Frontline workers are often the unsung heroes of organizations, and their voices are not heard as frequently as they should be. They are the ones who are on the ground, dealing with customers and clients, and making or delivering products daily. These workers have valuable insights and perspectives that can help improve the overall functioning of organizations, and it is important for Chief Human Resource Officers (CHROs) to understand their needs and concerns. The following are a few things we’ve learned that frontline workers wish they could tell their CHRO’s.

They would like an opportunity to have communications when and how it works for them

  • Frontline workers have a lot to say, but so often there is a barrier to communicating with this workforce. They spend most of their time either working with products or the people purchasing them – so they often have great ideas and information that would help the organization save time and money or serve their customers better. CHRO’s can help by making sure frontline employees have a clear understanding of all the communication channels open to them and that frontline managers understand the importance of making time to listen and provide opportunities to converse with these employees.

They would like access to support and resources

  • Frontline workers often feel that they are not given the support and resources they need to do their jobs effectively. They may need additional training, equipment, or support to handle new tasks or challenges. They may not be able to access the same HR systems and support that employees who work at a desk can. CHROs can help by providing multiple channels to access software and support the company is already paying for, taking into account barriers such as language, time and access to technology. 

They would like recognition and appreciation

  • Frontline workers often feel undervalued and unrecognized, even though they are the backbone of organizations. They work long hours, deal with difficult customers, and handle a variety of tasks, but often receive little recognition for their hard work. CHROs can help by making sure frontline managers are acknowledging and appreciating the contributions of these workers and creating access to programs and incentives to reward their efforts.

They would like work-life balance and wellness support

  • Frontline workers often have demanding schedules, with long hours and rotating shifts. This can make it difficult for them to maintain a healthy work-life balance, leading to burnout and decreased productivity. Because of these things, they may not have regular access to help including regular doctor visits and therapy. CHROs can help by offering flexible scheduling options, paid time off, support for self-care, and training for frontline managers to recognize these things in their employees and offer options.

They would like career development opportunities

  • Frontline workers often feel stuck in their jobs, with limited opportunities for advancement. They want to grow and develop their careers, but feel that they are not given the opportunities to do so. Even when companies have robust development programs, barriers such as language, lack of understanding and not knowing where to start can intimidate many from even trying. CHROs can help by providing training and development programs, mentorship opportunities, and clear career paths for these workers – but more importantly increasing outreach, asking questions and developing clear opportunities for safe communications between employees and those running the programs.

Frontline workers play a crucial role in organizations, and their needs, concerns – and barriers – can be different from those that work in an office. CHROs can help by creating opportunities for-two way communications, asking this workforce about their barriers and concerns and offering alternatives to help them. Seeking out new innovation and opportunities to provide for this workforce goes a long way.  Try new ideas – even if imperfect – this mentality will display your corporate commitment to building the  trust and loyalty that will support employee retention. 

Anthill offers the most inclusive access to compliant communications and company resources necessary to support frontline workers. We provide actionable insights into drivers of turnover and automate time consuming, repetitive tasks for your HR staff and frontline managers – saving you time and money while increasing retention and growth of your frontline workforce.

Jennifer Harris-Kroll

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