The success of a company is hugely dependent on its employees. Most significantly, the frontline workers who represent the face of the business receive the brunt of the stress of interacting with customers and driving growth. A frontline worker’s ability to perform his job effectively wields a powerful effect on a company’s reputation. Being the face of the business is what keeps the customers returning.
By running the firm’s daily operations, they are the first interactions with your brand, and their efforts strongly determine the perception customers will have of your company. Frontline workers across the globe are distributed across various industries.
They cut across them from retail, agriculture, hospitality, production, healthcare, construction, retail, social care, public services and manufacturing. Granted, all workers should be duly acknowledged, whether you’re frontline. But, in recent times, the efforts of frontline workers have been needlessly overlooked.
No matter the marketing and sales tactics a CEO might possess, a hard-working and engaged frontline workforce is needed to push the business to success. A survey indicates that over 40% of frontline employees in the United States perform poorly at work due to a lack of motivation.
For frontline workers, job stress and burnout have highly spiked since the onslaught of the pandemic. The number of unmotivated frontline staff in the healthcare industry is staggering.
Considering how much is at stake, it is imperative that companies up their efforts to support and motivate members of their frontline team. Helping them prevent burnout while improving their performance can be a game-changer for your organization’s desire to boost the employee experience. That’s why it’s imperative to work them into your company’s Standard Operating Procedures and be sure to discuss them during onboarding.
Challenges Facing Frontline Workers Today
Frontline employees are likely to face a series of challenges in their jobs. Here are some of them.
1. Employee Safety
The pandemic saw many frontline workers in the healthcare sector at the risk of contracting the deadly Covid 19 virus after coming in close contact with sick patients. WHO estimates about 180,000 deaths of frontline health workers between January 2020 to May 2021.
Even in other sectors, frontline workers are prone to hazards that might come with being in direct contact with danger.
2. Little Time to Rest
The frontline seat is rarely vacant because of how critical this position is — it affords them little time to socialize within the firm and maintain a proper work-life balance.
3. They Tend to Feel Disconnected
Frontline workers aren’t the standard 9-to-5 office hour workers. From night shifts, extra-long shifts or weekends, they do not follow the work routines of desk-based employees. This might make them feel out of sync with important information, activities or announcements other workers might be privy to.
How to Keep Your Frontline Team Motivated and Engaged
1. Have a Proper Job Management Plan
Job management is the step-by-step process involved in completing all the tasks associated with doing a job from start to finish.
This process should readily include frontline workers at all steps, acknowledging their inputs and indicating that their efforts would be vital in meeting the business goal.
Therefore, the tools and equipment they need to effectively and efficiently carry out their job should also be provided. Regularly communicate with them as well, to keep them in the loop of the going-ons in the company
2. Imbibe Tech Into the Workspace
It is crucial to empower frontline employees with thorough digital education. According to research done by McKinsey & Company, over 40% of organizations that digitally empower their frontline staff sees excellent progress in the digital transformation efforts in the overall performance of the firm.
The use of technology solutions like cloud-based software, communication and reminder apps that streamline staff-wide communication, social intranets, automated intelligence, project management software, and time tracking tools could serve as a beacon that empowers frontline workers to rise to the occasion while also creating a workplace environment that fosters a culture of innovation.
3. Request Feedback Regularly
A recent study reflects that over 50% of frontline workers have yearly suggestions and ideas to improve customer satisfaction and experience. Because they are the ones who handle interactions with members of the public, frontline workers are usually rich with a lot of ideas.
Imagine not asking for these opinions at least every year and missing the opportunity to get as many ideas on what customers want or do not want. Not to mention that by giving them that platform to rub minds, frontline employees feel like they are heard and their opinions are valid.
Business owners should set an open office and an approachable mind so employees can easily give their feedback or opinions. They can also organize surveys, questionnaires, and opinion polls to see what employees feel about a particular issue and how the company can grow in the long run.
Nobody wants to continue working at a company where they feel underappreciated, disrespected or overlooked. Even if they are forced to stay due to the fair salary, their unwillingness and lack of engagement in the company matters will rub off its image incorrectly.
Imagine having a grumpy cashier who snarls at customers all day because she has a ferocious headache but couldn’t take a break because the store owners won’t grant her sick leave!
A workplace should feel like a community for all employees, whether desk-based or frontline. All employees should feel acknowledged and needed by the people they work for. They deserve that much.