Heather
Gray

Empower your Frontline Workers with the Right Technology

Heather Gray

Mar 9, 2020

8 min read

Frontline workers represent the face of your company. They deal with clients directly by answering phones and personally assisting them in retail stores, hospitals and banks. Thus, it is true without question that no business can run smoothly without the proper functioning of its frontline workers.

As they are the first point of contact for customers, any mistake from their part can easily break the hard-earned reputation of the entire company. One of the best ways to ensure your workers stay productive is to digitally empower them. This makes sense as majority of the current workforce consists of millennials. They grew up with technology all their lives and you can’t find a better generation to incorporate devices into the workplace.

However, this steady rise in technology comes with plenty of challenges, especially in terms of security breaches. Keeping your frontline workers safe from harm is very important since no other employee will have a better knowledge of all the business units. This is why managers take great care to ensure their workers do their jobs efficiently without running into any difficulties.

In spite of this, frontline workers still face a lot of challenges, these include:

  • Inadequate technical training.
  • Inter office communication difficulties.
  • Lack of relevant information needed to get the job done.
  • Lack of motivation.

Provide Frontline Workers a Safe and Caring Place to Work

There are a few ways to make your workplace better:

  • Promote a work culture where each task achieved by the worker gets recognized.
  • Give out rewards for meeting your organization goals, it will help them to stay focused and motivated on the long run.
  • Improve your enterprise communication by promoting transparency.
  • Make them enjoy their work by putting up workshops and interactive training sessions on a regular basis.
  • Implement the right technology that ensures efficiency and high-quality service.

Improve the Lives of Your Frontline Workers with Technology

Getting your frontline employees acquainted with the various ins and outs of technology can seem like a difficult task, but, getting them trained to be an expert is not as hard as it sounds. Once they overcome the initial hiccups, and get the hang of the tools, they’ll be ready to dish out great service to customers. So, what are the technologies you should start adopting for your frontline workers? Although it varies with different businesses, Enterprise Mobility is always a great place to start. Here’s what you can do:

  • Enable workers with mobile devices
  • Pre-configure device settings for business use
  • Provision users with essential work apps and contents
  • Enforce data security and compliance

1) Mobile Device Management

Mobile Device Management (MDM) software lets businesses set up, manage and secure mobile devices used by workers. However, not all MDMs enable seamless management. There are a whole bunch of solutions to choose from–basic device management tools to unified mobile, desktop and workplace IoT management solutions like Hexnode MDM.

“frontline

Hexnode MDM not only improves data security, but it also plays a key role in empowering frontline workers and increasing employee productivity in the workplace. It lets you blacklist non-essential apps during work hours so that your employees will not fall for any distractions. It even helps enhance security, provide remote access management, and save time by automating repetitive tasks such as configuring Wi-Fi, Email and Access Point settings.

From Retail to Education, Healthcare and Transportation–Hexnode MDM’s kiosk mode offers quite a few features uniquely positioned for frontline workers. Devices can be set in a purpose-driven mode to allow access to all the applications workers need while blocking out other apps and access to device settings. You can also selectively enable device functionalities, accessibility and configurations based on the worker profile and specific use cases.

2) Lone Worker Protection

Many frontline workers have to work alone at night. Such physical isolation can often trigger anxiety and depression in most of them. (Just think about Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’, you’ll get a general idea) This problem has always plagued countless managers for years and they were at their wits end on trying to find a solution.

As technology kept on getting better, experts finally found an answer to improve the working conditions of these workers by providing them with lone worker protection devices. These are special devices that are designed to detect whether a worker is in distress. As soon as the distress has been identified, the device will send an alert to a nearby service center where help will be dispatched immediately.

Some devices with the basic functionalities can be activated by the user on their own by pressing a panic button, other complex devices will have more advanced capabilities that are programmed to detect injury and lack of motion.

Large businesses employing hundreds of frontline workers will find it hard to monitor each individual worker properly. If frontline employees are given access to these protection devices, they can immediately alert authorities if anything goes wrong. Enforcing lone worker protection in your organization can help save many lives and deter future accidents.

3) Smart Badges

According to Gartner “The adoption of smart badges continues to grow due to the benefits of customizable context, easy-to-see large display, added security functions and employee convenience”1

Smart badges and other wearables with their built-in sensors have the ability to keep track of the user’s work performance. These tiny circuit cards even possess the ability to transmit data wirelessly.

Many businesses, banks and corporations use smart badges to measure their employees’ interaction and productivity. Even though, they are still more popular among knowledge workers, giving your workers access to these badges will help in boosting their skills and inter office communication.

All the data collected by smart badges can give managers a clear picture on the current state of their work dynamics and the changes they need to make to ensure their office environment remains productive. Smart badges offer more advantages than smart IDs as they can provide location-based services and analytics. With these badges on board in your office, the operational skills of your frontline workers will improve steadily.

4) Biometric Authentication

Unauthorized physical entries can be a huge risk in any organization. Traditional key cards can’t be trusted anymore as they can be easily tampered with. This is why biometric authentication should be incorporated into the workplace. One of the most widely used biometric authentication methods are facial recognition scanners.

“facial recognition

Facial recognition is a type of technology where a user’s face can be captured and identified by the means of a facial digital image. In order to capture the face print accurately, the person must stand in front of a camera that is connected to a computer. After the digital image of the individual has been thoroughly captured from different angles, a computerized faceprint will be generated and then stored in a database.

The data is further matched with all the other details of the user for easier identification. Numerical codes are used to study the different facial features of the person. By minutely coding every feature, the individual can be easily differentiated from other people. Some of the benefits of using facial recognition includes baring unauthorized entries into the workplace, employee tracking, and improving the general security of your staff members.

5) Gamification

Gamification is a great way to improve  employee engagement of your workers. The gaming elements offer them a fun way to compete and complete accomplishing their goals on time.

“Gamification

Different techniques from various behavioural sciences are used to encourage users to complete their tasks. With the healthy competition that gamification promotes, your workers will be nudged into performing better, thus benefiting your company in a big way.

It also brings in a positive change into the work place and get people to think about tackling their jobs more effectively. Gamification is more than just a game, it’s a motivation tool for your workers. As soon as they carry out their tasks more quickly, they will gain a sense of mastery of over what they do and be experts in no time. Don’t hesitate to incorporate gamification into your business, your workers will thank you for it someday.

Frontline Workers Need All the Care Too

Engaging frontline workers is a priority for managers. Utilizing technology to facilitate safety processes can result in happier employees.

Source: Industry Today

Being the lone workers of the modern world, frontline workers are always the first ones to get exposed to a multitude of risks. In addition to getting inadequate training, they can also be victims to device thefts and malicious assaults. In a bid to keep their staff safe, many businesses are empowering their workers with mobile devices and are using UEM tools to centrally provision, manage and secure them.

Just as anyone would keep their belongings safe from harm, a company must ensure that it provides the best security for its employees by making them feel valued and appreciated.

Reference:

1 Gartner, Hype Cycle for Frontline Worker Technologies,2019, Rob Smith et al., 31 July 2019

Heather Gray

Technical Blogger @ Hexnode. Reading and writing helps me to stay sane.

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