Frontline Communications: How are Companies Facilitating Communication between Management and Frontline Staff?

Frontline Communications: How are Companies Facilitating Communication between Management and Frontline Staff?

23 September 2022

Communications

Frontline communications are at the center of collaboration, delegation, and frontline employee empowerment.

Traditionally, communication with frontline teams has taken a top-down approach, with written instructions passed down from HQ via paper manuals, emails, or WhatsApp messages.

But retail and hospitality employers are quickly realizing that this traditional top-down approach does not work. Passively reading messages fragmented across emails, texts, and paper instructions won't empower frontline employees to work as a cohesive team and progress towards goals.

A survey of 1,400 frontline employees found that 62% don’t feel well connected to their organization’s management and HQ.

It's time to try a new approach.

Here's how companies are innovating to improve communication between management and frontline teams.

 

How are companies facilitating communication between management and frontline staff?

1. Democratizing communication

Frontline employees are the ones interacting with customers every day. This means they have valuable insights to offer around what customers want, which processes are working well, and which ones are falling short.

If the communication platform being used only supports top-down communication, this knowledge goes to waste.

Democratize communication with a tool that supports not only top-down but also bottom-up and peer-to-peer communication. Features like a newsfeed facilitate open discussions and allow everyone to share their thoughts and ideas with posts, reactions, and comments.

Need some ideas? Here are some Outstanding Internal Communications Examples for Frontline Employees

2. Assessing engagement 

Like all other aspects of business operations, frontline communications should be strategic. To know how best to engage frontline teams, you need to know which posts get employees' attention and make them want to engage in communication.

Try out a variety of communication formats such as short videos, polls, and gifs, and measure which posts drive engagement the most. A good communication tool should have read receipts so you can see this automatically.

3. Learning from social media 

Frontline employees are used to communicating via social apps in their personal lives, so using workplace communication tools in the style of social media instantly makes communications more engaging and accessible.

Employees should be able to like and comment on newsfeed posts, just as they would on Facebook or Instagram.

Tools that automatically translate comments and posts into the user’s native language make communications even more user-friendly, creating a truly connected global workplace community where everyone can interact and learn from each other.

4. Amplifying culture

68% of frontline employees believe that a strong workplace community is very important. Strategic businesses are fuelling a sense of belonging and camaraderie between frontline employees by creating designated frontline employee communication channels within workplace tools that are interest or lifestyle-based.

These can include groups for new parents, fans of a particular sport, or a group for employees who will be celebrating Ramadan and fasting during their working day.

Using tech that automatically recommends social channels to employees that may be most relevant for them helps employees connect with and support their peers on a personal level. Even when they don't work the same shift patterns or in the same location, as is often the case for frontline workers.

5. Streamlining and targeting

Using a mobile-first platform for communicating with frontline staff ensures that employees can access all documents, product and process information they might need on the job, so can spend more time with customers. Targeted, role and location-specific communications improve the customer experience and reduce the risk of overloading employees with information.

 

A business that did it right:

Homeware and fashion retailer GANT was looking for a way to foster a strong company culture across their entire international store network as they rapidly expanded. With the right frontline communications tool, every employee has the opportunity to connect across borders via the newsfeed and comments sections which are automatically translated into the user's native language.

Improved frontline communications have boosted GANT’s employee engagement score and helped GANT to exceed its conversion rate target across the store network.

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