Field Observations: It’s Time to Spring into Action
In the midst of one of the most challenging times business has seen, its time to SPRING into action…
Organizations around the globe have been working, planning, and operating in this “new normal” which, with travel restrictions, social distancing, lockdowns, furloughed team members, and closed storefronts, doesn’t feel at all normal. However, I have had the privilege to see leaders in Healthcare, Retail, and Distribution rise to the occasion by taking care of their frontline employees, their customer, and their communities in need.
Over the past few weeks, the WorkJam team has been busy working with many new customers, our partners, and the market to quickly enable much needed digital transformation, automation, and collaboration. We are lucky that we are able to share a blueprint for operational success laid out by so many market leaders like DaVita, Shell, Woolworths, and Ulta Beauty. Today, I thought I would share a quick update on some amazing strategies we have seen put into action and the blueprint to facilitate communication and collaboration, today, that will enable continuity, change and innovation as we all look to open, tomorrow.
One of the reasons we founded WorkJam was a firm belief that communication is the cornerstone of a successful, innovative, and thriving organization. It’s trying times like these that make this even more paramount. Communication helps set the foundation for our operations at all levels of the operational hierarchy. As executives, we have a responsibility to communicate our vision, our strategy, and our actions. Our regional leadership needs to collaborate, validate, and empower. Our frontline employees who may be isolated or not receiving enough timely communication to feel part of the corporate family experience a higher level of stress and dissatisfaction with the business leaders and organization, in general, resulting in higher absenteeism, turnover, and loss of productivity.
We must now prepare to communicate in real-time with our teams.
How are leading organizations communicating with their frontline and field employees?
- Daily executive updates to the entire organization using videos, surveys, and searchable PDF action plans
- Innovative micro-learnings that convey ever changing policy and procedures
- Pre-populated checklists, task, and store walks with updated COVID-19 site preparation plans
- Action and empathy in real-time with communication around location updates: furloughs, benefits, and actions that impact your frontline directly
- Feedback from the frontline — our teams that are physically at our sites want and need the ability to provide real-time feedback and operational needs
What is the most important takeaway for all companies? You must say SOMETHING. Now is the time to use communication to prepare your team for today, define the process for tomorrow, and ultimately protect the culture of your company, your teams, and your brand, yet do it in a way that supports your success and evolution for the long term.
You can have the best strategy and process in the world. However, if you have no way to deploy, measure, and automate that process you will be left with only good intentions. The companies that are addressing their strategy with technology are not only making it through, they are preparing themselves to thrive as we focus on coming out of this crisis.
Our customers focused on enabling their sites to react in real-time to changing hours, changing demand, and changing inventory and schedules.
What do businesses enable when they implement digital collaboration?
- Instant updates on business changes
- Automated audience targeting — getting the right message to the right person, region, position without manual list-building or shadow IT
- Mandatory health checks before each shift
- Certifications on updated procedures and policies
- Closed loop compliance on health, safety, and HR tasks
- True open shift and labor sharing — as store hours, labor demands, and available workforces change, sharing labor across a geography will become mandatory to do business
- Speaking their language — when you are communicating with your regional, national, or global workforce it’s important that you can do so in your team’s native language (WorkJam is deployed in 29 languages globally)
With digital frontline communication and collaboration becoming a virtual mandate overnight, we would be remiss if we didn’t address security. Organizations have quickly realized that traditional consumer focused tools like WhatsApp, Facebook, and SMS created data and platform security issues en masse. WorkJam customers are able to launch at scale knowing that we remove the need to collect personal data like emails and cell phones, support corporate SSO policies and ultimately are SOCII compliant as well as GDPR defensible. WorkJam enables our customers to deploy across our many global data centers ensuring security and data privacy.
Corporate Social Responsibility
As the CEO of a leading HCM and engagement focused solution provider, I realize that all of the above has to start at home. My communication with WorkJam’s global team was frequent prior to the COVID-19 crisis and that connection has become even more frequent now that we are in the thick of it. Hosting daily updates, ensuring our team had the strategy to not only survive but to thrive.
Our success is a direct function of our customer’s success, so we partnered with our current customers to strategically advise them on how leverage WorkJam to its fullest — immediately allowing our customers to turn on additional functionality while providing no-cost services and enablement. Our customer success team led by Josh Ostrega has also been hosting Customer Advisory Boards, and weekly success calls allowing our WorkJam customer family to collaborate on ideas and share best practices.
It also led me to challenge the team to come up with a way to help the industry at large.
Introducing WorkJam Crisis Management 5 Day Comms
We would like to offer our assistance at a time when agility is important for companies with non-desk workforces — this situation is changing and will continue to evolve. More importantly, we recognize that economic conditions are uncertain and we are working with management teams on a case-by-case basis to accommodate this. We may also be able to put you in touch with some of our customers so that you can learn what actions they are taking now and how they will address the next phase of re-opening. We invite you to visit www.workjam.com/covid-19-communications-continuity/ to learn more about the offering.
As always, if WorkJam’s experience can be helpful to you, please contact us here: www.workjam.com/contact-us/
Wishing you all the best,
This article was originally posted on Steven Kramer’s LinkedIn.
About the author:
Steven Kramer, CEO, WorkJam Inc.
As CEO, Steven has more than 20 years of executive leadership experience driving business results and developing disruptive technologies for the retail industry. In 1999, Steven co-founded iCongo, which merged with hybris Software in 2011 and became the largest independent provider of e-commerce solutions. While innovating in retail, Steven identified a gap between traditional workforce management and the employee experience and co-founded WorkJam, where he is responsible for the strategic direction of the company.