WorkStep Team & News

WorkStep’s strategy: our path to improving outcomes for 100M frontline workers (1/3)

February 24, 2022

RESOURCES WorkStep’s strategy: our path to improving outcomes for 100M frontline workers (1/3)

At WorkStep, we’re coming off a 2021 during which we closed both a Series A and Series B, announcing just over $42M in capital raised. More importantly, we helped over 100k frontline workers improve their job.

WorkStep helps companies make better-fit hires and improve retention across their frontline workforce. In this three part blog series, we’ll unpack:

  1. Why this an important problem space to address
  2. What value we’re delivering to our customers and
  3. How we execute as a business to deliver that value

The why establishes shared context and purpose, the what outlines our high-level business strategy, and the how covers the operating principles that we use to make decisions.

There are 3 shared truths that establish our why:

1. Frontline workers are the engine that drives our economy

The food on our table, the screens we stare at all day, the last impulse Amazon purchase that we made, and the box it came in – all of these products make it to us via a symphony of efforts by frontline supply chain employees. As consumption patterns change, driving jobs from end points (ex: retail stores) to midpoints (ex: warehouses), this segment of the workforce is growing exponentially in both scale & importance.

There are 160% more warehouse workers in the United States today than there were just a decade ago.

Table 1. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

While jobs will certainly change in the coming decades as technology continues to evolve, work done on the frontlines will always be critical to every facet of our day-to-day needs.

2. Frontline employee retention is a rapidly worsening crisis

The ‘Great Resignation’ has been covered at length, as American workers continue to leave their jobs more frequently than at any other point in our country’s history.

Table 2. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics


But this trend is nothing new within the supply chain.

Table 3. Source: WorkStep

This surge in employee turnover is a crisis because it’s bad for both employers and workers.

Accelerating workforce attrition is a challenge for companies because it’s expensive – losing a frontline employee yields a fully loaded expense anywhere between $5,000 and $45,000 – but also because higher turnover increases safety incidences, decreases morale, and hinders productivity.

Similarly, increasing turnover is a detriment to workers because it makes it more challenging to climb the wage scale and is indicative of a lack of job match satisfaction. When an employee joins a company and leaves soon thereafter, everyone loses.

3. Through improving retention, workers have better jobs and live better lives

If there was one silver lining to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was that it forced companies of all sizes to think of and label their frontline workers as what they are – essential – and thus begin to prioritize their health, safety, satisfaction, and retention.

For the first time, we’re seeing many of the world’s largest companies put their employees on the same pedestal as their customers. Look no further than Amazon’s refined mission statement: to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, best employer, and safest place to work. The italicized part, of course, was recently added.

We’ve seen that the most impactful ways companies are able to lift frontline workforce retention are by:

  1. Hiring better-fit candidates
  2. Improving employee satisfaction and
  3. Providing growth opportunities

These are good things.

When a job is non-complementary to an employee’s life outside of work – for example, due to excessive forced overtime, backbreaking physicality, or inadequate compensation  – we’re increasingly seeing that the worker’s response is to quit, making the necessary accommodations some other way.

By creating an environment that leads to better retention, workers are able to have better jobs. A better job enables an employee to live a better life, both inside and outside of work.

In Part 2, we’ll share the core strategy that allows WorkStep to build from these truths toward improving outcomes for 100 million frontline workers. Finally, in Part 3, we’ll cover the operating principles we use to execute that strategy.

Learn more about our HIRE and RETAIN solutions.

Interested in joining our fast growing remote team?

We are hiring! Check out our open positions.

Dan Johnston

Dan Johnston, Co-Founder & CEO |