Pubished August 2023

According to a Forbes recent study, of the approximately 2.7 billion frontline workers across the globe, 75% of them spend most of their time at work using technology. In this blog we share our insight on why Microsoft Teams is your frontline workers best friend. 

It’s no surprise that businesses turn to M365 to connect their corporate teams and enable their organisations to get work done. But, we’re seeing more businesses turn to the ecosystem to also engage and empower their frontline work force to!

Our change consultants are all too familiar with the phrase ‘technology fatigue’. In our time, we’ve seen many an aftermath of organisations who cherry pick standalone technology for frontline workers, outside of the Microsoft ecosystem – that inevitably creates siloes and cuts off the blood supply to some of the most vital pockets of an organisation.

Gone are the days of physical shift punch-ins, hardcopy notebooks to capture handover notes and paper forms. The future now is incredibly bright for frontline workers, especially those who are enabled with M365.

What makes M365 special for frontline workers? 

Let’s start with, what makes frontline workers special?

The concept of frontline workers – or, essential workers, is not new. However, it has been looked at under a microscope over the last couple of years as we embarked on transformational change globally.

There are not many industries without a frontline workforce, so why do so many of us think that M365 tools are not designed with these individuals in mind? Industries rely on frontline workers as the backbone of their businesses, they are living extensions of organisations, living out organisational values as they serve the community. Now more than ever, we need to ensure that these people feel engaged, empowered, connected and a part of the wider organisation with shared goals, visions… and tools!

Back to the original question, what makes M365 special for frontline workers?

M365 tools are multifaceted. Put simply, they help organisations to stay connected, build a sense of community, and they drive productivity. What has become abundantly clear in the last 5 years, is that the beating heart of M365, is Microsoft Teams. Teams has revolutionised collaboration and communication for frontline workers, especially in the healthcare sector, providing the space where people across all pockets of an organisation can come together to get work done in a secure environment that is part of the existing ecosystem.

The power of Microsoft Teams

Teams provides an answer to many challenges faced by frontline workers. When organisations aren’t using Teams to empower their people, we see the following pain points time and time again.

  • Too many apps – Commonly referred to as ‘tech-debt’, where we see an overwhelming number of apps needed just for day-to-day work to get done. These apps rarely ‘talk’ to one another, resulting in manual work-arounds and duplicate processes.
  • Inaccessible communications – 63% of frontline managers say messages from leadership never reach them. Frontline workers shouldn’t need to go out of their way to access information that is relevant to them. This can lead to disengagement and lack of connection.
  • Lack of community – How can you build a vibrant culture of camaraderie and support when you don’t have a platform to empower your people to find their voice, or come together to build relationships?

So, how are you using technology to empower your frontline workforce? Let’s look at what the future now can look like, for your frontline workers enabled by Teams.

Improved ways of working and productivity

Teams can transform clunky processes by streamlining workflows. Imagine if your health care staff could:

  • Clock into their shift
  • Read shift notes and updates
  • Check their calendar
  • Contact on-call staff
  • Submit a request for approval
  • … and do it all in one application

By consolidating numerous apps into a single touchpoint, Teams can help you to reduce your organisations tech-debt, improve accessibility to tools that would previously require multiple sets of login details, and reduce the time for task!

A connected and engaged workforce

Imagine seamless communication, all in the one place and at the fingertips of your whole team. Whether it’s a 1:1 chat, a group chat for junior medical officers, or channel posts from your team leader, Microsoft Teams provides a platform for seamless, real-time communication. Teams provides an opportunity to reduce email load, and makes sure no one misses out on information, by moving communications away from unapproved channels (like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp) and into Microsoft Teams – a secure cloud-based platform available anywhere, at any time, on any device.

Post and share good news stories with peers in Viva Engage (previously Yammer), create awareness of organisation wide events and opportunities to network via SharePoint, and help people managers to reach the unreachable, providing channels to easily access geographically dispersed or on the move team members through Teams chat.

Simpler workforce planning

Are your frontline workers still searching through emails to find the most up-to-date copy of their roster? Imagine a ‘single source of truth’ where frontline staff can access their shifts and rostering information. Free up bench space and alleviate the administrative burden on your workforce planners. Shifts still need coverage? We have the answer for this too, whether approval from managers is needed (approval requests surfaced through Viva Connections), or create communities or spaces for your team to talk through shift changes out-loud, allowing others to respond whenever they are back online!

Like what you see?

If keeping up-to date with the never ending M365 updates has your head in a spin, we have just the thing…

Our Evergreen-as-a-service offer has been designed to help organisations prepare for and deliver continuous adoption of Microsoft 365 at scale. We’ll work closely with you to prepare for upcoming changes to Microsoft 365, support your people with training and learning materials, as well as providing expert insights and industry best practices.

The power is in the palm. Are you ready to equip your frontline workers with the tools they need to be productive, connected and engaged?

Get in touch

About the author

This blog was co-written by Caitlyn Hoare and Brittany Whelan.

Caiti is a certified Change & Adoption Consultant at Engage Squared, with several years’ experience working in communications and change management in the tech space. Caiti is passionate about keeping people at the heart of technology change. When she isn’t sharing photos of her plants in the Plants of E2 Viva Engage community, she’s running long distances in Awabakal Country, and drinking strong coffee.

Brit is a Principal Transformation & Change Consultant at Engage Squared, who has experience predominantly spanning across Health, Retail and Government both as an internal team member and as a consultant. Brit loves helping to upskill individuals and provide them with Change Management techniques and capabilities, that they can add to their own professional toolkit to de-risk the people impacts of change. Brit is passionate about using tech as an enabler to deliver change activities, ocean swims (even in the middle of a frosty Melbourne winter), and un-officially reviewing all the new restaurants Melbourne.