Frontline Innovators
Empowering Knowledge Workers - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 081

Empowering Knowledge Workers - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 081

June 24, 2022

Phoenix Cavalier is the Senior Program Manager, Learning and Development Technology at T-Mobile. He has over 20 years of experience in learning and development. He wants to create strategic harmony between people, systems and tech. Phoenix joins host Justin Lake to talk about how the lack of speed of information is something that negatively impacts deskless workers and how we can use other tools to empower them. 

 

 

Takeaways :

  • The biggest challenge facing deskless workers is trying to reach them and get them information at the same speed as they get it outside of work.
  • It’s a matter of will to optimize frontline tools in the same way that everyone gets to use devices outside of work. We should expect the same performance and speed for devices for personal use and deskless workers. 
  • You want to make sure that all the tools given to frontline workers are intuitive and make it so that they don’t want to quit to avoid using the technology. 
  • Frontline workers are often underappreciated and undervalued at a company, it’s better to show your appreciation and keep people around rather than constantly hiring new people.
  • Deskless workers are the face of your brand and they are the ones that are the most client facing, so you want them to be a contributor to the business and keep them on.
  • Training is observable, measurable, coachable and it has a clear metric for success. It is something that is a linear event that can be completed and demonstrated. 
  • Google will be faster than any of the training or having a frontline employee go through multiple different links to get an answer. 

Quote of the show

 

2:15 “How are we helping people in frontline if it takes longer than it does in real life, so to speak outside of work. So I think that's the challenge. It cannot be this slow.” 

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Continuity of Change - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 080

Continuity of Change - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 080

June 17, 2022

Tony Fatouros is the Director of IT - OCM and Change Enablement at Mattel. He is passionate about helping organizations adopt digital technologies to achieve benefits faster. Tony joins host Justin Lake to talk about the significant challenges that frontline workers are facing and how we can overcome them. 

 

 

Takeaways 

  • The biggest challenge facing the deskless workforce today is the capacity of change. Not only do they have more on their plate, but guidelines are constantly changing.
  • The men and women on the frontline don’t have the same luxury as the workers who are working remotely, so their challenges are more unique.
  • You have to manage expectations for those experiencing change, they need to understand it is a long process.
  • Set goals along the way during the change process, so that there are measurables that can be used to determine the success of change,
  • Help people to understand what they are really accountable for. This will help them understand what they need to do on their end.
  • It’s important to have continuity in the experience of change. If you keep the message and the tone consistent, people will be more likely to absorb it.
  • Providing updates throughout the process takes away the uncertainty of the change. Being transparent will allow them to trust you and be more willing to accept the change.

Quote of the show

 

24:05 ​​”We're bringing you up to date throughout the process, this is our current plan. We'll provide you with updates. So what we're actually doing is kind of peeling off some of the uncertainty, which actually does create some of that capacity for people.”

 

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Learning and Developing - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 079

Learning and Developing - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 079

June 10, 2022

Erica Keener is the Learning Performance Designer for Skyllful. She sees how important communication is and how to change a “us vs them” mentality to a team oriented one. Originally, Erica was in the clinical medicine industry but switched over to an administrative side and found that she really loved onboarding employees and teaching others to be excited about their work. Eric joins host Justin Lake to talk about some of the challenges facing frontline workers and how we can empower them.

 

 

Takeaways 

  • The biggest challenge facing deskless workers today is balancing the need for autonomy with a potential lack of communication.
  • Frontline workers have to be able to make decisions without a lot of guidance and that causes a rift between frontline workers and those in the office. 
  • Learning and development helps employees to understand their goals and find the best and most efficient ways to achieve them.
  • When managing a project, you want to mitigate risks as that will bring a better result and yield a hiring return.
  • Lack of communication and accountability are big factors when trying to implement new technology for deskless workers. 
  • You need to have a unified concept and message at all levels when trying to implement change or new technology. If they are all different messages or concepts it gets muddied and makes it confusing. 
  • It’s easier to abandon the change and what it’s supposed to be rather than unifying the team, but that doesn’t make it right. It’s better to do the harder right and get everyone on the same page than the easier wrong.

Quote of the show

 

31:26 “Essential workers need essential leaders.”

