Tried and Tested Ways to Motivate your Frontline Workforce to Deliver Exceptional Service

Frontline employees are ordinarily under immense and (particularly over the last two years) unprecedented pressure, putting their physical, mental and social wellbeing at risk.

This relentless exposure to prolonged periods of stress can be harmful and deflate their motivation.

The negative consequences of this situation will:

  • Lead to burnout.
  • Trigger common mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Encourage unhealthy personal habits such as smoking, drinking and taking other illicit substances, which can lead to substance abuse.
  • Increase absenteeism and reduce productivity.
  • Increase the risk of self-harm among frontline workers, particularly healthcare workers.

These personal impacts will directly affect an organisation in terms of:

  • Compromised quality and safety,
  • A breach of protocols and processes, and
  • Overall productivity

There is, therefore, a clear correlation between motivating your frontline employees and the organisation benefitting from productivity and the provision of quality service.

The good news is that with the right strategy, you can ensure frontline workers have both the knowledge and drive to stay engaged at work.

There are four guaranteed approaches to make sure your frontline employees are supported as adequately and equally as possible. With the following interventions, you can help workers increase efficiency and offer customers a superior experience.

1. Motivate Employees from their First Day on the Job

While onboarding is about learning the ropes, it’s the perfect opportunity to galvanise your new hires and set the tone for how you will motivate your employees.

A recent report from Harvard Business Review reflects a record-breaking 4 million resignations in July 2021. The global resignation trend that emerged in the wake of the pandemic is likely to foreshadow a major reset in employee/employer relationships. It is therefore critical for companies to revisit approaches to staff retention. A variety of motivational approaches can play an important role in this respect:

  • Provide internal support via a long-term employee who can assist with a new employee’s onboarding. This will solidify a new hire’s attachment to the job and give them a support network during the important first months in a new environment.
  • Stress the importance of an employee’s role and the value they bring to the team.
  • Communicate the potential for them to grow within the company.
  • Promote an inclusive atmosphere.

The primary objective is to create an environment where employees want to play their part in delivering on the company strategy

2. Make Quality Data Available to Employees

It takes just one poor and publicised instance of inferior customer experience to lose business. Poor customer service is often the result of employees’ limited insight into the customers they are serving, rather than a willful reluctance to assist

Customers expect the salesperson they are engaging with to have their details on hand, this includes personal information. Technological tools can help ensure consumer data is current. This will keep customer profiles up to date and employees will be able to interact with customers from an informed position.

Consumer data solutions offer valuable insight to frontline employees about their customers and can help structure interactions so that they are meant for both the customer and the company.

These data solutions:

  • Allow your frontline employees to personalise their engagement (tailoring interactions), and
  • Improve the value of the customer’s relationship with your organisation (whether that locks in the customer’s loyalty or increases the value of the sale)

Staff motivation will suffer if they feel opportunities to deliver on service or sales objectives are thwarted by inadequate data resources. This means employees must have the right tools to ensure they are empowered with what they need to know, when they need to know it.

3. Recognise, Reward – and Reap the Benefits

Effective recognition approaches cover three types of recognition three types of recognition organisation-wide formal recognition, departmental-specific recognition and everyday spontaneous recognition. Everyday recognition is important as it affords leaders the opportunity to validate attitudes they would like team members to adopt.

Rewards encourage particular behaviours because the future benefits of the behaviour are clearly defined. Over an extended period of time, these rewards increase the likelihood of particular behaviours and have the potential to become self-reinforcing. However, rewards without recognition can saturate employees with tangible items and benefits, which gradually lose significance.

It is therefore important for companies to maintain an ongoing balance between recognition and reward, as this will allow motivation to be sustained in the long-term. This will keep employees loyal and productive, while contributing to driving organisational progress.

4. Keep the Conversation Going

Most of us agree that face-to-face engagement is easier than any other form of interaction. Unfortunately, this is often neither possible nor practical with frontline workers. The nature of their occupations, means companies must find other ways to maintain a steady flow of reciprocal communication. In this respect there are several approaches that can both modernise and cater for a variety of employee communication channels.

Ongoing conversations in the workplace can contribute to team members feeling valued, encourage employee productivity and lower staff turnover. Workplace communication plays a vital role in creating a sense of purpose for employees and represents an important element in the creation of a strong company culture.

Key Takeaways

Whether you are operating in times of uncertainty and instability or it is business as usual at your operations, your frontline employees will need your unwavering support and encouragement. By entrenching actions to motivate your frontline workforce day-to-day you will improve the employee experience, and ensure a collaborative work environment, rooted in professional respect and a collective desire for the success of your organisation.

If you’re looking for an engagement expert to help motivate your frontline workforce, talk to an Expert today.

Find out what you can do to improve the day to day lives of your frontline employees and how to address their specific needs in order to improve engagement.