Asking for frontline feedback is the key to unlocking orchestration
November 2, 2022 / WorkJam Blog
A simple, yet powerful act that, ironically, we talk about often as frontline business leaders but rarely do enough of ourselves. On the two-way street of communication, too much time is spent behind the wheel driving organizations one way, all the while blocking both lanes.
It’s easy to understand how it happens. With so much going on in your company, the need to keep your employees up-to-speed is paramount. Policy and procedure changes, safety issues, customer concerns – the list is so long that it’s easy to get caught up communicating to your frontline instead of with them.
We recently spoke with a large retail customer of ours about WorkJam and how it’s helped orchestrate their frontline. This customer has been with us since 2017 and one thing they mentioned really stood out.
Feedback. As in, WorkJam allows their employees to easily give it.
It seems so obvious, but it’s something many organizations are missing. Not only do they not ask for feedback, they aren’t even providing an avenue for their employees to give it in the first place. No way to send messages to the organization’s leaders, no surveys, no way to give input at a macro level. They’re just reliant on location supervisors and managers filtering their thoughts, opinions, and concerns up the chain with little to no insight as to whether it was ever delivered, let alone heard.
The benefit of feedback is significant. From a culture standpoint, allowing your employees to be heard is one of the most important things you can provide as an organization to drive engagement and show employees they are valued. And while the ROI of culture can be challenging to calculate, what’s not difficult to add up are the real dollars and cents earned and saved from ideas and suggestions that come directly from the employees on your frontline. It’s a waste of money to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on consultants trying to improve your productivity if you haven’t even tapped into the 10,000- person think tank already on your payroll.
Then there’s the customer component. Most frontline organizations are customer-focused and spend considerable resources trying to improve the customer experience. Well, what’s the biggest part of the customer experience? Often, it’s your frontline employees who, coincidentally, also spend the most time gathering feedback from and speaking with these customers.
Think about how much additional productivity, efficiency, and profit this retail customer of ours has generated in five years just by gathering feedback from its frontline. How many procedures were tweaked, processes changed, or ideas implemented that made a huge impact to the bottom line simply because they gave their employees the tools needed to communicate?
Right now your organization is probably deep in the planning stages for 2023, spending lots of time thinking of new ways to drive results and hit your goals.
Just remember that the best ideas to achieve those goals are all around you. All you have to do is listen.