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Keep It Simple - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 078

Keep It Simple - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 078

May 27, 2022

Danyele Harris-Thompson is the Change & Transformation Senior Manager at Kao Corporation. She sees how overloaded deskless workers are and aims to fix that, as well as some of the other issues that plague frontline employees. Danyele joins host Justin Lake to talk about how new technology and change management tools can help to serve those deskless employees.

 

 

Takeaways 

  • The biggest challenge facing frontline workers today is that they are cognitively overloaded. That overload makes things more complicated in various different ways. 
  • Most projects across an organization require employees to change for it to be successful, and sometimes they can be hesitant to change.
  • If a change process fails, then you have to rebuild trust and that is difficult. You want to make sure that change is smooth and doesn’t hit roadblocks.
  • The people side of change is one of the most difficult things but is important to making change successful.
  • As an internal employee, you are more connected to the work going on at the organization which allows you to measure the success of a project.
  • An internal survey about change management is a good way to see how employees feel about changes and how to improve the process.
  • If you don’t have the resources to do a project, then you are setting up the organization, and all those involved with the project, to fail. 

Quote of the show

5:01 “If people don't use this tool, if they are not understanding what this tool is about or this new process change, all the costs that we're putting into this, financial, people's time, people's attention, it's all for not, what's the point?” 

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Knowledge Workers - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 077

Knowledge Workers - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 077

May 24, 2022

Ed Kless is the Senior Director of Sage Accountants Solutions. Ed is also the host of the Sage Advice podcast, and the talk show co-host for the VoiceAmerica Talk Radio. He joins host Justin Lake to sit down and talk about some of the biggest challenges facing frontline workers and how to overcome these issues.

 

 

Takeaways 

  • Bringing their humanity is one of the biggest challenges for frontline workers. They have many different tasks throughout the day and they are measured by the quality of their work, not the quality of their work.
  • When you are documenting a workflow, don’t make changes while documenting it because you could mess up the process.
  • Automation isn’t something to be feared and it won’t take your job away. The whole point is that it makes your job easier and more efficient, freeing you up to focus on other tasks.
  • If someone is asking you how to do something over and over again, it is because they don’t want to do the task. 
  • People can’t be trained, they can be educated. Training can have a negative connotation with it and educating relies on drawing out the knowledge that people already have.
  • The system of technology should support the people, not people supporting the system.
  • “How” based questions are oftentimes a roadblock to change, whether it’s done consciously or unconsciously.

Quote of the show

6:13 “My brief definition of understanding knowledge workers is that knowledge workers, instead of having to bring their coffee to the office, can bring their office to the coffee.”

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Proper Prioritization - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 076

Proper Prioritization - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 076

May 20, 2022

Casi Morris is the Change Enablement Lead at MTX Group. She notices that not only is the speed of change an issue for deskless workers, but also the changing priorities that come with the breakneck speed of change. Casi joins host Justin Lake to talk about some of the biggest challenges facing deskless workers today. 

 

Takeaways 

  • The shifting priorities are one of the biggest challenges facing frontline workers today. With so much going on, they aren’t sure what they should really focus on.
  • Sometimes you have to give up a certain amount of productivity to help move change along so it is a smooth experience.
  • There’s been so much change within the last couple of years that people aren’t as excited or enthusiastic about change, even when it’s incredibly beneficial.
  • Finding out what the change brings for the person delivering change and those receiving it will help to resonate with everyone on each level.
  • You want people to understand that the change is what is best for the company, which can be difficult to do so timing is important. 
  • When it comes to incentivizing employees, focus on the less tangible benefits such as saving them time on their day. 
  • Communication is important when it comes to incorporating change. You want to cause the least amount of disruption of their daily job and be crystal clear about what they can expect.

 

Quote of the show

10:27 “You got to give people snacks on a go live day.”

 

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The Root of Change - Frontline Innovators - Episode #075

The Root of Change - Frontline Innovators - Episode #075

May 17, 2022

Tiffany Caswell is the Change Management Specialist Commercial Data & Analytics at Alcon. She’s also a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and a prosci certified change practitioner. Tiffany joins host Justin Lake to talk about change management and how we can better support frontline workers. 

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • Understanding the true problem that frontline workers face and getting to the root of the problem are the biggest challenges facing deskless workers today.
  • You want to make sure that everyone is getting the same level of training so that everyone is on the same page.
  • Not all technology is intuitive, so it can’t be treated as if it is easy for everyone to understand as everyone has a different background.
  • One of the biggest pieces of communication is making sure that everyone clearly understands what is happening. You can never communicate too many times. 
  • When it comes to change, you want to start small and work your way up to bigger change. 
  • Practice changes internally and making sure that everyone understands it before they bring it to the customers or end users. 
  • It’s normal for people to be hesitant to change. That’s why it’s important to make sure that the change process is smooth so they remember that and not a bad process that didn’t work.

