Zebra and Indeed survey findings highlight worker motivations, technology impact, and uncover experience gap that needs to be addressed
LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. – Dec. 15, 2022 – Zebra Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: ZBRA), an innovator at the front line of business with solutions and partners that deliver a performance edge, and Indeed, the world’s number one job site today, announced the results of a new survey of front-line retail and warehouse workers in Britain, which found employer investment in technology is making jobs easier and boosting job satisfaction.
The survey revealed 62% of workers said their employers were investing in technology to help them do their jobs. More than half (55%) say technology is making their day-to-day jobs easier and 44% report increased job enjoyment and satisfaction. Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed also see their jobs as long-term careers, citing flexibility (38%), stability (34%) and variety (30%) as the top three reasons. And when asked about career development, 40% saw the retail and warehousing industries as having a lot of opportunities for progression.
For retail and warehouse employers and recruiters, the findings highlight the positive impact the right technology investments can have on labor hiring, training, retention and elevating the role of associates at a time of increased challenges facing these industries.
“Customer experience and business productivity are naturally high priorities when considering technology investments, but these findings show the important role technology has in elevating responsibilities and improving the employee experience,” said Daniel Dombach, EMEA Director, Industry Solutions, Zebra Technologies. “Technology should be seen as a key lever to attract and retain valuable talent and support career aspirations. Enterprise technology is increasingly operating on a simpler ‘drag and drop’ approach, creating workflows on a screen. For example, handheld devices come with touchscreens and apps for shifts, tasks, and communication while cloud, Wi-Fi, radio frequency identification (RFID) and 5G are connecting workers, inventory, workflows, and devices.”
The survey results showed when it comes to applying for roles, the top three reasons workers applied for retail or warehouse jobs were flexibility, hourly pay, and company reputation for looking after workers.
“Jobs in the retail, loading and stocking sectors are increasingly in demand today against the backdrop of ongoing recruitment challenges, and demand for these staff is there too. This month, retail job postings on Indeed are up 114% from where we were at the beginning of 2020,” said Jack Kennedy, UK Economist at Indeed. “We have seen a spike in people searching for seasonal end-of-year roles this year, a rise of around 8% compared to the last two festive periods and up 30% versus 2019 and 2020 levels. This could be, in part, due to economic constraints as the cost-of-living crisis continues to bite, prompting people to seek seasonal jobs to help pay the bills.”
Tech-Savvy Workers, but Room for Improvement
Although front-line workers do not have the same oversight as a chief technology officer or IT director, they understand the impact that investments in technology can have on the wider business. Workers cited improved speed and quality of customer service (48%) and worker productivity (46%) as top motives for technology investment by employers.
And when asked how technology will impact their jobs and workplaces in the future, workers cited improved accuracy (38%), productivity (38%) and dealing with customer queries faster (36%) as the top three benefits. However, the survey also uncovered a ‘technology experience gap’ that could be exacerbating current labor shortages facing these industries and the recruitment sector. One in five surveyed said technology had made their jobs harder, with 19% stating it had decreased job satisfaction and enjoyment.
“There’s a 35 percent gap (55% v 20%) between those who experience technology making jobs easier versus harder,” said Mark Thomson, EMEA Director of Retail, Zebra Technologies. “This should be seen as an urgent but fixable issue in the face of today’s labor shortages.”
A recent report by the Indeed Hiring Lab highlighted the importance of workplace happiness, and how job search activity decreases with increased job satisfaction, while Zebra’s Global Shopper Study found that 84% of retail associates expect the retail environment to be just as technologically advanced as their everyday lives.
“There is still too much legacy technology today that is hard to learn and use along with too many boring, repetitive tasks that could be automated to free up associate time for more interesting and varied work,” said Thomson. “Unhappy workers are likely to be at a higher risk of leaving, and their negative experience could put off others from applying for roles.”
Over a third (35%) of Zebra and Indeed survey respondents also believe employers invest in technology to fill the gap due to a lack of staff or high turnover. Investing in productivity-enhancing technology to make hiring easier in the face of labor supply constraints was suggested as a response employers could take in the Indeed Hiring Lab report.
“There continues to be a high number of vacancies in the retail and warehouse sectors, even when taking into account the hiring peak in mid-October which fell about a month earlier than prior years,” said Kennedy. “Retailers and warehouse outfits continue to hire at pace. Job postings in these areas remain at more than double pre-pandemic levels, but attracting the right talent remains challenging due in part to high rates of economic inactivity.”
- Over half (62%) of Zebra and Indeed survey respondents said their employers are investing in technology to help them do their jobs.
- Fifty-five percent say technology is making their day-to-day jobs easier, and 44% report increased job satisfaction.
- More than half (58%) see their jobs as long-term, citing flexibility (38%), stability (34%) and variety (30%) as top factors.
- There is room for improvement with 20% saying technology has made their jobs harder.
The double-blind survey was carried out among 500 front-line retail and warehouse workers in the UK in November 2022 by Censuswide.
ABOUT ZEBRA TECHNOLOGIES
Zebra (NASDAQ: ZBRA) empowers organizations to thrive in the on-demand economy by making every front-line worker and asset at the edge visible, connected and fully optimized. With an ecosystem of more than 10,000 partners across more than 100 countries, Zebra serves customers of all sizes – including 86% of the Fortune 500 – with an award-winning portfolio of hardware, software, services and solutions that digitize and automate workflows. Supply chains are more dynamic, customers and patients are better served, and workers are more engaged when they utilize Zebra innovations that help them sense, analyze and act in real time. Zebra recently expanded its industrial automation portfolio with its Fetch Robotics acquisition and increased its machine vision and AI software capabilities with the acquisitions of Adaptive Vision, antuit.ai and Matrox Imaging. Zebra is #42 on Newsweek’s list of America’s 100 Most Loved Workplaces, #42 on Fast Company’s list of the Best Workplaces for Innovators and #79 on Forbes’ list of America’s 500 Best Midsize Employers. Learn more at www.zebra.com or sign up for news alerts. Follow Zebra’s Your Edge blog, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, and check out our Story Hub: Zebra Perspectives.
More people find jobs on Indeed than anywhere else. Indeed is the #1 job site in the world (Comscore, Total Visits, September 2021) and allows job seekers to search millions of jobs in more than 60 countries and 28 languages. Over 3 million employers use Indeed to find and hire new employees. More than 300 million users each month search for jobs, post resumes, and research companies on Indeed, and Indeed delivers 2.5X more hires than other branded job sites combined (Among BreezyHR clients, Sources of Hire Report 2021, U.S.). For more information, visit indeed.com.
Therese Van Ryne
Industry Analyst Contact:
ZEBRA and the stylized Zebra head are trademarks of Zebra Technologies Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. ©2022 Zebra Technologies Corp. and/or its affiliates.