Frontline Innovators

By frontlineinnovators

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Description

This is Frontline Innovators. Hosts Justin Lake and Gene Signorini speak with experts who are leading the way and driving digital transformation to the frontlines. We explore how to overcome challenges and achieve success when we empower our essential workers. This podcast is sponsored by Skyllful, on a mission to help frontline workers learn and use the technology needed to succeed in their jobs.

Episode Date
Designing the Right Training - Episode #99 - Amanda Fullbright
42:42

This weeks episode host Justin Lake talks with Amanda Fullbright, Senior Vice President, Learning and Performance Development at BlueSprig Pediatrics. Amanda has many years of experience finding technology solutions in the healthcare field and speaks on the various challenges of developing training for the frontline. 

 

 

Takeaways

🔔 Time and communication are the big struggles for the deskless workforce.

 

🔔 Design the right training for the right person at the right time.

 

🔔 Know how you are going to measure training before rolling it out.

 

🔔 It's really important to think about what device your training is optimized for.

 

Quote of the show: "Change can be good, but transition is always hard."

 

Links:

Amanda's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amanda-fullbright-470071a/

Company Website: https://www.bluesprigautism.com/

 

Here's how you can listen 🎧

▪ Amazon Music - https://music.amazon.com/podcasts/2f4ecd92-6468-4769-b0bf-254e236510b7/FRONTLINE-INNOVATORS   ▪ Apple Podcast - https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/frontline-innovators/id1572329402

▪ Spotify - https://open.spotify.com/show/29m3wnK8pbFjdSvJ9wjmyS

▪ Stitcher - https://www.stitcher.com/show/frontline-innovators

▪ Google Play - https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZnJvbnRsaW5laW5ub3ZhdG9ycy5jb20vZmVlZC54bWw

▪ Youtube - https://youtu.be/88w8jszI1j4

Dec 02, 2022
Back to the Trenches - Episode #98 - Meg Vrabel
54:22

This weeks episode host Justin Lake talks with Meg Vrabel Chief Revenue Officer & SVP Innovation @ Capital Factory - the Center of Gravity for Entrepreneurs in Texas. Meg has extensive experience helping and leading frontline workers and delves into some great advice for frontline leaders.

 

Takeaways

🔔 Without an understanding of how people operate in the field, you can't make good decisions for them in a corporate environment.

 

🔔 Companies need to rethink the amount of time they're allocating to CM, training, and support.

 

🔔 A mistake made often with large companies - the frontline workers themselves are the last ones to hear about things

 

🔔 Get in the field and listen to your team. It doesn't mean that you're gonna be able to make everyone happy, because that is completely unrealistic, but if you're doing those first two, you just have such a better base to be able to help them.

 

Quote of the show 31:47 “Get in the field, listen to your team. It doesn't mean that you're gonna be able to make everyone happy, because that is completely unrealistic, but if you're doing those first two, you just have such a better base to be able to help them when you're their liaison basically to the corporate office. And lastly, I would. Not just listen to them, but trust them and be willing to put your neck out. If you really feel like you, this is the hill you wanna die on, be willing to do it as a leader, especially if you're a generalist, like you'll find another job if really the worst happens. But like if you don't take those chances and you're not willing to put your neck on the line and you're not willing to die on a hill for your team, you're probably just not gonna get the best outcome.”

 

Links:

Meg's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/megvrabel/

Company Website: https://www.capitalfactory.com/

 

Here's how you can listen 🎧

▪ Amazon Music - https://music.amazon.com/podcasts/2f4ecd92-6468-4769-b0bf-254e236510b7/FRONTLINE-INNOVATORS   ▪ Apple Podcast - https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/frontline-innovators/id1572329402

▪ Spotify - https://open.spotify.com/show/29m3wnK8pbFjdSvJ9wjmyS

▪ Stitcher - https://www.stitcher.com/show/frontline-innovators

▪ Google Play - https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZnJvbnRsaW5laW5ub3ZhdG9ycy5jb20vZmVlZC54bWw

▪ Youtube - https://youtu.be/obfp4ZUM49A

Nov 11, 2022
Tailoring Learning and Development - Frontline Innovators - Episode #097
48:56

Abby Fordham is the Director of Learning and Development at Pactiv Evergreen Inc. Abby is passionate about making sure that frontline employees are taken care of and that they are given every chance to succeed. Abby joins the host Justin Lake to talk about some of the biggest challenges frontline employees face and how we can overcome them.

 

Takeaways: 

  • The biggest challenge facing the frontline workforce today is the ability to access technology while being away from a desk. We have all the technology in the world but it is a struggle to get it to work when away from a desk or a spot without service. 
  • Frontline workers should be allowed to use their phones while away from the desk as a source for finding the answers to any questions they might have.
  • The more you can help the frontline workers get their job the better their lives will be. Consider motivating and giving them access to the technology they might need to complete everything. 
  • Often when frontline workers are promoted and become their peers' boss, it is overlooked that they aren’t given leadership training and it is assumed that they will take the role. It’s important to provide them with the leadership skills and knowledge needed to succeed. 
  • Just because there is an issue when trying to implement technology doesn’t mean you stop what you are doing. A roadblock is an obstacle to overcome, not an excuse. 
  • You have to follow a procedure and see how things have been done, but it’s ok to have it customized slightly as long as all the proper steps are being followed.
  • Let the technology do the hard work for you and the deskless workforce and then tailor the learning and development to them. 

Quote of the show

31:47  “I never let no be a roadblock or a stop.”

 

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/

Oct 21, 2022
Serving A Greater Purpose - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 096
51:14

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.”

 

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/

Oct 07, 2022
Lead with Emotions - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 095
50:51

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.” 

 

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/

Sep 30, 2022
Working on a Spectrum - Frontline Innovators - Episode #094
46:02

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.”

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/

Sep 23, 2022
Solving Problems - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 093
57:43

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.”

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/

Sep 16, 2022
Designing for Membership - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 092
47:32

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.”

 

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/

Sep 09, 2022
Using Technology to Your Advantage - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 091
47:40

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.”

 

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/

Sep 02, 2022
Being the Bridge - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 090
45:12

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.”

 

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/

Aug 26, 2022
Driving Change Forward - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 089
01:04:08

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.”

 

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/

Aug 19, 2022
Skill vs Will - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 088
47:00

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/

Aug 12, 2022
Avoiding Resource Depletion - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 087
48:12

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.”

 

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/

Aug 05, 2022
The Barriers to Change - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 086
53:14

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”

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/

Jul 29, 2022
Keeping Up the Pace - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 085
50:53

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.”

 

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/

Jul 22, 2022
Apply, Change and Solve - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 084
53:31

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.” 

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/

Jul 15, 2022
Learning Better, Faster, and More Efficiently - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 083
48:20

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.”

Links

 

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Jul 08, 2022
Ordering Up Invention - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 082
46:04

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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Jul 01, 2022
Empowering Knowledge Workers - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 081
01:04:32

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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Jun 24, 2022
Continuity of Change - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 080
43:36

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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Jun 17, 2022
Learning and Developing - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 079
48:09

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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Jun 10, 2022
Keep It Simple - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 078
46:10

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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May 27, 2022
Knowledge Workers - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 077
46:24

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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May 24, 2022
Proper Prioritization - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 076
39:35

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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May 20, 2022
The Root of Change - Frontline Innovators - Episode #075
44:02

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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May 17, 2022
The Lens of Empathy - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 074
37:49

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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May 13, 2022
The Change Network - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 073
49:35

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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May 10, 2022
A Social License to Operate - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 072
46:38

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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May 06, 2022
Having Empathy - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 071
42:53

Kyle Spitzley is the OKR Coach and Change Management Professional at Amway. He has a wide span of experience within change management, using many many different mindsets to show how change can be effective. Kyle joins host Justin Lake to talk about some of the challenges that face frontline workers and how actions speak louder than words.

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • The greatest challenge for frontline workers is that they are the least represented at moments of strategic planning.
  • Don’t build to the average means of everyone. Each employee has different needs and thoughts so change will look different to each person.
  • Gemba is Japanese for “Go see”, and it’s an important mindset when it comes to working with frontline workers. You want to spend time going and see how they do their job.
  • SCARF is a model of change that stands for - Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness, and Fairness
  • Actions speak louder than words. You want to be there with the frontline workers and go through the change with them, rather than doing change to them.
  • Customers have a choice to buy or work with your company. You treat that with care and cater to their needs. We need to do that with frontline workers as well.
  • Have empathy for those on the frontline. They are the ones dealing with customers and trying to solve problems while out in the field.

Quote of the show

 

1:05 “I think the challenge is how do we make sure the voice of the frontline worker is not only heard, but is valued, is listened to and is incorporated into the strategic decision-making that goes on at a company”

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May 03, 2022
Essential Workers - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 070
55:52

Elliott Woyshner is the Change Management Specialist at Hallmark Cards. He spent time as an officer in the Army, and uses the skills he learned from that career to help understand frontline workers and how to communicate about changes to them. Elliot joins host Justin Lake to talk about some of the issues facing frontline workers and how to help them overcome those roadblocks.

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • A lot of organizations are going through the same type of digital transformation. A lot of the changes come down to how those on the frontline are feeling with the change or adding extra steps.
  • Getting employees to accept change is a routine process. You need to check in with them and make sure they are comfortable with everything going on.
  • You need to build a space for employees to engage with the change in their way and at their own pace. 
  • If you are adaptable and flexible during times of change, then you are more likely to think ahead on the outcomes of a project. 
  • Consider who you are talking to and how you will talk to them. Your audience is important and understanding them is key to having change be successful.
  • To build people’s capacity for change, you need to be clear and concise. If you explain clearly what the steps are and why they are involved they are more likely to be willing to accept the change. 
  • You need to address concerns early on when it comes to introducing change into a company. Feedback will help make a project better.

Quote of the show

 

5:13 ​​”Getting [employees] on board is not as simple as answering some questions during a standup. It is checking back in with them, it's this routine process and it has to be a routine process of making sure people are processing the change so they'll get on board with it a lot smoother.”

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Apr 29, 2022
The Digital Age - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 069
49:51

Drey Taylor is the Director of Services at Acuity Brands. He used to be a frontline worker himself, riding in the bucket trucks. He uses his knowledge of his time as a deskless employee to be able to bring positive change that is much needed to those on the frontline. Drey joins host Justin Lake to talk about the biggest challenges facing frontline workers and how they can be overcome. 

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • Being human is one of the biggest challenges facing frontline workers. It goes back to communication and explaining what is in your mind and what you understand to the customers.
  • Everything has become digital in the last decade. It’s important to keep up with these innovations and make sure they are properly adjusted.
  • The frontline workers don’t typically use email, while in a standard office setting emails are the primary form of communication. It’s important to meet the frontline workers on their means of communication.
  • The “genba” is where the real work is done. It refers to the places that frontline workers are typically found working in.
  • You want to make sure the reason why change is being implemented is clear. If the message isn’t clear, it won’t be a successful change.
  • As a leader, you have to listen more to those on the frontline. There is a feeling or a need that is being communicated back to you. 
  • We carry our emotions and experiences into a conversation, so we might misunderstand someone when they are talking with us. 

Quote of the show

 

4:09 “Technology is coming at us left and right. And it's changing the way that we interact with our workspace, with our customers, with our employees, with our boss, with the company at large.”

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Apr 26, 2022
Bearing the Weight of Change - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 068
43:02

Ciprian Porutiu is the Vice President, Operations & Delivery at Marsh McLennan. He believes the most important part of a company are the employees, and that feeds into his passion for change management. He joins host Eugene Signorini to talk about some of the biggest challenges facing frontline workers and how they can be solved. 

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • The frontline workers are the ones bearing the weight of any change. They should be trained to be the experts in the change and given whatever tools they need.
  • It’s important to make sure that they are able to give feedback on what they are hearing from clients and others using the new technology.
  • You want to be agile when it comes to change management. To do this you want to deliver small values incrementally with a lot of feedback.
  • When trying to reach an objective, you need to set a plan to reach those objectives. Those plans need to be adopted by someone, and everyone needs to be on the same page.
  • Face to face interactions allow for more of an in depth understanding rather than on video calls or phone calls.
  • The most important asset of a company is its employees. The more you leverage the value of a company, the company gets put in a better position.
  • If you want to have frontline workers accept change, then they need to be part of the process of the change and have their voices heard.

Quote of the show

 

21:26 “The most important asset of a company are its employees. So the more you're able to leverage the value and the richness that every single employee has, the better position is the company in.”

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Apr 22, 2022
Layering the Learning - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 067
46:46

Susan Evans is the Change Management Manager at Ecolab. She sees the rapid pace of change in technology and how that can present a challenge for frontline workers, and she wants to ease that burden on them. Susan joins host Justin Lake to talk about that and other issues that are plaguing frontline workers.

