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WorkForce Software’s Third Annual Global Employee Experience Study Reveals Deskless Workers Are Still Dissatisfied at Work and Employers Are Struggling to Meet Their Needs

New employee experience research shows that while managers have a better understanding of their frontline workers’ growing expectations, there is a lack of action from employers.

LIVONIA, MI – October 10, 2023 – Today, the first global provider of integrated employee experience and workforce management solutions, WorkForce Software, releases the findings of its third annual Global Employee Experience (EX) Study. This research comes at a time when organizations are demonstrating executive focus on staff retention, recruiting, and employee efficiency, all amid highly competitive labor markets and an urgent need to realize a return on investment for their business transformation initiatives. 

Over the last three years, WorkForce Software’s Global Employee Experience Study findings have shown clear gaps in employee and employer perceptions of employers’ ability to deliver capabilities that create a good employee experience. In the first WorkForce Software Global Employee Experience Study in 2021, the perception gap between how well employees viewed the quality of their experience and employers’ views of the same categories were dramatically different.  Since then, the gap in perceptions has shrunk dramatically with identical views by employers and employees on the value of communications.   

This increasing alignment in perception demonstrates that employers and employees now view these fundamental experience elements with similar degrees of importance. Likewise, the results indicate significant growth in the importance of these elements for employees. For instance, the overall percentage of employees who recognize the importance of flexible scheduling has increased by twenty-five points over just the past three years, with most employees (84%) agreeing this is an important element of employee experience.  

While gaps between perceptions are shrinking, action is still needed. 

The positive study findings that managers are more conscious of the experience of their frontline employees doesn’t offset that there is considerable work to do to solve problems faced by deskless workers.  

The “Hearing from Dissatisfied Workers” section of the report offers insights and reexamines the survey questions through the lens of employees who are dissatisfied with their experiences at work to highlight the depth of challenges organizations face in meeting their employees’ needs. These insights further support the urgency of action, pointing out important improvements in experience that could deliver real value for employees. 

This, combined with the fact that many deskless or front-line employees are not given scheduling flexibility, can’t easily access training, and are not offered tools to enable simple digital communications, is perpetuating significant employee dissatisfaction. In fact, more than half (60%) of all employees said they are open to leaving their place of work in the next six months, and one in five (20%) are unlikely to recommend their place of work to a friend or family member. 

To combat this dissatisfaction and disengagement, the key areas to focus are on: 

Offer scheduling flexibility and autonomy: Employers recognize schedule flexibility as important but lack modern workforce management technology solutions that enable shift swapping, adequate planning, and adaptability for personal circumstances: 

  • The majority (84%) of employees express a strong desire to work for an employer who offers scheduling flexibility, and more than half (60%) are willing to leave to find an employer who will. 
  • More than half (59%) of employees still rely on outdated practices like paper timesheets and manual shift-swapping requests via email, text, or simply asking a manager or co-worker to swap, and 33% can’t swap shifts with other employees at all. 
  • Almost three in five (63%) employees don’t receive their schedule more than a week in advance. Meanwhile, 30% say that their employer does not make allowances for personal circumstances that affect their schedules and 65% of employees say their schedule pattern varies from week to week. 

Provide easy access to training: Investing in the development of your frontline staff not only enhances their capabilities, but it also nurtures their intrinsic desire to contribute, innovate, and excel: 

  • More than one in five (24%) employees don’t agree that their company provides adequate training opportunities.  
  • The majority (84%) of all employees would prefer to work for an employer that provides easy access to training. 
  • Three in five (55%) of all employees would prefer to access training through a mobile device, but only 22% have access to this option. 

“Keeping employees engaged to avoid losing valuable talent is of paramount importance right now,” said Mike Morini, CEO of WorkForce Software. “The cost of doing nothing, including the negative impact on productivity, talent acquisition, and retention, far outweighs the investment needed to adequately support, upskill, and empower deskless employees. The technology to provide greater flexibility for disparate workforces is readily available today, so taking action to remove the barriers to better employee experiences should begin immediately. There is really no reason why any employee can’t view their shift schedule and make changes, contact their manager, or complete relevant training digitally in 2023.” 

View the third annual WorkForce Software 2023 Global Employee Experience Study here. This global workforce survey, conducted by Pollfish on behalf of WorkForce Software, was completed by 1,684 employees and 1,701 employers from a wide range of industries across seven global regions. The survey was composed of 28 distinct questions, both open-ended and single selection. 

About WorkForce Software 

WorkForce Software is the #1 rated workforce management solution for large, global employers and the first to deliver integrated employee communication capabilities. The company’s WorkForce Suite adapts to each organization’s needs—no matter how unique their pay rules, labor regulations, and schedules—while delivering a breakthrough employee experience at the time and place work happens. Enterprise-grade and future-ready, WorkForce Software is helping some of the world’s most innovative organizations optimize their workforce, protect against compliance risks, and increase employee engagement to unlock new potential for resiliency and optimal performance. When your employees include deskless or hourly workers, unionized, full-time, part-time, or seasonal, WorkForce Software makes managing your global workforce easy, less costly, and more rewarding for everyone. For more information, please visit 

WorkForce Software’s solutions are also available through our global reseller, SAP. To learn more, please visit 

Media Contact 

Lisa Hajra  

WorkForce Software  

[email protected]  

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