BurgerFi centralized all its communications on a mobile setup. Company news, updates, photos, videos, and success stories were made live through an interactive company newsfeed. Every corporate and franchised location now uses the platform, which came in especially handy this past year as BurgerFi needed to update practices day-to-day, hour-to-hour even, as regulations and mandates shifted.
“Lack of communication with headquarters" was the No. 2 challenge faced by frontline hospitality/restaurant workers in YOOBIC’s study.
Challenge No. 2: Frontline employees feel undervalued and insufficiently trained
One of the most familiar misconceptions of frontline workers is that they don’t appreciate training. Studies continue to show employees are more confident, report higher satisfaction, and have a better shot of seeing a future career with the company when they learn on the job.
YOOBIC’s study showed training isn’t keeping up with frontline employee needs, though, many of which have changed drastically during the pandemic. Almost half of employees said they were trained only once a year, an insufficient number considering the rapidly expanding responsibilities tied to COVID life, from cleaning procedures to off-premises execution, etc.
- 48 percent of those trained once a year or less reported a lack of recognition, versus 32 percent overall
- 58 percent of frontline employees said they think the most important thing about training is that it’s engaging and fun
- 40 percent (as mentioned) of frontline employees said they’re being trained only once a year or less
Training is how employers invest in their employees, YOOBIC said. When that happens only once, it’s no surprise workers feel unrecognized and undervalued. And since frontline staff have far less time for training than office-based staff, more than half said they prefer training that’s enjoyable to complete.
The overarching sentiment: Successful training is something employees actually want to make time for.
Think of it this way, too: If somebody goes through regular training sessions, educating themselves and working toward a broader goal, chances are they’re more likely to stick around simply because they put the investment in. It’s a lot easier to leave a job you know nothing about (and don’t care for) than one you’ve spent ample time growing in. You’ll second guess abandoning something you’ve poured energy into. Like making it 400 pages into a 1,000-page book versus never getting past the foreword.
YOOBIC suggests reformatting training. Make it frequent, engaging, and accessible—whenever and wherever employees need it. And yes, this means making it mobile. Deliver training via mobile learning, keep it short and sweet with micro-learning, and make it fun, engaging, and social with gamification, the company said.
YOOBIC offered an example from men’s fashion retailer Jules. When the company decided to revamp its brand image (across 550 stores in four countries) it had to continuously train 3,000 employees on the fresh strategy. It did so from the bottom up. The company moved to a mobile learning platform with short, interactive courses, and molded its workplace learning around the frontline employee experience. The result was some 7,500 hours of training completed and 175,000 lessons.
Challenge No. 3: Frontline employees need digitized tasks to be more productive
The truth about frontline work is it’s typically task and process-driven. Run this drink to the table. Clean up after each guest leaves the kiosk. And so forth.
Many of these tasks, though, involve a significant amount of administrative work that, while important, can detract from higher-value activities, YOOBIC said. Productive employees have more time for impactful work, such as interacting with customers, conducting table checks, or just focusing on delivering quality service through whatever channel that might be, like the drive thru.
Frontline employees are aware, per YOOBIC’s study, that outdated, non-digital task management tools are damaging productivity.
- 73 percent of frontline employees are still using paper forms (for specifically the hospitality/restaurant industry, this number was 66 percent)
- 71 percent think digitized processes and tasks would make them more productive (it was even higher for hospitality/restaurants at 76 percent)
While the world appears to have gone digital—and there’s no going back—many frontline employees’ task management tools are stuck in the 90s. Almost three-quarters said they are still using error-prone paper forms.
YOOBIC said restaurants can digitize tasks and processes in an effort to refocus frontline employees on core revenue-driving activities. Not to mention, the stuff guests actually give restaurants credit for.
Eliminate not just paper, but also the use of multiple tools like email, Excel, and PowerPoint by consolidating everything into a mobile platform.
“Not only do digitized tasks and processes make frontline employees more productive—they also make their roles more fulfilling, increasing job satisfaction,” the company said.