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • The biggest challenge facing frontline workers today is that they are having to learn new tasks and processes while they are on the go.
  • When new technologies get rolled out it is easy to get wrapped up in deployment of the new technology but there are underlying process changes that need to take place at the same time.
  • Frontline workers need to help the sales team and customers adapt to technology changes and meet their needs.
  • Oftentimes deskless workers don’t get time to learn and develop in a way in a pace that works for them. They often have to learn it fast and that can be daunting.  
  • There needs to be a focus on frontline managers and help them coach the reps on integrating digital processes into their work days, so that they can understand the change as well.
  • Make sure that frontline workers know that it is ok to ask questions and ask for help. It can help make the process smoother and go better for the next change.
  • Use all the technology to your advantage. Now with virtual reality, you can use that and other tools to help support frontline workers.

Quote of the show

 

1:44 “Digital presents an additional layer of that learning. There's so much more that they have to learn faster. We are advancing faster everyday in our digital applications and how they need to integrate those into their processes. It's a lot of new content that they need to learn, but they're also changing their behaviors, how they interact with a customer, and in how they change their daily activities.”

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Apr 19, 2022
Funneling Information - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 066
51:17

Karan Froom is the Director, Business Transformation Organizational Change Management at The Clorox Company. After sitting through an orientation class at a banking job, she found a passion for teaching people. Karan sits down with host Justin Lake to talk about the issues facing frontline employees and how to overcome them.

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • One of the biggest challenges facing frontline workers is the lack of human connection. With being out in the field and using video calling, they rarely get to interact with others from their office.
  • In change management, you want to take someone from a current state to a future state that is better for them.
  • Change can be painful if not done right. You want to invest in a good change management team so that they can make the change painless.
  • Look at change management through the lens of it being a funnel. You want to start broad at the top and narrow down until everything is clear at the end.
  • Let people know of the change that is coming down the road. Give them a road map of what the timeline for the changes will look like and people will understand.
  • Look at all levels of management and leadership when executing change. They are part of the people who need to be included in this as well and their support can go a long way.
  • There has to be a willingness to accept the change. Make sure that people are informed of what will happen and make sure they are ok with it.

Quote of the show

 

16:29  “I use the concepts that I like to think of as a funnel. So if you think about the top of the funnel being the broad concepts of the benefits of what the change is, and then as you go down the funnel, you get more specific…It's a process, I like to talk about change as being an art and a science.”

Links

 

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Apr 15, 2022
A Culture of Trust and Credibility - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 065
45:13

Trent Oelkers is the Organizational Change Management Lead at Carlisle Interconnect Technologies. He sees the gap in communication between deskless workers and those in management and aims to make that gap smaller. Trent joins host Justin Lake to talk about some of the challenges facing frontline workers and how to overcome them. 

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • A big struggle is how to make remote workers feel connected to the rest of the rest of the company even though they aren’t in the office. 
  • It can be difficult to tell those on the frontline how to do their job better. To help this, you can form a better relationship with them and then they will trust you.
  • It’s important to try and increase the safety standards for frontline workers. They are the ones who work to keep the world moving and we need to take care of them.
  • Take into account all the aspects of the job for a person on the frontline and make sure you aren’t overloading them or making their job dangerous
  • There is technology that can be used to accurately track the work done by frontline workers rather than estimating the amount of work they do. 
  • Go beyond the physical barrier to meet the frontline workers. You need to meet them on their level. 
  • Having a positive culture and trust amongst employees and management is something that can make a company run better.

Quote of the show

 

21:10 “I think that sincerity and acknowledgement of their, you could call it a sacrifice, but at least of their work environment is very important. And so one thing I hope that at least we, as people who are spending less time away from our desks, we can acknowledge their sacrifice and try to hopefully drive safety as one of the major things.”

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Apr 12, 2022
Customer Focused - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 064
43:51

Jon Kent is the Director, Global Telematics at Yanmar. He is passionate about music and making sure that employees on the frontline are ready for any change in technology. Jon sits down with host Justin Lake to talk about how management can better prepare deskless workers for the issues of today and tomorrow.

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • The lack of feedback from constituents and stakeholders is one of the biggest challenges facing companies today.
  • Create a feedback form to hear from the frontline workers. They are the ones using the technology and their input is very important.
  • Companies are steering away from product focused environments and more to a consumer focused environment.
  • Do a month to month review of how things are going. This will allow you to take time and go over things that are really important.
  • When you are in a change management role, you aren’t just solving problems for today but also for problems 6 months from now.
  • The testers of products are the real advocates. They will go out and mention what works and they will promote a product for you.
  • There are regional differences and you have to be prepared for that. Be ready to change tactics depending on where people are located. 

Quote of the show

 

5:54 “A lot of companies and organizations are moving away from a product focused environment and more to a customer focused environment,  internal and external customers. And that draws out the empathy. You can't hide from the feedback of the folks that are using your application, your technologies, or, otherwise. I'm not saying long gone as the days across all companies, but certainly there's a lot less ivory towers around today than there were yesterday.”

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Apr 08, 2022
Building a Roadmap - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 063
53:31

Todd Gernady is the Senior Manager Process Improvement, Business Architecture, and Organizational Change Management at United Airlines. After he discovered his passion for consulting, Todd went on to become a Lean Six Sigma belt and used that to share his passion for making a process run smoothly. He joins host Justin Lake to talk about the issues facing frontline workers.   

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • Getting the right information for the frontline workers to do their job is one of the biggest challenges that they face today. 
  • Having all the knowledge and information on a tablet or an electronic device can help mitigate the need for employees at airports to run all over the place.
  • Technology can help to streamline a process and make communication easier. This works for airports as well.
  • You want to catch mistakes when they happen. Don’t just continue to go through the process because that mistake will threaten the integrity of the change. 
  • Start with the process. You want to make sure that the process is solid before you bring it to people and find out that it doesn’t work.
  • You want to make sure that all instructions given to frontline workers are clear and make sure it’s presented on a device where it is easy to read and understand the information given to them.
  • Sometimes the simplest ways to reach frontline workers are through older techniques rather than technology. Leave signs in the break room or bathrooms or other public spots.

Quote of the show

 

18:41 “We built a roadmap and it allowed us to remove some of those obstacles and avoid potholes down the road versus things that we would have stubbed our toe on. And reworking, I will guarantee you will often take you longer to resolve than it is to catch it in the moment. If you've ever built a Lego set with your kids, if you screwed up something on step 12 and you are on step 32, it is very painful to take those Legos apart. So you can fix that one piece and go back and do it again.”

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Apr 05, 2022
Preparing for Change - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 062
49:00

Steve Acuna is the Director of Organizational Enablement at a leading healthcare insurance company..  He sees the importance of change management and how much of a positive impact it can have on a company. He sits down with host Justin Lake to talk about some of the challenges that frontline workers are facing today and how to overcome them.

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • Frontline workers are the case study for how change management can change the future for how we interact with employees.
  • You can affect the mindset of people and how they operate based even off of how prepared they are for change coming down the line. 
  • The metric side of change management helps because it shows people where the opportunities are to improve. 
  • Make sure that everyone involved with the change is on the same page. Make sure they know who to talk to and that they have a solid support system underneath them.
  • There is a retention issue with frontline employees, so you want to make sure you are meeting their needs and be on the same playing field as them.
  • Change management can help prepare you for things outside of work that might happen as well.
  • As a change leader, there will be struggles along the way but it is your job and responsibility to make sure that everyone trusts what you are doing is in their best interest.

Quote of the show

 

0:58 “I feel like frontline workers are really the case study for how change management can change the future of how we operate and how people interact with change management in general. I do believe that frontline workers are really the reflection of how change management is actually working or not working in an organization.”

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Apr 01, 2022
Strategic Planning - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 061
53:45

Zachary Jedamzik is the Senior Change Manager at Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. Everyday he sees the need for change management and how important it is to a company. Zachary sits down with host Justin Lake to talk about the changes that frontline workers experience and how to better prepare them for all the changes.

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • The biggest challenge facing the frontline workforce today is communication. They need to understand the decisions that are being made and why they are being made.
  • Those working on the frontline are the ones that interact with the customers the most, so they are the ones that hear about how the customers are feeling about certain things.
  • A change management professional can look at an issue from different perspectives and come up with solutions that work for everybody.
  • The leaders at a company also need to be educated in change. Once they are educated in change they can also speak better on any future change. 
  • Change management is like math. You start with the simple equations and you keep moving up and solving bigger problems and the basics help build on that.
  • The failure of technology solutions is not about the technology, it’s about the way humans are using the technology.
  • With better technology, you can make a small investment now to help frontline workers do their jobs more efficiently in the future. 

Quote of the show

 

6:28 “As a frontline worker or as a maker, as a person just answering the phone, nobody's really taking our opinion on What we need to do our job, to help the customer. And at the end of the day, we're your first line of defense or first line of success with a customer. And we don't have the tools that we need because nobody really asked us. And I always found that really interesting.”

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Mar 29, 2022
Partners in Digital Change - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 060
51:58

Monique Jordan is the AUX Lead at First Republic Bank. She brings with her a unique perspective and compassion for making sure that frontline workers are included as part of the change in the workplace, not just experiencing the change. She joins host Eugene Signorini to talk about some of the biggest challenges that frontline employees are facing today.

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • At the core of digital transformation is the need to meet customers with the best way to use technology for them.
  • The biggest challenge facing the frontline workforce is that change is often done to those on the frontline, rather than with them.
  • Frontline workers don’t have the same access to technology as those working in the office do. This means that some new technology changes might be a challenge for frontline workers.
  • Because of the pandemic, things are constantly changing. One of those changing aspects is how change management is being delivered.
  • The point of view from headquarters is pretty limited. Bringing crews in to really sit down and talk through the issues of those on the frontline.
  • You want to digitize your data so it is usable and accessible when it comes to creating a good customer experience.
  • People want to do meaningful stuff and be valued in the company. To do this, make sure that the voices of those are the frontline and what they say.

Quote of the show

2:28 “I think what's different about the deskless worker is frequently change done to them. They're not really seen as a partner in digital change. They are seen as sort of the target of change. So those people way down there at the end of the process are going to start doing this differently. And as long as we just let them know what's happening, train them, it’s going to be perfectly fine.”

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Mar 25, 2022
Leading the Effort - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 059
50:21

Samvel Lazaryev is the Senior Manager, Organizational Change Management at Sony Pictures Entertainment. He is passionate about storytelling and making sure that frontline employees are being led properly. He sits down with host Justin Lake to talk about some of the challenges facing frontline workers and how they can be overcome. 

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • We are going through the great resignation right now, and it’s important to see how management will adapt to this and how agile they can be.
  • To have a consistent, strong culture in your company then there needs to be authenticity. Employees respond better to authenticity from management. 
  • Be honest with your employees. You don’t want a culture of fear amongst your workforce as that lowers morale and productivity.
  • You want to demonstrate the behaviors that you want your frontline employees to follow. This way they can take after your example. 
  • Storytelling is an effective way to communicate to your employees. You can provide stories to them of how to properly handle situations.
  • Create a level of connectivity with the staff. You want them to feel comfortable coming to you with issues or questions.
  • Don’t wait until things go wrong, you should be reaching out to OCM professionals along the way and making sure everyone is on the same page.

Quote of the show:

 

2:10 “What's interesting to me is as we come out of this great resignation and the pandemic, how agile will leadership be in understanding what led to this and what are some fundamental changes that the leadership will do, and organizations will do how cultures change and this kind of stuff.”

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Mar 22, 2022
Resilient Data - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 058
56:35

Rob Malench and Rishi Vij are both Partners at Blue Star Partners. Between them they have over 38 combined years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies. They sit down with host Eugene Signorini to talk about the people side of change and how to help frontline workers better deal with the rapid pace of change.

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • Even during this difficult time through the pandemic, customers are still looking for more and businesses are looking to expand, and that puts more pressure on the already overloaded frontline employees.
  • Pancaking deskless workers can lead to potential safety issues as they will be distracted and won’t be able to fully focus on their job.
  • Doing a 90 day look ahead allows you to see what is coming down the road for the frontline workers and try and consolidate it for them so they aren’t overwhelmed.
  • You want to see the world through the perspective of those on the frontline. Going on a ride along with them allows you to tailor your messages to their needs.
  • Make sure that leaders are aligned throughout the entire process. You can do this by keeping up constant communication.
  • You need the frontline workers to understand, buy in and commit to the change. If you don’t get those then the change won’t take off. 
  • Have resilient information. You need to be able to make adjustments depending on how the frontline employees are feeling.

Quote of the show

 

2:36 “The more that we sort of pancake and layer on, and the more that they're feeling stressed out and overwhelmed, the more that they might be distracted. How do we take that into consideration when we're managing large-scale change in an organization? And especially when we're touching those frontline desk-less workers.” 

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Mar 18, 2022
Willingness to Change - Frontline Innovators - Episode #057
53:56

Roland Prevost is currently an independent change management consultant. He recently completed a two year engagement with a global self care and pharmaceutical product manufacturing company. He sits down with host Justin Lake about the proper way to make sure change is implemented for those working deskless jobs.

