Remote work
21st Apr 2020
3 Min Read

What front-line employees need right now

Russell Norton
Russell Norton
People & Change

Social distancing is about physical distancing, not limiting social interactions and this is one of the biggest challenges faced by organisations with frontline employees right now.

Here are four key areas of focus right now, each with simple, practical solutions for helping people to feel connected to what matters at work, without taking them away from the jobs that need doing.

You can download the free 1 page guide or read on for the 4 areas to keep in mind.

1. Reaching your people

What‘s the challenge?

Retail colleagues are the toughest to reach at the best of times. They’re on the move and incredibly busy, have many priorities, and may not be digitally connected.

What‘s important to focus on

Clarity on which channels serve which purpose is essential to keep communications efficient while the opportunity to opt into something more novel is also essential when times are challenging.

What to do about it

Optimise channels and content. This is the time to strategically assess your channel landscape aligned to your audience. Then, it’s about optimising those channels to deliver content that resonates.

2. Recognition

What‘s the challenge?

Your people are working around the clock. They’re shattered. Customers may not be the easiest to deal with right now, and there are health concerns to boot. But can colleagues hear this through the operational messages?

What‘s important to focus on

Listening to the bright spots and shining a light on them will help people adjust to change. Our need to reciprocate what’s been given to us — in this case, praise — means gratitude will quickly spread throughout your colleagues.

What to do about it

Strategic community management. Now is a more important time than ever to listen to your people and surface the brilliant stories. Strategic community management enables you to mine the right channels to listen, surface the pride, be supportive and make sure the right posts land.

3. Keeping up physical and mental wellbeing

What‘s the challenge?

Remote working while physically distancing is tough on the mind as well as the body. These are uncertain times. For some, work has dried up, for others, work is twice as busy.

What‘s important to focus on

Now we‘re getting past the point of basics like how to wash your hands properly, it‘s time to focus on the emotional and mental wellbeing needs of your people

What to do about it

Tailor your messages to how your people are feeling. Coronavirus has impacted different groups of employees in different ways. Those on furlough need entirely different content to those still working, and they need it in a different tone of voice.

4. New starters

What‘s the challenge?

Normally, when new colleagues join, they get their first impressions of your company at induction. But right now, you have to train a huge influx of people, fast.

What‘s important to focus on

Re-training in critical roles where others have gone off sick and military levels of precision planning.

What to do about it

Onboarding – at speed. The immediate need is to coordinate with HR and relevant stakeholders to develop short-term induction plans and tools to get people up to speed, fast.

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