Frontline Innovators
Serving A Greater Purpose - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 096

Serving A Greater Purpose - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 096

October 7, 2022

Casey Jensen is the Learning and Development Lead at Medtronic. Casey is passionate about making sure the employees on the frontline are able to ask questions and achieve their ultimate goals. Casey joins the host Justin Lake to talk about some of the biggest challenges facing frontline workers and how to help them better use the technology surrounding them.

 

Takeaways 

  • The deskless workforce is underrepresented in the amount of time it takes to learn a new task or technology. The change is often thrust upon them without enough training to make it viable. 
  • There is a lack of buy-in from management that allows enough time for learning new technology to happen. 
  • Feedback is an important part of communication with the frontline workforce. It’s essential to offer them a place to provide feedback so they feel heard and then you can see how you might be able to solve any of their issues.
  • Learning and development miss the most important thing to link the training back to business development and business strategy. 
  • If somebody is on the floor but you are training them then you are losing productivity but at the same time, the training is essential to the frontline workers being able to do their job effectively.
  • Different learning styles and different concepts come to people in different ways. It might take longer for some people to learn new technology and techniques than it would for others. 
  • You always want to make sure people are using training time wisely and appropriately and not dropping on the computer and going to Facebook or wasting the time. 

 

Quote of the show

24:27 “The number one thing that I see that learning and development misses is linking it to the business objective and business strategy.”

 

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Frontline Innovators is produced by Ringmaster, on a mission to create connections through B2B podcasts. Learn more at https://ringmaster.com/

Lead with Emotions - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 095

Lead with Emotions - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 095

September 30, 2022

Molly Fields is the Senior Director of Learning and Development at TCC & Wireless Zone, a Verizon Authorized Retailer. Molly is passionate about making sure that leaders are emotionally invested in their teams and care for them. Molly joins the host Justin Lake to talk about the importance of being a good team leader and how that can motivate and make a difference to those working on the frontline.

 

Takeaways 

  • The biggest problem facing deskless workers today is that they aren’t able to balance things as well as they used to be able to because they have more on their plate than they are used to. 
  • The emotional aspect is where a direct leader can have the most impact on other members of their team.
  • As a leader, it is your responsibility to lead your people and treat them with respect like the people they are, and then looking at them as workers comes second.
  • Change doesn’t start from the top down. The best way to make change stick and work is by having the middle management people get the frontline workers to switch over and then the change will stick. 
  • When it comes to bringing in new technology a new strategy, you want to try and sell it to the frontline workers with the mindset that they won’t like it and then get them to see the benefits of it.
  • Think about the “stars” of your company and get them on camera to try and sell some change. The message will be more impactful coming from them rather than from someone in upper management.
  • If you are not actively pursuing some kind of skill development then you are falling behind. You have to look at it what you can you do to be better at your job.

 

Quote of the show

5:51 “As the leader, you do have to lead your people emotionally first as people, not as performers.” 

 

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Frontline Innovators is produced by Ringmaster, on a mission to create connections through B2B podcasts. Learn more at https://ringmaster.com/

Working on a Spectrum - Frontline Innovators - Episode #094

Working on a Spectrum - Frontline Innovators - Episode #094

September 23, 2022

Jason Aurora is the Senior Director of Learning and Development at Hilti North America. Jason has a passion for helping deskless workers to be more knowledgeable about the current technology that surrounds them but also sees the value of human interaction and communication. Jason joins the host Justin Lake to talk about some of the biggest struggles facing frontline workers and we can overcome them.   

 

Takeaways 

  • It’s important to be really effective from a learning perspective because in a diskless environment it is hard for those employees to find free time in their day.
  • Communication has become more complicated as the world becomes more digital. The digital aspect creates a lot of distractions with all the different apps to communicate with.
  • There is a model of “70 - 20 - 10” where 70% of the skills you need for the job you will learn from being trained, 20% is the informal learning of being added to projects and 10% is being certified in a certain subject. 
  • The human interaction and the bonding that takes place during in-person training and other programs is something that can not be replaced by using zoom or other video call platforms.
  • Everyone at a company learns differently and has different needs. To make sure you are meeting everyone in the best way possible, it’s important to have a good company culture and to support each other.
  • An office isn’t just a place where you work, it’s also a place where you create, celebrate, and collaborate with others. 
  • Employees need to feel valued and appreciated in an organization so that they will bring in their best work, be dedicated to the company and want to stay at the company long term.

 

Quote of the show

13:56  “70% of your learning is really based on experiential.”

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Frontline Innovators is produced by Ringmaster, on a mission to create connections through B2B podcasts. Learn more at https://ringmaster.com/

Solving Problems - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 093

Solving Problems - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 093

September 16, 2022

Sumair Dutta is the Vice President, Product Marketing at ServiceMax. He is an experienced product marketer and industry analyst. Sumair has deep familiarity with field service, workforce management, and frontline worker needs. Sumair joins the host Eugene Signorini to talk about the changing role of frontline workers.