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • The biggest challenge facing the frontline workforce today is the rapid pace of change in technology. 
  • What is happening now with the great resignation is that people are seeing the other side of work and realizing what they want to do for a living and if their job fits that.
  • Change management really has to do with getting people ready to apply new skills. You want to make sure that employees are ready for experiencing change.
  • There needs to be a willingness to accept change. Without the willingness to do so, you will find it hard to implement change.
  • If you don’t enjoy doing something, how motivated are you to truly get the job done and get it done right? You need to be passionate about what you do.
  • Not every job can be done remotely, and most of those are on the frontline. Technology can make their lives easier but it can’t allow for remote work in that field.
  • Communication is important. Doing it too early or haphazardly can make the change a failure from launch. Make sure to be deliberate.

Quote of the show

 

10:46 “You have to want to do something. Think about people who have been in careers, where they have a set of skills that they either acquire or by natural talent, and they're very good at this thing, but they don't necessarily enjoy doing it. I often think of it just in terms of willingness and ability, you may have the ability to do something, but how much do you want to, or how willing are you to do that thing? And both of those things need to be present to have a really successful organization transition.”

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Mar 15, 2022
Rising to the Challenge - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 056
57:24

Paul Feikema is the Senior Change Consultant at Pioneer Management Consulting. He is a pro sci certified change management professional. He is also part of the team that was in the book “Big Change at Best Buy Working Through Hyper Growth to Sustain Excellence.” He sits down with host Eugene Signorini to talk about frontline employees and how Best Buy rose to the giant it is today.

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • One of the biggest challenges facing the frontline workforce is that they feel like they aren’t being heard. 
  • Maintenance data is important for the organization but it isn’t the solution for understanding how those on the frontline feel about their work. It doesn’t give the nuances of day to day operations.
  • In the last 5 to 8 years, there have been a ton of frontline changes in terms of technology in order to make the jobs easier for deskless workers. 
  • A change in technology is a way of redesigning the way work is done and how quickly work can be done.
  • A lot of companies grow dramatically and they don’t plan too well for the massive upscaling. You have to create standardization.
  • You want the core of your company to be something that you never give up and each person will represent that core. 
  • The more we have the capabilities to teach change leadership skills, the organization is going to come out of that stronger. 

Quote of the show

 

27:14 “The more we have the capabilities in major projects that are driving change in an organization to teach change leadership skills and continue to model and transfer those across the organization. Your organization is going to come out of that stronger.”

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Mar 11, 2022
Part of the Puzzle - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 055
48:20

Alanna Roesler is the People Analytics Change Leader at Schneider Electric. She uses her education and experience to better prepare frontline workers for technology changes and makes sure the technology is something that benefits everyone. She sits down with host Justin Lake to go over some of the big topics of change management and how to help frontline employees handle change and adapt to it. 

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • The biggest challenge facing the frontline workforce today is the rapid pace of change and technology. This affects not only the people on the frontline but HR as well.
  • Look at different ways of trying to reduce manual tasks or make the lives easier of those on the frontline through the use of technology.
  • It’s important to think about what the technology is and make sure that it is right fro the end users and the deskless workforce. 
  • There are three main focuses to change; Core HR topics, research methodologies, and statistics and utilizing them to get meaningful data-driven outcomes.
  • It’s not all about the analytics and data, you need to also consider the culture in a company and how change is introduced to a company. 
  • You need a welcoming environment that can help frontline workers build their data literacy and make sure that they feel comfortable asking questions.
  • Make sure that technology is easy to adapt to. If you make it too complicated it will never take off with the frontline workers.

Quote of the Show

 

1:58 “Not only are we driving fast innovation to keep up with the technology landscape, but at times our workload and our bandwidth is changing drastically as well. I think that puts our workforce in a really challenging spot and from HRs perspective as well, it's putting our HR folks in a spot of really needing to keep up with our ever-changing workforce.”

Links

 

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Mar 08, 2022
Connecting Through Change - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 054
52:40

Tricia Taylor is the Senior Director, Corporate communications and change management at Coca-Cola Bottlers' Sales and Services. She knows how important change is to a company and also the importance of staying connected with those deskless workers. She sits down with host Justin Lake to talk about some of the biggest challenges facing frontline employees.  

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • Staying connected is one of the biggest challenges facing the frontline workforce today. They can do their jobs more efficiently if they receive information in a way that is good for them.
  • You want to know the audience of the message you are trying to send. You need to understand frontline workers and what they need most and what might help them.
  • Everyone takes change differently. You might need to alter how you present change to different individuals.
  • Always check in, have constant feedback points so that you can tell what works for change and what doesn’t.
  • Consider the daily impact of change for those on the frontline. You want the change to be positive, and you need to be able to communicate that.
  • You need to meet other employees where they are. Focus groups allow you to understand where they are coming from and what they need.
  • Use the technology that is most readily available at your workplace. Frontline workers won’t be in desks so you might have to come up with some unique ways to reach them.

Quote of the show

 

1:11 “As a professional communicator, I cannot underemphasize the importance of our frontline workers, our deskless workers staying connected, and that means what information they want to receive, how they want to receive it and in what format they would like to receive that communication.”

Links

 

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Mar 04, 2022
Measuring Success - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 053
53:31

Michael Dwyer is an Organizational Change Management Analyst at the Lasing Board of Water and Light. Rebecca Rostar is the Supervisor of Organizational Training, Development and Change Management at Lansing Board of Water & Light. They sit down with host Justin Lake to talk about how to overcome the challenges facing the frontline workers today. 

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • Communication in terms of talking about change is the biggest challenge facing the frontline workers today. You need to find the best and most effective way to talk with them. 
  • You have to be open to feedback and criticism and be able to let management know how you feel. Nothing will change if you don’t tell them that something isn’t working. 
  • Having boots on the ground is an invaluable resource. Make the trip once a month to spend a day with those on the frontline and see what they are going through and what can be improved to help them. 
  • A Change Manager can help bridge the gap in communication between management and those on the frontline more effectively than through zoom meetings. 
  • Increasing the volume and the quality of communication is a key to success. You want to find a healthy balance where you aren’t overwhelming those on the frontline. 
  • You want to be intentional with the communication you send out. You want to cover all the bases and make sure everyone is on the same page. 
  • Employees should feel safe to open up about if they understand the change they are facing. There needs to be trust and transparency between both management and deskless workers.

Quote of the show

 

15:56 “I try to foster an environment where people feel okay telling me things. Just tell me what you think, because we can't change stuff. We can't make corrections. We can't address issues without you telling us how you truly feel to what's going on and change management is feeling  a lot of it is how you feel about something.”

Links

 

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Mar 01, 2022
The Most Important Link - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 052
47:50

Eva Althaus is the Organizational Design and Change Management Consultant at Boeing. She sees the importance of having empathy for employees working on the frontline, especially with the current supply issues. She sits down with host Justin Lake to talk about some of the challenges facing frontline workers and how they can be solved. 

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • The lack of empathy is the biggest challenge facing frontline workers today. Everyone needs to be more patient with deskless workers and realize what they go through daily. 
  • Understanding that change management is the key to helping others learn is incredibly important. 
  • Change only works when everyone is working together and is trying to achieve a common goal. 
  • Using an empathy map as a tool can help to understand the needs of those on the frontline and the end users as well. 
  • Employee listening has to be a practice and a habit. You want to make sure the employees know that they are being heard and not ignored. 
  • Design brings new changes to a company, but change brings opportunities for more design areas. 
  • You want to make sure you are training and enabling employees to better navigate through change. 

Quote of the show

 

12:09 “Change can only happen when the right environment and the right players are performing the role effectively and in harmony with the rest of them.”

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Feb 25, 2022
Reflecting on the Frontline - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 051
49:25

On this very special episode of Frontline Innovators, hosts Justin Lake and Eugene Signorini look back on the last 50 episodes and the guests they have talked to. They share some of their favorite moments and go over what they have taken away from some memorable guests.  

 

Takeaways 

 

  • You want to introduce technology with people. You don’t just want to thrust change upon employees but rather slowly integrate them into the technological change. 
  • There’s plenty of change on a daily basis that it creates a change whiplash effect for employees. It’s important not to overwhelm them with change. 
  • Failing safely and failing fast is ok. It’s a learning curve when on the job and you want to make sure that it is ok to fail at something as long as it is done safely. 
  • Empowering the frontline workers is something that can go a long way. Technology is not a one size fits all solution.
  • The frontline workers should be prioritized and given everything they need. They are the life blood of an organization and without them there is no business. 
  • You want to build a relationship with the frontline workers and make sure that they are aware of the change that is coming down the road. 
  • You need to be transparent with those on the frontline and earn their trust. They are the experts in their job and it’s your job to make their lives easier. 

Links

 

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Feb 22, 2022
Change Champions - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 050
46:40

Haris Muhammad is currently Program Manager at PVA Consulting Group. He is a change champion and knows what it takes to make sure that digital transformation is successful for all businesses. He sits down with host Eugene Signorini to talk about how to implement technology change in your company more successfully than most.

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • The biggest challenge facing frontline workers today is communication. With everyone working from home and using zoom, it’s been difficult for people to communicate.
  • Working with the frontline employees is important for any business. They are the key to success and the business can’t thrive without them.
  • Take the time to spend a day with the frontline workers and see what they do. Then you will understand the struggles they go through.
  • Awareness is key and making sure you take the time to understand the different learning styles is key to making change successful.
  • There needs to be a fix for the disconnect between the executive suite and those on the frontline. 
  • The most successful change champions are the ones that want to see the company do better.
  • There is a real need for digital transformation and help with that as it can be a large undertaking.

Quote of the show

 

11:47 “You got your steel-toe boots, you got your high vis vest and you follow all protocol at whichever client that you're with. And, just by doing that act alone, a lot of the times you'll hear feedback from those employees saying, wow, even my own supervisor or manager has not spent time with me and figured out what my barriers are to do my job day to day. Those barriers could be technology-base, it could be training based, it could be competency based. All of the above.” 

Links

 

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Feb 18, 2022
Change Curve Management - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 049
54:11

Jason Jackson is the Manager in Change Management North America Lead at Miebach Consulting. Victoria Ma is the Digital and Innovation Lead for North America at Miebach Consulting. They sit down together and join host Eugene Signorini to talk about some of the challenges facing frontline workers today.

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • Retention and motivation are big issues facing deskless workers. The news is covering all the issues with frontline workers and they can’t escape it. 
  • It’s hard to keep up with the rapid pace of change and it forces frontline workers to adapt quickly. They will finally learn a new technology and then something else replaces it. 
  • Frontline workers don’t have the option to use different technology they are used to. They need to adapt and it creates a lot of stress among workers. 
  • You want to provide people with the tools to deal with digital transformation but also tips on it as well, so they know how to handle more changes in the future. 
  • Make sure you understand the effect that change will have and who it will affect. That will make it easier to implement so you know who you need to talk with. 
  • Educate people on the importance of change management. If they don’t fully understand it they won’t embrace it.
  • The most influential person at any company is not the person with the biggest title but the person who can rally people to their cause. 

Quote of the show

 

24:25 “We all have different change curves that we go through and the speed by which we go through those changes is different for every individual. When we do our offers, we actually talk about change curve management as one of our opening slides to our clients, because it's important that they understand and appreciate that they may be miles ahead and they may have to slow down a little bit and make sure that the rest of the train, you know, and the caboose has caught up to the engine at the front.”

Links

 

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Feb 15, 2022
Vibration Analytics - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 048
45:50

Jason Herman is currently the Enterprise Asset Management Change & Training Lead at Evergy.  He went to work post Air Force in the chemical mfg industry as a maintenance technician. He sits down with host Justin Lake to talk about what some of the challenges facing deskless workers are and how they can be best prepared for change. 

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • Learning new technology can be a major challenge for a lot of frontline employees. That’s why change management is so important. 
  • Every piece of rotating technology has a normal signature and frequencies and then you use that as a baseline to understand those numbers over time and what they mean.
  • Making sure that management and the employees are on the same page in terms of change is incredibly important. 
  • Make sure that leaders are equipped to handle change. Workers will always be experiencing different changes more than once so you want to make sure they have the tools to handle it in the right way.
  • You want to have a good relationship with your coworkers because that will help them be more willing to accept change.
  • Take the end user experience into account. This will help to understand what changes need to be made from their perspective. 
  • Take time to engage with people. Making sure that everyone is heard and feels values makes them more engaged in work and production goes up. 

Quote of the show

 

13:35 “We can't do it all. I have a team of just a few people, but really every person has a part in the change. Everybody from our sponsors, our executives behind this project, clear down to that person that end user that's being impacted by this change. They may not know they have a role in this change, but they do.”

