No doubt, most of the members of the global workforce happen to work on the frontline. We call them “frontline workers” because they provide essential services to the public and have massive interactions with the public.
Despite the essence of their services, they don’t need necessarily require an office or a desk to perform their responsibilities.
They can be found working in places such as :
- Grocery stores
- Fire station
- Shopping malls
- Police stations
- Bus parks
- Railway stations
- Construction sites
The list goes on.
A recent survey has shown that over 2 billion people in the world working population are frontline workers! From what is indicated, frontline workers are everywhere and in every industry that delves into providing services. Therefore, they play a vital role that cannot be overlooked.
The Covid pandemic, for example, saw a lot of frontline health workers put their lives at risk because their job requires them to be in direct contact with patients, infected or not.
Sadly, in today’s world, frontline staff have been known to be little appreciated and mostly overlooked despite how much they contribute to the world in comparison to their desk colleagues.
Microsoft reported that 51% of frontline employees don’t feel valued, and over 50% complain corporate bosses don’t prioritize workplace culture.
Companies face the challenge of keeping these employees engaged, satisfied and valued enough to keep their services top-notch.
How to Support your Frontline Employees
1. Improve your Job Management Skills
The term “Job management” is the step-by-step process or guide involved in the smooth running of a company or business. Looking at how jobs are managed can create a huge difference in employee engagement or retention, especially for frontline workers.
How so? Because when a company imbibes better job management skills that involve frontline employees, it gives them a clearer sense of direction and outlines their duties to make them feel like a part of the company’s accomplishment in the long run.
When there is no proper job management, it becomes easy for lines to be blurred as employees’ tasks aren’t clearly outlined.
The result is the failure to meet the set goal and, of course, an overworked staff
2. Provide the Best Tech
About one-third of frontline employees say they don’t have the best tools to help their job easier and more efficient.
Providing robust technology solutions and options that perform activities such as automating tasks, providing remote assistance, and smoothing communication in the workspace, amongst others, is critical to supporting frontline workers, keeping them connected with the best apps and software available. Software such as file service management software, time tracking software, task management tools and scheduling software are examples of productivity tools that aid frontline workers perform more tasks in a short amount of time.
3. Offer Knowledge Management
It’s helpful for frontline employees to have a place where new learnings and information are both stored that can be easily accessed when out in the field.
Because they are the “face” of the brand, it is of utmost importance that information on the happenings in the company and updates as to how an operation should be carried out are readily divulged to them without reserve.
Also, the culture of knowledge-sharing should be practiced. The knowledge-sharing culture encourages a free flow of information between management and staff.
Hearing the feedback from customers heightens the chances of growth. Who better to get that feedback than the employees who have direct contact with them?
Therefore, an effective knowledge management system should be established in a company to foster the spirit of collaboration and community among employees.
4. Work on Better Overall Engagement
Frontline employees are literally on the “frontline” of the business. They are the ones who receive most of the heat from disgruntled clients, seeing through the day-to-day routines and ensuring the company is successful.
Keeping them engaged and vested in the company’s vision is imperative.
How can one do that?
- By keeping the door of communication open! Once employees start to feel like they aren’t being heard, especially after doing the brunt of the work, they start feeling disconnected from the company. Reduced productivity, less drive and resignation letters start pouring in.
- Review employee engagement regularly. Organizing surveys gives company owners a peek into the mind of workers. By asking questions such as “What would you rather change about the company if you could?” “Do you see yourself growing with us?” “Would you recommend our company to others to work in?” it becomes easy to see the percentage of employee engagement in the company and what changes need to be made to keep frontline employees engaged.
5. Set Up Communication Channels
Internal communication is an integral part of supporting frontline employees. Be sure everyone can reach anyone they may need while working by ensuring proper communication channels are set up.
This promotes unison in the workspace and healthy workplace culture.
For a company that desires growth, supporting and valuing frontline staff must be the new code, seeing how they provide services that enable the world in general to run.