Why training your frontline deserves your full focus

Every successful company strives towards continuous improvement and positive change, right? Yet finding new ways to be creative and boost sales isn’t always as easy as it sounds. In the end it’s your team, your frontline employees: the core of your company, who come up with the great ideas, new approaches and creative suggestions. In other words: to be successful you need them, and they need you to invest in their knowledge!

Words by Jennifer Dekker

Frontline heroes are made

2020 proved once again how important your employees are. “Heroes aren’t born, they’re made”, a wise person once said. And we couldn’t agree more! In 2020, frontline employees became our ‘heroes’. They were the ones who risked their lives to make sure hospitals stayed up and running, mail/orders got delivered, grocery shelves were stocked every day, and so on…

New skills must be learned fast

The global pandemic changed the way frontline workforces do their jobs. Where possible, teleworking became the new normal. In retail, virtual selling was introduced and online shopping rates went through the roof. In the healthcare industry, students or even uneducated people came to the rescue. This means new skills have to be learned fast! All the more reason for you – as an employer, manager or HR-professional – to properly invest in training your staff.

Lack of development triggers turnover

The importance of frontline employees is often highly underestimated. Except for a thorough onboarding session, they usually receive minimal training and have little opportunities for development. In fact, lack of career development was the most important reason why people left their jobs in 2018, according to Work Institute. So, it’s not surprising that job market turnover is quite high. In 2018, for instance, retail and wholesale saw the highest average voluntary turnover rate, according to Mercer.

Strategy comes to life on the frontline

Why are so many organizations struggling to provide their team with the right support? Why do they treat their people as replaceable? Because the opposite is true! It’s impossible to successfully run your business without your staff. They are the face, better yet, the heart and soul of your company! Your business strategy comes to live on the frontline, where your employees interact with customers on a daily basis. When your team performs well, it reflects on the entire company.

Already heroes before the pandemic

The frontline represents 80% of the workforce worldwide. Because of COVID-19, we have come to value this large group of people again. They became our very own ‘heroes’. Although we may not have called them that before the pandemic, even then frontline employees were already supporting the weight of your business on their shoulders. How so? According to GetApp, one-third of shoppers rate salespeople as the most impressive part of their retail experience – just to give an example.

To make a long frontline story short…

Companies and their employees are interdependent – you can’t have one without the other. You can’t achieve great business success, without a great team, right? And that requires regular investments in their training and development. Because “Heroes aren’t born, they’re made”, remember? So, go and train your frontline – make our heroes!