Links

 

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Feb 11, 2022
Collecting Data - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 047
53:18

Carlee Wolfe is the Director of Organizational Effectiveness at Hyatt Hotels Corporation. She has worked across many different companies of different sizes and she saw the need for digital transformation for those on the frontline. She sits down with host Justin Lake to talk about some of the challenges frontline workers face.  

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • Constant change and adaptation for frontline workers creates a struggle for them. The rules and guidelines are always changing which means new ways of doing things must be learned. 
  • Technology can be an enabler to allow us to be more flexible. This can help people complete work faster or make it easier for them.
  • One person won’t have all the answers. Teamwork is the key to success and it can lead to a better outcome. 
  • Every problem has a different solution. There is not a one size fits all solution, so it’s important to talk with frontline workers to see what works for them.
  • Building a team is a lot of work but the basic building block requires the right people and the right chemistry.
  • You want to make sure all team members feel heard. Listen to what those employees have to say as they have different viewpoints and experiences. 
  • Change can plug into most change but you need to think about how it will affect those on the frontline. Corporate employees don’t see the same work as frontline employees so they need to take their opinion on technology change into consideration. 

Quote of the show

 

11:23  “I want to be able to leave a project, a person, a space better than it was when I got there. And that's all through education. I never pretend to be the expert in everything, but I try to do a good job of knowing who is. For example if we were working together and I didn't have an answer, let's go find it together and let's learn together. I think there's power in that.” 

Links

 

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Feb 08, 2022
Part of the Process - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 046
58:37

Joshua Remerowski is the Director of Change Management, Strategy & Communication at Walmart. He used to work for Direct TV where he was installing satellites on roofs. He sees the knowledge it takes to get change going in a business and wants to share his knowledge. He joins host Justin Lake to talk about some of the issues facing frontline workers today.

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • Leaders need to do a better job of digitizing the modern workforce. Digital products can help enhance and enable your frontline workforce. 
  • We forget that there is an actual human who is having their environment changed when it comes to change enablement. It’s important to take that into consideration. 
  • Failure is part of the process. It’s ok to have something not work right, but you have to be able to get back the courage and try it in a different way until it works. 
  • Patience and persistence pays off. You have to keep putting the work in and eventually your time will come.  
  • You want to make sure everyone is on the same page. Change is only successful when everyone works together on it. 
  • You want to make sure you are fighting for your employees as a leader. Your employees might be overworked and you need to make sure they aren’t.
  • Leaders apply past frameworks for a job they did 20 years ago, but that doesn’t work as times change and situations don’t always apply. A leader has to have the desire to learn the knowledge behind the change. 

Quote of the show

 

17:41 “I think when you have that formula of patience and persistence, whatever that goal is, or thing you set your mind to, it's going to be very difficult for it not to happen. But I think a lot of people have to understand that just like sports things are not always going to happen when you intend them to be.”

Links

 

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Feb 04, 2022
Embracing Change - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 045
43:47

John Ross is the Strategic Change Administrator at Sunflower Electric Power Corporation. He knows that it’s important to make sure that frontline employees are respected and love what they do, as that makes work better for them. He joins host Justin Lake to discuss some of the other issues that frontline workers are facing. 

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • The biggest challenge facing the deskless workforce today is engagement. It can be difficult to get them to take on a task that can be a challenge. 
  • It’s essential to the growth of a company to build the confidence to have crucial conversations. 
  • Change has to be embraced by the entire culture of a company. If you don’t have everyone bought in then it won’t work.
  • You want to make sure that frontline workers understand what they get out of experiencing change. If they don’t understand it they might not want it.
  • Making sure that everyone is on the same page is important to make sure that change is properly implemented. 
  • A myth about change management is that everyone is going to follow the ADKAR method when in reality you need to find one that works for everyone. 
  • Having a consistent view of change management is something that can be a positive for employees. 

Quote of the show

 

2:27 “One of the things that we see as essential to the company and its growth is building the confidence to have crucial conversations and to say to the manager or a project lead, I have some reservations about this, or I think that I have a better idea on how to do this. Those are the difficult things for us to do. We really want employees to speak up.” 

Links

 

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Feb 01, 2022
Sending the Right Message - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 044
51:11

Hillary Carper is the Expert Product Manager at a major transportation logistics company. She knows the human side of change is incredibly important and can make a massive difference in a company. She sits down with host Justin Lake to discuss some of the challenges that frontline workers are facing and how they can be better helped. 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • The biggest challenge facing the frontline workforce today is the struggle of working from and identifying between their corporate self at work and their life at home. 
  • Working from home can be challenging at times. Everyone is using the same wifi and slowing down the network, which makes work difficult. 
  • Change management is dealing with the people side of change. It requires a great skill set but it is very rewarding. 
  • Data driven results are a good way of measuring success. It shows all the data you will need and you can track the success of change. 
  • The people side of change is the crux of whether or not you are going to be successful. If people don’t change then there will be no ROI.  
  • You need to understand what others are doing in order to be successful. Building a foundation takes time but it starts with understanding others.
  • The sender of the message matters. Certain people will have a better way of communicating messages rather than others. 

Quote of the show

 

38:04 “You know the analogy where you have the jar and you put the big rocks in of the things that are most important to you. And then the smaller rocks and the pebbles. I always used to tell people, change management in an organization is the sand. We’re the sand that touches all the places and that kind of keeps everybody together and connected.”

Links

 

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Jan 28, 2022
The Importance of Being Agile - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 043
50:11

Danielle Cimek is the Business Change Manager at Gordon Food Service. She has over 14 years of experience in the food and beverage industry. She sees the importance of technology in the workplace and what difference it can make for a company. She joins host Justin Lake to sit down and talk about some of the issues facing frontline employees today. 

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • The biggest challenge that deskless workers are facing today is that it is difficult to get people in to fill the jobs that need to be done, which leave frontline workers with even more on their plate. 
  • Leveraging technology in the workplace can help employees to move forward and be more productive in their work. 
  • If the technology doesn’t meet the users' needs then it will be shelved and forgotten. It’s important to make sure that doesn’t happen. 
  • Understanding the “why” is important and you need to carry that forward. If you don’t understand the reason you are advocating for a change, it won’t do well. 
  • Technology is constantly changing so you need to be able to be agile and adapt to any change. 
  • S.A.F.e - Scaled Agile Framework. It brings each team of people that are impacted by change together and they talk about how they will handle the change. 
  • Increasing the sample size of who you talk to in an organization can help to make a smart-decision that is well informed. 

Quote of the show

 

8:12 “We can build whatever technology we want, but if it doesn't meet the end users' needs, or if they're not ready for it mentally, then that technology will fail and be shelved and not used. So it really was just that interest of trying to figure out, what is that balance and how do you figure out that sweet spot of being able to try and keep that pace of being able to evolve and grow technology?”

Links

 

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Jan 25, 2022
Optimizing for the Future - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 042
43:37

Debbie Simurda is the Vice President, Sales Enablement at Mainstreet, Inc. She enjoys helping stores reach their full potential with technology and making sure employees are happy with what they do. She joins host Eugene Signorini to sit down and talk about some of the issues that frontline workers are facing today. 

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • In terms of retail, it has been a difficult few years for those employees. They have had to deal with constant changes to their environment and rules. 
  • Retail isn’t for the timid. It can be very taxing on a daily basis having to deal with ever changing rules and regulations.
  • Maintaining your work equipment is extremely important. Paying to repair the technology takes it out of commission and affects all aspects of retail.
  • Being on the back end of technology allows you to really see benefit to it and how it helps the stores that are using it. 
  • You can’t sell something if you don’t know it. It’s important to know your product and how it could benefit others to use it.
  • The pandemic helped to implement new technology that some companies were hesitant to try out at first. 
  • There is a shift now of making stores more highly optimized and consumer friendly, such as including curbside pickup. 

Quote of the show

 

9:19 “If a retailer has a device in their stores that isn't functioning, then that not only impacts customer service, it impacts uptime. It's a lot more money for them to maintain it. They need to invest in spares. And so with our clients, we tried to get them to kind of look at a ruggedized mobility solution like zebra. And I think more and more of them are embracing it”

Links

 

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Jan 21, 2022
The Science of the Employee Experience - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 041
53:36

Sarah Lang is the Learning and Change Manager at BNSF logistics. She’s a Master of Science, Chemistry from Texas A&M University, and she found her way to helping manage change and says she uses her science skills everyday. She joins host Justin Lake to sit down and talk about some of the biggest challenges that frontline workers are facing today. 

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • The biggest challenge facing the frontline workers today is that they are overloaded with information. There are so many apps and different software that it can be daunting.
  • You need to understand the audience. You need to know who is using the technology and tailor to benefit them and make it easy to use.
  • It’s a good idea to have a system in place that goes over a step by step guide on what process to follow should frontline workers have any questions.
  • It’s easier to manage the change of new employees because they are like a blank slate and they will learn how to properly get things done. 
  • You want to focus your change on each individual person rather than a large group as a whole, that way everyone will understand the change thoroughly. 
  • Managers are critical in making change happen. Management is the one who has to sell it to the employees. 
  • When working with a manager to get their buy-in on the change, you need to benefit of it to them and their employees. 

Quote of the show

32:58 “If you have a situation which typically you have seasoned people at your company, middle of the road for three or four years in, and then you have brand new people and you have a change coming, you really have to sit down and do that change impact for every single role. And then down to that individual level, I know that sounds really time consuming, but I promise, there's a benefit to doing that.”

Links

 

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Jan 18, 2022
Being A True Leader - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 040
48:49

Sonya Shelton, CEO at Executive Leadership Consulting, joins host Eugene Signorini to discuss the importance of being a good leader to those on the frontline. Also the author of “You’re An Executive But Are You a Leader?,” Sonya shares her invaluable insight on what it takes to be a true leader.

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • Burnout is the biggest challenge facing the frontline workforce today. Going through the pandemic and supply chain issues has been a struggle and those on the frontline are the ones dealing with all the challenges.
  • Frontline workers experience anxiety just like everyone else, and their mental health should also be paid attention to.  
  • Culture and Strategy shouldn’t be enemies, but they should be working together in order to create a great employee experience.
  • You want to inspire people and be a leader. You want to have followers, not people who are compliant with you. 
  • A lot of companies lose sight of what it means to be a frontline worker. You want to make sure deskless employees are given everything they need to succeed.
  • It’s easy to lose sight of the small wins in a company because of what is happening in the world right now, but it’s important to celebrate even the little victories to motivate your employees.
  • Having a set process in place is critical. You need to have this so the employees know what steps to follow and it eases the burden on them. 

Quote of the show

 

9:20 “If you're just relying on your position or your title, or the power that the organization has given you through that title, then you have compliance, you don't have followers. It's really about how can you inspire people and lead them towards a vision.”

Links

 

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Jan 14, 2022
Laying the Tracks for Change - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 039
48:40

Sydney Henry is the Organizational Change Practitioner at Norfolk Southern Corporation. She’s an experienced and passionate change leader, and she comes from a family of railroaders. She joins host Justin Lake to talk about issues that frontline workers are facing today. 

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • Communication is the biggest issue facing the frontline workforce today. Constant communication is really important to keep them updated in the field. 
  • It’s important to ask questions throughout the year, as different issues can arise at different times with technology. 
  • A change manager should do a walk along with a frontline employee or talk with them in person, as it’s important to see what a day in their life is like for them.
  • Always make sure there is a backup plan. Not everything can be stopped until a new process is implemented, so having a backup plan is extremely important.
  • Observe frontline workers and how they do their job before you implement change. That way you can see if the change is necessary and how it will help.
  • There are many different ways of communicating with frontline workers, so it’s important to take advantage of those tools rather than using emails.
  • It’s important to be empathetic for those on the frontline. They are the ones facing the customers and having to answer questions while working in the field. 

Quote of the show: 

 

0:47 “I've been a victim of the same thing: communicating in the very beginning with the frontline workers to get their opinion about something, but not following up enough throughout the process. 

 

I think that initial testing, in the field or on the frontline testing, the technology or the process changes. It's very important, but even, especially using an agile methodology, that constant communication of, Hey, did something new come up or is there some special circumstance we can talk about that you didn't talk about before? I absolutely think that communication is key.”

Links

 

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Jan 11, 2022
The Lighthouse of Change - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 038
49:10

Ken White, Change Manager at Lowe’s, shares his experience having worked for the state department of Tennessee to bring all their workers online. Ken joins host Justin Lake to discuss some of the issues that are facing the frontline workforce today and ways that we can work on solving those issues. 

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • The biggest challenge facing the frontline workforce today is technology driven change saturation.
  • Communication is the backbone of change management. It helps to have a good back and forth communication to incorporate change and have it be positivity received. 
  • Project lighthouse was Duke energy’s flagship product to digitally transform itself. 
  • Never stop listening to the customer. You are there to digitally transform products to make their life easier. 
  • There’s no such thing as a bad idea. You want everyone in the company to feel heard and you can always learn something new from any idea. 
  • An empathy map is when you take a typical employee and you take how they feel about their job and what they do into account and try to make them happier. 
  • Every company is turning more and more to technology to get work done because of the pandemic. 

