Connecting the Frontline

March 27, 2023 / Connecting the Frontline / WorkJam Blog

Why is ‘connecting the frontline’ a universal initiative in boardrooms around the world?


The frontline has been left behind. New Forrester research, commissioned by WorkJam and published in March 2023, exposes that digital transformation initiatives have transformed HQ jobs for employers of frontline workers. Yet 73% of the same enterprises note that similar advances have not yet reached the frontline. Dig into the full Forrester research HERE.


Why have frontline employees been left behind?


Frontline workers are complex — they’re spread across locations, hold various roles, have diverse needs, and represent one of the largest line items in your balance sheet. That complexity and the bias to fix our own problems (desk-workers solving desk-worker problems) has left frontline workers behind.


In the Forrester report, Elevate The Frontline To Elevate The Business, frontline employers were asked to assess the importance of their business goals. Decision-makers universally agreed that improving employee experience (EX) was important, but the majority fail to make it a priority for their organization. Decision-makers mistakenly feel they must choose between the needs of employees and business success.


Let’s look at a timeline of ‘normal’ workflows and operations over the last +25 years. Consider the changes that have taken place — the wide adoption of the internet, cell phones, smartphones, and social media. And, with desk work — email improvements, collaboration software, chat, Zoom, etc. Frontline workers have been left behind.


Punch: Physical clock
Corporate Announcement: Breakroom poster
Schedule: Printed calendar
Task List: Clipboard
Training: VHS in breakroom


Punch: Physical clock
Corporate Announcement: Intranet
Schedule: Printed calendar
Task List: Clipboard
Training: DVD in breakroom


Punch: Physical clock with keypad
Corporate Announcement: Cascading communication from manager
Schedule: Calendar visible on web from WFM
Task List: Printed list from back-office system
Training: Video on desktop in breakroom

Connecting the Frontline

A look at point solutions


Employers have implemented point solutions to close the gap between HQ and frontline workers. Examples include communication apps, intranets, task software, mobile WFM, and more.


HQ has ‘fixed’ workflows by aiding them with technology while designing a clunky employee experience. For example:

  1. Employee punches-in at the front of the store
  2. Manager informs them that they need to take a mandatory training
  3. They walk back to the break room to access a PC — the training is completed
  4. A printed copy of a merchandising task is taken to the store floorThey leave the break room and miss the company announcement on the whiteboard

Industry leaders have consolidated their frontline technologies and workflows into one user interface. The single access point improves productivity. Here is an improved workflow:

  1. Employee opens their phone to punch-in but cannot until they watch a training video
  2. The employee watches the video on their phone (the duration is recorded for compensation)
  3. They mobile punch
  4. The task list is visible below the mobile time clock, right next to the message from the CEO

No manager intervention. No paper. No wasted walking. And the completion of each action is recorded in real-time.


Your frontline employee experience should be noiseless


Do your employees only see relevant shifts, tasks, training, and communication? Or do they see and hear too much? If they see and hear too much, that’s a noisy employee experience.


Software repurposed for frontline workers cannot easily target the correct audience. For example, hardware turned SaaS software or social media turned collaboration tool or desk worker program turned deskless worker app are not built for the complexities of frontline workers.


Table stakes: Is your technology shift-aware? Is it accessible off-location or off-clock? Every frontline technology needs to be shift-aware to remain compliant.


The secondary inputs for targeting are things like role, location, seniority, and other activity statuses (example: have you taken XYZ training, yes or no).


Noiseless targeting is dynamic. As employees meet the requirements of a target audience, content becomes visible. When they no longer match, the content disappears. The content in this example includes: communication, surveys, tasks, micro-training, and open shifts.


For users, this personalized experience is a focused view into their own work.


For employers — location managers and HQ —the dynamic audience segmentation lists are little to no lift. Compliance and productivity made easy.


WorkJam Connects the Frontline


WorkJam was founded to revolutionize the frontline workplace creating happy, engaged employees for higher productivity. Every feature, function, and workflow is designed for frontline workers. And the way we partner with our customers reflects our dedication to their non-desk employees.


Although we’re proud to jam with our customers, our technology is noiseless. We’ve brought the four pillars of frontline work — scheduling, task, learning, and communication — into a single interface that makes the user experience simple and effective.


Enterprises that connect their frontline and invest in technologies across the four operational pillars of the frontline reap business results. In fact, 52% of enterprises that invest heavily in their frontline experience double-digit revenue growth.


Learn more about the business benefits of connecting your frontline in Forrester’s new frontline study.

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WorkJam is the platform industry leaders choose for true frontline orchestration: task management, training, communications, staffing, and more.