distributor of chemicals in the world and has been operating for 100 years. Brenntag employs truck drivers to transport these dangerous chemicals for distribution.
Emergence (2018). The rise of the deskless workforce.

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