Quote of the show

 

17:57 “An empathy map is taking your typical job roles, say line technician, and we divide them up into four categories. And as the development team, we talk about the typical line technician, and we talk about what the line tech is thinking, what they're actually doing on their job on a daily basis, what they're feeling about what they're doing and what they're saying about what they do and the organization.”

Links

 

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Jan 07, 2022
The Readiness of Change - Frontline Innovators - Episode #037
53:08

Kate DeGon is the Founder and CEO at Changesync. She’s a prosci certified management consultant. She was formerly the President of the Arizona chapter of the Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP). She sits down with host Eugene Signorini to discuss what some of the challenges are that frontline employees are facing. 

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • The biggest challenge facing the frontline workforce today is time. These employees are incredibly busy and when change comes in, that adds extra work onto their plate. 
  • Most frontline employees are remote, so you want to make sure the change you are working on is something that can be done remotely for them and with ease. 
  • Most people are not a huge fan of surprises in the workforce. It’s best to take the time and slowly incorporate the change, so everyone is on the same page.
  • It’s imperative to use technology that is easier to use. There’s no need to use software that makes your job more complicated.
  • The employees are the ones who make the change stick, so making sure they are happy and they understand what is happening is key.
  • Change management teams are typically small, which allows them to quickly pivot to new changes and focus on what employees are saying.
  • You want to find people who will champion the change. They will help facilitate the change and address any issue with it. 

Quote of the show: 

 

5:15 “Readiness is really helping to prepare the employees who are impacted regardless of the level of impact, really helping to prepare them for the impending change. And this precedes the actual formal training.  Let's be honest, most people are not huge a fan of opening up their computer or getting a message somehow and hearing that there's a big change. Those surprises just really aren't welcomed in the workforce.”

Links

 

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Jan 04, 2022
The Bell Curve of Change - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 036
45:53

Mario Aguirre is the Project Manager of Programs, Change & Analytics at a Major Electric Utility. He has over 15 years of management experience in diverse areas. He is driven by his profound desire for a positive impact on others. He joins host Justin Lake and together they talk about some of the biggest challenges the deskless workforce faces. 

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • The deskless workforce is becoming less and less deskless. Innovation in technology is great but with it comes technology that makes those frontline workers tied to certain areas such as trucks or cars. 
  • Listening to employees on the frontline is a key company for management. They have some great insight into what works and doesn’t work in the field. 
  • If you’ve worked as a frontline employee before, you understand the impact of change and decision making and what it really means to those on the frontline.
  • There’s always going to be a bell curve when it comes to change, so it’s important to make sure that frontline employees are aware and prepared for any change and the challenges that come with it. 
  • There are opportunities for any industry to improve. Change enablement is a growing field and it’s important to take advantage of that. 
  •  It’s important to build a great relationship between management and those working on the frontline. 
  • Showing appreciation for those on the frontline is something that can motivate them and make them feel heard and understood.

Quote of the show

 

0:42 “The deskless workforce is becoming less and less desk-less as innovation is being deployed much closer and closer to those frontline employees… As leaders of innovation, we have to ensure that our leaders are engaging those frontline employees and making sure to have a process to do that. What we're deploying is ensuring that our leaders observe the frontline employees and that they seek input from those frontline employees, they solution the opportunity, then they communicate the solution.”

Links

 

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Dec 31, 2021
Different Frontline Personas - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 035
52:19

Sally Fahey, a Global Black Belt - Modern Work Specialist, and First Line Worker at Microsoft, has had the privilege and experience of working with some of Australia's most iconic brands. After graduating from school she worked with a large telecommunications company, where she discovered she really likes how technology can help organizations. Sally is also a Prosci certified change practitioner and she joins host Eugene Signorini to discuss some of the biggest challenges that frontline workers are facing. 

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • The biggest challenge facing the deskless workforce is being understood. It’s important for management to understand the role frontline workers play in the company so they can better help.
  • Those who work on the frontline are multifaceted and can handle many different types of tasks, but that doesn’t mean they should be overloaded with work.
  • Communication is key. You need to have an open channel of communication that is effective in order to better understand and cooperate with deskless workers. 
  • The pandemic has created a fear among frontline workers because they are the ones facing the public which means they are likely to contract the virus.
  • A problem in many organizations is trying to solve niche issues. Rather than doing that, it’s better to have a frontline manager look at this issue and try and solve them.
  • There are many different frontline personas within an organization, and this helps to make it so that change can be incorporated into a company in a smooth manner.
  • Technology is an enabler, but you can’t use technology just to say you are using it. It needs to have a purpose and serve the company in a good way.

Quote of the show

 

0:54 “I think it's as simple as being understood. So it's having people understand the work that they do, the environment that they do it in, and the tools and processes they need to do the work they do today. But also how their role fits in the broader ecosystem of an organization, because these are the people that are making the products for our customers.”

Links

 

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Dec 28, 2021
The Shepherd of Change - Frontline Innovators - Episode #034
55:14

Kristine Dunn is the Manager, Organizational Change and Learning at DTE Energy. She is a certified professional and talent developer with ATD. She has a background in developing cultures, leaders, and teams to create a positive employee experience. Kristine and host Justin Lake discuss some of the challenges that plague frontline employees.

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • The biggest challenge facing the frontline workers today is balancing their daily work while also staying connected to the extended teams back at the office. 
  • Investing in technology that can make communication easier for those who work on the frontline.
  • You want to make sure you are interacting and engaging with those on the frontline in a way that’s reasonable to them as that will positively impact how they react to change.
  • Those who work in change management are shepherds of change, leading the employees to a successful transition.
  • There’a a two pronged approach for change managers trying to help employees handle change; one is how do you personally show up and the other is how do you take action on the work that needs to be done.
  • Communications have really been disrupted in the last few years because of the pandemic, and that makes the lives of deskless employees harder.
  • New technology is constantly being introduced, it makes the learning curve steeper and those on the frontline are going from being an expert to being novice on a constant basis.

Quote of the show

20:39 “Right now we're introducing a lot of new technology to help them work more efficiently. And with that comes this major transition of going from an expert and having that expert status to a learner or a novice… but the reality is it takes time to move back into that expert status again.”

Links

 

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Dec 23, 2021
Utilizing Change - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 033
51:18

Doug Eichhorn, Vice President of Change Enablement at Whole Foods Market has extensive retail experience with over 25 years in various leadership roles. He is both BMI and Prosci certified. Doug joins host Justin Lake to discuss what frontline workers are going through and some of the challenges they face, like the rapid pace of changing information.

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • The biggest challenge facing the deskless force is making sure that they have enough time to adapt to the changes that are coming towards them. 
  • When we get hyper focused on a project, we think that’s the only thing a frontline worker has but they have lots of projects going on all at once.
  • There is an inherent resistance to change. It’s the job of those in change management to show the frontline workers that change isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
  • A common issue is when people are trying to solve an issue they think the end users are experiencing when that actually isn’t an issue at all.
  • You have to remember that some frontline workers are part-time, so dropping new information on them constantly could confuse them and slow down their average work day.
  • If you have a way to communicate in an effective way and cut down on the number of messages sent out, you can increase proficiency and productivity.
  • Change managers are looking at three big things on a daily basis: utilization, proficiency and value.

Quote of the show:

 

0:38 “I think one of the biggest challenges they face is giving those team members that desk-less workforce enough time to absorb the changes that are coming down.

So many times there are multiple originators of work or multiple originators of change requests to that team and team member that they just don't get enough time to actually absorb the change and be able to process through what it means to them, how it impacts their day to day, what it means to do work differently before the next change is hitting them all.”

Links

 

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Dec 21, 2021
Changes for the Mobile Workforce - Frontline Innovators - Episode #032
50:29

Tulsi Keshkamat, Product Management Director - Modern Workplace Transformations at Microsoft has empathy for all the deskless workers and wants to empower them to be the best they can be. She recognizes that digital transformation impacts those on the frontline first and foremost. She joins host Eugene Signorini to talk about ways that upper management can better help those who work on the frontline.

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • Frontline workers need to be a prominent part in the conversation about digital transformation as it affects them more than anyone else. 
  • Frontline workers are mobile first and they are the ones who face the customers, so they need to be up to date on all the latest technology.
  • Communication is extremely important when it comes to upper management trying to be in touch with those on the frontline. A walkie-talkie is a great solution to that. 
  • When it comes to helping frontline workers be more effective in their job, look at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as an example. 
  • The biggest things that deskless workers need is flexibility, access to information and then connection and collaboration.
  • Everyone in an organization learns in different ways. It’s important to take note of this and make sure you adapt to those different ways of learning.

Quote of the show:

 

1:13 “One of the things that this pandemic has brought front and center is that digital transformation, as we think about it for an organization, Critical information workers or what we call the people who have desks, but it is also critical to frontline workers or what you described as the set of people who are desk-less, they're typically mobile first, but the pandemic really did a good, good job of showing us how critical they are.

 

The world cannot run without them. That just became immediately obvious, but also it became important for us to realize that they need to be part of this conversation of digital transformation. If we don't include them, we are going to be left behind and we can't adjust to the changes that are happening.”

Links

 

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Dec 17, 2021
The Puzzle of Change - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 031
57:26

Today’s guest has been working in the natural gas industry since 1995. He worked his way from the bottom of the industry to being a foreman on sites, which is where he discovered his passion for helping people and interacting with them. Now, Brent Shoemaker is the Applications Process Improvement/Training as a Consultant at Williams. He sits down with host Justin Lake to talk about some of the biggest challenges that frontline workers face today. 

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • The biggest challenge facing the frontline workforce today is the rapid change in technology and all different kinds of regulations to follow. 
  • Your company trusts you but you need to make sure that the trust is also earned and verified by your hard work.
  • Documenting work is important so that if there is a mistake then people go back and see where it was made and know how to fix it. 
  • It’s the frontline employees who make the natural gas industry what it is.
  • Those working on the frontline have to deal with the public, their own departments at work and maybe even public safety departments so you can use technology to make their lives easier.
  • Work can be like a massive puzzle, and you need to know where you stand in that puzzle, where the end user stands and how it all fits together. 
  • The more you pile into a frontline employee, the more they will feel overworked and will be more likely to have worse production and a negative outlook on work. 

Quote of the show: 

 

22:17 “We had this massive puzzle and everybody's a piece of that puzzle. You need to know where you're at within that puzzle and how you understand and make sure that the end user knows where they are, how they fit with all these other pieces that creates this one puzzle.

Because the work that they would do on, in their role affects somebody either positive or negative downstream, or vice versa. So it was teaching people, here's Maximo, or here’s Piqua, or here's a locus or here's GIS. Here's these applications and here's how to use it. But here's why you're asking, being asked to use them. And this is how you use it within your role.”

Links

 

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Dec 14, 2021
Facing the Changes - Frontline Innovators - Episode #030
54:59

Adrianne Kelly, Change Management Manager at a major CPG company, has firsthand experience as a frontline worker having worked at a grocery store for over 7 years. While there, she would watch as new people were hired and she developed them to become district managers or be very successful at other companies. Adrianne joins host Justin Lake to share her insights about the biggest challenges facing those on the frontline, such as the amount of time it takes to adapt to new technology.

Takeaways 

 

  • The biggest challenge facing the deskless workforce today is the assumption that learning new technology will be easy no matter what age you are. 
  • There is a fear that if a company becomes too efficient with new technology that it will replace those on the frontline but that isn’t the case. 
  • Technology in the frontline space is a real challenge because it takes time to get adjusted to the changes.
  • It’s a good idea to learn the new technology before you introduce it. If you don’t know how to use it then you can’t properly teach it.
  • Before launching new technology, you want to make sure that it's bug free. That way you don’t have to go through a painful process of constant updates. 
  • Repetition is a good idea. It drives home all the information and that way the employees know where to go if they have any questions.
  • Adrianne’s favorite part about working with technology is that it adds to the innovation.

Quote of the show:

 

15:12 “In all honesty, my first few months or so I literally got trained by the people who worked for me. They showed me everything.

 

I was like, okay, you're going to have to take, if it's a half day, if it's 15 hours, if it's 20 minutes, just take me through every app that a frontline leader uses and how they use it in the field. Take me out to the field. Let's look at product lines. Let's look at sales, let's look at everything that we need to look at.

 

And that's how I got acclimated to it. It was truly like what we were talking about earlier. It was truly like I had to get my hands on it. I had to kind of bypass my own fears and say the only way that I'm going to be able to teach this is to learn it. So I need to go learn it.”

Links

 

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Dec 10, 2021
The Communication Gap - Frontline Innovators - Episode #029
55:39

Jennifer Pickert earned her degree in theater and has adapted those skills to help in her role as Manager of Change Leadership - Front Line Operations at Southwest Airlines. While directing plays in college she learned how to have interactions with people that built great relationships. Jennifer shares with host Justin Lake that sometimes the best way to solve issues facing those on the frontline is by simply asking them what you can do to better help them.