Quote of the show

 

16:42 “Sometimes something that seems so easy and so intuitive may or may not in fact be. So we always try to, whether it's myself or someone directly going to be impacted by the change, to go in and kind of play with it… and I think that's a really important thing to always do.”

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The Lens of Empathy - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 074

The Lens of Empathy - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 074

May 13, 2022

Maria Fung is the Program Change Manager in the IT organization at W.L Gore & Associates. She knows how much strain is being put on the frontline workers not just in terms of workload, but also by how they are physically separated from everyone else at an organization. Maria joins host Justin Lake to talk about that and other challenges facing frontline workers. 

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • The biggest challenge facing frontline workers is the physical distance between them and the associates in the office because of COVID restrictions.
  • Because of the distance between workers, it has created a ripple effect that creates a lack of trust and a lack of the sense of community amongst workers. 
  • You want to make sure the stakeholders are also engaged in the change, so mapping out the direction of change is a good idea. 
  • You have to wear the “lens of empathy” for different stakeholders and really understand where they are coming from in order to get them to buy into change.
  • Frontline workers have their own community and you need to be able to speak their language to get them to be interested in change.
  • You want to make a solid foundation for change and make the reason it is done very clear and how it affects them, so that everyone is on the same page.
  • To create a desire for change, you need to show frontline workers the future and the value of change. 

Quote of the show

 

15:37 “I had the chance to really see what change management actually means. And it really covers human centric solutions… how to really wear the lens of empathy for different stakeholders.”

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The Change Network - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 073

The Change Network - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 073

May 10, 2022

Marquell Hunter is the Change Enablement Manager at Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. She sees how deskless workers aren’t represented largely enough in an organization when it comes to the planning phase and wants to make sure their voice is heard. She joins host Justin Lake to talk about some of the issues facing frontline workers and how they can be overcome.  

 

Takeaways 

 

  • The biggest issue facing frontline workers is representation in the organization. They don’t always get a seat at the table during the planning phase. 
  • Adoption is key. You want to make sure that when you introduce technology changes that you make it so that everyone will want to use it and make it easy to learn as well. 
  • Your employer is really the one who determines what the division is between communication and learning and development.
  • There are plenty of different types of frontline workers, and each of them face issues that are unique to their department and how you can reach them. 
  • The change network is the best tool to make sure that you are getting representation across business units or countries. 
  • You want to make sure that you aren’t surprising people when you begin to roll out new changes. 
  • Good change agents should model the behavior that they are looking to implement in an organization.

Quote of the show

 

6:13 “Adoption is key. We roll out something for a certain reason, to impact the bottom line, to improve morale, to improve the focus of the employee. And they don't adopt it. That's a key reason why I am focused on change management now, because I've seen from the technology aspect and from the communications aspect, we put a lot of thought and effort into things and they just don't hit. They don't resonate with anyone.”

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A Social License to Operate - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 072

A Social License to Operate - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 072

May 6, 2022

Alvin Haygan is the Global IS Change Management Leader at the Lubrizol Corporation. He used to work at Wendy’s and from that job he saw what having change done to you feels like, and it inspired him to make sure that change is done with people rather than to them. Alvin joins host Justin Lake to talk about his experience in change management and how he wants to positively impact frontline workers. 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • Understanding what the frontline workers go through is one of the biggest challenges that they face today. 
  • You don’t want to change to be something that is done to you, but rather you want to be a part of the process. 
  • Prior preparation prevents poor performance. If you set up any changes in a company, you should do prep work ahead of time to make sure it will be successful. 
  • Change managers have a “social license to operate”, or an agreement that both sides understand they are going to work on the change together.
  • You want everyone to have bought in on the change. You have to have the perspective that it is positive and good for everyone and then people will pay more attention to it.
  • Change localization is where you focus on one particular area and the change that will be occurring with that area.
  • Change is about empowering people. If you are empowering people, you provide them with strategies and listen to what input they might have. 

Quote of the show

 

1:50 “You don’t want change to happen to you, you want it to happen with you.”

 

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