Article - Operations

Trends Transforming Frontline Operations Management

Settling into the post-pandemic world has opened opportunities. From more technological advances to utilizing data and automation, the digital world has exploded. However, with an averagely smaller workforce across industries, many companies are having to work with what they have. From supply chain challenges to talent, this crunch is felt everywhere. So how do companies help their ever-thinning workforce feel supported and manage challenging operations going forward? Here are some top trends that we are seeing when it comes to maximizing your operational efficiency while helping your workforce.  

Representing 80% of the global workforce, no one has felt the burden the past couple of years more than the 2 billion frontline workers worldwide. That is according to Microsoft 

The Workplace C-word: Culture? 

Workplace shortages have affected businesses globally, which hand in hand affect the culture of companies. The importance of company culture can help set the tone for employees and attract talent. This couldn’t be truer than with the frontline workforce. So, with a culture so low, how do you turn that around? Some ideas include, empowering your employees.  

  • More Visibility: Offer more insight into short and long-term company goals. Share more on holiday requests, PTO and/or scheduling changes. Technology and automation can help reduce doing these things manually while giving your large workforce more transparency, helping them feel empowered. 
  • Lead with Empathy: Leading with empathy is also crucial after the pandemic turned our lives upside down. In a recent poll from Microsoft reveals “62% of all frontline workers say leadership does not prioritize building culture. 58% of frontline workers believe that work stress will either stay the same or worsen in the coming year.” 
  • Avoid Retention: Amidst the “Great Resignation” we all want to retain our staff and keep them happy. Frontline senior leaders suggest that a friendly, inclusive, and open work culture is key. A Beekeeper study finds that about 60% of team leads said culture was highly effective in retaining staff but workers themselves are more focused on things that directly impact their daily jobs such as staffing and context around policy updates.  

Success in Operations 

Leading frontline organizations are accelerating their digital initiatives and investing in technology. Here are couple of examples: 

  • Using automation to support staff, improve transparency, reduce manual processes, and improve scheduling and policy changes.  
  • Reducing the number of applications and equipping workers with the right digital tools to communicate with one another and get the information they need in real-time.  
  • Simplifying the process to switch shifts.  
  • Investing in training for both workers and managers. 

There’s No ‘I’ in Team 

Building a bond between managers and employees has never been more important. Utilizing those days where the team gets stronger together is important. Especially for those teams that have felt the pressure and feel lighter from it. Using events, days off, or innovation projects to pull together minds can be helpful.  

Once you have invested in the tech, allow your team to grow through training, together. Tapping into new skills or allowing employees to be more versatile is pivotal for your team to be able to grow confidence. The more confidence your team has, the further they can go. It will help make those hard days a little less challenging. Invite specialists or third parties to help teach and train and expand your team’s knowledge. Employees want the freedom to grow and expand, break those barriers from the top down and work together as one.  

So get down to your workforce and help them feel empowered through technology simplifying some of the basics and leading a more human, compassionate, and team-building mantra.  

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Continue the debate at GDS’ CIO Summits where we bring together senior IT executives who are actively seeking to share, learn, engage, and find the best solutions. 

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