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • The biggest challenge facing frontline workers today is finding a way to communicate effectively with management about what changes are happening and what it means for them.
  • You need to understand the struggles that everyone goes through at different locations. Not all frontline workers are going through the same issues.
  • There is a fear that with the advancement in technology it could replace deskless workers but that isn’t the case, and it needs to be made more clear
  • A solution to an issue doesn’t always have to be complicated. Sometimes the answer is simply asking how those on the frontline can be better helped. 
  • Not every company has a corporate email or device for frontline workers to use, and those aren’t the best method for reaching those employees.
  • It’s going to take time for employees to adapt to new changes, so that needs to be kept in mind because those employees will remember how it went last time. 
  • Jennifer likes to see the changes in technology and making employees lives easier through these changes. 

Quote of the show:

 

2:29: “Truly at the end of the day I really believe what moves that needle, are relationships. It's not going to be about the fancy newsletter that you put out with a digital sign that you show, it's really about understanding the culture and the dynamics at a specific location. Be that an airport, an area headquarters, like wherever that environment is and going there and understanding what people are up against, understanding what their days look like, understanding what's most important to them. You can't win hearts and minds without knowing their language.”

Links

 

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Dec 07, 2021
The Right Elements in Place - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 028
42:14

On today’s episode of Frontline Innovators, the guest went to school for chemical engineering and has spent his entire life in technology. Alok Pant, the CEO at Unvired Inc, joins host Euegene Signorini. Together they go over some of the biggest challenges that deskless workers face, such as learning new apps designed to make their lives and jobs easier out in the field. 

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed every company to switch as much as they can to digital rather than paper, and this creates more technology for those on the frontline to learn with very little training and constant updates and changes
  • There are 4 challenges that frontline workers face; making sure they can do their work effectively, user adoption change management, how do you train those in these field on the new app, and how do you deploy the app.
  • Training and change management are not one in the same, although mos think that they are. 
  • Communication between everyone ranging from the vendor to the CEO is key to running a successful business, and that doesn’t stop with deskless workers.
  • A mobile app is a great way to stay in touch with those who work in the field. Oftentimes they might not even have an email, but you can send a notification right to them.
  • When developing new technology, you want to make sure it is user friendly and intuitive for those on the frontline.
  • Projects are more successful when an executive sponsor or somebody else on the customer’s side are heavily interested in the project.

Quote of the show

17:03 “If you think of change management, OCM, it starts with leadership. Right from the CEO to the vice presidents, everybody has to be committed to something they're trying to change, the process. And that's why digitization is happening. So I think it starts from leadership.

 

A very important component of change management is communication to all stakeholders, to all your employees, even to maybe board members, investors. the money spent is significant, and of course, to your vendors. Communication has to be key. That's what we found.”

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Dec 03, 2021
Conceptualizing the Changes - Frontline Innovators - Episode #027
48:19

The pandemic has had an effect on all frontline workers that we are still trying to understand today. That’s what today’s guest sees as one of the major issues that frontline workers face. Cristina Rivera, the Manager of Future Ready Workforce at PepsiCo, has a passion for finding new ways to make others lives easier. She joins host Justin Lake to sit down and talk about how not only the pandemic, but the speed of change are some of the issues that currently plague today’s deskless workforce. 

Takeaways 

 

  • The biggest challenge facing the frontline workers today is the speed in change of skills.
  • Learning new skills while being a frontline worker is a multi-generational issue. It doesn’t only affect the older workers in the position. 
  • Those on the frontline often feel overworked, feeling like they are doing more work with less people. A way to combat this is to make sure those on the frontline are up to date on their skills and fully trained.
  • Those in a position of change management need to take into account the fear that frontline workers have that technology will replace them, and help them understand that it won’t take their job away. 
  • Frontline workers need to hear from other frontline workers who have gone through the changes to know what to expect, hearing it from someone in corporate isn’t as impactful to them. 
  • You would use different strategies to communicate change in a typical corporate job than you would use with frontline workers. 
  • The biggest question right now is how do we get more people back in the workforce and increase the amount of workers taking  frontline jobs.

Quote of the show

15:34 “​Any time we want to roll out something with the intent to make their lives easier that with the intent to make things smoother or more effective, the fear comes in. I think that fear is one of the biggest things that people who are in charge of change management and any culture shift in an organization, those human elements are the pieces that we have to tend to the most because that's what is changing much more than my behaviors and me pushing whatever buttons.”

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Nov 30, 2021
The Leadership Behind Change - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 026
53:27

Kristi Walker, Change Management Consultant at Arizona Public Service, joins host Justin Lake to discuss the constant changes that frontline workers are seeing and what tools are out there to make their lives easier. With over 20 years of experience in change management, she was also the assistant executive director at the Arizona Exposition and State Fair.  

 

Takeaways 

 

  • The biggest challenge facing the deskless worker today is the transfer of information between people.
  • Always know your audience. If you are trying to sell change, you want to know what your selling can actually help those deskless workers.
  • Promote the “desire” piece of change. Those on the frontline should have a desire to try the new change you are promoting, and it makes it harder to accept if they don’t look forward to it.
  • Working from home was a difficult task for frontline workers. They still have to go out everyday while others don’t have to, so making sure they are acknowledged and rewarded for their hard work is a key to keeping them happy.
  • Having field workers on your change champion network is a great idea. Not only do the frontline workers feel more valued in that case, but there might be an issue they are having that upper management might not have known otherwise.
  • Face-to-face communication is always better than electronic communication.

Quote of the show:

 

0:43 “The biggest challenge for them right now is communications. We have such a hard time making sure that they get the information they need to be successful. We've worked with their leadership to get involved, they have these tailgate meetings before the start of every shift. You really have to get in front of them, kind of face-to-face if you can, to get the information across. So that's our main way of working with them, but we're always exploring new ways to really reach out and make sure they have what they need.”

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Nov 23, 2021
Drip Feed Learning - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 025
52:24

Listening to deskless workers can provide valuable feedback for those in the management position. On this episode of Frontline Innovators, host Justin Lake is joined by Shelby Matzell, Manager, Gas Transformation Change Office at National Grid. Together they talk about how utilizing feedback from the frontline workers can make those hard workers feel heard and understood, while also answering questions that management may not have known where being asked. 

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • The biggest challenge facing deskless workers today is being able to reach them with communication. 
  • With frontline workers not being in the office, it’s important to stay in touch with them. All teams should be on the same app to make that easier. 
  • Repetition is key. You can’t expect people to understand new technologies or new plans on the first try, so it’s important to have a process and plan in place to explain it all.
  • Listen to those on the frontline. They might need a refresher on an app or a tool, whatever it may be, as long as you listen to them and help it only makes everyone’s job easier. 
  • Video presentations are an easier way of learning to use technology rather than just sharing screenshots.
  • Drip-feed learning is when you provide information to those on the frontline in a slow and methodical way, rather than overloading them with change.

Quote of the show:

 

11:51 “I would say if we could just take their feedback from any form that we're able to get that from, whether it's a survey, live feedback, anything that they're requesting more info on, or just like we talked about a tool.

If it's a tool that they need a refresher on, whatever it is that they're asking for. And if we have the ability to deliver that for them doing the best we can to meet them where they need to be. Because I do think if we were able to take their feedback or their suggestions and deliver, then they would be more receptive to anything else that we bring to them in terms of communication or in terms of what they need to know for their role, and being able to deliver that as well.”

 

 

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Nov 19, 2021
Keying In on Successful Change - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 024
50:45

Corbin Kimberling, the ITSM Change Manager at Sage Therapeutics, knows that the process in change management and being proactive is key to change management success. Along with host Justin Lake, they go over ways that successful change can help those on the frontline, as well as the role empathy plays in understanding the struggles of the deskless workers.

Takeaways 

 

  • The biggest issue facing the deskless workers today is the communication gap between those in upper management and the frontline workers themselves. 
  • The people who create changes to new applications and infrastructure have the best intentions for helping those on the frontline but they don’t understand what they really need.
  • Companies that don’t have a change management department are often being more reactive to change rather than being proactive. 
  • Frontline workers greatly appreciate communication in the field. It makes their lives and jobs easier and better.
  • You need to have processes in place to have successful change, but you also need a process in place in case of emergencies.
  • Incomplete Testing is when a change in a product is tested but only to see if the change works, not how it interacts with the rest of the product. 

Quote of the show:

 

4:33 “People that create these new changes to applications, new changes to infrastructure, their intention is to help out and to make it better. A lot of times what's causing these changes are the people that are on the frontline. They're sending in a ticket saying, ‘hey, it'd be better if it worked here.’

And I think the assumption is, well, if I go out there and change that everyone's going to celebrate me and I'm going to be great. It's gonna be awesome. And they forget exactly what they've asked for. But that was one person and that one person, may be in a specific place where they may not understand what all the other people are going through.”

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Nov 16, 2021
Aligning Technology with Business - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 023
46:58

After working at companies like eBay and Sports Authority doing business and system analysis, Ashish Nangia, Program Manager II of Configuration and Change Management at Amazon, Inc. went back to school to learn about something he is passionate about; management information systems. Ashish, joins host Justin Lake to discuss ways that upper management can show their appreciation for deskless workers and come up with solutions for everyday issues that they face. 

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • The biggest challenge facing the frontline workers right now is making sure they feel more valued and wanted. 
  • Safety is the priority with frontline workers. You want to make sure they are able to do their job safely but you also don’t want to diminish their abilities for incentives with all the change.
  • The pandemic has changed a lot for the frontline workers, but the biggest change is the mental aspect of it that is added to what is already a physically demanding job.
  • One way to help frontline workers understand the technology better is to offer a daily learning session where they can spend a certain amount of time asking questions and trying out different things on the new technology.
  • It’s better to explain why the process of new technology works rather than explaining how it works because everyone is at a different step with technology.
  • Changing technology is good, but it is changing at such a rapid pace that those on the frontline are struggling to keep up with it. 

Quote of the show: 

 

1:06 “What has not been taken into consideration is the thought process and the feelings that somebody who's at the front end, who doesn't have that flexibility goes through. And I think as a leader and as bigger companies, I think those thought processes are now being thought of at the front end. And some of the changes are coming through.

You see companies offering education, or funding, college tuition, and so on. So the biggest challenge is how do you make them feel more valued? So it's a level playing field for everybody in the organization.”

 

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Nov 12, 2021
Getting Through the Change Cycle - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 022
41:26

On this episode of Frontline Innovators, Michelle Pacilli, the Change Adoption Manager at Echo Global Logistics, joins host Justin Lake to talk about the biggest challenges facing frontline workers today and how a sense of community amongst deskless workers and management can help those on the frontline get through issues they are facing. 

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • The biggest challenge that frontline workers face today is how they can make working from home easier on themselves.
  • The sense of community that has occurred during the pandemic is helpful for frontline workers. It helps them to feel connected to management and not alone.
  • During the pandemic, many companies switched from making their typical products to help those in need, which influenced how those on the frontline do their work.
  • The frontline workers are the ones that speak directly to the customers, so they need to be up to date on all the latest technology and information.
  • Letting the stakeholders and frontline workers try out new technologies is a great way to get realistic feedback on what works and what doesn’t.
  • TMS is a Transportation Management System; it’s how companies like Echo Global Logistics manage their day to day tasks such as billing and invoicing.

Quote of the Show: 

 

1:34 “The silver lining of everything that's happened over the last two years is that we've developed a community in a sense, in any aspect, whether that be at work or at home frontline workers.

 

We've developed this sense of 'got to get through this together and what are you doing to help you get through this?’ And so it's very interesting.” 

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Nov 09, 2021
Heroes within a Pandemic - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 21
52:25

Maddie Neuman shares her admiration for the bravery and courage of frontline workers - particularly during the pandemic. Neauman, is the Manager, Learning & Development & Organizational Change Management Office within the Technology organization at T-Mobile. She joins host Justin Lake to give her insight on how upper management can show appreciation for those deskless workers.

Takeaways 

 

  • The biggest issue facing the deskless worker is the lack of communication. Sometimes communication can be like a game of telephone tag and the meaning of the message gets lost on the way to those on the frontline.
  • There isn’t one certain way to do change management. There are plenty of different strategies and it’s worth trying a few different ones to get the one that works for you.
  • Those on the frontline are the ones who have the best perspective of what the customers want or need.
  • With everyone working remotely, it’s important to think of ways to have employees be engaged, and a great way of doing that is by listening to the questions deskless workers have.
  • Frontline workers were the ones keeping the stores alive during the pandemic, going into the store everyday and answering the phone and providing anything customers need.
  • Change fatigue is what happens when humans reach their limit of how much change they can handle.

Quote of the show:

 

1:28  “I think sometimes even if communication is trickling down, it changes and morphes as it moves along. And so I think sometimes the issue is the lack of communication.

