The deskless workforce is the heart of many businesses. They constitute almost 80% of the global workforce. Without them, business operations might just come to a halt. Despite being a valuable resource of the company, they are the ones who hardly get the training they require to perform efficiently. Most companies focus on the knowledge workers and pay little or no attention to the frontline workforce.
As per a survey of 1000 frontline employees, 40% received training only once a year.
The frontline’s performance can directly impact the satisfaction level of a customer. Hence they need real-time learning opportunities to develop vital skills to improve performance and provide utmost customer satisfaction.
Roadblocks L&D faces in providing real-time learning of deskless workforce
Every organisation has a blend of deskless & deskbound employees, and L&D teams within the organisations often struggle to find the balance in communication, learning & skilling for the diverse staff. The frontline workers are often away from the company premises all day long, leading to a disconnect, exclusion from activities, and a missing sense of belonging.
Skilling the frontline workforce with real-time training is yet another challenge. Moreover, emerging technology is widening the skill gap even for deskless employees. Transitioning them towards digitalisation is only possible with active reskilling and upskilling efforts.
Feedback can go a long way
The frontline workforce usually feels left out in the cold due to a lack of interaction or a direct connection with the supervisors and leadership. Continuous feedback and communication can resolve several challenges. The employees will gain more clarity on their responsibilities and areas of improvement.
The most crucial aspect is giving constructive feedback as it impacts the growth of the manager’s leadership, workplace culture, and employee engagement. It becomes impossible to deliver quality work consistently as it halts the development of an employee’s career and business without feedback.
Working as a team with your supervisor can make you work more efficiently than working alone, which takes more time and hampers productivity. Supervisors must frequently interact to facilitate frontline workers’ training.
Lack of technology to facilitate learning
Learning & development for deskless employees suffer significantly due to the lack of technology. The traditional learning method is time-consuming, whereas mobile-led training is the right choice for frontline workers and gives them the freedom to explore learning materials online when they are free.
As per the 2020 PWC 23rd Annual Global CEO Survey, 74% of CEOs worry about the lack of essential skills in their workforce, compared to 63% in 2014. It indicates that the concern has risen over the past six years with emerging new technologies.
Deskless workers can benefit from access to mobile devices on the job to enable real-time learning. It will help them grow their skills exponentially and improve their efficiency.
Mitigating the disconnect
The deskless employees don’t work in the typical timeframe of 9 to 5 office hours and have to pull off extra long shifts at night or at weekends. A significant portion of the office communication happens on the weekdays, due to which the workforce misses out on crucial messaging, team activities, meetings, and more.
66% of frontline workers expressed that leadership doesn’t prioritise creating workplace culture, and this rises to 69% for those employed in frontline management positions, like store managers, department heads and floor supervisors, according to Work IndexReport by Microsoft India.
A close-knit team can effectively carry out their responsibilities and comprehend the importance of participation and the importance of collaborating with others.
With frontline enablement, integrate communication to bring together leadership and frontline employees on one page with access to company policies, training material, and more.
Lack of training, learning & development
Training deskless workforce is crucial as it helps them understand the process, product, services, and more. Without adequate training and development, they can’t perform optimally and deliver quality work.
Several frontline employees working in industries like hospitality and retail frequently suffer from high turnover rates without using organization-wide laptops, emails, and mobile devices.
It becomes critical that the deskless workforce can easily access the company policies, relevant info related to the brand and more so that they can make the best choices.
Businesses can drastically reduce the attrition rate by facilitating frontline training, increasing employee satisfaction and making them feel more closely related to their organization.
How to boost deskless workforce performance with real-time learning?
Challenges like the Great Resignation will continue to set companies back unless the real-time learning of deskless workers is taken more seriously. It’s crucial to make them a part of decision-making & development within the organization to boost productivity and active participation. Below are a few ways to deliver real-time learning.
Bridge the information gap with onboarding
Did you know that the onboarding process improves new hire employee retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%, as per the research by Glassdoor? The new deskless employees can correctly execute their roles with the proper onboarding process.
Proper onboarding is crucial for industries like manufacturing, shipping, transportation, instruction, retail, warehousing, distribution, and energy. A much higher risk is involved when doing these jobs in these particular industries without proper onboarding.
Execute seamlessly onboarding of the deskless workforce with a well-designed 30/60/90 Day onboarding plan to help them navigate their first 90 days. This plan has particular goals that enable a smooth transition to use tools and understand processes & policies.
