Frontline jobs, as opposed to college, are actually the common entry point for most Americans into the workforce. These jobs represent about 70% of the US workforce. t Unfortunately, they often act as both the starting and ending point for many workers. According to a report by McKinsey in 2022, there is a vast discrepancy between workers' ambition and their ability to advance, with only one in four workers able to progress.
The front line is a significant but often neglected opportunity for companies, given that it comprises approximately 112 million workers. Companies must assume the responsibility of supporting these workers by providing them with opportunities to move into higher-paying jobs that offer more fulfilment. Improvements to career advancement can have a considerable impact on millions of workers' lifetime earnings, job experience, and progress.
Many of today’s solutions do not work. US companies need to devise innovative ways to promote upward economic mobility for their frontline workers. In fact, the best way for these workers to advance is by transitioning to different jobs within the same company. Companies can offer well-defined opportunities to workers, coupled with comprehensive training, to enable them to move from initial frontline positions to more secure jobs with middle-class incomes and more promising career prospects.
According to a 2022 report by Gartner, there is projected to be a 9.3% increase in enterprise spending on software and a 5.5% increase in IT services spending in 2023. Despite reports of layoffs among tech companies, most of the fired employees are not in IT positions, according to Computerworld. The dearth of tech talent remains, with over 145,000 IT job vacancies projected for 2023.
This talent shortage presents a viable opportunity for companies to provide upward economic mobility to frontline workers. If adequately trained workers fill entry-level tech jobs, companies could save millions of dollars in new hiring.
There are several reasons why companies should take this prospect seriously:
Cost-effective solution: Hiring and training new employees for entry-level tech jobs can be costly and time-consuming. On the other hand, investing in the training and upskilling of existing frontline workers is cost-effective because they already possess knowledge of the company's operations and culture.
Improved employee retention: Offering opportunities for career development and advancement can improve employee satisfaction and retention. Upskilling frontline workers for tech jobs not only demonstrates a commitment to employee development but also provides a clear career path within the organization, which can motivate employees to stay with the company.
Fosters innovation: Frontline workers have a deep understanding of the company's operations and are often closest to customers. By training them for tech jobs, companies can tap into their creativity and innovation to develop new solutions and improve processes.
Improved productivity: Equipping frontline workers with access to new technologies can enhance their performance, leading to improved productivity, reduced costs, and increased profitability.
Addresses skills gap: With the rapid advancement of technology, many companies are experiencing a skills gap, with a shortage of workers possessing the required digital skills. By upskilling frontline workers for tech jobs, companies can address this gap and ensure they have the talent necessary to remain competitive.
Promotes diversity and inclusion: Many frontline workers come from diverse backgrounds and may have missed out on opportunities for education and career development. By providing training and opportunities for career advancement, companies can promote diversity and inclusion, ensuring that all employees have access to the same opportunities.
In conclusion, companies can play a crucial role in supporting their frontline workers' upward mobility by investing in their training and development. By upskilling frontline workers for tech jobs, companies can achieve cost savings, improve employee retention, foster innovation, boost productivity, address the skills gap, and promote diversity and inclusion.
Ready to help your frontline workers unlock their full potential?
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