How Mobile Workforce Management Can Support Frontline Workers
Frontline workers are an essential cog in many organizations, as their contributions in the field directly affect patient and customer satisfaction. But because these employees complete services outside of the office, it’s crucial to keep frontline workers engaged through motivation and support. This means providing the proper tools for success in the field.
What are frontline workers?
Frontline workers, also referred to as deskless workers, are employees or contractors who spend the majority of their days working in the field rather than in an office setting. For example, this includes healthcare clinicians, support workers, occupational therapists, nurses, and any other workers who directly provide services to patients, wherever they may be needed. They’re truly the bedrock of organizations that rely on customer service and delivery for success.
Frontline management, then, should be considered mission-critical, especially as organizations look to both support employees and continue to provide excellent service during critical times, such as a global pandemic. Frontline management includes utilizing a strategy for motivating and empowering frontline workers.
The need for such a strategy has certainly been magnified by the COVID-19 crisis, highlighting the heroic, tireless efforts of frontline workers. Supporting frontline workers should be at the forefront of management priorities moving forward, as well.
Best practices for supporting frontline workers
Supporting your frontline workers doesn’t have to be a shot in the dark. Whether you’re just now developing a strategy for motivating deskless workers or are taking your strategy back to the drawing board as a result of the ‘new normal’ from the Coronavirus, there are some tried-and-true best practices you can follow for success.
Because frontline workers aren’t consistently part of the office environment, they’re not able to access information in the same way as fixed-location employees. They rely on receiving information about mobile work, customers, company news, and more digitally. If they aren’t able to easily send and receive communications between team members, managers, or patients, details will likely fall through the cracks. It’s imperative that organizations enable seamless, accessible communication for frontline workers to keep them motivated and successful.
Improve your scheduling process
A huge part of managing frontline workers is ensuring that you’ve scheduled the right worker at the right time for the right job. Scheduling errors or manual processes could mean dropping the ball on appointments, over-scheduling employees, or sending a worker unprepared to a job. By improving your scheduling process, you’ll ensure that the right worker properly delivers services every time, based on availability and requirements.
Utilize the proper tools
Frontline workers deliver services in a variety of locations, so they require a distinct set of tools. Because they’re often on the go, they need quick, seamless access to those technologies. Assuming that your frontline workers should (or even can) make do with the same technology given to fixed-location employees is a common misstep that should be avoided. Providing intuitive tools for frontline workers that centralize communication, scheduling, and field data can yield better support for workers and alleviate the challenges of day-to-day management.
Mobile workforce management for frontline workers
While following best practices for supporting your frontline workers is necessary for developing or building upon your management strategy, it’ll only get you so far without the proper platform. A powerful, robust mobile workforce management solution will enable you to manage frontline workers while increasing motivation, engagement, and—ultimately—productivity.
Ensure real-time communication
Whether there’s a company update or an appointment cancellation or request, deskless workers need real-time access to schedules and other resources, all in one convenient place. Mobile workforce management software helps reduce miscommunication and facilitates knowledge sharing with instant communication through one tool. For frontline workers, this is especially important, as they must quickly navigate their ever-changing resources, schedules, and patients.
Utilize easy, up-to-date scheduling
A deskless productivity cloud can be configured to automate the scheduling process, taking into account meeting and travel times, preparation, and other factors. This produces a more accurate view of the capacity of frontline workers, helping them avoid missed appointments, burnouts, and delays due to travel time.
Track employees’ time and locations on the job
Managers and team members with access to real-time location tracking and live travel updates have a better understanding of operations. For frontline workers who have set appointment times and durations, it’s crucial to accurately track when they’ve arrived on the job and when they’ve completed the service. For managers, transparency into where their deskless employees are and where they’re headed next at any given moment is vital. A mobile workforce management platform can keep track of all of this data in real time, even as schedules and conditions change.
Intelligently improve service delivery, even offline
Frontline workers don’t always have the luxury of a steady wifi connection throughout the work day. If a deskless worker is en route to a job in the field that’s outside of a wifi or coverage zone, it’s imperative that they can still access information offline. Service delivery should never be interrupted by poor connectivity, and with a deskless productivity cloud with offline capabilities, it doesn’t have to be.
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Engage with deskless workers and customers
Engaging with customers through SMS messages to alert them of your arrival (or even delays) is a simple but powerful way to ensure great service. Just as important is providing engagement through real-time communication with your frontline workers, who need to remain up-to-date with their appointment times, cancellations, and travel routes. A mobile workforce management app can automatically notify workers through responsive, dynamic updates.
Optimize routing to job locations
Frontline workers are frequently faced with delivering services in areas with which they may be unfamiliar. This can be particularly stressful when a mobile worker has back-to-back jobs that require traveling from one location to the next as quickly as possible. A powerful mobile workforce management solution will optimize routes within a centralized app, engaging your frontline workers even further.
Obtain contactless customer sign-off at delivery completion
Service delivery is, of course, an essential part of a frontline worker’s day to day. So is obtaining customer sign-off at job completion, which increases productivity and reduces the inefficiencies often caused by having to wrap up details after returning from the field. A deskless productivity cloud that allows mobile workers to acquire sign-off without contact means instantly (and safely) capturing important details that may have otherwise been overlooked.
Maintain employee and patient information
Part of delivering excellent service is having the ability to update and maintain information—both from your patients and your frontline employees. If, for instance, a home healthcare provider visits a patient who has developed a drug allergy, that vital piece of information should be tracked. With a mobile workforce management platform, the mobile worker can instantly capture such patient details, which results in an even better, more tailored service during the next interaction. The benefit of tracking personal information extends to the worker, too, as a deskless productivity cloud can store details about certifications, skill sets, and availability for better scheduling.
Access tools from one powerful platform
The ability to schedule, store information, and communicate is absolutely imperative for frontline workers. But in order to successfully empower frontline employees while also improving productivity, you’ll need a powerful platform that can do all that (and more) in one succinct place. Mobile workers who feel engaged are armed with the proper tools to complete their jobs effectively and efficiently. A mobile workforce management system provides deskless workers with access to those tools in one intuitive, seamless place. Add in the ability to automate schedules, optimize routes, easily obtain sign-off, and track time and location—and the capability to do it all offline—and you’ll set your frontline workers up for success.
Support your frontline staff with mobile workforce management
Skedulo’s mobile workforce management platform helps managers empower their frontline workforce with up-to-date scheduling, optimized routes, seamless communication, and location tracking. Whether your frontline workers are on or offline, they’ll have the tools they need to provide excellent service to patients who need it most.
To learn more about how Skedulo can provide the tools that empower your frontline team, book a demo today.