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Empowering Front Line Workers with SharePoint Online

Updated: Aug 10

Frontline workers have a crucial role to play in a company’s success. Frontline workers are the employees that suffer the most from a lack of corporate communication. Without the proper channels, the frontline is facing a higher risk of disconnection from an organization’s values and mission. Frontline workers are the customer-facing users of the company’s brand and values, so ensuring these workers are engaged and informed is vital.



Microsoft Office 365 can enhance how frontline workers do their daily work. The world of Cloud brings together the best tools for the way people work today (Office 365, 2019), and offers a diverse range of tools for businesses to deploy and enhance collaborative experiences. Applications such as SharePoint, Yammer, StaffHub and Teams, included within the Office 365 package, are purposefully geared towards an enhanced frontline experience (Finnegan, 2018). These platforms are becoming increasingly relied upon by thousands of organisations (Finnegan, 2018).

In this article I am going to highlight the important role frontline workers play within an organisation and look at the tools Office 365 offer to enhance this experience.


Digital Transformation

Digital transformation affects every employee in an organisation, from the top-level management down to the frontline worker. We only recently started seeing the importance of a cloud-based approach to technology. It is not enough for only top management to have access to this technology. It is very important for the entire organisation to be able to collaborate and communicate with their team members as well as external clients, to achieve a greater goal. Connectivity and collaboration are growing trends in the workplace, as they help bring more flexibility to the organisation by providing access to company data at anytime, anyplace and from any device, given that you have internet connection.


Frontline workers

Sponsored by Microsoft, the Harvard Business Review recently engaged in a study to explore how building up frontline workers could promote growth, spark innovation and accelerate an organization’s success in the digital age. 78% of respondents said that connecting and empowering frontline workers is critical. In the study, they outlined the following 6 primary drivers for creating more digitally connected and empowered frontline workers:


· Increased productivity and efficiency

· Enhanced customer engagement and satisfaction

· Improved quality of your product/service

· Greater marketing intelligence or customer understanding

· An increase in innovation by engaging those who are closest to the product/customer

· Employee engagement and/or satisfaction



Intranet

Teams must stay connected, even when they are not in the same physical office or building. With a well-designed intranet, team members can communicate and collaborate on their projects and tasks. Establishing consistent communication restores a sense of connection and community. The ability to co-author, work together and collaborate in real-time, strengthens those feelings. There are several benefits that SharePoint online intranet solutions bring when trying to manage your teams working remotely.


Conclusion

Microsoft Office 365 offers a platform that brings about real and meaningful change for frontline workers. Yammer, StaffHub and Teams can be integrated within an organisational Intranet, transforming the way Workers connect and communicate with each other. By offering a dynamic, flexible space for frontline workers to operate in, employee performance is enhanced. Whilst the traditional role of frontline workers was underestimated, we are witnessing a high and positive shift. Organisations are increasing engagement, enthusiasm, and involvement in their frontline Workers. The digital transformation we are witnessing today offers a new and complete understanding of the workplace – one that frontline workers can adopt and Microsoft is making it possible.


Musa Nkuna

Digital Workplace Consultant

Digital Workplace







References

Behn, Robert D. "Creating an Innovative Organization: Ten Hints for Involving Frontline Workers." State & Local Government Review 27, no. 3 (1995): 221-34. Accessed June 22, 2021. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4355132.

Finnegan, M. (2018). Microsoft aims Teams at more frontline workers, retires StaffHub. [online] Computerworld. Available at: https://www.computerworld.com/article/3308680/microsoft-aims-teams-at-more-frontline-workers-retires-staffhub.html.

Harvard Business Review (2018). Building for Success at the Firstline of Business – SPONSORED CONTENT FROM MICROSOFT. [online] Harvard Business Review. Available at: https://hbr.org/sponsored/2017/09/building-for-success-at-the-firstline-of-business.

Microsoft (2019). Microsoft StaffHub | Staff Communication Tools. [online] Products.office.com. Available at: https://products.office.com/en-gb/microsoft-staffhub/staff-scheduling-software.

Microsoft (2019). Microsoft Teams | Staff Communication Tools. [online] Products.office.com. Available at: https://products.office.com/en-us/microsoft-teams/staff-scheduling-software.

Digitally Empower Frontline workers - https://www.proserveit.com/blog/digitally-empower-frontline-workers-right-tools

MICROSOFT 365 - https://www.rectronzone.co.za/microsoft-365-3?

Office 365 (2019). Office 365 for Firstline Workers & Frontline Staff. [online] Products.office.com. Available at: https://products.office.com/en-gb/business/enterprise-firstline-workers?rtc=1.


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