5 Tips For Effective Frontline Employee Onboarding

Expert Tips
Rachel Cohen August 25, 2021 8 min read

Get the tips to onboard easily, quickly, and retain employees for the long run. We will show you the ways that you can ensure when your new hire hits the floor they have all the tools they need.

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Quick Guide

    When COVID-19 hit, some industries were able to tell their employees to pack their laptops, screens and work from home. However, for frontline employees, that was a very different story. Managers had to hire and onboard new employees while keeping social distance regulations, and all other pandemic protocols that are always ever-changing. 

    Once lockdown took place, whether you were a restaurant, grocer, nurse, your workload got a whole lot heavier. Grocers went from having a steady flow of footfall to a sudden influx of customers. And when it comes to onboarding these new frontline workers, it must happen in days as opposed to a couple of weeks. 

    When you are a frontline employee working in a fast-paced environment, keeping up with all your tasks is not an easy task, especially when you don’t have the right tools! This is where efficient onboarding is key.

    Why Proper Onboarding Is Important For Frontline Workers

    Companies often overlook the importance of onboarding and consequently find themselves with demotivated employees and high turnover. A shocking 28% of employees leave in the first three months. 

    In fact, only 12% of employees agree that their company onboards correctly. Your next question is, am I missing something about onboarding? The answer is yes! Onboarding involves a lot more than receiving the employee handbooks, training, and beginning the job. Onboarding involves the following:

    Businesses often scratch their heads to try and figure out why turnover is so high? And often, look in the wrong place. Glassdoor found that retention is 82% higher when employees onboard sufficiently. It doesn’t matter how great the perks are at your company. If your onboarding isn’t up to par, it sets a negative tone for the rest of your employee’s journey. 

    Frontline employees have even more to face than just feeling part of the company and understanding their role. They have the customer who is directly receiving their service. If workers are not ready to hit the ground running, it can affect their confidence and their level of service. Now you’ve got an unhappy customer as well as a defeated employee. However, with the right onboarding, employees are ready to begin and are open to asking questions. 

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    5 Challenges Frontline Employees Face When Onboarding 

    While we can all agree at this point that onboarding is a crucial part of retention, frontline, and deskless employees have their own set of challenges. We will look at the difficulties they have to face.

    Speed

    Office workers usually have a smooth onboarding experience where they have time to get used to their role. Due to the high turnover rate, frontline employees do not have the luxury of time. It’s one in and one out.

    Moreover, the new hire needs to understand their role quickly and efficiently. The issue here is that often there are multiple new hires at the same time. Hence, the process becomes tedious and exhausting for both manager and the new hires. 

    COVID-19 Protocols

    The pandemic not only changed the way employees onboarded. Additionally, it altered the pace at which frontline employees needed to be employed. Instead of having weeks to onboard, employees were having to onboard in days. Lockdown for these employees did not mean going home. It only meant extra hours!

    Retailers, nurses, restaurants, and more industries were having to deal with an increase in trade. Business operations changed overnight and led to so much uncertainty. Often it ended chaotically, as they had to deal with stressed-out customers, as well as being exhausted themselves

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    Inefficient Communication

    Office employees have a corporate email and often a newsletter with company updates. So, you would have assumed that frontline employees have some sort of reliable communication since the pace at which they are working. However, think again! 

    Deskless and frontline workers often are relying on old methods of communication. This means employees are left waiting for hours for their managers to call them back. Outdated communication can often be: 

    • notice boards
    • posters
    • etc.

    All of the above are not useful for the new hire. The new hire could be out on the floor needing to refer to a note on the notice board, and it’s not where they are. Therefore, workers may have to leave the floor to gain the information and return, appearing very unprofessional. Besides that, due to COVID rules, the new hire may be working alone without a colleague nearby to ask. 

    Deskless workers lack the technology that could help them fulfill their roles effectively and efficiently. Also, poor communication efforts lead to employees feeling out of the loop. 

    employee communication recognition app

    Spread-Out Workforce

    The nature of deskless workers is that they don’t all work in one office. Workforces such as retail, food service, hotel staff, employees who work in large corporations can often find their colleagues working abroad. Hence, keeping the team together can be more difficult when you are decentralized. Without the right efforts, employees can feel very alone and isolated. 

    Poor Engagement

    With more and more people moving towards a deskless society, traditional methods of communication just aren’t cutting it. Employees can not engage in the same way as those who sit in the same office. Even if they all work in the same building, offering a happy hour on the 3rd floor is useless. This is because workers all have different schedules and are required to be at their jobs at that time. 

    Deskless workers need more than old-fashioned communication to provide engagement. They need recognition for their work and efforts. It’s essential when you are trying to retain employees that are known for high turnover. 

    Connecteam – The Effective Way to Onboard

    Onboarding effectively is crucial to keep your staff on the same page, and the right software is the missing piece to the puzzle. It’s time to say goodbye to the old technology that wasn’t helping you onboard efficiently. 

    Apps such as Connecteam, bring your business into the modern era and fill in the missing gaps. Instead of sitting with big binders and tons of papers, everything is available at the click of a button so your employees can learn faster and know what to expect while on the job. 

    • Training material can be provided in different formats (video, images, PDF, forms, etc.)  and you can deliver the information in a way that’s fun and engaging!
    • The training structure is completely customizable meaning that the employee will have to complete certain sections before moving on to the next chapter.
    • Include quizzes to ensure all material is understood
    • Training is measurable so you can track individual progress
    • Automated insights so that you improve your training because you can easily spot your team’s strengths and weaknesses. 
    • Create fully customized forms so your team can gain feedback in order to learn from it and enhance it for the next training session.
    actionable insights employee training app

    Once the employee has read and understood all the materials, they always refer back to the materials at any point. This is especially useful for new hires as they can solve issues themselves without waiting for their manager to call them back. 

    And let’s not forget that Connecteam allows you to further digitize your onboarding to save money, and form-filling becomes more efficient. 

    Human resource departments are enjoying the communication benefits of Connecteam as it allows them to achieve better recruitment. They can easily handle the following:

    • Share a welcome letter
    • New hire checklist – everything that they are expected to do in their onboarding. Checklists also make it easier for your new hire to complete the given tasks and provide structure.
    • Update personal information e.g. social security, contact information, etc.
    • Criminal record application
    • Confidentiality agreement forms
    • Health and safety training
    • Uniform, badge, and other equipment that needs to be signed off
    • Informing employees of their benefits
    • Employee satisfaction surveys – this can lead to retention as you can find out if workers are happy with their work environment. 
    • 1:1 chat or group messages for further engagement and collaboration

    And that’s just the beginning. Connecteam is your one-stop-shop for effective frontline employee onboarding. 

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    Keeping New Hires For the Long Haul

    Onboarding isn’t an easy task, especially when it comes around so often. You can become fed up with the whole process. However, adding a piece of technology could encourage engagement, onboard effectively, and most importantly prolong your employee staying in your company. In addition, you will love how easy it is to complete training. There is no need to print out the latest version, you only need to update the app.

    Moreover, employees will enjoy using it and will enjoy access to the materials they need from any location and at any time. Once you begin digitizing with the right tool, you will be wondering how you ever achieved onboarding without it! 

    Find Out How You Can Bring Your New Hires up to Speed!

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