In a world where technology often takes center stage in business strategy, it’s important to prioritize and energize frontline workers. As industries become increasingly digitized, it is easy to lose sight of the remarkable power that resides within those who move our company forward—the individuals who interact directly with customers.
In my years as CEO at Re-Bath, it has become clear that the customer experience is the driving force behind our bottom-line results. At the heart of this experience are our frontline workers. It is their dedication, expertise, and genuine interactions that set the stage for customer loyalty and repeat business. When it comes to energizing frontline workers, I live by the following four practices:
1. Cultivate a Culture of Appreciation
The journey toward energizing frontline workers won’t happen overnight, and it begins with building a culture of appreciation. I’ve witnessed firsthand the profound impact that recognizing and celebrating the contributions of our team members can have.
Aim to foster an environment where appreciation is woven into the fabric of daily operations. Recognizing top performers across multiple departments in weekly or monthly e-newsletters is a great way to boost morale and cultivate a sense of pride and ownership. Holding monthly team gatherings is another way to emphasize collaboration and dedication and is a perfect opportunity to highlight exceptional performance. Each achievement, no matter how big or small, deserves its moment in the spotlight. This level of appreciation lifts spirits and creates an environment where individuals are motivated to go above and beyond.
As leaders, it’s important to lead by example in showing appreciation. Taking the time to personally thank employees for their efforts or publicly acknowledging their achievements during team meetings can send a powerful message of gratitude and inspire others to follow suit. Encouraging peer-to-peer recognition further reinforces the culture of appreciation.
2. Empower with Autonomy
Since frontline workers are having one-to-one interactions with the customers, they possess firsthand knowledge that can significantly impact the longevity of a business. As a leader, one key component you need to instill to enable them to do this successfully is empowerment.
To put this into practice, cultivate a culture that grants autonomy and decision-making power to these individuals. Trust them to take ownership of their work and contribute to the overall processes. This taps into a fountain of innovation and problem-solving potential. When team members are empowered to make decisions that directly affect the customer experience, they actively contribute to shaping the brand’s success story. This kind of autonomy leads to improved customer interactions and a motivated and engaged workforce. With the freedom to adapt and respond to customer needs in real-time, frontline workers become the driving force behind the company’s ability to evolve and thrive in a dynamic market landscape.
3. Prioritize Ongoing Training & Development
Investing in the growth and development of the frontline teams is imperative and a potential selling point when it comes to employee recruitment and retention. Ensure you are offering continuous learning and growth opportunities as this will play a key role in keeping employees engaged and motivated.
At Re-Bath, we offer robust training programs, skill development initiatives, and pathways for career advancement. In addition to formal training, consider implementing alternative opportunities for growth. Examples include regularly scheduled lunch and learns focused on development and sending employees to conferences to expand their knowledge and skillsets. Additionally, being aware of industry trends and incorporating them into your training modules ensures that your frontline teams remain up-to-date with the latest practices, strengthening their confidence and expertise. This commitment not only equips our team members with the tools they need to excel, but also showcases our dedication to their professional growth. When equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills, frontline workers are primed to be champions of exceptional customer experience.
4. Enhance Communication Channels
Transparent and effective communication is the lifeblood of any thriving organization. Be an advocate for establishing open lines of communication with your frontline workers—actively seek their input, ideas, and feedback. Regular updates, clear direction, and platforms for meaningful dialogue create an environment where collaboration and shared purpose flourish. Enhancing these communication channels can help to bridge the gap between leadership and the frontline.
Re-Bath is no stranger to the transformative power of technology. We have embraced a range of integrated digital innovations that elevate our operations and enhance the customer journey. But the key to our success is finding a balance between tapping into this digital transformation and maintaining an authentic human connection. While technology may streamline processes, it is the ‘real’ experiences, genuine interactions, and trust formed through personalized service that truly make brands great.
By energizing your frontline workers, you will breathe renewed life into your brand and create a legacy that transcends technology—one of genuine connections, remarkable experiences, and enduring success.
Brad Hillier is the CEO of Re-Bath, the nation’s premier bathroom remodeling franchise. With more than two decades of franchising and leadership experience, Hillier has been instrumental in developing and implementing growth strategies. Re-Bath has grown into a trusted and respected brand known for providing expert, affordable, and effortless bathroom remodeling solutions that transform homeowners’ bathrooms in days, not weeks. For information on franchise opportunities, please visit www.rebath.com or www.rebathfranchise.com.