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Digitally Empowering Firstline Workers

They’re the face of your organization, the ones that represent your business on a day-to-day basis and interact with both potential and committed customers. They are your problem solvers, your crisis managers, and the backbone of your enterprise. They are your Firstline Workers—a two-billion strong force that fuels every successful organization. As the world continues to shift into a digital-first environment, equipping these workers with the right capabilities becomes increasingly necessary, yet many organizations struggle to empower and activate these employees.

In a recent study between Microsoft and Forbes Insights, 48% of executives report that the majority of their firstline employees are not digitally connected.1 Companies invest millions of dollars into solidifying their tools for tomorrow, and yet, fail to extend these capabilities to one of the largest segments of their workforce. Recent studies show that 18% of organizations experiencing a digital transformation are confident that they’ll meet their established goals.2 That leaves 82%, the vast majority of businesses, struggling to bring their visions to life. While there’s certainly an element of challenging the existing organizational culture at play in many of these cases, the disconnect in vision between executives and Firstline Workers demands to be accounted for when bringing those transformation goals to life.

Equipped to achieve more

Firstline Workers represent the first point of contact between organizations and their customers. They are often the first to experience new pain points, the first to identify new business opportunities, and the first to engage with emerging customer needs. It would make sense then, that of those organizations that have digitally empowered their Firstline Workers, 31% saw annual growth of over 20%–they’re using those workers to create and sustain a competitive advantage.3

While IT decision makers may be the ones behind the major thought shift of the role of technology in creating innovation, Firstline Workers are the ones using these new capabilities to drive customer engagement and optimize operations.

Amplified effortsA digitally connected workforce gives organizations a chance to streamline the communication process, improve task management, share information, and better serve their customers. With a forward-facing vision and the right support in place, digitally empowered Firstline Workers can amplify their efforts and take a new ownership of their everyday tasks.

• Retail workers can better manage inconsistent schedules via online scheduling systems
• Construction managers can anticipate, identify, and address potential delays
• Hotel workers can share customer needs to improve guest experiences
• Maintenance workers can forecast pending repairs to minimize downtime
• Field service teams can stay connected to key resources to better address issues

The right tools give these employees a new level of agency within their daily roles. Instead of firing basic questions up the chain of command, they have immediate access to the resources that hold the answer. Instead of waiting for a problem to arise, they can anticipate and address the need. A connected workforce helps remove the frustration, miscommunication, and uncertainty from the employee experience and replaces it with empowerment, clear communication processes, and training.

Connecting your FirstlineOrganizations at every stage of their transformation ought to consider how they can best empower their Firstline Workers, keeping the business in a position to innovate and function at an optimal capacity.

If the struggle to connect your workforce rings true for you, we are happy to offer a new approach. At our upcoming Firstline Workers virtual event, we’ll explore actionable, real world scenarios of how organizations are using the latest tools and resources to improve customer service, enhance production, improve security, and more, with a digitally empowered workforce.

The event will demonstrate how organizations can:

• Gather and share company insights and knowledge with their Firstline Workers
• Securely empower Firstline Workers and address productivity and turnover challenges
• Radically improve communication and collaboration among Firstline Workers
• Start equipping Firstline Workers with the capabilities to achieve more through digital empowerment

We hope you’ll join us. Register today.

2  “2016 Connectivity Benchmark Report: The State of Digital Transformation and APIs,” MuleSoft, 2016.