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Empower the frontline with the right digital tools

Increase In Demand for Microsoft Teams

Representing 80% of the global workforce, frontline workers are considered the backbone of businesses. Ensuring the customer experience is not compromised, these workers have been holding the fort together as we witness the long-term impact of the global pandemic unfolding and highlighting digital transformation as one of the absolutely needed changes in the global economy.

As new business and operational needs have emerged over the last two years, the roles and responsibilities of our frontline workers have also significantly changed. Technology adoption on the frontline is both required as well as desired significantly. According to new data shared by Microsoft, between March 2020 – November 2021, the monthly use of Microsoft Teams on the frontline grew by 400 percent in the aggregate. The most visible growth has been observed in healthcare, financial services, and media and communication realms.

Technology Adoption on the Frontline is Accelerating

As highlighted by Microsoft in their Work Trend Index: Special Report available here, since 2020, the monthly use of Microsoft Teams on the frontline grew by 400 percent in the aggregate.

Illustration by Valerio Pellegrini – Microsoft Work Trend Index: Special Report

Key Challenges Frontline Workers Are Facing

Along with greater responsibility, these frontline workers are also facing some unique challenges as we march into the era of accelerated digital growth and transformation. Some of these challenges are outlined below and can impact industries at a different levels:

  • Lack of right digital tools for geographically dispersed teams.
  • Dynamic, fast-moving work environment paired with lack of adequate training and employee buy-in.
  • Existing connection and communication tools result in limitations and disconnection.
  • Stagnant skillset which leads to reduced job satisfaction.
  • Feeling disconnected from top management, and as a result, ineffective communication, increased turnover and less productivity.
  • Insufficient adoption and change management strategies.
  • Culture and communication gap between managerial and non-managerial staff.

Enable and Support Frontline Workers with the Right Tools

According to the Microsoft World Trend Index special report, better technologies ranks as third on a list of things that frontline workers see as a way to reduce stress, just behind better pay and vacation time.  Also they found that 46% of frontline workers say that they even value tech tools over mental health and wellness benefits.

Thanks to the emergence of technology and digital tools in this hybrid world, these challenges now can be addressed with purpose-built solutions that can be tailored to every vertical or industry needs. Some of these valuable options are:

1. Boost Communication, Collaboration and Information Sharing:

  • Empower employees with a built-in pager platform to reach stakeholders in real time from anywhere.
  • Provide real time visibility of schedules, visits, shifts, etc.
  • Create, manage and automate on-call schedules for  frontline workers (Example here) by providing the option to create and share mobile schedules, import an existing schedule or create from scratch, as well as request time off, swap or offer shifts & set availability all on the go.
  • Share quick information to communicate quickly on factory floors, store stocks, etc.
  • Alert teams with priority notifications.
  • SMS sign-in for fast password less log-in.
  • Enable effective communication and company-wide announcements from leadership to specific large groups.
  • Provide the option for users to record and share videos and information on-demand.
  • In-line translations to bridge language barriers.
  • Virtual townhalls to increase productivity and employee engagement.

2. Digitize and automate business processes and provide integrated solutions to drive operational efficiencies

  • Automate and modernize business processes and communications such as physicians on-calls or store associates scheduling processes. Example is available here.
  • Chat bots for quick and promptly responded general queries
  • Create and assign complex tasks
  • Schedule tasks for teams
  • Simple approval process in one window

3. Improve and modernize employee training and onboarding

  • Combine communications, knowledge, learning, resources, and insights in one platform.
  • Provide tools that allow recording and sharing  for onboarding and training.
  • Share on-demand content for new and existing teams.
  • Collect employee feedback quickly.
  • Analytics to review trends and correct course.

The Opportunities for Innovation are Endless 

Thankfully, the opportunities for innovations are endless. Microsoft together with partners like VNEXT iQ, provides solutions that come equipped with security and compliance integration ready to support every use case and customer-specific need. In addition, all solutions and options available to face frontline challenges, aim to keep data secure and meet all privacy requirements intact.

If you’d like to get more detailed information about how to enable frontline workers at your organization, don’t hesitate to reach out to VNEXT iQ team of Microsoft solution experts to better assist you. Click here to connect! 


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