Frontline workforces are the foundation of many successful organizations. Rather than working in an office or a corporate environment, frontline employees are in the action, and on the literal front lines of their industry, oftentimes manufacturing the products or interacting with the end consumer.
Frontline workforces, it is thought to make up 70% of the world’s workforce, and these days, they are the ones that are continuing to go out to work, operating in industries like healthcare, transport, retail, or providing essential services such as waste management or vital support services.
As restrictions begin to lift, there will be more returning to their roles in the coming weeks and months, and knowing what we know to do in a present and soon post-COVID world, it’s like the right time to rethink and consider how we treat, organize and engage with this workforce demographic. Pre-COVID, companies found it too effortful to engage with this subsection. Now they have been the stoic, enduring demographic stopping societies grinding to a complete halt.
How can organizations show gratitude to those that are not seen every day? Let’s find out!
Rethink your content!
Now is the time to expand your content horizons from simple communications and brand messaging, and/or productivity information.
Some of the finest efforts we’ve seen from our customers are when they enter the realm of professional lifestyle messaging. It sounds subtle, but recipes, workout regimes, book recommendations, cycle routes, professional advice, tips to keep the children engaged, tips to keep your weekend stimulating – These topics center the brand as a hub for authentic communication, authenticity is a precursor to trust and this yields strong cultural alignment. This can be done affordably and as intrinsic betterment for the front-line workforces goes, you cannot get much better than this recommendation! 🙂
Discover Beem Covid Offer Response
Provide Senior Contact
The biggest complaint among frontline workers is something that you may have guessed – a lack of support from senior management. Because these workers often feel out of touch with their corporate offices, the lack of clear communication between the two can be difficult to accept.
This is the challenge facing organizations whose employees are largely on the move, and competing priorities presented by the current circumstances of COVID-19 mean communication with the frontlines may be slipping off the radar.
To bring these isolated employees closer to the core of your organization, senior management must take a more active approach and dispel the rose-tinted view they have of the realities of these roles!
Current restrictions may mean leaders can’t physically visit or have a day on the frontlines, but there are many existing lines of communication already occurring that senior leaders can tap into: whether that be shift briefings, team meetings, or daily/weekly stand-ups, with a senior leader requesting to virtually join these meetings, will help frontline workers feel appreciated.
Companies should task senior leaders with engaging with and then spotlighting those staff: senior exposure is a free yet powerful tool to boost morale, engagement, and feelings of appreciation among frontline staff!
Due to the working resilience, Frontline workers in some cases have stopped businesses crumbling. HR and people managers can and we argue should be committing to thankyou/appreciation campaigns. Livestreaming Q&A’s or humanising leadership contact through chat services and UGC functions will all demonstrate indirect solidarity.
Show everyday appreciation
Building on this is the appreciation is through a dedicated rewards system.
Unlike traditional recognition programs, which are often results-focused and offer formal recognition often behind closed doors, a reward system for frontline staff should focus on everyday appreciation.
Normally, these small instances of appreciation are given at the moment, typically face-to-face, and therefore are missed by those on the frontlines. They may seem small gestures but can make a huge difference!
With a reward program run via your mobile and accessible intranet, the distance between employee and manager is no issue: managers and other colleagues can easily show appreciation for the work done by those on the frontline. Better still, the gesture is public and viewed by others: this creates a culture of appreciation that induces a ripple effect, motivating others to follow suit!
Provide a voice
All of your employees deserve to feel like they play a crucial role in their organization. Nearly 80 percent of workers will look for another job if they don’t feel like they’re valued! To avoid this, the best way to ensure your employees are empowered is to give every individual a voice.
The rise of technologies has helped in closing the gap between remote communications and can provide just the platform needed to recognize the efforts of frontline employees properly: at a time when staff are operating to new protocols and facing unique challenges managing the COVID-19 response, understanding the best way to help them is paramount.
This may happen, for example, through conducting tailored pulse surveys to tap into employee sentiment and provide an opportunity for feedback. Weekly stand-ups work too, but there may be some staff reluctant to speak out verbally: forums and open discussion via the intranet are a great way to generate a stage that will be available to any staff wanting access or needing to raise concerns.
Features and UGC spotlight interviews are indispensable, set the tone for trust as some team members may be reluctant. But this can be a key unlock to showing the brand cares for each one of its people and hey, who doesn’t love a little celebrity recognition, especially if a team member is profiled across a 10,000 network
Spotlighting those in the role
To expand on this a little more – It is almost impossible to appreciate and respect the challenges and successes of a position that you know absolutely nothing about.
Having distanced employees that do not work closely with their managers can lead to a sense of apathy when considering their role in the company or the way it may directly influence the business.
To tackle this challenge, many managers have implemented a system in which frontline employees share their ‘day in the life of’ posts. But you know what works even better? Videos! In fact, according to LinkedIn, 60% of people prefer video over reading text.
Thanks to the many creative ways of digitally connecting now being utilized to manage lockdown during the coronavirus crisis, the staff themselves can document and share their everyday experience with vlogs, interviews, microblogging, and more.
By doing this, front-line employees can spread the story about their day to day, with unenlightened colleagues in a way that they can quickly and easily absorb!
Frontline employees are the face of many organisations: at a time when we are depending on them most, they are also critical to any organization and should be treated as such. They hold customer relations in the palm of their hands and literally craft the products that are bought and sold
Corporate strategy and goals are only as good as its execution, and this execution is dependent on frontline employees excelling: giving frontline employees the tools they need to thrive with the above tips being a starting point when thinking of appraising your front-line strategies!