In June 1998, a 15-year-old boy named Cris found himself at his grandfather’s copper factory in Mexico City, facing a major production line issue caused by his own mistake. This incident haunted him for years, and it sparked a passion within him to address the disconnect between frontline workers and the rest of the organization.
Fast forward to 2023, Cris is now the CEO of Beekeeper, a company dedicated to solving the frontline disconnect.
At our annual Frontline Success Summit, Cris spoke about:
- Challenges faced by frontline workers
- Four megatrends shaping this issue
- Insights gained from a survey of 8,000 frontline workers
Let’s get a quick recap of the talk:
Four Megatrends Shaping Frontline Challenges
According to Cris, we’re facing a critical juncture in the realm of frontline operations. This turning point holds significant consequences for those who take decisive action, as it presents an abundance of untapped opportunities for business growth in 2024.
“Your frontline can be the biggest asset for 2024 for you, or the biggest risk.”Cris Grossmann, CEO & Co-Founder, Beekeeper
The four megatrends that are shaping this juncture are:
- The proliferation of smartphones, which almost every frontline worker has or will soon have
- The wake-up call provided by the pandemic and the “great resignation,” highlighting the essential role of frontline workers
- Economic chaos, causing financial stress for both businesses and frontline workers
- The rise of cyber attacks, with frontline workers being vulnerable entry points due to their smartphone usage
And yet, despite these trends, frontline workers are still ill-equipped with outdated tools, and the majority of digitalization budgets are allocated to office workers.
To better understand the motivations, stressors, and productivity inhibitors of the front line, Beekeeper surveyed over 8,000 frontline workers. The results revealed a misalignment between the perspectives of frontline workers, frontline managers, and headquarters. For example, frontline workers ranked the cost of living as their top stressor, while headquarters ranked it lower on their priority list. Similarly, frontline workers prioritized getting the job done, learning and development, and having a friendly and fun environment, while headquarters did not share the same ranking. This misalignment extends to the company mission and vision, which ranked low for frontline workers.
Addressing the Frontline Disconnect
Beekeeper is committed to solving the frontline disconnect by listening to the needs and perspectives of frontline workers. Through our survey, we gained valuable insights into what motivates and stresses frontline workers. These insights can help companies align their strategies and initiatives with the needs of their frontline employees. By focusing on the basics that frontline workers crave, such as getting the job done, learning and development, and creating a positive work environment, companies can bridge the disconnect.
The frontline disconnect is a pressing issue that businesses must address to unlock opportunities in 2024. By understanding the challenges faced by frontline workers and aligning strategies with their needs, companies can bridge the gap and create a more productive and engaged workforce.