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Frontline employees are the strong pillar of any business. Their performance plays a significant role in determining a company’s reputation in front of customers. While a positive review by the customer can attract more business, a negative review can spread like wildfire. This negative reputation can jeopardize future opportunities for business.

Moreover, we cannot ignore the fact that the frontline attrition rate is very high in several industries. As per a survey, 50% of frontline workers are planning to resign. Frontline employees need growth opportunities. Sadly, frontline on-the-job training (OJT) is not a priority for some organizations.

Who is considered a frontline worker?

Frontline workers are those directly interacting with customers or essential operations, serving as the organization's public face. They span various industries and below are some examples

  • Retail: Store associates, cashiers, and sales reps managing operations and assisting customers.

  • Healthcare: Nurses, doctors, and healthcare aides providing direct patient care in hospitals and clinics.

  • Education: Teachers and daycare specialists from the frontline workforce in educational settings.

  • Call Centers: Customer service representatives handling inquiries via phone calls and online chats.

  • Manufacturing: Employees working on assembly lines or operating machinery in manufacturing plants.

  • Hospitality: Servers, bartenders, housekeepers, and front desk personnel serving in restaurants and hotels.

  • Transportation: Bus drivers ensure the safe transit of passengers, and airline staff oversee flight operations and passenger services. 

  • Emergency Services:

    Police officers, firefighters, and paramedics ensuring public safety and responding to emergencies.

As per a survey of 1000 frontline employees, 40% received training only once a year. Without providing proper OJT, a company is at the risk of losing proficient talents and lucrative customers due to unsatisfactory performance. 

on-the-job training quote

What is on-the-job training, and why is it important for frontline workers

On-the-job training is a technique that focuses on providing hands-on experience in different situations through real-time knowledge and skill dissemination at the workplace. This technique is based on the principle of “learning by doing.” It helps develop a special aptitude to become competent and manage routine tasks more efficiently.

On-the-job training helps in combating the forgetting curve. This is crucial for the frontline workforce as they have too much on their plate. So, there is a high tendency for the information disseminated through in-person training to decay in their minds.

However, if the same information is presented on a learning platform, they can effortlessly access it and refer to the completed courses at the time of need. Your frontline workers can even self-enroll in new courses whenever they get stuck. So through just-in-time learning, they can easily learn new techniques to address a specific challenge and apply it instantly.

Moreover, they can even consume the relevant knowledge they need at their own pace to improve their skills for moving up the career ladder. 

3 On-the-job training methods that improve frontline worker performance 

Here are a few ways to deliver on-the-job training to frontline employees that translate into improved workplace performance. 

1. Micro learning – Bite-sized content to address the time constraint 

The frontline team needs to act in real-time. For instance, a restaurant is registered on a food delivery app, and a specific item isn’t available for the day, so the frontline needs to remove it on time before a customer orders it, or else it would affect the reputation of the restaurant for displaying items that are not available. The frontline needs to be trained to manage such situations efficiently.

As a frontline, it is challenging to dedicate several hours at a stretch for learning and development. However, microlearning is a strategic solution to tackle the lack of time issue for learning at work. Employees can enroll in short videos or blogs to learn new techniques and strategies to handle various challenging situations. The knowledge nugget can also help them stay updated about a new product or a change in procedure. The main information can be conveyed through micro-learning at work, and later when the employees have time, they can dive deep to learn more about a specific topic and take assessments to test their knowledge. 

2. Gamification – Gaming element to engage the busy frontline workforce

Gamification is the hook that can help capture the frontline’s attention while training on the job. Whether it is frontline compliance training or live session for the distributed workforce on new product updates, gamification can help boost engagement. 

Nowadays, most modern learning tools have advanced Gamification features that can level up on-the-job training. For instance, using Disprz, a complete learning suite’s Gameinar, L&D can provide engaging learning sessions for employees in different cities or countries. It is possible to make workplace learning livelier and more fun through features like a roulette wheel, text wall, breakout rooms, and live leaderboards. After the learning sessions, L&D can even conduct quizzes to determine how much the frontline employee absorbed from the session. Moreover, features like polls and sticky notes help take real-time feedback from the frontline to improve on-the-job training.

3. Mobile learning- Flexibility to learn at any hour in the preferred language 

Mobile is the best companion of frontline employees, as they are away from the desk most of the time. In fact, some don’t have a desktop/laptop. So why not leverage mobile to provide on-the-job training to the frontline employees. Mobile is a great platform to get the relevant content out quickly in moments that matter to your frontline. They can easily upskill themselves on-the-go with the learning materials under their fingertips. Moreover, Disprz’s mobile learning tool supports multi-lingual learning that helps overcome the language barrier while training frontline employees in tier-2 and tier-3 cities who do not understand the standard English language. 

One of India’s largest e-commerce giants faced a language roadblock while training the frontline employees. Their delivery associates were distributed across India and spoke nine different languages. Through the Disprz mobile app learning solution, they could provide timely learning on the job and even conduct periodic assessments in multiple languages. This helped them increase their course completion rate and maximize the productivity of their delivery associates. 

Conclusion 

The more a frontline worker learns through on-the-job training, the better s/he can perform and render optimum service to the clients. It is important to help the frontline visualize the benefits of investing time in workplace learning. Empower them with the right frontline enablement solution to build capabilities and transform behavior to deliver high-quality performance at all times. 

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