Article: Why you should invest in your frontline employees


Why you should invest in your frontline employees

Investing in the professional development of frontline employees is imperative for organisations seeking to not only retain top talent but also bolster employee engagement and overall productivity.
Why you should invest in your frontline employees

In an exclusive interview with People Matters Prerna Kalra, Co-founder of Daalchini, shares valuable insights on managing and empowering frontline employees, investing in their career growth, building a strong talent pipeline, and transforming HR teams to navigate ongoing business disruptions.

What are the top challenges HR leaders face while managing frontline employees?

Employee retention is one of the major challenges HR leaders encounter these days, especially for frontline employees. They often have high turnover rates, which results in increased costs for recruitment and training and lost productivity. The next most significant challenge is managing performance. HR leaders must establish performance metrics and standards, provide feedback and coaching, and implement performance improvement plans to ensure employees meet job expectations.

Additionally, they must ensure compliance with the company policies and corporate laws, and manage employees’ shifts fairly. Finally, HR leaders should ensure there is diversity and inclusion in the company. Frontline employees often come from diverse backgrounds, and HR leaders must ensure that they are creating a workplace culture that is inclusive and welcoming for all employees.

How can organisations invest in the career growth of frontline employees? What has worked for your company?

Investing in the career growth of frontline employees is crucial for organisations to attract and retain talent, improve employee engagement, and increase productivity. At Daalchini, we ensure regular training and development, offer career advice and growth opportunities, and establish reasonable goals and performance metrics. But most importantly, we recognise and reward employees for their performance and success, which motivates them and helps them grow. By providing the necessary resources, support, and opportunities for career growth, organisations can improve employee engagement, retention, and productivity, and create a more dynamic and innovative workforce.

Do you plan to scale these upskilling efforts? What will be your key priorities for this year?

Yes, we plan to scale our upskilling efforts gradually. For once, we aim to identify the skill and knowledge gaps. Every organisation must identify these gaps in their workforce to help their employees upskill. This can be done through surveys, assessments, and performance evaluations. Once the gaps have been identified, organisations can create targeted training and development programs to address those gaps.

Secondly, we want to focus on helping our team members build soft skills. Besides technical skills, soft skills like communication, teamwork, problem-solving, empathy, people management, and leadership are essential to thrive in the corporate world today. Organisations should prioritise the development of these skills, as they are critical for success in a wide range of roles and industries.

Further, we’re also looking to up our tech infrastructure and integrate it with many more of our business functions. Organisations can also use e-learning platforms, virtual training sessions, and other online resources to deliver training and development programs to employees. We are also keen on building a culture where there is continuous learning and development and healthy competition.

These are just a few of the key priorities that organisations may consider when planning upskilling efforts this year. By prioritising upskilling, organisations can help employees stay relevant, improve their job satisfaction and engagement, and contribute to their overall success.

Beyond investing in frontline employees, as a fast-growing company, how are you building a strong talent pipeline? 

As a fast-growing company, investing in frontline employees is crucial, but it's also necessary to have a robust talent pipeline to ensure continued growth and success. We plan to develop a solid employer brand, which can help attract top talent to the organisation. This includes communicating the company's mission, values, and culture through various channels, including social media, job postings, and employee testimonials. We will also be using employee referral programs and chart leadership and succession plans to ensure that the company will continue to thrive in the market.

How can HR teams of such fast-growing companies transform to navigate through ongoing business disruptions?

The most important thing to do is to embrace technology. It has become the cornerstone for businesses across verticals and integrating tech into your business operations will help you progress faster and survive amid the competitive and ever-evolving market. Technology can also be used to streamline HR processes and increase efficiency, such as by implementing a cloud-based HR management system. 

The next most essential skills are agility and adaptability. HR teams should be able to adapt quickly to changing circumstances, such as shifting priorities, remote work, and evolving employee needs. Additionally, in today’s business scenario, employee well-being is one of the top priorities. So, providing resources and support for stress management, mental health, and work-life balance will ensure the well-being of employees without whom the company will cease to exist.

Companies can also consider offering virtual counselling services, flexible work arrangements, and other benefits to support employee health and well-being. Finally, a strong hybrid work culture will retain the existing workforce and help bring in top talent. Hybrid and remote working have become the norm, so adopting those working models will provide flexibility and go a long way in ensuring employee satisfaction.

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Topics: Skilling, Skilling and Vocational Services, Skills Assessments

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