Frontline workforces are an essential cog in many organizations, as their contributions in the field directly affect customer satisfaction and business efficiency. They are on the literal front lines of their industries, often participating in manual or demanding roles, many of us can unknowingly overlook their fundamental work, but front-line employees make up approx 70% of the world’s workforce.
They’re truly the bedrock of organizations and frontline management should be considered mission-critical, especially as organizations look to both support employees and continue to provide uninterrupted and necessary services during critical times, such as a global pandemic.
In fact, many large enterprises were caught sleeping by the global pandemic, what was once nice to have employee solution (in their opinions) immediately shot to ‘absolutely must have’ overnight
But helping, engaging, and supporting your desk-less employees doesn’t have to be a shot in the dark or even a dramatic upheaval!
Whether companies are just developing a strategy for connecting desk-less employees, or are taking their strategy back to the drawing board as a result of the ‘New Normal’ from the Coronavirus, there are some tried-and-true best practices you can follow for success.
Because frontline workers aren’t consistently part of the office environment, they’re not able to access information in the same way as fixed-location employees. They rely on receiving information about mobile work, customers, and company news digitally. If they aren’t able to easily send and receive communications between team members or managers, details will likely fall through the cracks.
Luckily, technology comes for help here: providing employees with a digital workplace platform for all communication is critical, and leveraging the employee’s mobile device to communicate and keep employees updated can be a strategic advantage for many businesses.
When frontline employees feel like they are empowered with the right tools to communicate with their HQ, they’re more likely to feel less stressed and more engaged, resulting in higher levels of productivity and better mental health levels.
A win-win situation, both for them and the company, really!
Not all your audiences are the same
Corporate content is a good accompaniment to have in the content strategy mix for this audience. But it needs to be included within a front-line content strategy which has sensitivity built into it. Physical time to engage, time to action, in motion content, non-interruptive periods, permissions, and rota cycles. A small handful of considerations that people leaders need to be aware of. Content, materials, and information need attention for your front-line audience so it is sensitive to them and their frenetic working days.
Porting across content and materials from the HQ intranet to a front-line / non-desk community won’t be as successful as a specific channel and employee XP forethought.
Crack Real-Time Comms
Directly tied to the above is one of the most challenging codes to crack for an organization with a dispersed workforce: real-time communications.
If there’s a last-minute company update, desk-less workers need real-time access to schedules and other resources, all in one convenient place. And this has always been a tricky one for companies to achieve!
Getting our lives ready for the New Normal, mobile workforce management needs more than ever to be ready to provide employees with a tool that helps reduce miscommunication and facilitates knowledge, sharing instant communications on a single platform.
For frontline workers, this is especially important, as they must quickly navigate their ever-changing resources and schedules, and having this set up the right way will allow them to have a voice in times of crisis, making them feel respected and cared for
Not everything has to do with corporate communication, though.
Front-line employees need to feel included, appreciated, and oftentimes rewarded for the job they’ve been doing without any pretension. Engaging them in a reward system for frontline staff, focused on an everyday appreciation of their work can truly make the difference.
Normally, small instances of appreciation are given at the moment, typically face-to-face, and therefore are missed by those on the frontlines. They may seem small gestures but can really feel like week-changing achievements, especially in times of uncertainty like the ones we’re living in now.
With a reward program run via your mobile and accessible intranet, the distance between employee and manager is no issue: managers and other colleagues can easily show appreciation for the work done by those on the frontline.
Better still, the gesture is public and viewed by others: this creates a culture of appreciation that induces a ripple effect, motivating others to follow suit!
Ensure Their Wellbeing
During the Coronavirus spread, being physically at work could have generated higher levels of stress. We’ve seen production in many factories stopping because companies could not ensure the correct safety measures and social distancing could not be implemented, and that has definitely taken a toll among workers.
Now that we’re slowly getting back to normality and our non-desk employees are back on the production lines, making sure everything is correctly set up will make them feel ultimately protected and listened to.
Some questions we should all ask ourselves: Are employees supported with regular check-ins by their managers? Do they have a virtual place where they can share their doubts & fears in regards to the current situation? Is their mental health monitored via some real, human conversation?
A proactive, hands-on, robust approach by any HQ will help employees feel protected and more optimistic in regards to transitioning into this New Normal Era!
Learn How Beem Delivers Value to Globally Dispersed Workforces
Organizations have a chance to eliminate the additional friction non-desk workers face on a daily basis, whether these obstacles are physical, emotional, or digital. In removing barriers that otherwise dilute precious energy, organizations empower non-desk workers to translate their hard work into impact for customers and ultimately feel more fulfilled in their work.
While many companies will continue tweaking business models as the new normal takes shape, they must view the changes created by the pandemic as progressive opportunities.
As technology grows ever more sophisticated and non-desk productivity tools boom, it’s on employers to ensure that frontline employees are equipped with the tools, processes, and knowledge to grow, develop and thrive!