A simple plan to empower your frontline workers with technology

blog a simple plan to empower your frontline workers with technology
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Is technology overlooking the core of the workforce?

We have always known that frontline workers were important to a company’s bottom line, but it’s never been more true. Critical workers have proved their worth over and over, yet when it comes to engagement and technology, they continue to be left behind.

Often “deskless” and mobile, they may include the nurses at a hospital, field workers servicing electrical lines, or manufacturers assembling or producing goods and products.

Frontline employees are the ones who help customers have a good experience.

Every company must engage and motivate frontline workers properly. That way, they can take good care of customers. There are serious repercussions for companies that don’t take into account the wellbeing and engagement of frontline employees. A PwC report established that 73% of consumers regard customer service as one of their purchase drivers, with 65% emphasizing that customer service has a much greater influence than costly and great advertising.

Did you know? One retail manager could be responsible for more than $80 million in annual revenue. 

—McKinsey & Company

Many companies don’t put a high priority on communication with frontline workers, but bad communication results in disconnected and disengaged employees, as well as low productivity and lower revenues.

Frontline employee engagement statistics

  • 75% of employees felt out of the loop when it comes to company policy changes
  • 84% don’t get sufficient information from management 
  • 50% have no clear perception of their company’s direction 
  • Only 13% of frontline workers feel engaged at work

These shocking numbers are largely due to the fact that they are “often left out of internal communications” and receive minimal investment in digital workplace technology. The most engaged employees are those that have direct HR communication and engagement, and open lines of communication with management.

How to empower and engage your frontline staff in a few simple steps

When it comes to engagement, IT and technology tools provide vital support for companies that want to craft winning strategies. Technology can help you take three simple steps to engage and motivate frontline employees. These steps are:

  1. Optimize your internal communications 
  2. Invest in your onboarding process 
  3. Recognize your frontline employees

Step 1: Optimize your internal communications

In order to reach this workforce, companies must reassess their communication channels. 

It’s not as complex or technical as it might sound—but it does mean embracing more than just email as a way to send and receive messages from frontline workers.

To truly optimize your digital internal communication strategy, you should consider a workforce communications platform, which can help you reach workers where they are (whether they work remotely, from the road, or are “deskless” onsite), and when they are most likely to be receptive to receiving, responding to, or sending messages.

Company emails are just not as effective as a workforce communications platform because these workers are mostly mobile, don’t sit behind a desk, and often do not have company laptops or emails. Companies need to define how they will communicate with employees in order to align and unify their workforce with business goals.

IT should look to invest in a workforce communications platform that reaches all employees on the channels they prefer.

Frontline worker on factory floor

Step 2: Invest in your onboarding process

Taking the time to create a thoughtful onboarding experience for your new hires provides a positive effect for everyone. And it is critical to businesses because about 28% of new employees quit before 90 days. Here are a few reasons onboarding is so important:

  • Onboarding boosts retention.
  • It enhances employee engagement.
  • A good onboarding program builds a company-wide recruiting culture.

A good way to create an onboarding program is with a workforce communications platform. 

Step 3: Recognize your frontline workers

Who doesn’t love being recognized at work for a job well done? Proper recognition can contribute to high levels of job satisfaction and even reduce turnover.

IT can partner with HR and internal communications to recognize frontline workers. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Publicize frontline employee achievements.
  2. Use digital “thank you” notes to show your appreciation.
  3. Give your high-performing employees flexibility.

Interested in learning more? Download and explore in-depth the 3 steps to empowering your frontline teams in our free guide:

Firstup can help you implement the best technology tools for successful employee communications and engagement. Contact us today for a free demo!

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