 

Takeaways 

  • The biggest problem facing the frontline workforce today is the disruption that new technology has brought. While some jobs can be automated frontline workers can be interacting with customers and spend less time on unnecessary paperwork.
  • A true test of automation is to see if it still works after taking some fields away from it, rather than just adding more work to it and hoping that it works out well.
  • The technicians and those on the frontline are the ones who represent your company to your customers, so you want to make sure they are fully capable and able to do any work they need to do in the field. 
  • The people who take on the role of a field service technician or someone else working the frontlines are people who want to help solve problems that customers are having a get over any potential hurdles.
  • The work that frontline employees are doing is becoming more complex, requiring multiple steps for a single task to be completed. 
  • Organizations are going to want to tap more into the customer success part of the frontline workforce. Companies will be able to use that as a source of revenue and lead generation for themselves. 
  • It’s important to understand the needs of technicians and frontline workers and see where any of the pain points are and try to solve that for them. 

 

Quote of the show:

12:22 “The folks who take on these jobs are inherently folks who want to solve problems.”

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Frontline Innovators is produced by Ringmaster, on a mission to create connections through B2B podcasts. Learn more at https://ringmaster.com/

Designing for Membership - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 092

Designing for Membership - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 092

September 9, 2022

Today’s guest has a passion for people and is all about empowering employees. Christopher Shryock is the Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer from Sam’s Club. He sees the heavy weight that is being put on frontline employees and wants to make their lives easier and their work more efficient. Christopher joins the host Justin Lake to talk about the role technology plays with frontline employees.

 

Takeaways: 

  • The current rate of inflation has become one of the biggest problems for frontline workers. It creates an issue for them to make enough money to provide for their families.
  • When it comes to communicating with frontline workers, sometimes the best ways to reach them are the “old school” methods rather than through email or app notifications.
  • When you are creating a process for frontline workers, you want to make sure that the process is simple and designed with their needs and wants in mind.
  • When you are designing a flywheel for your company, you want the main point to be that your company is obsessed with membership. If you have the right people in the right places, that can lead to an increase in profits for your company.
  • You want to make sure that your employees have access to the right tools that they need to get the job done in the most efficient way, and that could be a handheld device.
  • You can simplify the work life for frontline employees by not having them do everything, but allowing for some automation to make their life easier.
  • At the end of the day, if you have someone at the company who doesn’t meet the standard then that will bring down everyone else. 

 

Quote of the show

17:51 “We made sure that associates had access to the right tools. So that is access to the right handheld devices.”

 

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Frontline Innovators is produced by Ringmaster, on a mission to create connections through B2B podcasts. Learn more at https://ringmaster.com/

Using Technology to Your Advantage - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 091

Using Technology to Your Advantage - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 091

September 2, 2022

Today’s guest is Daniel Angelo, The Director of Technical Services of North America and the Global Product Manager of Services for Bosch Automotive Aftermarket. Daniel joins the host Justin Lake to talk about the problems that are facing the automotive industry and frontline workers as a whole.

 

Takeaways 

  • One of the problems facing frontline workers today is that there is a constant influx of more complex data and big volumes of information.
  • In the automotive industry, it is hard to find people who are ready to work with their hands and work on a more technical level.
  • Most modern electric cars actually have more technology in them than the standard commercial airplane.
  • You can use the latest technology to help make diagnosing car issues easier. For example, you can use VR to draw lines around what might need to be fixed so the mechanic can look at the same headset and see what needs to be done.
  • It’s ok to fail when you try something new, but you don’t want to fail at the same thing twice. You want to learn from your previous mistakes.
  • There are a lot of different models for electric cars like Teslas but now a lot of brands will use similar software and hardware so they end up using the same pieces for repair.
  • If you are a leader at an organization, it’s ok to admit that you might need help from other people in the organization to make sure that everyone is properly trained and ready to work.

 

Quote of the show

31: 26 “We accept failures, but we have to learn from them.”

 

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Frontline Innovators is produced by Ringmaster, on a mission to create connections through B2B podcasts. Learn more at https://ringmaster.com/

Being the Bridge - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 090

Being the Bridge - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 090

August 26, 2022

Today’s guest has over 15 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. She has held roles ranging from field engineer to change management professional. Akanksha Mathur is the Director of Business Operations at Wallbox Chargers. Akanksha joins the host Justin Lake to talk about some of the biggest challenges facing frontline workers today.

 

Takeaways 

  • The biggest challenge facing the frontline workers today is the lack of understanding from the corporate side. Often time they are given new technology to use and even those in corporate don’t fully understand how to use it and how it will affect them.
  • When it comes to training frontline employees on new technologies, it’s not about what’s in it for them today but it can also help advance them in their careers.
  • It is your responsibility to be the “bridge” between the IT experts and the workers in the field. You need to make sure that they understand each other and are supporting each other.
  • When it comes to solving issues within your team, take the time to scope out the priorities are, and the key issues and understand the end-to-end process.
  • You can connect new users of your system to existing users and have them talk over a virtual conversation about what they like about the system and what they don’t.
  • When talking with your end users, you want to find out what the pain points are for them and solve those and fill in any gaps you encounter along the way.
  • Let the frontline workers get used to a system by going in and seeing how it works. That way they can familiarize themselves with it and also find out where they might get stuck.

