Is empowering frontline employees top of mind for your organization? A recent Harvard Business Review survey showed that, of the 383 business leaders who responded to the study, 78% said they felt that connecting and empowering frontline employees is critical to their organization’s future success.
So, how exactly do you empower and engage your frontline employees such as teachers, servers, sales associates, first responders, flight attendants, electricians, construction workers, store managers, and personal trainers?
If you’ve found yourself asking this very question, you’ve come to the right place – in this blog, we’re going to give you four key tips for empowering your frontline employees. Read along to learn more!
Tip #1: Empower Frontline Employees By Outlining a Clear Vision for Your Entire Organization
Your frontline employees are the ones who are in direct contact with your current and potential customers, so they need to be able to understand your organization’s vision and goals in order to represent your company brand and provide superb customer service experiences for everyone they interact with. However, it’s not uncommon for frontline employees to feel as though they’re disconnected from the rest of the team – especially if there are in a different geographic location from headquarters. These frontline employees don’t always feel as though corporate understands their positions, what they do on a day-to-day basis, or what challenges they face.
To get everyone on the same page and open up a clear line of communication between corporate headquarters and all frontline employees, consider implementing a powerful communications platform, like Workplace by Facebook (Workplace). With Workplace, you can share your corporate vision via posts and live video, and get real-time feedback on those posts from your frontline employees. And, because it’s available on multiple devices (including mobile), Workplace provides you with a secure space to build a collaborative, connected, and engaged frontline workforce.
Tip #2: Help Frontline Employees Feel Like They Belong to Your Team
As mentioned above, there often seems to be a disconnect between corporate headquarters and frontline employees, which, some might say, is somewhat natural – frontline employees aren’t often located in the same physical vicinity as their corporate headquarters, and often that physical distance can lead to a gap in communication or a feeling of not belonging to the team. When this happens, frontline workers can feel underappreciated, which can lead to poor motivation, or, in some rare cases, subversive (or open) hostility between frontline workers and corporate workers.
But, as mentioned before, your frontline workers are directly interacting with your customers – they’re the face of your brand, and the first point of contact between your organization and those potential customers that you want to net. So, to ignore that disconnect is a major strategic error that many organizations, unfortunately, seem to make.
One way you can empower your frontline employees and make them feel like they belong to your team is to give them a solid platform where they can provide their feedback and ideas to corporate. After all, frontline employees often find themselves as the passive recipient of customer feedback, complaints, and suggestions. That’s valuable feedback for your corporate team when making important business decisions. Workplace is that solid and secure platform you’re looking for – for instance, your organization could set up various Workplace Groups for Customer Feedback, Frontline Ideas, Internal Kudos, and more. When your frontline employees get the customer feedback, or they want to share their ideas, or even recognize a fellow employee who’s gone above and beyond, they can use these Groups to post to Workplace.
Tip #3: Provide Frontline Employees with The Right Technology to Do Their Jobs
As discussed in the tip above, it’s important to make it easy for frontline employees to collaborate with those outside of their immediate vicinity, so they can share their feedback and ideas that, in many cases, are coming directly from their relationships that they’re building with you customers. This leads us to our next tip: providing your frontline employees with the right technology to do their jobs better and more efficiently. You need to give them the tools that will help them to communicate with corporate.
However, because of the nature of their work, many frontline employees don’t have regular access to a computer – they’re either too busy to look at one, or they don’t have one on the job site where they are. Thankfully, in this day and age, almost everyone seems to have access to a smartphone, and/or tablet, so computers aren’t as necessary as they once were. Workplace, case in point, has identical functionality regardless of whether you’re using a computer, a phone, or a tablet, so frontline workers can easily access the platform on whatever device they do have handy.
With Workplace, you can share and collaborate on documents, view training and onboarding resources, discuss the latest corporate documents, polices and procedures, and you can even create bots that can assist with scheduling needs. And, since Workplace is built off Facebook’s familiar platform (although kept completely separate from personal Facebook accounts), its rate of adoption is much higher than other collaboration tools on the market today.
Tip #4: Provide Regular Recognition and Feedback to Your Frontline Employees
Studies have shown that today’s employees aren’t looking to wait for annual, quarterly, or even monthly reviews – they want guidance and feedback on a much more frequent basis so that they can continuously improve their performance.
This can be difficult when you have frontline employees, especially given the different locations that might be in play, but it is important that you provide effective feedback and recognition on a regular basis, even if that feedback is negative.
Workplace, as alluded to above, is the perfect platform to help provide regular recognition and feedback for all your employees, including your frontline employees. Whether it’s using Workplace Chat to connect one-on-one with a manager or mentor, making use of private Workplace Groups to provide weekly, monthly, or quarterly updates to each frontline employees that you interact with, or providing company-wide Kudos to those employees who are going above and beyond (like LineZero does), physical location is no longer a barrier to providing your frontline employees with feedback and recognition.
Empowering Frontline Employees – Let’s Get Started!
There’s no denying the fact that frontline employees form the backbone of your organization and ensure that your organization’s ambitions and goals are brought to life. These employees are the direct connection to your customers that you rely on so much. So, it’s important to ensure that you empower frontline employees by making them feel that they are a valued member of your organization. These four tips we’ve mentioned above is a good start.
If you want to better understand how Workplace can help you build a corporate culture that empowers frontline workers, our 7-Day Email Course will show you some important ways that Workplace by Facebook can help you to solve six of the most common pain points in business, including engaging your employees, employee recognition, and more! We’ll send you an email a day directly to your inbox - contact us to get started!