At Beekeeper, we acknowledge how hard frontline employees need to work to keep our world running. Over the past few months, we’ve noticed how much frontline businesses are struggling with challenges like a labor shortage and rising operational costs. Understandably, they are worried about surviving in this environment.
“Most leaders and teams spend their days reacting. Firefighting. Treading water. And treating symptoms. It’s time to change that and focus on the root causes instead.”– Cris Grossmann, CEO Beekeeper
At the Frontline Success Summit 2022, our approach is to take a grounded and realistic view on how to overcome these challenges. This requires looking at the root causes, not the symptoms.
In this keynote, we looked at the 3 root causes of the disconnect between frontline workers and the organizations they work for:
- Old ways of working
- Employee burnout
- Out-of-touch leadership
Let’s look at each of these root causes in more detail:
The Great Frontline Disconnect: 3 Root Causes
The following root causes create what we call “The Great Frontline Disconnect” and they make frontline work harder than it needs to be.
1) Old Ways of Working
Over the past decade, digital technologies have transformed office work. But the nature of frontline work and the communication tools used on the front lines have not evolved as much. Companies have not put much thought into addressing the repetitive, tedious nature of frontline tasks by digitizing paper forms, for example. Workers end up putting out fires with phone calls, group texts, and other inefficient means of communication.
“Teams are diverse. Workers speak several languages–dozens of them. When information is shared in the corporate language, they still leave a large part of the team in the dark. And this is not how work should get done in the 21st century.”– Cris Grossmann, CEO Beekeeper
2) Employee Burnout
The current labor shortage hits frontline teams hard. Working in an understaffed team is one of the main sources of stress for frontline workers. Team members often have to cover for colleagues who have already left, leading to overwork, burnout, and low retention rates.
3) Leadership is Out of Touch
“Spending time in the field is very revealing for HQ staff. It helps them understand the reality of their workers’ day-to-day experience. And that right is one of the biggest root causes we see that make frontline businesses struggle: teams in HQ making assumptions about how the frontline works day to day.”– Cris Grossmann, CEO Beekeeper
When frontline leadership is out of sync with the issues managers are struggling with, their initiatives often miss the mark and reinforce workers’ beliefs that corporate is out of touch.
The Great Frontline Disconnect creates a crippling status quo, causing lost revenue, devaluing workers, and preventing businesses from unlocking their full potential.
“Beekeeper is hard at work solving the great frontline disconnect once and for all to finally break out from these vicious cycles. From workarounds and temporary solutions that make things only worse. We do this by focusing on something that has been long forgotten and disregarded. One of the single most crucial parts of any frontline business: the frontline worker and their teams.”– Cris Grossmann, CEO Beekeeper
To accomplish this, Beekeeper has reimagined a system specifically tailored to the day-to-day needs of frontline workers. This system uses a whole new category of software that empowers workers and allows them to operate more efficiently, effectively, and happily than ever before.
Frontline Success: A New Approach to Frontline Software
At Beekeeper, we call this new category of software Frontline Success.
“Frontline success systems connect workers to the people, processes, and information that they need in order to be productive, engaged, and safe at work, giving your business an outstanding competitive advantage.”– Cris Grossmann, CEO Beekeeper
In this system, team leads are elevated to frontline success managers, giving them the bandwidth to:
- Drive continuous improvements
- Lead teams to peak performance
- Make growing a frontline business more profitable and successful
“We’ve seen that helping frontline workers starts away from the work floor. Before they even start a shift, frontline workers want to know two things: when do I work and how much do I get paid?”– Kees de Vos, CPO Beekeeper
Key features of this system include:
- Digital access to information like shifts, pay slips, and training information
- Two-way communication abilities, connecting workers to their colleagues on the work floor as well as company HQ
- Simple tools to accomplish work more efficiently
“Although change is nothing new, COVID, natural disasters, the geopolitical climate, and so many other events have shown us that only those businesses that can pivot quickly and react to rapidly evolving circumstances can survive.”– Kees de Vos, CPO Beekeeper
Ultimately, the Frontline Success System is tailored specifically for frontline teams to make them more successful, profitable, and prepared.