 

Quote of the show

14:11 “Be the bridge between and the translator between the IT experts and those working in the field.”

 

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Frontline Innovators is produced by Ringmaster, on a mission to create connections through B2B podcasts. Learn more at https://ringmaster.com/

Driving Change Forward - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 089

Driving Change Forward - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 089

August 19, 2022

Today’s guest is a computer science graduate, but she quickly discovered that it wasn’t the technology that got her pumped about her job but how people use that technology to make their work and personal lives easier and more creative. Debbie Jackson is the Director of Learning and Development at Ciena. Debbie joins host Justin Lake to talk about how the advancement in technology can help to make the lives of frontline workers easier and better.

 

Takeaways 

 

  • The biggest challenge facing frontline workers today is the issue of fatigue. In the last few years, frontline workers have gone through a lot of changes in guidelines and rules.
  • A lot of frontline workers haven’t been given the luxury of time and during the pandemic, they were putting their lives on the line to show up to work.
  • Learning needs to be about enabling individuals to do something in a better fashion. Learning should not be treated like a checkbox item. 
  • It’s important to enable frontline workers so that they can be successful. A mentorship is a good idea as people want to connect with others at a new company but don’t know how.
  • Many projects look at just the start date and the go-live date but there’s more that goes on in between those phases that needs equal attention.
  • You want to have communication between different departments at a company in order to make everything run smoothly.
  • Implementation teams should not disappear after a product or service has gone live. They can still be of use by providing a helpful service to fix any issues with the product.

 

Quote of the show

2:54 “So when I look at our frontline workers, I have to wonder how much fatigue are they carrying? It's that emotional, physiological, mental fatigue of the change, the weight that they've been carrying while showing up every day to do their job.”

 

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Frontline Innovators is produced by Ringmaster, on a mission to create connections through B2B podcasts. Learn more at https://ringmaster.com/

Skill vs Will - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 088

Skill vs Will - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 088

August 12, 2022

Today’s guest has over 20 years of experience with retail L&D and HR. Stephen Vellecca is the Director of Learning and Development at Bloomingdale’s. He sees some of the biggest challenges facing frontline workers in this day and age and wants to make their lives easier. Stephen joins host Justin Lake to talk about how technology adoption can be one of the ways to help them out.

 

Takeaways 

  • Being a frontline worker right now has become more difficult because of how demanding of a society we have become.
  • A lot of retail stores closed during the pandemic because they weren’t able to adapt to some of the changes.
  • Frontline workers don’t have the time and ability to be trained during work hours and then they don’t have the time to be trained during off hours.
  • You want to leverage your team leaders and people in higher positions to inspire frontline workers to accept change.
  • eLearning is a great resource that can help people to learn from an interactive service, but the struggle is finding out how to bring it to life. 
  • The role of the people leader is to be more empathetic and to make sure that the team feels safe and can do their work.
  • Skill vs Will is the ability to do a task but also want to complete the task to its full ability.

 

Quote of the show

13:55 “My whole platform is always about the people leader and how do we leverage our people leaders to provide the inspiration and the education to the hourly colleague.” 

 

Links

 

Ways to Tune In:

Frontline Innovators is produced by Ringmaster, on a mission to create connections through B2B podcasts. Learn more at https://ringmaster.com/

Avoiding Resource Depletion - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 087

Avoiding Resource Depletion - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 087

August 5, 2022

Today’s guest uses his experience with his psychology background to help frontline employees make it through a successful change program. Matt Pita is the Manager, Enterprise Change Management at one of the largest communications companies. Matt joins host Justin Lake to talk about ways to properly introduce change to those on the frontline. 

 

Takeaways 

  • The biggest challenge that frontline workers face is that they are experiencing a lot of change and have little to no input on what the change actually will be.
  • The reason why change happens is so crucial. Change should start from the bottom and work its way up with it making sense along the way.
  • Stressors tend to come up for people when there isn’t a clear plan in place. The best way to avoid stress for employees is to lay out a clear path of change.
  • Put yourself in the frontline workers shoes. You should think about the everyday parts of their job and try to find ways to make their lives easier.
  • Synchronous training is like calling a timeout on your team. It helps to sit down and talk through objectives and goals for change.
  • It’s the job of those working in change management to identify if there are any holes in a change process and to fill them.
  • You want to inform frontline employees ahead of time for any change that is coming down the road. This will allow them to best prepare for what is coming down the road.

 

Quote of the show

1:00 “[There’s] largely too much change all at once with no input on what the change would be. I would say that’s number one.”

 

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Frontline Innovators is produced by Ringmaster, on a mission to create connections through B2B podcasts. Learn more at https://ringmaster.com/

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