The right tech can make the difference for frontline workers


Microsoft experts told the HR Indaba how the right tech can support frontline workers.

Microsoft’s modern senior specialist, Catherine de Klerk, and employee experience senior, Ainize Cidoncha revealed how frontline workers can be supported digitally to make them feel part of the team.

According to Work Trend index pulse report findings presented at the HR Indaba on 18 October to a room full of HR leaders, 80 percent of frontline workers – who are the backbone of hybrid workers – reported they needed support digitally to feel welcomed in the workplace.

Ainize said HR leaders should aim to provide a front door to frontline workers to create a culture of community that will help them connect better to their colleagues and the organisation to find a sense of belonging.

She mentioned that they had noticed a trend that culture in the workplace was not cared for, and as a result frontline workers did not know which tools to use to feel connected to their organisations.

She added that it was important for both employer and employee to build a two-way dialogue to open up conversation about what affects employees. “Foster open dialogues and learn what’s top of mind for employee,s and foster open discussions and knowledge-sharing among employees across departments,” she said.

She suggested that to build a culture of support, managers must be empowered to give regular feedback digitally and physically to show teams that they are being heard.

She also explained that providing goal clarity and alignment at scale will help create a purpose driven culture. “Help employees to better understand their impact by aligning their daily tasks to core cultural priorities,” she added.

Optimism for tech is high

Catherine said what was noticed throughout the report was that frontline employees had the requisite optimism for technology. She added that it would be beneficial for HR leaders and managers to create a single online platform for teamwork to deliver company news, shift changes and other announcements.

She explained that although the optimism was evident, complicated systems made it difficult for frontline workers to feel connected to the workplace.

She suggested that companies should invest in a system that is hands-free, which also enables push-to-talk communication and also prioritises security and convenience to allow employees to feel safe while using the system.

She added that employees should also play a role in making sure that they are honest with their leaders, to feel included.

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