We’re more than one year on from the beginnings of a global pandemic and now, more than ever, each day is a new learning experience. The world has been in a constant state of change, and none more so than the world of work. Organisations have adapted quickly but one of the keys to getting through this year is to prioritise frontline communications.
Frontline workers have truly felt the full force of the crisis, with new safety guidelines, compliance and job processes being thrust upon them and changed at a moment’s notice. Employees across a number of sectors are having a hard time keeping up, but this is made even more difficult for those who don’t have a desk or even a work email. How can leaders expect their workers to do their jobs productively and more important safely, if they aren’t up to date with the latest information. So regardless of the industry or job function, from manufacturing to retail, supermarkets and call centers to logistics and professional sales reps, communication, support and training is the way forward.
Traditional training doesn’t work for frontline employees
Approaches to training in the traditional sense, such as “one and done” long, classroom sessions and desktop computer modules can comfortably fit into the day of an office or corporate employee. But for a number of reasons, they just don’t work for frontline staff, because:
- They are often deskless
- They have limited time for training
- It is difficult to pull them away from the frontline
- They are dispersed across multiple geographical locations
Frontline support — focus on quality, not quantity
For many employees on the frontline, this is not about offering more training and communication, especially if it is not timely or relevant. Many are actually reporting that they do receive training often, but are worried they’re not getting the right information or enough training which directly helps them to do their jobs safely and better. It’s all about the right support.
A recent survey of frontline retail associates found that when they do receive training, 27% said it was ineffective and not engaging. Often training amounts to being pulled into long training sessions every couple of months, whereby the employees are expected to remember and apply all the information when they return to work. This approach just does not align with the way people learn.
Training should be quick to complete, easy to understand and retain, while contributing directly to the confidence of the specific trainee and their job. Mobile apps like Atrivity allow for time-effective training through micro-content, with several 1-minute game challenges happening on a daily basis, fitting seamlessly into the workday and providing continuous reinforcement with minimal time away from the frontline.
Training that fits into their unique daily workflow
Frontline employees don’t sit at a desk all day, they have very little time to train because every minute is valuable on the floor or in the field. As a manager or leader, equipping them to do the right things with confidence is critical. Everything they do, every day on the frontline matters to the overall success of the business and bad practices reduce the quality of your customer and your employees experience.
The ability to make the right decisions in the right moments is critical to success — for them, for you and for the business. But frontline employees shouldn’t have to spend extra time and effort to find information or coaching to help them perform better, it should be readily available and easy to access. Essentially, they want training that works with the totally unique way they work.
Find the perfect technology to deliver
The majority (nearly 80%) of today's retail workforce are coming from Generations X, Y, and Z, so they have high expectations for the technology they interact with. In fact, a recent study revealed that "for 82% of workers under the age of 34, technology is an important factor in choosing a job."
But across all industries, what workers are really looking for are tools to help them do their job effectively. A frontline app like Atrivity can be the perfect on-the-job ally, as it is easy to use, fun to play and provides the players with clear signals of how and when it should be used. All training and development content is visually available in a clear, intuitive, Instagram-style feed. And to make sure it’s easy for every type of learner, it displays all types of content, including text, images, embedded YouTube videos, presentations and even links. So at the click of a button, frontline workers can access and review job aids and resources at any time, anywhere, 24/7.
In the past, not all employees have been comfortable downloading a “work app” onto their personal device. But in the current situation an app that’s easy to download onto a personal smartphones could be the solution, especially now as sharing devices carries extra health and safety risks. According to a research report on the state of workforce by TRUCE, nearly “62% surveyed said they agree mobile phones or tablets play a key role in helping them be productive at work” and “56% of those polled said they believe it's their right to use their personal mobile device during work.”
Here’s what frontline training should look like to reap the maximum benefits:
- Only take a few minutes to complete per day
- Continually reinforced by bite-sized bursts of knowledge to ensure it sticks
- Available across multiple devices - mobile phone, tablet or desktop
- Can be delivered right in the flow of work
- Fun, personalised and engaging
- Lets them find job aids and resources in seconds
Atrivity team’s conclusions
In these tough and stressful times, workers on the frontline continue to show up to work every day to support us all. Healthcare workers, delivery drivers, supermarket attendants, retail associates and so many more of these frontline heroes need to be supported too. Employers can do this by giving frequent and engaging training to help them feel confident in their ability to perform their jobs properly and in a safe way. Introducing a gamified element and allowing colleagues to challenge each other on their knowledge levels adds that extra motivation and ultimately makes even a mundane training topic seem fun and engaging.
Whilst they aren’t the ones in the head office making strategic decisions, they are essential to executing these strategies and achieving business goals. So companies who connect more and equip their staff with the skills to do their best work will soon realize that they might just be the key to making this year a successful one.