5 Internal Communications Best Practices for Frontline Employees This Holiday Season

07 December 2020

Internal communications | Employee Experience

The holiday season is the busiest time of year for frontline employees, especially those working in retail and hospitality.

And although it will be different this year - with decreased foot traffic and increased restrictions - the holiday period will inevitably still be a busy and stressful time for your frontline teams.

According to a survey conducted by Kronos, 72% of retailers anticipate that their frontline employees will feel anxious about COVID-19 while working, and 81% even think it will cause employees to quit halfway through the holiday season.

But ’tis the season for spreading festive cheer, and you can do that for your frontline employees by making them feel supported and empowered to do their best work, even under these strange circumstances.

 

Amandine

"It's important to use your internal communications to share good news and positive results, especially during this tough year. As the end of 2020 approaches, now is the perfect time to reflect on how your business has adapted to this new world, and how you’ve grown stronger as a result."

- Amandine, Customer Success Manager at YOOBIC

 

Some ideas we’re suggesting to our customers include:

  • A special “Advent Calendar” communications strategy, with one festive post a day until Christmas
  • A holiday message from senior management, wishing all frontline employees the best for 2021
  • Online events such as team breakfasts or after-work drinks using our live video feature

Here are our 5 best practices to help you on your way:

RELATED: Improve your Internal Communications with YOOBIC 💫

#1 Make sure frontline employees have clear goals

The holiday season is a hectic and stressful time for frontline employees, even when there isn’t a global pandemic happening.

And with COVID-19 guidelines constantly changing - in addition to the usual flurry of holiday campaign instructions - your frontline employees are being bombarded with confusing and sometimes even conflicting information.

That’s why it’s important to be able to send out the relevant information to the relevant people, and tell them which tasks are urgent so that they know what to prioritize.

That way, each of your employees knows exactly what is expected of them, and can get on with their day with no confusion.

RELATED: 3 Things Store Associates Need to Survive the 2020 Holiday Season

#2 Leverage data to measure your frontline employees’ success

Data is the most valuable tool at any company’s disposal - but only if you actually use it. That rule not only applies to operations, but to your internal communications, too.

Choose the metrics that are most important to you - be it engagement rate, percentage of employees reading a post, the number of likes and comments, or any number of other factors - and monitor them closely.

You can then analyze all that data to gauge how engaged your employees are with your communications, and take the appropriate actions to improve.

People aren’t reading your posts? Add read receipts to ensure that they do. Not getting enough likes? Switch up your messaging to see what your staff respond to best.

Paying close attention to your frontline employees - and more importantly, acting on it - will cause your employee engagement to skyrocket.

Pro tip: With an internal communications platform like YOOBIC, you can get a full overview of frontline employee engagement instantly with our customized dashboards.

#3 Give your frontline teams the recognition they deserve

Here at YOOBIC we love to sing the praises of frontline employees, especially during the holidays.

And this year, they’ve had to deal with so much more - not least putting themselves at risk just by coming into work.

They deserve some recognition for everything they’ve had to endure this year, and you can provide them with it by showcasing their achievements for your entire network to see. For example: give a shout-out to the store with the highest conversion rate, the most festive window display, or the best customer feedback.

Internal communications should be about so much more than just sending updates - it should be a space where employees can feel they’re part of a community, where they can feel supported and empowered by their colleagues and senior management.

RELATED: 3 Examples of Outstanding Internal Communications for Frontline Employees

#4 Keep your frontline teams connected, no matter where they are

That sense of community doesn’t just happen overnight, though - it takes work to create a positive and empowering work environment.

A big part of that is facilitating communication between your frontline employees, regardless of where they are or which team they’re in.

It’s hard to stay motivated when you feel like you’re the only one struggling to keep up with the demands of the holiday season, especially with the added feelings of isolation and loneliness that 2020 has brought about.

But if you’re connected to other frontline employees experiencing the same thing, it doesn’t seem so bad - it can even be a sign of encouragement that you’re doing just fine after all. Giving your frontline teams a dedicated forum where they can share tips and best practices creates a knowledge sharing culture that will support and empower them, wherever they are.

RELATED: How to Create A Knowledge Sharing Culture for Frontline Employees

#5 Combine your internal communications with complementary training

The other major component to any good employee engagement strategy is training.

And at this time of year, with so much new information being sent out to frontline employees, it just makes sense to combine updates and training into a harmonized approach to internal communications.

If a new policy needs to be rolled out quickly - store occupancy limits or a click and collect service, for example - you’ll get much more effective results by not just telling employees what to do, but showing them with a dedicated training module.

And having everything in one place makes life so much easier for your frontline employees - no more running to the back office or logging into an outdated LMS to remind themselves of the right procedures.

This will not only improve task execution, but also give your frontline employees a sense of autonomy and keep them actively engaged in their work.

RELATED: Why Frontline Employees Need a Unified Platform for Training & Internal Communications

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