Let's talk about motivating frontline employees for a moment. One thing that the global pandemic has recently taught us is that frontline employees, like first responders, grocery store clerks, delivery personnel, mail carriers, and the like are essential during times of crisis.
So, is motivating your frontline employees top of mind for your organization? How do you motivate your frontline employees, like your first responders, grocery store associates, electricians, construction workers, sales associates, store managers, servers, teachers, or 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 motivating your frontline employees. Read along to learn more!
Why Motivating Frontline Employees is a Good Idea
In these times of unrest and upheaval, frontline employees are being recognized as heroes. Whether they're transporting our sick, filling our prescriptions, stocking our shelves, delivering our packages, driving our food & essentials to where they need to be, taking care of our elderly, protecting our borders, or preparing food, there's a massive focus on frontline workers all over the globe. It's important to recognize that your frontline employees play a significant role in how your business operates, and what role they play.
But how does connecting and empowering those frontline employees translate to your organization's success? Well, a recent Harvard Business Review survey talks about the importance of making sure that your frontline employees feel empowered. Of the 383 business leaders who responded, 78% said they felt that connecting and empowering frontline workers is critical to their organization’s future success.
So, how do we do it? Well, here are four tips that you can follow to empower and motivate frontline employees in your organization right now!
1. Outline a clear team vision for your frontline employees.
Your frontline employees are your direct connection to your customers and potential customers – they’re the ones who are in direct contact with those customers, and need to be able to understand your organization’s ambitions and goals in order to provide superb customer service experiences for everyone they interact with. However, many times, frontline employees feel as though they’re disconnected from corporate – they don’t always feel as though corporate understands them, or that they’re really linked in with what’s happening at corporate headquarters.
Investing in training and helping your frontline employees to really understand what your corporate vision is, what your brand means, and how they can assist with achieving company goals is a great way to motivate your frontline employees.
2. Help your frontline employees feel like they belong to your team.
There 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 corporate employees are, and that physical distance can often 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. Ignoring the disconnect, or not helping those frontline employees to feel like they’re a vital part of your team, is a major strategic error that many organizations, unfortunately, seem to make.
One way you can motivate your frontline employees and make them feel like they belong to your team is to give them a solid platform (like Microsoft Teams), 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.
Want a shared workspace where you can chat, make calls, meet, share files, and work with integrated business apps, all from a tablet or mobile phone? Microsoft Teams could be your collaboration and communication hub for teamwork! Here's how you can stay connected and productive with your frontline employees, both during the pandemic, and after!
3. Provide your 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 their 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 they need to do their jobs effectively.
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. In fact, there are several tools and technology available out there that can help employees do exactly what they need to do, from whatever device they do have.
That’s where Microsoft Office 365 comes into play. With apps and services like OneDrive, SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, StaffHub, and other Office 365 apps and services, you can provide your frontline workers with the ability to share documents, training and onboarding resources, collaborate on various company-wide initiatives, schedule their shifts, get the latest corporate documents, policies and procedures, and much more. Further, all of these tools are available on multiple devices, so regardless of the device they’re using - computer, tablet, or mobile phone – your frontline workers can access the content they need, when they need it.
4. Provide regular recognition and feedback for 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.
Tools like Microsoft Teams and OneNote can give you private, mobile-friendly options for having important one-on-one meetings and conversations with frontline workers, even if you’re not in the same physical location.
Let’s Get Started With Motivating Your Frontline Employees!
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 they’re kept motivated.
One way to do so, is to look at whether or not you’re effectively equipping your frontline workers with the tools they need to do their jobs. That’s where our Frontline Worker Value Assessment comes into play. Our experienced team will conduct the assessment, allowing you to look at the various roles, technologies, and tools that you have in place, and helping you determine new ways to motivate and empower your frontline employees to do their best work!
Contact us today for more details, and book your assessment now!