Firstline workers are, as the name suggests, the front line employees for many large companies. They can be drivers out making deliveries, technicians in the field making repairs, hospitality staff helping customers, or workers performing any number of other firstline duties.
These workers are the lifeblood of the organizations they represent and it’s critical that they:
- Have the tools to do their job well
- Understand exactly how to do their jobs well, including how to use all of their equipment and digital solutions
- Are in the field as much as possible
For these reasons and others, it’s vital that firstline workers receive training and ongoing engagement support for the digital solutions they use in their job. Yet, there are inherent challenges to providing that training and support. This blog will examine one technology option that can benefit firstline workers and help maximize their value.
Why do firstline workers need digital training and adoption technology?
Digital training and adoption solutions (increasingly referred to as Digital Adoption Platforms, or DAP) were created to train employees on enterprise web applications such as CRM and ERP. Companies like WalkMe, Assima, and AppLearn offer “guidance and navigation” tools that help users quickly learn and understand SaaS and cloud applications. The technology:
- Provides real-time help for the user in an immersive training experience
- Allows workers to be trained while in the field, for new employee training, new solution implementation, and ensuring ongoing employee understanding and engagement of digital tools
- Enables user analytics so management can monitor how workers are using the technology to measure adoption and identify concerns
- Helps companies close the skills gap and knowledge exodus many are facing, with comprehensive contextual training solutions for less experienced workers
DAP for firstline workers
The DAP model for enterprise applications isn’t a perfect fit for firstline workers, as it was designed to help office-based staff with cloud-based enterprise applications. However, it’s a great start to create the right solution for industrial firms and companies with large field forces.
To make a digital training and adoption solution succeed for organizations with large firstline workforces, it would need to account for the unique qualities of those field forces. Features tailored for firstline workers would include:
- Compatibility with a variety of industrial-grade mobile devices, in addition to standard consumer-grade devices, like iPhones or iPads
- Flexibility to work with home-grown or custom-built mobile applications
- Ability to make use of native device functionality such as barcode scanners and GPS
- Techniques and explanations specifically for workers unfamiliar with technology, who will likely need extra guidance and ongoing assistance
- Ability to track compliance for industry regulations, environmental standards, and worker safety issues
Benefits for the organization as a whole
When workers are properly trained on their digital tools and adopt them long-term, the organization as a whole benefits. As a result:
- The firstline workforce is more efficient and productive
- There is minimal downtime for training employees
- New workers get up to speed quicker
- Management gathers essential compliance data and usage analytics
- Return on investment is maximized for any new digital solutions introduced to the workforce
Read more: Get our short guide on the topic, Why Your Firstline Workers Aren’t Using Digital Tech the Right Way—And How to Fix It.