If the report released by McKinsey & Company is correct, then as many as 800 million workers all around the world could lose their jobs to robots by 2030.
What could be the reason?
Thanks to the revolution of digitization and the giant leaps in artificial intelligence in recent times, it is obvious that industries around the world are evolving at a rapid rate.
Companies that can’t adapt to the evolving technology and changing markets are folding up daily
This rapid change has seen workers taking up new skills and responsibilities to maintain their relevance in the workspace.
Companies are also providing their employees with the resources, tools, and time they need to keep up with the changing times and achieve company objectives adequately, as opposed to hiring new people which is more expensive.
This process is referred to as upskilling.
How about the frontline workforce?
Are they being prepared and trained for the massive change happening in industries around the world?
Are they fully equipped to tackle the technological hurdles efficiently?
Frontline workers shouldn’t be left out of the upskilling process as mistakes from their end could cost the business.
To understand this, we shall talk about who frontline workers are and why investing in the upskilling of frontline teams is crucial to business growth and development.
Frontline Workers – Who Are They?
Frontline employees are employees of a business or company who directly engage with the customers.
While the backline team works hard to create a product/service, it is the approach of the frontline team that determines how well that product or service sells as well as the chances of converting a prospect to a solid lead and eventually a paying customer.
Suffice it to say, the skill of a frontline staff directly affects the topline growth of a company.
Some examples of frontline workers in various industries including
- Front Desk Agents
- Emergency Medical Technicians
- School Teachers
- Social Workers
- Registered Nurses
What Are the Roles of Frontline Workers?
Frontline workers carry out the most critical functions in enterprises as they are usually the first face (or voice) a customer encounters and this could have striking effects on the reputation of the business and they represent a company’s aims and objectives.
Here are some of the duties of frontline staff;
- A frontline staff interacts directly with the customer to build their trust in the business
- Frontline workers help customers solve their problems or connect them with someone who can
- They provide customers with a positive experience to establish customer retention
How to Upskill Your Frontline Team
Now that we have established the importance of frontline workers to a company, how can their functionalities be upscaled to efficiently meet the growing demands of technology?
1. Set a Clear Objective
The most important step is identifying the skill gaps in the organization that front-liners can fill.
These skill gaps threaten the growth of the business.
So it is essential that they are analyzed carefully to map out the next steps to take and the strategies to fill them.
2. Introduce More Technology-Based Solutions
Recent software technology is incredibly valuable as they help to solve critical problems easily and within a short period of time.
For frontliners, the incorporation of technology such as time-management software could aid in tracking time efficiently in the workspace.
3. Provide Growth Opportunities
Upskilling front liners won’t be possible if they aren’t provided with ample opportunities to grow.
Encourage them to develop a consistent learning culture by signing up for courses and training that could further propel their career within your organization.
To enable faster and better assimilations, this training could be done while on the job too to give them real-life experiences.
The Benefits of Upskilling Frontline Teams
The organization stands to gain a lot from investing in the upskilling of frontline workers.
Some of these benefits include:
- Increased Productivity
Frontline employees who engage in the upskilling process are more productive, enhanced, engaged, and communicate better in the workspace.
- Well-Structured Teamwork
Because upskilling employees helps in filling skill gaps, a staff who isn’t proficient enough to carry out a task can easily rely on another staff who is engaged in the training to perform the task and put them through as well.
- Boosted Chances With Competition
Having employees who are up-to-date with in-demand skills gives an organization a sharp edge over competitors.
- Builds Loyalty to the Organization
Employees only stay in places where they feel valued.
Frontline staff shouldn’t be exempted from this.
When they are provided with opportunities to scale further in their careers, the feeling that they are less interchangeable and an essential part of the business motivates them to commit more to actualize the goal of the business.
Currently, the importance of upskilling the frontline workforce has skyrocketed compared to the earlier days when technology was slowly developing.
To meet this demand, all employees must be trained in these skills to adapt to the changing environment.
For the frontline workforce, however, upskilling is important to provide excellent service and achieve the entire organizational overall objectives while at it.