Axonify publishes annual study on the state of frontline work experience around the world

What drives the big resignation: Almost half of frontline workers plan to quit their current jobs, citing burnout on pay as the main reason for quitting

WATERLOO, ON, October 14, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Axonify, a leader in frontline worker training, today announced the results of its annual State of the Global Frontline Work Experience Study conducted in July /August 2021 by global market research firm Arlington Research. Highlighting the drivers of the big resignation for frontline workers, this year’s survey found that nearly 50% of frontline workers prepare to quit their current jobs, citing burnout as the main reason (58 %).


Conducted in the US, UK and Australia, the survey engaged more than 2,500 front-line employees from various industries, including retail, grocery, finance, banking, insurance and professional sales, to learn more about the experience of frontline work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Everyone talks about the future of work, but too many of these conversations focus solely on the employee experience in the company and don’t consider the front line. Now is the time to rethink the frontline work experience, ”said Carol Leaman, CEO of Axonify. “Successful companies realize that frontline workers are the face of their brand. We need to stress the importance of this group’s experience to ensure they are supported and given fair opportunities so they can advance their careers – and serve as brand ambassadors. “

Key takeaways from the report include:

More salary does not justify bad conditions

While many front-line employees say pay is a motivation to stay with a company (49%), pay isn’t even among the top three factors for quitting. Frontline workers don’t just look for better pay, they look for better conditions when they are overworked and exhausted.

  • Almost half of frontline workers said they plan to quit their current job, with Gen Z most eager to quit (63%).

  • When asked about frontline workers why they were planning to quit, more than half of those surveyed said they felt exhausted at work (58%), followed by a lack of appreciation from management and / or peers (53%) and a lack of interest. in daily work (52%), poor pay (52%) comes fourth.

  • Looking at different industries, retail workers said burnout (63%) was a bigger motivator for quitting than compensation (50%).

How can employers prevent frontline workers from getting off the ship? Compensation matters, but employees say they also want more flexible hours (44%), more appreciation (42%), and more positive relationships at work (42%).

Opportunity for improvement regarding equity on the front line

While increased attention to social justice has motivated organizations to rethink their approach to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB), the report shows that employers still have a long way to go. Based on the 2021 results, three key areas of disparity in frontline equity emerged: gender, place of work and employment status.

Kind: There is a clear gender gap in frontline work experience.

  • Employees who identify as male reported being more satisfied with their pay (70%) than employees who identify as female (60%).

  • These same employees reported greater satisfaction on issues such as manager confidence (72% vs. 62%), pandemic support (78% vs. 70%), and career development (69% vs. 59%). ).

Frontline vs business: The data also revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic has widened the disparity gap between workers in companies and those on the front lines.

  • Office workers were much more satisfied (86%) with their support than store / branch workers (67%).

  • Likewise, more than 8 in 10 office workers were satisfied with their day-to-day work (81%), but less than two-thirds of store / branch workers felt the same (64%).

Job status: Full-time employees reported higher job satisfaction than part-time workers.

  • Just under two-thirds of part-time workers (vs. 80% of full-time workers) were satisfied with the support their employers provided during the pandemic

  • Half of part-time workers trust their manager to take employee well-being into account when making decisions compared to 72% of full-time workers

Leaman added, “Fostering an inclusive and fair workplace shouldn’t even be a question. Everyone deserves the opportunity to do their best at work. And not only is it the right thing to do, but focusing on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging is also a solid business strategy. However, employers with frontline employees still have considerable room for improvement in this area.

Frontline workers seek career and skills development opportunities

Although touted as a business imperative, frontline training tends to take a back seat due to access and turnover. Retailers, grocers, contact center agents and delivery drivers are hard to reach with traditional courses and training programs. And high turnover in front-line roles often makes training less of a priority. Based on this year’s findings, internal skills development remains inconsistent but is in demand.

  • More than a third of employees say they receive training only during important job changes such as transfers and promotions (36%) and almost a quarter say they rarely or never receive additional training (20% ).

  • When employees were asked about access to skills development, less than half said they had access to the development of their career advancement skills such as management and leadership, although more than a third had requested it. .

  • Training and skills development is even bleaker in retail and grocery, with only half of retail workers and less than two-thirds of grocery workers having the opportunity to take on new responsibilities and advance their careers.

Training can be a motivator to help fight burnout. When front-line employees were asked what would make them stay with a company, a third said more career advancement opportunities (34%) and access to more training and skills development ( 32%).

Methodology of the study
The results of the 2021 Global State of Frontline Work Experience study are drawn from a survey conducted by Arlington Research and brought together between July 22, 2021 and August 2, 2021, by interviewing 2,564 respondents from United States, United Kingdom and Australia. At the time of the survey, respondents were in front-line positions in grocery, retail, finance, banking, insurance or professional sales for companies with more than 1,000 employees.

Download the full study on the State of Frontline Work Experience in the World 2021 here.

About Axonify
Axonify is the modern frontline employee training and communication solution that really works. Why does it work so well? Because the experience is fun, fast, personalized, and designed to retain critical information. And employees love it: 83% of users log in 2-3 times per week, resulting in a significant behavior change that improves business results. Over 200 customers in over 155 countries around the world, including Walmart, Bloomingdale’s, Levi’s, and Merck trust Axonify to fuel employee performance to keep pace with their business. Founded in 2011, Axonify is based in Waterloo, ON Canada. For more information, please visit



View original content to download multimedia:

SOURCE Axonify

Maria D. Ervin