Blog Post | ,

Do Something Different in 2022 to Improve Frontline Worker Retention

Kristina Finn

January 5, 2022

First, let’s begin by taking a deep breath. 

The past year has been a tough one, especially for anyone within the supply chain. From the pandemic, to the Great Resignation, to backlogs at the ports, and frontline worker turnover being at an all time high, 2021 was undeniably stressful and challenging. 

The landscape of the supply chain and the mindset of frontline workers shifted, creating difficult situations for management and executives to navigate. One of the most daunting changes was the labor shortage crisis.

2021 in Hindsight

In 2021, nearly 5 million people quit their jobs, with hourly workers in the supply chain and logistics sector making up a high percentage of those resignations. The natural reaction was to quickly figure out how to attract more candidates. But incentives such as wage spikes and signing bonuses worked like a bandaid over a gaping wound. 

Initially it seemed to ease the hiring need. More people were applying and being hired. The problem was, many didn’t end up staying. Companies invested in recruitment, onboarding, and training never to see the ROI. The annualized cost of frontline worker turnover for companies and the economy reached $90 billion for the U.S. alone.

These incentives ultimately created more issues. Now companies were locked into the high wages they promised, yet still faced a worker shortage. And the raises became less appealing as this income growth led to a 6.8% rise in prices, the highest inflation the US has seen in over 4 decades.

In hindsight, the focus shouldn’t have been on hiring, but on retaining frontline workers. 

A New Year, A New Approach

As the pandemic continues to rage into its third calendar year, more mandates are being enforced, and people are leaving their jobs at higher rates than ever before. It’s understandable that leaders in the supply chain industry feel paralyzed, not knowing what move is the right move to make. 

It’s time to try a different approach when it comes to employee retention – one that gives supply chain management back control during a tumultuous time. 

Research has shown 75% of turnover reasons could have been prevented. Instead of HR teams guessing what is causing this continued turnover and making changes based on those assumptions, a strategy needs to be built based on a continued employee feedback loop – an annual check-in or quarterly check-in is no longer sufficient. Frontline workers are looking to be able to provide feedback to their employer at least once a month. And more importantly, they want to feel heard and part of the growth of the company.

Real-time insights allow leaders to take action immediately and make changes they know will have an impact on the satisfaction of their employees. 

A solution like WorkStep RETAIN not only enables companies to gather this feedback and make  improvements, it also tracks how the changes being made directly impact the reduction of turnover. This puts an end to the overwhelming guessing game. 

It’s a new year, and a good time to try a new approach to improving your frontline worker retention. To learn more about how WorkStep can help support your company’s retention strategy in 2022, set up a demo today. 


Kristina Finn

Kristina Finn, Content Marketing Manager |

Kristina Finn is the Content Marketing Manager at WorkStep and has eight years experience in advertising and marketing. Kristina creates engaging pieces to propel the WorkStep brand and to communicate their mission to help make the supply chain a better place to work. With a background in journalism, Kristina enjoys finding compelling stories to tell and sharing them with an audience that will find value in the content. Kristina resides in Rochester, NY with her husband and enjoys listening to music, dancing, and spending time with family and friends.