Frontline employees in the are some of the most important people in your organization.These frontline workers perform the difficult tasks that management often doesn't think about how it gets done, just knowing that it does. But too often the work frontline employees do are forgotten and overlooked. That’s a huge mistake. Here are five reasons why:
1. They are people too:
It might seem obvious, but shouldn’t this be a basic reason to listen? Your frontline employees may be at the bottom of the organization chart, but they are people just like the managers and executives. The mobile workforce wants to have their voices heard. And employees who have their voices heard are much more likely to be engaged and become advocates for your company
, which is important because…
2. They are the face of the company:
Your frontline employees are the face of your company. They are the first impression of what your company represents. Customers can spot unhappy employees. And unhappy employees are not what customers want to see. They want to see people who love their jobs, people who love the company they work for, and people who want to help them.
3. They know what your customers want:
Because frontline employees are the face of your company, they know what your customer needs. They interact with customers on a regular basis and see what others in the organization don’t. For instance, in a restaurant the manager rarely gets to see the true feelings of the diners. Instead, the wait staff and bussers see everything. They know what dishes are preferred, what is left on the plate, how customers enjoy their experience, and if they would come back.
4. They know your customers:
Beyond just knowing what your customers’ want, frontline employees actually know your customers. This Harvard Business Review article
suggests that traditional research is practically worthless to understand customers because customers don’t always say what they think, don’t always know what they want, and more often than not, the wrong questions are being asked anyway. Because your frontline employees see customers and how they interact with your product or service, they are much better sources of information than traditional research.
5. Listening to them promotes collaboration:
Listening to frontline employees through an employee portal helps to break down a company’s hierarchy. When employees know they are being heard, they are more willing to speak up. Managers are able to understand employees and customers better, and executives are able to take that information and use it for change. IBM did this well by creating the “Idea Jam”
, a forum that allows employees from all layers of the company to share ideas and answer questions. Employees know they are being heard in an employee portal, which is the most important thing.
Now that you know listening to frontline employees is important, it’s time to make sure you’re doing it with the best of the team communication tools. One of the biggest hindrances is the lack of ability to easily communicate with frontline employees. That’s why a team app like Beekeeper are so important. They help you stay in touch with all levels of the organization, ensuring everyone’s voice gets heard.
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