Firstline workers are the visible face of almost every organisation and industry. From receptionists and retail assistants to customer support officers, maintenance workers, transport operators and medical professionals, Microsoft estimates that there are over two billion firstline workers globally.
There’s no denying that firstline workers navigate unique challenges. They’re often at the coalface with customers, acting as the conduit between the customer and their organisation.
What’s more, many firstline workers are mobile and may need to work from multiple locations. To add complexity, they often work in hierarchical organisations where clear and regular communication is paramount.
The good news is that Microsoft Teams is making it easier for firstline workers to focus on delivering positive customer interactions, without having to worry about the challenges and limitations of their working environment.
With a new experience that’s customised exclusively for firstline workers, Microsoft Teams makes it easier to overcome the challenges of mobile, shift-based and customer-facing work.
Read on to find out how Microsoft Teams is changing the game for firstline workers.
A mobile experience
For many firstline workers, mobile work is a fact of life. Employees might work from a different location every day, move between multiple locations within a given shift, or perhaps have no fixed office. But irrespective of where they’re working, firstline workers need to be able to access the information they need to do their job and communicate freely with colleagues in other locations.
Too often, firstline workers are expected to make the best of systems and tools that were designed for desktop users or office-based workers. This can not only impact efficiency and productivity, but it can also incentivise the use of unapproved workarounds.
For example, firstline workers may resort to using unsecure messaging apps like Facebook Messenger to communicate with colleagues, exposing their employers to security and compliance risks.
Microsoft Teams has introduced a new offering that is purpose-built to support firstline workers in mobile work. It offers a secure and integrated platform for firstline workers to access the information and people they need on the go.
For starters, Microsoft Teams is optimised for use on phones, tablets and other mobile devices, and offers 24/7 connectivity to company information.
Firstline workers have a range of choices for how they can communicate through Microsoft Teams including private chats, online team conversations, video calls and group calls.
In addition, Microsoft Teams also has features that are specifically designed to support mobile workers, such as location sharing, smart camera and audio recording.
There are over two billion firstline workers globally, but there’s enormous diversity in the roles they perform and the functionality they require to do their jobs.
Microsoft Teams makes it easy for IT administrators to define employee-based roles and assign relevant features to each. For example, retail assistants can receive access to teams and channels. Store managers, on the other hand, are given additional access to private chats, calendars and video calls.
Importantly, it’s not only IT administrators who can configure Microsoft Teams. Individuals can customise the app on their phones by pinning the modules they use most often.
Simplified workforce management systems
Firstline workers and their organisations regularly access workforce management systems to manage timesheets, rosters, payroll, performance, sales and a range of other functions.
In many organisations, staff must follow the frustrating and time-consuming process of accessing a different system or tool for each workforce management function.
Microsoft Teams simplifies this approach for firstline workers. For example, Microsoft is developing a suite of APIs that will enable staff to access all their frequently used workforce management systems from within Microsoft Teams.
This means that firstline workers won’t have to expend time and effort looking for information – they can access everything they need quickly from one secure mobile app.
Recognise staff achievements
Firstline workers often bear the brunt of unhappy customers and are typically first on the scene when something goes wrong. These challenging experiences can have a material impact on team culture and employee morale, and in some cases, contribute to high staff turnover.
Microsoft Teams gives firstline workers and their managers a new set of tools to support, recognise and praise staff for their achievements in what can be a difficult working environment.
The new ‘Praise’ tool allows employees and managers to assign badges to those who have done a great job, whether it’s extending a thanks, recognising kindness or leadership, acknowledging creativity or giving a kudos to problem solvers and team players.
Praise is visible to the whole team, enabling everyone to collectively share in each other’s success. Sometimes, it’s small gestures like these that go a long way towards improving team morale and culture.
Cloud Collective is a strategic alliance of three Microsoft Gold Partners that offer the full spectrum of Microsoft solutions. We have an outstanding track record of supporting our clients to transform their ways of working and realise business value through Microsoft Teams. To find out more, contact us today.