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.
How do you empower and engage your frontline employees such as nurses, support staff, teachers, food handlers, sales associates, first responders, flight attendants, electricians, construction workers, store managers, personal trainers, and the list goes on.
If you oversee an organization with frontline employees, you may have already asked this very question. We are going to give you four tips for empowering your frontline employees.
Empower Frontline Employees By Outlining a Clear Vision for Your Entire Organization
One of the single most significant failures of any organization's strategy is the failure to understand the broader company vision. The vision is not the fancy tagline we share with the world. Its the clear objective of who, where what and how for our corporate strategy. Your frontline employees are the ones who are in direct contact with your current and potential customers every single day. They need to be able to understand your organization's vision and objectives if your company is going to implement it's strategy effectively. 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. The frontline employee does not always feel as though corporate understands their role, what they do on a day-to-day basis, or what challenges they face.
Virgin Airlines had this exact challenge, to address unifying their team and facilitating open communication between corporate headquarters and all frontline employees, they implemented Workplace from Facebook (Workplace). With Workplace, they were able to share the corporate vision via posts and live monthly CEO video streaming, and get real-time feedback on those posts from frontline employees. And, because it's available on multiple devices (including mobile), Workplace provides a secure space to build a collaborative, connected, and engaged frontline workforce. Virgin Airlines has been able to make a direct connection between Workplace, Employees and reduction in material handling costs directly through the implementation of a simple tool with a familiar environment. Read the full story here.
Help Frontline Employees Feel Like They Belong to Your Team
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 under appreciated, which can lead to poor motivation, or, in some rare cases, subversive (or open) hostility between frontline workers and corporate workers.
Your frontline workers are directly interacting with your customers – they’re the face of your organization, and the first point of contact between you and your potential customer. To ignore the 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. Enabling your frontline workers with a tool that easily sends these messages to the back office has been a game changer for companies like Campbell Soup, Columbia and Tim Horton's Foundation Camp.
Provide Frontline Employees with The Right Technology to Do Their Jobs
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.
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, where 84% of employees have access to a smartphone, and 69% have access to a tablet, computers aren’t as necessary as they once were. Workplace has identical functionality regardless of whether you’re using a computer, a phone, or a tablet, frontline workers can easily access the platform on whatever device they have handy.
With Workplace, you can share and collaborate on documents, view training and on-boarding 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.
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 from Facebook 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, 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 we empower frontline employees by making them feel that they are a valued member of our organization. These four tips we’ve mentioned above is a good start.
As a team of security-obsessed communication and technology experts, Workplace from Facebook has partnered with us in bringing exception service to prospective and existing clients using Workplace from Facebook. We understand with any new tools, you want to ensure it's right for your team.
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!
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