4 reasons to communicate freely with frontline employees

Workers who deal with customers can shape the perception of your company. It’s crucial to recognize their efforts and keep them aligned with your vision.

One particular messaging shortfall could have dire consequences for your business.

Many companies with otherwise great internal communications still struggle to connect with workers who interact with customers. That could prove costly.

Whether it’s your sales force, retail team, physicians, manufacturing line or delivery drivers, those employees who deal with the public should hear consistently from your top leaders.

Here are four reasons why adjusting your communications strategy to focus more on frontline workers could benefit your business:

1. You can’t expect employees to align with the vision if they don’t know what it is. What percentage of your colleagues know your company’s mission and vision by heart? Of those, how many fully understand what your chief goals are?

Don’t trust people to wing it. Clearly communicate your company’s vision, direction, strategy and objectives to avoid creating dissonance with customers.

Email might not be the best way to connect with frontline employees. Schedule regular interactions to gather their feedback, solicit ideas and reinforce priorities.

2. Consistent corporate communication builds engagement. Many companies leave most—if not all—internal communications with frontline employees to their supervisors. That’s a mistake.

Employees who never hear from top leaders interpret that silence as a lack of respect. Establishing two-way communication with client-side workers will help you boost engagement and yield valuable customer-centric insights.

3. Frontline employees have a tremendous impact on the customer experience. All it takes is one miscommunication or perceived slight to lose a major account.

Workers who deal directly with clients (or prospective clients) can shape the perception of your company—perhaps more than anyone else. They deserve extra attention and care in terms of messaging, preparation and strategic direction. Even if you have complete trust in your colleagues’ judgment, why not empower them with clear, specific direction? Regularly soliciting their ideas, feedback and questions is a savvy step toward a seamless customer experience.

4. Visibility from corporate is something they crave. We all want to be respected, heard and appreciated; frontline workers are no different. Establishing consistent, open lines of communication with them is an easy way to show how much you value their contributions.

Brittany Walker is an account manager with Tribe. A version of this post first ran on Tribe’s blog.


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