Employee Engagement

How your employee engagement strategy must change this year

Tom Goyette | April 6, 2023

DE&I in the Workplace

We brought together WorkStep’s very own CEO, Dan Johnston and Drew Holler, CHRO at Lennar (Former SVP,, People Partner to the COO at Walmart) to help us understand how engaging and retaining frontline workers must change and adapt in today’s market. Given the uncertain economic outlook, some continued critical labor shortages, and a changing geopolitical landscape, the pressure on today’s supply chain can feel relentless. Include an increasingly disengaged workforce paired with the shifting demographics of today’s frontline worker and unfortunately and you’ve got a recipe for high turnover and costly critical work stoppages that outdated employee engagement or strategies just aren’t going to solve.

In this webinar, we covered how the current labor markets affect the employee experience, the ways in which a shifting workforce demographics demand new strategies, and talk critically about how HR and Operations leaders can use data to take targeted action to improve retention. We break down how many organizations are still coming to terms with a post-pandemic world where demand for labor is high and worker shortages rampant. Frontline employees today are a commodity with businesses in every industry bidding for their work with higher pay, more benefits, and incentives. We have found that while those bids are welcome, workers today value culture, work-life balance, career growth opportunities, and the knowledge that their voice is heard above all else. The simple truth is that the environment people work in is starting to play a significant role in retention.


Watch on-demand:

Live Q&A follow up:

Why do we need an Ex solution dedicated to frontline workers and why does that matter?

Frontline workers play a crucial role in many industries but face unique challenges such as physical labor, long hours, and exposure to hazardous conditions. A dedicated employee experience solution can help frontline workers feel more engaged, supported, and valued, which can improve their job satisfaction and retention rates. This solution can be tailored to the needs of frontline workers, provide real-time communication and updates, increase engagement, and promote safety and wellness on the job. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for any engagement platform, so it shouldn’t be expected that the questions and metrics salaried desk workers respond best to will produce the same results with hourly frontline employees.

Other companies like Peakon, Perceptyx, and Glint have similar Ex solutions – how does WorkStep stand out?

WorkStep offers a mobile-first holistic employee experience solution that is tailored to the needs of frontline workers. Our solution combines continuous listening tools with point-in-time surveys to analyze turnover factors, deliver targeted actions, and tie feedback to business outcomes. WorkStep’s industry-specific expertise enables us to design solutions that are specifically tailored to your unique needs by providing standard question sets for salaried and frontline workers while offering full survey customization. Features such as Inform are uniquely suited to improve retention rates and productivity among frontline workers since they allow site leaders to close the loop on pressing issues with their employees. We stand out from other employee experience solutions due to our mobile-first design, industry-specific expertise, and comprehensive listening solution.

We’re having trouble reaching our employees out in the field, and they don’t want to lose time by filling out a survey in-office. How does WorkStep solve this problem?

WorkStep surveys are designed to reach employees via email or SMS, making it incredibly easy to gather feedback from frontline workers without disrupting their workflow. While point-in-time surveys do take a bit longer to fill out, they are necessary and site-leaders can plan accordingly. Continuous listening, such as check-in or pulse surveys, take less than two minutes to complete and provide a regular touchpoint for employees to share feedback. These surveys are designed to be brief and are sent directly to a worker’s cell phone so they can share their viewpoint without disrupting their workflow.

Different groups in our organization have different problems, like our second shift employees having trouble finding parking or our forklift drivers trying to tell us a machine is broken. How can we reach each of those groups without sending a company-wide message?

WorkStep’s Inform feature is a 1:many segmented messaging tool designed to close the loop with groups based on sentiment. This could be something as simple and broad as all 2nd shift workers in the Boston warehouse. Or, it could be as granular as all employees who started within the last 60 days who answered negatively about onboarding with a particular trainer at a specific location. Inform allows site leaders to deliver a resonant message to the right people, at the time they will be most receptive.

Younger generations are harder to retain and we haven’t quite figured out why, can you clue us in on how to best engage with them?

To effectively engage with younger workers, it is important to understand their values and preferences. This includes providing opportunities for learning and development, offering flexible work arrangements, and prioritizing work-life balance. Younger workers also tend to place a high value on transparency and communication, so it is important to provide regular feedback and open lines of communication. Additionally, offering competitive compensation and benefits packages, as well as opportunities for advancement and career growth can help attract and retain younger workers. Ultimately, engaging with younger generations requires a willingness to adapt to their changing needs and preferences, and a commitment to creating a positive work environment that meets their expectations.

What are some key metrics we should be tracking?

Drew Holler takes a clear stance, the best employee engagement metric to be measuring today is eNPS. This is something that resonates with most organizations because they are already familiar with customer NPS, how it’s calculated, and how it works. It’s also something that leaders can ask frequently over time and get a defined trend line demonstrating user sentiment throughout the year, through busy or slow seasons.

Another key metric to be monitoring is mobility. How can you measure mobility, track it, and incentivize it? Career progression is a huge factor in whether or not an employee at any level will stay with an organization. It is important to know how often talent is being identified, trained, and fed into an upwardly mobile career path.

Can you share some best practices for loop closure and why updating employees on changes made as a result of their feedback matters?

Loop closure is the process of informing employees about the changes that are made as a result of their feedback. It is an important component of any employee feedback program, as it demonstrates to employees that their input is valued and can lead to tangible improvements. Best practices for loop closure include providing timely updates, being transparent about the changes that are being made, and explaining how the changes will benefit employees and the organization as a whole. Loop closure can help build trust and engagement among employees, and can lead to increased participation in future feedback programs. By updating employees on changes made as a result of their feedback, organizations demonstrate a commitment to continuous improvement and create a culture of open communication and collaboration.

How should we implement and track the impact of DE&I initiatives?

Implementing and tracking the impact of DE&I initiatives requires a strategic approach that includes setting clear goals, defining measurable outcomes, and regularly monitoring progress. It is important to involve all stakeholders in the process, including employees, leadership, and external partners.

One key aspect of implementing DE&I initiatives is creating a culture of inclusivity that promotes diversity and encourages open dialogue. This can involve providing training and resources on unconscious bias, promoting diverse hiring practices, and creating a safe and welcoming environment for all employees. To track the impact of DE&I initiatives, it is important to establish key performance indicators (KPIs) and regularly measure progress against these metrics. This can involve collecting and analyzing data on employee demographics, engagement and retention rates, and the effectiveness of diversity and inclusion training programs.

Regular communication and feedback from employees can also help inform the success of DE&I initiatives and identify areas for improvement. Ultimately, implementing and tracking the impact of DE&I initiatives requires a commitment to ongoing evaluation and improvement, as well as a willingness to adapt to changing needs and priorities.

Thank you!

We want to extend a huge thank you for everyone who registered, joined, and participated in the webinar.We would also like to shine an especially big spotlight on all of the great work that our Dan Johnston, Drew Holler, and Zoe Morin put in make this fireside chat a success. If you are looking to learn more about how WorkStep’s holistic employee engagement platform can revolutionise turnover and retention initiatives for your organization, schedule some time to speak with one of our experts today.

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Tom Goyette

Tom Goyette, Product Marketing Manager | tom.goyette@workstep.com

Tom Goyette is a Product Marketing Manager at WorkStep. With experience in start-up and enterprise level SaaS and eCommerce organizations, Tom excels at managing and creating content, marketing, and analytics. Tom believes people are at the center of every great organization and is eager to share stories that highlights the value of the employee voice.