Breaking this journey into 30 days allows employees to focus on learning specific skills. The first 30 days are more focussed on product, culture, and tools used within the organisation. Moreover, you can conduct the entire onboarding sessions with on-the-job training with a mobile-first approach to make them accessible to the deskless workforce.
This process can help train & engage deskless workforce with the roles & responsibility overview, company culture overview, detailed SOPs, role-based instructions, conduct assessments, and more.
Steady to state with structured learning
Structured learning pathways allow you to maximise on-the-job-training opportunities for frontline workers. It significantly boosts employee performance’s effectiveness.
Just imagine, employees can immensely benefit from accessing a professional development platform from anywhere to facilitate upward mobility in their particular industry. It draws employees who want to grow and shows that the organisation is keen to build from within via promotion.
A frontline worker can gain several valuable digital skills, product knowledge, and more with structured learning modules. Businesses can create & curate learning pathways by identifying role-specific goals and skill gaps to boost employee productivity.
To put it simply, training is crucial to enhance the performance of the individual along with the organisation. Tracking their performance and training impact can help you to structure future training & redefine the performance goals with analytics.
It’s essential to increase learning adoption within the company. A leading manufacturing company was able to improve adoption by 3x increase from 5000 to 17000 users within two years with the disprz frontline enablement. It helps address the training needs of their deskless teams to learn and assess themselves on product knowledge.
Blended learning approach
This form of learning captures employee attention by integrating digital media and technology with conventional instructor-led classroom training providing more flexibility to offer customized learning experiences.
This approach enables online learning in a format where the learner can control pace and path. Blended learning allows in-person and online learning to create an integrated learning ecosystem and helps enhance the employee learning experience.
It facilitates a scalable learning environment to improve understanding by simplifying complex concepts, boosts engagement, and reduces failure rates to engage the deskless workforce.
You can explore frontline workforce learning solutions with Disprz, which provides a seamless and user-friendly experience to explore modules based on their interest. Several formats are available on the centralized learning platform where they can read a blog, watch a video & podcast, and take an assessment.
The frontline workforce doesn’t have proper bandwidth, so this accessible learning outlet provides access to and download content offline.
Learning in the flow of work with mobile-led training
You can create learning in the flow of work with mobile-led learning and bite-sized content. It’s essential to develop a learning mindset with workflow to ensure that the frontline employees skill up to perform better and grow as a professional.
Engage deskless workforce with efficient digital-first mobile learning by making the modules accessible at any time and from anywhere to enable learning in the flow of work. It gives control in the hands of your employees to learn & grow on the go.
Several formats of engaging content like flashcards, etc., can be created in various design formats adaptable to smartphones and tablets, popular among modern workforce learners.
Even a leading pharmacy retail chain in India with more than 5000+ employees and 200 stores faced a significant roadblock as they didn’t have a formal method of communicating SOPs and procedures led to a high risk of a drop in performance.
But they were able to resolve this challenge by leveraging microlearning and achieved an 80% completion ratio of all created content modules, higher than the industry average.
Grow with talent mobility
Business owners must focus on aspects like solution-oriented, performance efficiency, and a constant thirst to improve & grow when deciding whom to choose for the next new role within the organisation.
Why is talent mobility within the company important? An existing employee understands the company values, process, work culture, and more than you can expect a new hire to grasp just after joining the company.
Promoting talents within the organisation to a new role helps keep the employees motivated, boost their performance levels, and retain them. Ensuring career growth in the company reduces attrition with a structured career path to engage them.
But the bigger question is how to identify these employees! The learning & development team can get a clear view by consistently tracking employee performance, KPI-based learning, conducting assessments, and more.
Determine how well an organisation achieves its goals & objectives and what’s lacking with KPI-based skilling. The L&D team can spot the shortcomings and assign training modules to help bridge them. It helps track the employees with potential and groom them to assume new roles.
Maximize the Employee Potential with Disprz Frontline Enablement
You can drive business outcomes to another level by offering an engaging learning experience for deskless employees with frontline enablement to address their performance management. You can create automated workflows linked with performance metrics that include mobile-led learning.
L&D teams can achieve so much by leveraging disprz Frontline Enablement solutions’ features and tracking everything on one platform. They can create drip journeys, offer KPI-based coaching, conduct subjective assessments, capture journey analytics, engage employees with social learning & leaderboard, and more.
It comprises on-the-job training, curated pathways, live training, manager coaching, and assessments. You can drive higher engagement with bite-sized mobile-first content for easy consumption. It also helps scale the internal communication with multilingual & peer-generated content.
Gamification & social collaboration are additional enticing offerings to capture the divided workforce’s attention to help them grow as professionals and improve their performances with real-time training.