Frontline Innovators
The Barriers to Change - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 086

The Barriers to Change - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 086

July 29, 2022

Today’s episode features two special guests. Charlie Jones is the Senior Manager - Customer Education - Change and Adoption Management at Esri, and Lyndal Brookhart is the Principal Adoption Strategy Consultant at Esri. They both join host Eugene Signorini to talk about some of the challenges facing frontline workers and how digital adoption can help them in their work lives. 

 

 

Takeaways:

  • The biggest barrier to digital adoption is change. It is critical to adopt new technologies so it’s important to build in the appropriate amount of time for that. 
  • You need to connect the dots for the frontline workers as to why it’s so important for them to adopt new technologies.
  • Frontline workers are more likely to listen to what a direct manager has to say than someone from corporate that they’ve never met before. 
  • You need to have recognized value in terms of change, so you need to have complete buy-in for a change to be successful.
  • You want to help your end users and workers in your company make the world a better place.
  • Sometimes the phrase change management can be scary to frontline employees and they might be resistant to change from past bad experiences.
  • When you are putting out a very technical message with change, it needs to apply to everyone in the organization. 

Quote of the show

 

1:22 “When I talk with organizations, this is what comes up for everybody is often the biggest barrier to adoption, and that's time”

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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/

Keeping Up the Pace - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 085

Keeping Up the Pace - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 085

July 22, 2022

Today’s guest is a strong team leader, an excellent problem solver and organizer. Joe O’Connor is currently an Independent Retail Consultant, previously working as the Supply Chain Process Manager for Kroeger. Joe focuses on cost modeling and operational strategy. He sits down with host Justin Lake to talk about some of the biggest challenges facing frontline workers.

 

Takeaways :

  • It’s easier than ever to look for alternate jobs now and other positions and they can find a different job that might not give them as much frustration.
  • Many processes have become extremely optimized so that there isn’t time for training or comfort with a process, which can lead to frustration amongst the frontline employees.
  • There is an uptick in frontline employees switching industries because of the stress of their everyday jobs.
  • Executives and middle management don't speak the same language as frontline employees so you need someone who can bridge that gap.
  • You can’t always build a day in and day out process in every industry with frontline workers.
  • Look at the operating model of a business and make sure that it makes sense to the way the business works. 
  • Frontline employees need to care about the change in order to actually participate in it. It is the job of the change manager to show them the benefits of the change.

 

Quote of the show

 

1:49 “Frontline deals with their processes changing very rapidly and they're being automated and highly optimized very quickly. And the frontline has to keep the pace with that with a rapidly changing workforce that rarely has time for true training.”

 

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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/

Apply, Change and Solve - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 084

Apply, Change and Solve - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 084

July 15, 2022

Bob Mosher is the CEO/Chief Learning Evangelist at APPLY Synergies. He helps learning organizations, design, develop and measure effective learning. He is also a columnist for Chief Learning Officer Magazine. Bob joins host Eugene Signorini to talk about the rapid rate of change and other challenges that deskless workers are facing. 

 

 

Takeaways: 

  • The rapid rate of change is one the biggest challenges facing frontline workers today. The day of learning having a shelf life is in the past. 
  • Covid really brought out the elephant in the room, especially in terms of L&D about how training and learning hasn’t been taught or kept up with in the best manner.
  • In L&D, there is a process of apply, change and solve. You apply a new solution to a problem, change it if that doesn’t work and try to solve the issue for deskless workers.
  • When you are going to introduce change, you want to make sure the methodology of the message makes sense and it reaches home to the frontline employees.
  • Failure isn’t critical. Letting know that failure isn’t the absolute worst outcome is something that can ease the burden on workers. 
  • You want to enable frontline workers to be self confident and have self efficacy, so you need to train them on those so they don’t fall into the negative or between the cracks.
  • Onboarding a new employee shouldn’t be more than 15 - 30 days because they won’t be able to retain all the information.

Quote of the show

 

2:43 “I think what [covid] has done for us is show us things that we've gotta be more attentive to in this space. And change has been a constant for too long. I think it's fallen on the shoulders of the frontline workers who’ve done their best, often in spite of our efforts frankly, to keep up and perform effectively.” 

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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/

Learning Better, Faster, and More Efficiently - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 083

Learning Better, Faster, and More Efficiently - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 083

July 8, 2022

Jonathan Maldonado is the Learning and Development Manager at PGA TOUR Superstore. He has a vast experience with deskless workers with his experience from Cingular. Jonathan was a former frontline employee himself and he is passionate about making sure they have everything they need to succeed. Jonathan joins host Justin Lake to talk about some of the biggest challenges facing frontline workers and how we can overcome them. 

 

Takeaways 

  • The biggest challenge facing frontline workers today is trying to increase engagement and adoption when it comes to learning materials.
  • Learning and Development is an investment as it costs time and money to train someone properly. 
  • Change can vary from being a daily experience to being something that doesn’t happen often, but either way you want to prepare employees for.
  • You have to look at the gaps and see if you can get people over to a new system and change their behaviors around it.
  • There needs to be an appropriate amount of time to get change to go out and make sure it rolled out properly.
  • Take the pressure off of retail by partnering with the department heads so that they can help plan out a proper lay out for any change coming down the line.
  • Getting boots on the ground is a great method to help upper level managers understand what is really going on and see where they need to help out.

 

Quote of the show

3:19 “When it comes to learning and development and training, there's an investment. That time costs money, the money it takes to develop content as well as the money and time that it takes for people to absorb that particular content.”

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Ordering Up Invention - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 082

Ordering Up Invention - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 082

July 1, 2022

Matthew Candito is the Vice President of Training & Operations Services at One Table Restaurant Brands. Matthew moved out to LA in 2004 and worked in many different positions within the restaurant space, eventually finding his passion for the restaurant industry and working with people. Matthew joins host Justin Lake to talk about some of the challenges facing frontline workers and how we can overcome them. 

 

 

Takeaways 

  • One of the biggest challenges facing frontline workers is that the corporate side doesn’t fully understand the aptitude level of deskless workers in terms of technology.
  • You have to be as efficient as possible to deploy training and to get people up to speed to produce the desired outcome.
  • A lot of restaurant organizations don’t invest the proper funds into training and give it the proper due.
  • When bringing on a different management system, most people can adapt really well to using it like an app on their phones.
  • A modular viewpoint for training can be very useful. Using a video system to train people allows them to see the training in action.
  • Giving people the tools they need to succeed and have it in one place is a great solution. You can have all the information on one ipad and train everyone on how to use it.
  • The rising cost of labor across the nation has forced restaurants to be more careful where they spend their money, and that comes at the cost of technology.

Quote of the show

 

0:59 “One of the biggest challenges facing dustless workers right now is the corporate side of the business typically does not understand the aptitude level of a lot of its team members as it relates to technology.”

 

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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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