If you clicked on this blog, then you’re probably looking for some expert tips on how to keep your frontline employees engaged. Don’t fret! We’ve put together a list of the top 10 ways you can keep your frontline employees engaged 100% of the time.
Table of contents
- Why Is Keeping Frontline Workers Engaged Difficult?
- Foster An Open-Door Communication Policy
- Use Technology To Keep Frontline Employees Engaged
- Employee Recognition
- Employee Empowerment And Continued Education
- Collect Employee Feedback
- ACT On Employee Feedback
- Create A Rock Solid Onboarding Process
- Provide Mentors To New Employees
- Plan A Company Fun Day
- Hire An Employee Engagement Manager
- The Last Word On Engaging Frontline Employees
Imagine you’re in a battlefield and your frontline employees are literally on the frontlines. They are the very first to rush into battle. They are the employees who have to tackle disgruntled customers, day-to-day processes, and resolve any issues that arise during their work day to ensure the company’s success!
And unlike the movie “300” or any World War flick, there should be less guts, blood and gore with your frontline workers. (Unless it’s Black Friday or the night before Christmas.)
“So, who are frontline workers?”… You might ask.
They are the employees who work directly with customers and clients on a daily basis, and are a critical aspect of a company’s success.
Frontline employees are the heartbeat of any business.
These employees are usually not behind a desk and are typically on-the-go. Forbes’ examples of frontline workers include, “nurses, firefighters, truck drivers and mechanics [and these] are just a few examples of workers who must be present in a specific place and at a specific time to perform their jobs”.
Frontline workers have a huge impact on a company’s bottom line because frontline workers “are the first ones to represent your brand and engage customers, and their interactions can have a huge impact on how customers perceive your company”.
It’s vital that these employees are as engaged and productive as possible to ensure that the business is running as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
Why Is Keeping Frontline Workers Engaged Difficult?
Keeping frontline staff engaged is difficult, no matter what industry or company size. Because these employees are rarely behind a desk and are “disconnected” from other employees and colleagues, it becomes difficult to keep them engaged and connected.
Some of the main reasons employees feel disconnected and disengaged include:
- Lack of communication and employees don’t feel that their voice is heard by upper management.
- Lack of employee recognition or empowerment.
- Lack of the proper tools and technology to engage employees
- Management does not collect employee feedback or act on frontline employee feedback.
We’ve done our research and spoken to some of the leading companies in employee engagement and retention to understand how they keep their frontline employees engaged.
Foster An Open-Door Communication Policy
Communication, communication, communication! We can’t stress it enough!
Employees who don’t feel that their voice is heard, especially by those in upper management, are far less engaged.
Because your frontline employees have valuable insights and information on your customers and clients, you can combat low engagement by asking them for ideas and opinions on how to improve the customer experience.
It’s essential that you foster an open-door communication policy in order to assure employees that they have a safe and secure environment to share ideas and problems. For example, commit to a time to meet with employees (before a shift or at the end of the working day) and ensure they know when you’re available for 1:1 meetings.
Use Technology To Keep Frontline Employees Engaged
Technology is a great solution to many problems that businesses face today, especially frontline worker engagement problems. The rise of employee management software has helped many business owners and managers better run and operate their companies. More specifically, they are a great solution to engage your frontline employees and deskless workers who often feel disconnected from the rest of the company.
- An in-app directory ensures employees and managers can easily get in touch with each other.
- Nothing can fall between the cracks with an in-app chat that allows employees to quickly send targeted 1:1 messages or group messages. Employees can communicate with other employees all directly from the palm of their hand. They can even include images, videos, GIFs, links, PDFs, and more for a more collaborative touch.
- Gather employee feedback in real-time with live polls, surveys, or a digital suggestion box. Data collected from these live polls and surveys will help you make better and more informed decisions on how to improve your business.
- Send company announcements, news, and updates through a digital social feed to make sure all employees are up to date on important information and everyone is in the loop. Employees can like, comment, share GIFs, and more to further increase your frontline employee engagement.
- Recognize star employees, birthdays, anniversaries, or other personal milestones through the digital social feed. Employees who are recognized and appreciated for their hard work, encourages them to keep up that standard of productivity.
Forbes notes that by “capitalizing on the power of digital innovation provides those resources. It enables companies to streamline workflows, manage demand volatility, improve cross-team collaboration and collect employee feedback for improvement to create a workplace environment that empowers their employees and fosters a culture of innovation”.