And sometimes the issue is the changing of the communication as it makes its way through. So I think that's a really big challenge. And I would also say an opportunity for organizations to look at how to get that right, and how to make sure that employee voices and sentiment from the frontline is heard and taken seriously.”

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Nov 05, 2021
The People Side of Change - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 20
57:43

Today’s guest is a former frontline employee, and uses his past experience to help make life easier for other deskless workers. Lee Goldstein is a Change Manager at a major energy corporation, and he joins host Justin Lake to give his insight on how to help those frontline employees and make their lives easier through the use of new technology.

Takeaways 

 

  • The biggest challenge that deskless workers face today is communication. Often these employees are working odd hours, holidays, and weekends which makes it difficult for them to reach someone in management with any issues or questions.
  • Those in management can go out in the field or ride in a truck with those frontline workers to understand what their daily life is like and the struggles they face, and have a better understanding of how to solve any issues they face. 
  • It’s difficult to get frontline workers to adopt new technology. These employees are keeping the lights on and their job depends on understanding how the new technology works, if it’s too complicated there could be major issues. 
  • If you leave the frontline workers out when thinking of new technology, that isn’t helpful. Their input is incredibly valuable as they are the ones that will be using the technology all the time.
  • The buy-in for your organization starts with asking “why?”. Just asking why you are doing something can determine if it is something that is necessary or not. 
  • Getting to know the frontline workers in your company is a valuable thing. They are people with their own hopes and dreams for the company, it’s worth listening to them.

Quote of the show:

 

12:04 “There's two real parts to project management, change management, if you will. There's the technical side and then there's the people side. So I was on the technical side, so if you're creating a product or you're introducing something, building something, whatever, just call it technical. And then there's the people side of it. 

So I really made that jump from the operations technical side over to the people side because I've tried to tell people, it's just that altruistic jump that you make at some point. You really want to help people. And it might not make sense, but it's a path to get to the people in a new and special and impactful way. And so for the past couple of years, I've been in a change management role and it's been incredible.”

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Nov 02, 2021
The Workers are the Solution - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 19
51:43

Making sure the lights and power stay on are often things that are taken for granted, but the men and women on the frontlines are hard at work every day keeping everything going. Kurt Kidwell, a continuous improvement manager for a major electric utility, joins the host Justin Lake to talk about ways that management can listen to those on the frontline and come up with helpful solutions to their problems. 

 

Takeaways 

  • The biggest challenge facing the deskless worker right now is how virtual meetings impact those frontline employees. Virtual meetings make it difficult to connect with those working outside on the frontline.
  • The frontline workers are the most impacted and the most at risk when it comes to technology. It’s important to make sure the technology is easy enough to master and able to use it anywhere on the road.
  • Give the deskless workers one device and have them do all their work from that one device and limit the amount of things they are asked to do. That will allow them to be freed up to do their job. 
  • A common problem when creating a new app or a new way of doing work for those on the frontline is that people focus on what sounds good in an office, but that often doesn’t apply to those deskless workers and it isn’t good in the field. You can't build mobile technology solutions from a conference room.
  • The worker is the solution, not the problem to be solved. Management often tries to find new technologies to help the frontline workers, and those workers are the most important part of the equation.
  • Frontline workers have been through so much change that the older workers won’t be as surprised as the younger workers will be.

 

Quote of the show:

17:08 In terms of developing new technology... “what sounds good in an office - most times that isn't good in the field. And a lot of times we see a transfer of responsibility of gathering information down to the field and it's not intentional. I think it's something that as this technology develops and we're learning and I'm trying to get better. It's something that kind of just happens and we have to really be careful to be mindful and watch what responsibilities and what things that are we asking of our frontline employees to do.”

 

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Oct 29, 2021
Change Whiplash - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 18
48:21

With technology constantly evolving, it can be difficult for deskless workers to keep up with all the change. Nikki Tollefson, Principal Change Consultant, Human Resources at C.H. Robinson, joins host Gene Signorini to give her insight on how to properly execute changing technology for those on the frontline without overwhelming them at the same time. 

Takeaways 

 

  • Over the last 18 months, frontline workers have been faced with so much change to make their role more efficient but at the same time it creates a challenge of trying to avoid so much change at one time.
  • There’s no need to make any new changes or projects overly complicated. Keeping it simple is the best way to go because that won’t overwhelm people, and it allows them the chance to ease into the change.
  • It’s no longer about making change the “new shiny toy”, instead it’s important to be humble about it and be mindful of how you connect the dots.
  • Change management is like a three legged stool. HR, Finance and Technology all need to work together in order to make sure the entire structure remains strong.
  • Technology isn’t necessarily the solution, it is the impetus to change. 
  • Really strong stakeholder management, strong partnerships with those deskless workers, and a strong dose of humility is incredibly important when it comes to change management. 

Quote of the show:

 

5:15   “Our employees, whether they sit at a desk or they're on that frontline, they're that deskless worker, have more going on than they've ever had going on before. And how I think that's shifted my approach to how I think about the work that I do is I think how do I make it less about my change really in some ways. 

Because again, I think if we can get really, really excited about the project that we're working on and how do I make it more about what's going to make sense for them. And really that is my guiding principle that I've tried to use over this last year specifically is don't over-engineer it right? Like, keep it as simple as possible for people.”

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Oct 26, 2021
Change Saturation - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 17
54:59

Sean Higgins, Organizational Change Manager for Insight Global, has empathy for the frontline workers after his time working at a grocery store. He uses this empathy to better relate to those deskless workers and the struggles that they face on a daily basis. 

On this episode of Frontline Innovators, Sean and Justin discuss how the deskless worker can be better prepared for the changes in technology that they face. 

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • The way in which the roles will be changing for frontline employees in terms of new technology being implemented is one of the biggest challenges they face. 
  • Having empathy for those working on the frontline is extremely important. The struggles that they face are important to management and should be taken notice of. 
  • When working for a grocery store, Sean noticed the positive change of introducing new technology into the store, such as being able to communicate with any other employee at a moment’s notice to answer any questions.
  • Change saturation is about assessing the changes that are happening within the organization.
  • Management doesn’t want to deflect you from anything that can make the frontline worker more successful.
  • You need to be able to stand firm on your goals and know when they are not on track, and what to do to get them back on track.

Quote of the show:

 

9:30 "​​When I went into some of the stores as part of the team to develop the training, update the communications and so forth - there was, I don't want to say equal group, but - there was a group of people, very excited about being able to use technology in their day-to-day work.

So maybe they had been in a role in that store for a few years. They'd done different things, different departments. Now they're introducing this kind of new, fresh way of working. It's got a high profile, you get a different shirt than the rest of the employees. So you also want to leverage that too.”

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Oct 19, 2021
The Swinging Pendulum- Frontline Innovators - Episode # 16
58:55

Jimmy Alyea, Senior Planner and Change Management Specialist at Oxiteno, is a demonstrated leader in both supply chain management and marketing. After working for an oil company where he saw that there were ways to speed up general processes and make them more efficient, he decided to get into change management.

On this episode of Frontline Innovators, Jimmy and Justin discuss how the deskless worker can be better prepared for the changes in technology that they face. 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • Communication is the biggest challenge facing the deskless worker. Ever since the iPhone came out and we entered the digital age officially, we started migrating from old fashion in person meetings to phone calls, to text messages, video chatting.
  • There are two ways to do any job; the easy way or the hard way. Jimmy got into change management as a way to get a job done in an easier way. 
  • The frontline workers need to be more empowered. They are the ones who are using the technology on a daily basis, they deserve to have their voices heard on any changes.
  • The men and women on the frontline represent 80% of the global workforce. 
  • There are 5 outcomes for change to be successful: Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement (ADKAR Method)
  • The change management process is a team process. You either move forward as a team or you move backward as a team.

Quote of the show:

 

19:39  “Frontline workers are talking to upper management and saying, Hey, we should be doing it this way. And It's interesting to see how they sell their ideas to upper management, which tends to be more effective because they're not forcing it on them.

 

They're telling them, Hey, we want to be more efficient. This is a better idea. As, I guess you could say as a generation X-er, I'm having to learn. Okay. That is a good idea. How do I do it? And I'm having to go to them to get taught how to work their ideas with their technology. And they have a lot of great ideas.

 

And if you don't empower them and listen to them and give them that microphone to speak up, then you're going to see companies fail. And the upper managers, the older, more experienced workforce is going to get pushed out.”

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Oct 12, 2021
Breaking In New Work Technology - Frontline Innovators - Episode #015
55:33

Jessica Sirico, Senior Training and Change Management Specialist at Suez, is here to help the deskless worker navigate an ever changing world. On this episode of Frontline Innovators, Justin and Jessica discuss how they can better prepare those on the frontline for rapid changes. 

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • The amount of changes happening at one time is the biggest challenge facing deskless workers today. 
  • It’s more critical now than ever for companies to have change management so employees can thoroughly understand how the changes coming up will impact them. 
  • It’s important for the frontline workers to feel connected to the people who work in corporate. Going out to the field and seeing what a day in their life looks like can strengthen those relationships.
  • In IT, the impact of new technology implementation often neglects the human side and how the change can make people feel. 
  • Change management is really a collective effort. It’s not just the managers themselves that are leading it, but middle managers and frontline employees all need to be a part of it.
  • When you are training frontline workers on new technology, the goal is to make the training as simple as possible and work your way up to the complicated steps. 
  • Jessica’s favorite part of change management is when she can see the employees she has trained are comfortable and prepared for the changes they will soon face. 

Quote of the show

50:15  “I always say that learning a new technology for work is like breaking in a new pair of workboots. You are very comfortable in your current pair but maybe they are falling apart, maybe they aren’t safe anymore, so you have to change, you have to get a new pair.

It might take a week to break them, you might get some blisters, you might not feel comfortable but it’s going to get better. That’s the message I always have to portray. 

It’s going to be rocky the first couple of days and that’s expected, no one expects you to come out of the gate perfect but you will get past all those bumps and all those hiccups and we are here to support you as well.”

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Oct 05, 2021
Mending the Learning Gap - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 14
45:30

Andrea Johnson, Senior Manager of Change Management at Sprouts, is passionate about continuous learning and empowering change. She improves customer and employee experiences through human-centered design and technology enablement. 

On this episode of Frontline Innovators, Andrea and Justin discuss how change management professionals can help deskless workers understand new changes and how it benefits them. 

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • The speed of change is one of the biggest challenges facing deskless workers today. It’s a lot easier to digest change if you understand why it’s happening, but the message doesn’t always get down to frontline employees.
  • Andrea started her career in digital product marketing with huge teams that developed products for customers, but the systems they used didn’t line up with what they needed
  • You can invest millions of dollars into a system but at the end of the day if people aren’t using it then the residual income is zero. People still need to use the system to make it worthwhile.
  • You need all hands on deck and everyone needs to have bought in so that they can tell you what can work and what might not work. 
  • If leadership hasn’t bought in, that rolls down hill and eventually the end-user won’t buy-in.
  • The fact that technology is always changing is something that is exciting to Andrea. It makes each day different. 
  • There are many different learning styles in any given workplace that each span different generations, learning to teach to each one is beneficial.

Quote of the show:

18:53 “You have 5 generations in the workforce. There’s not a one size fits all OCM plan, rinse and repeat. You have to, one, account for all the generations and learning styles, how readily they are to embrace technology and respond in different ways. 

Some people want to get help in different ways. Some people don’t want to sit in an instructor-led training, they’d rather just have some bite-sized video online. It’s really understanding the audiences and their pain points with the current state and figuring out how to make that case for them that it might be a little painful at first, nothing is going to be without its hiccups but at the end of the day when we get through this. 

We’re going to make your job easier, be more productive, whatever those benefits and they have to believe it.” 

 

 

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Sep 28, 2021
Change: Inevitable, Not Easy - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 13
56:29

Blanca Nieto, Change Management Specialist, joins host Justin Lake on this episode of Frontline Innovators Change Management Leadership series. They discuss keeping up with the rapid pace of technology and how to facilitate these changes for employees with different levels of understanding and comfort.

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • We grow in community, we don’t grow in isolation.
  • Change is inevitable, but it’s not easy.
  • Don’t make assumptions. For you, one thing might be easy. For me, it might be hard. 
  • Use QR technology as a resource.
  • Don’t wait for customers to tell you what they need. Understand the future for them.
  • There will always be diversity in the level of adoption and comfort with technology.

 

Links

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Sep 21, 2021
Making Change Work - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 12
51:24

On this episode of Frontline Innovators Brett Broadrick, Senior Organizational Change Consultant at Cerner Corporation joins host Justin Lake to talk change management!

 

Change causes a lot of anxiety and frustration. But--just like gravity--we can’t fight it. We can leverage it, and we can know how to work with it, but we know that technology is ultimately going to change frontline workers’ experiences. Instead of glossing over this reality, what can we do with this reality? What can we do for the frontline worker? Change management doesn’t erase the transition a company goes through when implementing change, but it can shorten it and shallow the curve.  

