Frontline workers face these issues...

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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retail employee
Frontline employees encounter unresolved issues.

A new survey reveals a majority of frontline workers have problems in their jobs on a regular basis.

Roughly two-thirds (65%) of respondents say they experience operational issues at least once a month, yet just under half (48%) see anything being done about it, according to the third annual “Feedback from the Field” report, a survey of more than 2,000 frontline workers in the U.S., U.K., and Australia from global workforce operations company SafetyCulture and YouGov. 

Four in five (81%) respondents say their organization is not operating at its full potential, or they aren't sure. Notably, among these respondents, top factors include poor communication (38%), inadequate training (37%), and ineffective leadership (37%).

In other troubling indicators for the quality of frontline employee training, nearly two in three (64%) respondents believe that at least some workplace injuries could have been prevented had those involved received better training. One in four (25%) say they last had valuable training from their organization that helped improve their work a year or more ago, including one in six (16%) who last had valuable training more than two years ago.

Other findings

  • Roughly half (49%) of respondents say the best ideas for improvement come from the workers themselves, while less than one-quarter (23%) say they come from leaders.
  • A majority of respondents majority prioritizing their safety over higher salaries.
  • Somewhat surprisingly, two-thirds (65%) of surveyed frontline workers are optimistic about the future of their organization.
  • More than six in 10 (63%) respondents say they are eager to use real-time update apps and open to learning about emerging technologies, including AI.

“It’s important to understand the feedback of our workers on the frontline,” said Sam Byrnes, chief product officer at SafetyCulture. “SafetyCulture was built 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 continue to do that.”

[Read more: Survey reveals frontline worker communication issues]

The Feedback from the Field survey defines frontline workers as individuals who must “physically show up to their job” including the likes of hospitality, retail, manufacturing, and logistics workers. All figures are from YouGov Plc.The total sample size was 2057 adults (757 U.S., 531 Australia, 769 U.K.). Fieldwork was undertaken between June 9-13, 2023. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of US.,. U.K., and Australian frontline workers aged 18 and older.