With an employee management app, like Connecteam, managers and business owners can easily and efficiently engage frontline workers, increase productivity, and ensure that all employees are connected and involved in the company.
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Employee recognition, while often overlooked, is an easy and simple way to increase your frontline employee engagement.
Employee of the month awards are generic and boring. Instead of just choosing one employee of the month, create a fun and engaging employee recognition program with different types of awards.
Some examples of fun and engaging employee recognition awards include:
- The Star Salesperson award – for an employee who had the highest sales.
- The Mission Impossible award – for an employee who closed a super hard deal.
- The Office DJ award – for an employee who is always listening to music.
- The Best Tech award – for an employee who is always fixing everyone’s computer problems.
- The Comedian award – for an employee who doesn’t stop to put a smile on everyone’s faces.
These are easy and simple ways to recognize employees, while also making it fun and engaging.
Employee Empowerment And Continued Education
In order to increase frontline worker engagement, your employees MUST feel a connection to the business. How do you connect and involve your employees? You provide them with opportunities that enable them to grow and evolve with your company!
By offering employees professional growth opportunities and empowering them to continue learning, you show them that they are a valued and integral part of your business — increasing your frontline employee engagement.
Collect Employee Feedback
Collecting employee feedback is a necessity if you want to improve your frontline employee engagement. Send all your employees an employee engagement survey to determine where the level of engagement currently stands.
Some questions to include in an employee engagement survey include:
- I feel proud to work at this company.
- I would recommend this company to others as a great place to work.
- I often think about finding a new job at another company.
- I can see myself growing and working in this company for years to come.
- I have all the tools I need to be able to do my job well.
By providing employees with a 1 to 10 scale to answer this engagement survey, you will easily be able to understand exactly at what percentage your employee engagement currently stands and in exactly what areas you can improve to increase your frontline employee engagement.
ACT On Employee Feedback
Great! You’ve collected employee feedback (hopefully with the help of an employee management software)! Now what? ACT on it!
If you’re spending the time creating and distributing these employee engagement surveys, then don’t waste everyone’s time! This is your opportunity as a business owner or manager to make actionable changes from the data collected from surveys and live polls.
Because your frontline workers have greater insights, valuable information, and knowledge on your customers and clientele, their feedback is invaluable to your company’s bottom line and future success.
Create A Rock Solid Onboarding Process
By creating a solid and effective onboarding process you can make a new employee’s onboarding experience more welcoming, exciting, and engaging.
By providing all new frontline employees with the tools and training they need to succeed in their new role, they will be more likely to stay with the company long term.
Provide Mentors To New Employees
Providing mentors to new employees is another way you can step up your onboarding process. When a new employee starts, provide them with a veteran, experienced employee to show them the ropes.
Not only does this help solidify the knowledge of the experienced employee, but it also gives the new employee a chance to connect and understand the company culture right off the bat. By creating a warm and welcoming work environment on an employee’s first day you encourage and increase employee engagement.
This is really a no-brainer and an easy way to increase your frontline staff engagement. A company fun day gives employees a chance to get to know each other better, build trust, and promote teamwork.
When employees have a better working relationship they become more engaged, connected, and involved in their work.
Hire An Employee Engagement Manager
We know that managing and coordinating all of these tips can be stressful and overwhelming for any manager or business owner. That’s why hiring an employee engagement manager to oversee all aspects and strategies of employee engagement can help relieve the pressure of other managers so they can focus on other tasks.
Employee engagement managers can focus solely on policies and procedures that will definitely improve your frontline staff engagement, while you can focus on driving the business’ success.
The Last Word On Engaging Frontline Employees
Ensuring your company has a high level of frontline employee engagement is a must. Frontline employees are the heart and soul of your business and have a major impact on nearly every aspect of your business.
By fostering an open-door communication policy, using the right tools and technology, recognizing great employees, providing employees with career growth opportunities, collecting and acting on employee feedback, creating a solid onboarding process with new employee mentors, company fun days, and hiring an employee engagement manager, you can effectively and efficiently increase your frontline employee engagement.
Keep in mind that all of these tips can be easily and quickly implemented by using an employee management software, like Connecteam, to digitize and streamline these processes. With an employee management software employees can easily communicate with other employees, send feedback, and connect and engage with the company like never before.