Empowering Frontline Employees

Empowering Frontline Employees

This post is only a summary of our research and findings, for more information take a look at our complete and comprehensive Frontline Employees Whitepaper.

Frontline employees are the foundation of every successful organization. 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. Frontline workers make up 70% of the world’s workforce and are the retail staff, hospitality crews, health care clinicians, machinists, and many other employees, that directly impact customer care and product success. But
despite their incredible contributions, organizations tend to forget about frontline staff, especially when it comes to workplace tools.

Legacy Resources 

While corporate employees can easily request new resources, frontline workers are physically separated from technology decision-makers. Without an easy way to ask for updated tools, corporate oversight leaves frontline workers with outdated and ineffective equipment. In fact, the majority of frontline communication is still done using pencil and paper and 40% all frontline workers feel their job is more difficult because of a reliance on outdated technology. Without dependable work resources, data inaccuracy and
inaccessibility is a serious risk.

Inadequate Tools

Even when employers do invest in technology for frontline employees, it rarely meets their unique requirements. In a 2018 global survey, over 1/3 of frontline respondents shared that while their company does invest significantly in technology, it doesn’t make their work any easier. And in a similar study, only 36% of corporate executives could say their frontline workers had the tech tools they needed.

Unfortunately, because frontline jobs come in all shapes and sizes, modern work tools are rarely designed to accommodate their unusual environments. As a result, organizations often default to corporate-centered technology, expecting frontline employees to simply work around obstacles. But just “making it work” is almost as difficult as working without technology tools at all. Creating workarounds for every issue takes time and energy and constantly settling for office focused equipment makes frontline staff feel like their concerns are inconsequential or irrelevant to upper management.

Limited Information

Frontline employees work in an ever-changing environment. Without a mobile source of information, it’s almost impossible for employees to quickly see updates and access information. In fact, less than half of all frontline workers feel that their current tools support their mobile work environment. Limited information also prevents employees from fully utilizing their benefits or understanding changes within the organization. According to MIT, 75% of frontline workers feel out of the loop and 50% have no clear perception of their company’s direction.

And limited information doesn’t just damage individual employees, it produces a negative customer experience as well. In customer-facing industries, frontline employees represent the face of your organization. When frontline employees are forced to work with limited resources, it’s impossible to quickly pass on news. Instead of smartly offering answers, customers must wait for employees to hunt down information. 

Even in industries where frontline staff primarily work with products, limited information still creates problems. When unexpected situations arise, employees don’t have immediate access to the materials they need, reducing productivity and limiting employee autonomy. Decreasing employee autonomy leads to discouraged employees and limits overall company creativity. 

Poor Communication

For frontline workers, even basic communication is a challenge. Unlike regular office spaces, frontline employees are spread out across multiple areas, work away from upper management, and work without effective tools for company communication. This lack of reliable communication leaves frontline workers feeling stranded. In fact, 84% of frontline employees believe their workplace does not provide enough communication .

For most frontline workers, company information comes through top-down channels. Top management sends news to middle management who then relay it to individual teams. But for frontline employees, indirect corporate communication comes across as a lack of respect for them and their contributions. In a recent survey with frontline workers, only 22%
said they felt like their job was considered an important element of the company vision. By distancing their communication with frontline employees, upper management make workers feel undervalued and unimportant.

Frontline communication problems aren’t limited to just management either. Working in a mobile environment makes it difficult for frontline workers to keep each other educated and informed. In fact, 77% of customer-facing frontline workers have to regularly put customers through excessive service times trying to relearn information. 

Unapproved Apps

Eventually, most frustrated frontline employees turn to alternative communication methods. In fact, over half of frontline employees use an unapproved messaging app for workplace communication up to 6 times a day. Popular communication channels like texting, Facebook, and WhatsApp seem like simple solutions, but unapproved software can
create serious issues.

Long-term reliance on unsecured apps puts company data at risk and jeopardizes internal security. And unsafe communication methods almost always violate HIPPA laws, NDA’s and other industry compliance requirements. Employees caught using unapproved apps could cause a company to lose its licensing  or fail an audit, even if they never experience a security breach.

The Frontline Answer

Thankfully, most employers are finally starting to see the importance of helping frontline employees. In a recent study with business executives, 78% considered it critical to connect and empower frontline employees. But for most organizations, enabling frontline success is easier said than done. 66% of companies reported that they are experiencing difficulties achieving a frontline focused digital transformation. At MangoApps, we help organizations actually achieve frontline digital success.   

MangoApps is designed to seamlessly take on the issues of both office workers and frontline employees, connecting your entire organization and providing a well-rounded, holistic experience. Our platform instantly transitions from a desktop tool to an innovative mobile app, making it the perfect answer for working at a desk and a straightforward mobile
solution. 

We believe in keeping everyone connected, from the c-suit to the seasonal employee. With integrated personal messaging tools, real-time instant messaging, and enterprise-level security, communicating with coworkers or reaching out to leadership is always easy. MangoApps was built to overcome frontline setback and empower your entire organization. To learn more about how MangoApps strengthens frontline workers, contact us or schedule a personalized demo today.

Download The Complete Frontline White Paper