 

Takeaways 

 

  • The biggest challenge facing the deskless workforce: sacrificing quality for efficiency
  • How a company can be a “change architect” 
  • Why you must not leave your frontline workers out of the planning process
  • Change management and the William Bridges transition model
  • What is ADKAR and where does training fall in this process
  • Pathways to recovery are numerous, but they all boil down to the same change management methodology in the way that our brains work

 

Links

 

 

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Sep 16, 2021
Innovating for Successful Change - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 11
44:03

Scott Kameron, President & COO of EVS, LLC, joins host Eugene Signorini to discuss how impactful having a change management system is when implementing new digital technology. Focusing on the people behind the process is crucial to the success of digital adoption.

 

Takeaways 

 

  • “People are struggling with software that was built to accommodate business processes but wasn't built to accommodate people.”- Scott
  • It's critical to comprehend the entire procedure and truly comprehend the ultimate objective and how you may accommodate that without having to add a macro level just by developing software and functionality to deal with each checkbox.
  • When it comes to bringing anything new, from a technology and process standpoint, a lot of the things holding firms back are just the complexity and the general organizational nervousness.
  • Organizational change management is a fantastic tool, and there is no substitute for being able to comprehend how technology will interact with people and process great technology, amazing user experience, screens, and hardware to solve organizational challenges.
  • “One of the things that we've seen in overcoming some of these challenges is the gamification metrics.” - Scott

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Aug 17, 2021
Creating Successful Teams - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 10
01:03:37

Chris Grubbs, Program Manager at Southwest Airlines, joins host Justin Lake to discuss how to bridge the gap between frontline workers and management. He also discusses how Southwest Airlines have adapted to technological changes and have created successful teams

 

Takeaways 

 

  • Engage frontline leaders by getting them to share feedback to bring to management which will in turn lower their frustration and stress levels.
  • Keep frontline workers involved by having mechanics and inspectors participate in pilot testing gathering their feedback electronically.
  • It's beneficial to have frontline employees become evangelists so that when returning to their team they feel that their feelings have been heard by the management.
  • “There's always multiple opportunities to enhance customer service to provide more capabilities to our operational team on the ground as they service those customers.” - Chris

Links

 

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Aug 11, 2021
Sea of Change - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 9
51:50

Sarah Nicastro, Vice President of Customer Advocacy at IFS, joins host Eugene Signorini to share her insight on technological advances that can affect company operations and business practices.

 

Takeaways 

 

  • The pace of change, whether in corporate strategy or technology, is one of the greatest challenges. 
  • “Change is not always easy, it can be very challenging even if it is a good change.” - Sarah
  • Technology and client expectations are mutually reinforcing. Technology evolves, shifting and changing the customer expectations. As a result, those expectations become more demanding, and the cycle continues.
  • Companies can set themselves up for success if they regard change management as a necessity and approach it in a different way.
  • “A little bit of reassurance in the form of articulating to those frontline workers, how they fit into this new world, and this new vision can make a world of difference.” - Sarah
  • The failure of a company to recognize how knowledgeable their frontline employees are, causes a sense of dissatisfaction, which is not conducive to change initiative.

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Aug 03, 2021
Solving Disconnects - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 8
49:51

Shari Christofferson, President at Mobile Systems Intelligence by Connect Inc, shares her unique expertise as well as solutions to typical problems seen facing deskless workers.

 

Christofferson with host Eugene Signorini, discuss new technology and the disconnects between corporate workers and today's frontline workforce and how it can influence workflow.

 

Takeaways 

  • Both decision-makers and front-line workers are trying to improve mobile adoption and digital transformation as it occurs in the field.
  • There is a disconnect, certain gaps that prevent the front-line workers from having a voice and expressing themselves and this is a bit of a mismatch for both ends.
  • “There's a space there where the users have something they're trying to use and when it's breaking down, it is referred to as a disconnect.” - Shari
  • Frontline workers are often hesitant to embrace technology due to frustration, nervousness, or a lack of understanding of how to use it.
  • Understanding what frontline staff are going through and being able to provide support so they can fulfil their obligations and jobs more efficiently is critical.
  • “There are so many far reaching implications of this disconnect between what the users are experiencing with the technology and what the intention is.” - shari
  • The challenge is to develop a feedback loop between the user, the support team, and the IT team that needs to assist them.

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Jul 27, 2021
Putting it Together - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 7
44:40

John Wirthlin, Industry Principal of Manufacturing, Transportation & Logistics at Zebra Technology, shares with host Eugene Signorini that how to empower the frontline workforce is about getting them the most information where they are, in the field. These frontline workers rely on their mobile devices for the most up to date, real time information as possible. 

 

Takeaways 

  • Providing as much real time information as you can from a mobile device into that workers hands is key
  • There is a need to marry silo data sources such as an order management system, transportation management system & other factors into one system for ease of access
  • Increase in demand, but decrease in labor post-COVID
  • Use new technology (such as augmented reality) to train new employees quickly especially in warehouses, which simplifies and cuts down on nonproductive hours
  • “Solution first - and the right hardware is there that will fit into the right solution,” John Wirthlin
  • People make projects successful, not technology; involving the frontline workers in the process of creating new technology will help increase adaptation and pride 
  • Automation can take on less productive work to make room for workers to leverage their time in more productive ways 

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Jul 20, 2021
Thinking Outside Four Walls - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 6
37:13

Mike Smola, Vice President of Strategic Mobility Team at Panasonic, is a leading advocate for helping frontline workers grasp mobile technology. Mike shares with host Gene Signorini his take on the greatest challenge facing the frontline workers and how it’s changed in a post pandemic world. 

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • The biggest challenge facing frontline workers is enabling the frontline worker to be productive in the environment in which they work
  • Being outside of the 4-walls of the corporate building creates an obstacle for frontline workers, they can’t access tech support by walking down the hall
  • When developing any product it’s critical to understand the use case and where the product is being used - take a walk in the customer's shoes, understand what they are doing so the product can be built to support that
  • There is an expectation/requirement from millennials that technology be small, smart and simple
  • Deployment of technology increased exponentially during the pandemic which had a drastic effect on the frontline workforce
  • With Artificial Intelligence (AI), 5G, high data throughput through the cloud gives frontline workers tremendous insight, better functionality to do their job and empowers them to make better decisions at a job site
  • “One day is different from the next… There is always a new challenge. There are so many great things you learn listening to the customer,” Mike Smola

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Jul 13, 2021
The Other Side of Modern - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 5
54:02

On this episode of Frontline Innovators we talk with Daniel Schumacher - the Director of Global IT Applications and Digital Innovations. Daniel talks about how important the wellbeing of the frontline workers is and how to familiarize them with modern, innovative technology.

 

Daniel Schumacher shares his unique insights gained by putting himself in the shoes of frontline workers to investigate the issues they encounter with technology.

Takeaways 

 

  • “... The challenge is the fundamental shift of thinking of the frontline workforce first and foremost, when it comes to technology enablement.” - Daniel
  • Only once you have a thorough understanding of how the work is done, what is working and what isn't, can you begin to address the issues.
  • When firm executives involve frontline workers in the process, a positive relationship develops between them and the headquarters, increasing the adoption of technology once it is available.
  • It is only when you talk to the frontline workers that you can understand what could have been done differently if they had the appropriate tools.
  • “I think the biggest challenge is getting the technology that we put in their [frontline workers] hands to work the exact same way as any other tool that they pick up.” - Daniel
  • You can have the most advanced technologies available. However, if you don't know how to make it relevant to the person, you won't be effective.

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Jul 06, 2021
Understanding the Frontline Workforce - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 4
01:04:25

On this episode of Frontline Innovators, Eric McKinney, Enterprise Infrastructure Director at G & J Pepsi-Cola Bottlers, joins host Justin Lake. Together they discuss how important it is to make frontline workers feel heard and to understand the issues they encounter from their perspective.

 

Eric McKinney shares his valuable experience as he stepped into the shoes of the frontline workforce to explore the problems they face with technology.

 

Takeaways 

 

  • Covid has transformed the way the world looks at work, but the frontline staff has been left out because they have direct touch with customers. As a result, frontline workers are unaware of the concept of working from home.
  • You gain a better feel of technology if you listen to the frontline workers, then take this information and report to the back office teams; example: accounting, about inventories and where items are and how you can accommodate them.
  • Engaging frontline workers so that they can contribute to the process rather than just be on the receiving end is a great way to show them that they are being heard.
  • You need to be a salesperson to understand your frontline workers, but don't do it because you work for the same firm. If you do, your change management strategy will face resistance.
  • There's also that fear that comes that the frontline workforce is going to be replaced or outsourced by some robot or technology. - Eric
  • There is a gap between when we plan these tech investments and innovation plans and how frontline employees feel about them.

Links

 

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Jul 02, 2021
The Analytics Behind Frontline - Frontline Innovators - Episode #3
51:19

On this episode of Frontline Innovators, we discuss new technology and analytics of today’s desk-less frontline workforce. What is the best technology for your team? How can companies better address the frontline workers’ pain points?

Deanna Self, Industry Principal - Supply Chain at Zebra Technologies, shares her experience with frontline workers and addressing pain points through technology implementation.

 

Takeaways 

  • Being desk-less is one of the biggest challenges facing the frontline workforce. It can be a challenge keeping up to date on new policies without easy access to communication through technology.
  • Many companies do not have analytics on the frontline. These are essential to optimizing operations and deciphering whether or not the go-to-market strategy needs to be reorganized.
  • Not everything requires technology to be solved. Find what makes the most sense for your organization based on the long term objectives. 
  • When discussing with the frontline workforce you are often talking within silos. A lot of times a company will implement a change but not understand how it will impact up or down stream.
  • Be proactive on the innovation front. Look at the technology through a need to have versus want to have lens. Is implementing _____ technology going to help now or is it something to circle back to in the future.
  • The pandemic allowed people to prove that they can accomplish their tasks outside of the traditional work settings.

 

Links

 

Ways To Tune In

Jun 22, 2021
Creating the Right Team - Frontline Innovators - Episode #2
52:41

On this episode of Frontline Innovators, Michael Langley, VP of Business Transformation at Pepsi Bottling Ventures, joins host Justin Lake to discuss the challenges of implementing technology that directly impacts the frontline workforce. 

 

Michael brings true awareness, and a sense of empathy as a former driver himself! “Meet them where they are,” Michael says. It’s important to have first hand experience with the frontline worker, not just build technology from a conference room. 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • Meeting them where they are - in terms of technical proficiency and other job skills, and how they accept change, are they willing to accept change
  • Change management is key for digital adoption. If you want end users to embrace new technology, make them part of the process! Don’t just ask for input but include end users in the process!
  • Understanding the frontline workers is critical. Frontline workers need to be part of the dedicated team to understand how they’re trying to use the information, their constraints and all the pain points… you need to spend some time in the field. 
  • Look at people as individuals; age isn’t indicative of curiosity, aptitude or ability
  • The future of frontline workers and IT is about safety, security and creating easier workflows
  • For safety, drivers certainly play a crucial role, and anything that can help them be safer on the road, not robotics necessarily, should be explored
  • In stores, Google glasses may be a thing. Could this create more seamless ordering, or is it a potential security risk?
  • Looking to the future for change management; great idea to let technology take over for some manual, tedious things, which could help elevate some individuals roles
  • “I’ve been extremely blessed that I’ve had organizations that have supported me, family that has supported me, and certainly the ability to get the education needed to help me better be able to implement the technology and the skills I needed to be successful.”

Links

 

Jun 17, 2021
Technology Workplace Balance - Frontline Innovators - Episode #1
51:37

On this episode of Frontline Innovators, we discuss new technology and automation in today’s desk-less frontline workforce. How are these innovations affecting workflow? Are they helping or hurting? What can be done to make application more adaptive for the workers?

Jennifer McComas, CTO, Energy and Utilities Industry Squad at IBM, shares her experience with frontline workers and the implementation of new technology solutions.

 

Takeaways 

  • The pace of technology is one of the biggest challenges facing the frontline workforce. Although automation is intended to be helpful for the frontline, it becomes a hindrance for workers who are not accustomed to learning new technologies.
  • Oftentimes we use technology as a solution rather than reflecting on what the business objectives are and then looking at technology, if at all, to address the issue.
  • Implement technology with people, not to people, by starting a discussion with the frontline workers. Ask them what they are doing, what could be improved and their tolerance to adopting a technology solution.
  • Two common misconceptions behind artificial intelligence and automation are that 1) folks do not understand the algorithm behind the scenes and 2) they are not involved in the training process of the model.
  • “Automation and automated processes are the ultimate way to capture the important knowledge that was used to do [frontline work] in a way that can not only support the new worker that is coming along, but also creates a sustainable record of what that process is and why.” ~Jennifer
  • “There is never going to be a shortage of challenges or opportunities. Whether you are a desk-less, frontline, or knowledge worker we all need to be comfortable with change.” ~Jennifer

 

Links

Jun 15, 2021