The year 2022 so far has been an interesting time. Business-wise, many issues are surfacing following the initial pandemic craze, showing serious flaws here and there, notably in the frontline work sector.
What have businesses learned and what can be done to set things in motion once more and ensure nothing goes amiss in these unpredictable times?
Let’s take a look at some effective solutions.
Continued Learning Is a Must
For starters, businesses have to analyze training needs and come up with efficient training programs and methods that all employees can follow. Practically, this means that businesses need to utilize new technologies and apply modernized learning methods that serve smaller chunks of information.
Anything from gamification to AR for learning goes. Coupled with targeted online courses and brainstorming sessions, continued learning must allow for declining attention spans and rapidly changing business trends.
Flexible Working Conditions Can Trump a Higher Salary
Next on, hybrid work models have become a standard. With more and more people turning to remote work, every business hoping to survive in the long run simply has to follow suit.
This doesn’t mean that transition needs to be applied overnight. Quite the contrary. Different businesses go for different business models, depending on their scope of operations and targets, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
As long as your business can offer flexible working conditions, all is fine.
In fact, there are six basic types of hybrid work models, as follows:
- Partially remote work, with flexible office space – no permanent offices; rented flex space used for periodic collaboration (but not connectivity)
- Almost entirely on premises – limited remote work, large office space the majority of managers and workers
- Partially remote work, multiple hubs – multiple offices with the workforce dispersed among them
- Partially remote work, large office space – the majority of managers and workers spend most, but not all, of their time at the office
- Almost entirely off premises – mostly remote work with no office space
- Multiple microhubs – management and employees are dispersed across small microhubs located in different cities (or countries, depending on the scope of your business operations)
As you can see, there’s a suitable option for literally every business, and nothing is set in stone. You can always go with a different hybrid work model, adjusting your approach in an affordable manner.
However, what you should keep in mind is that some remote workers are digital nomads. This means you’ll have to offer suitable contracts types for sole proprietors and people holding dual citizenship.
Everyone Needs an Integrator
Integrator services are high demand and not without a good reason. Hiring integrators renders multiple benefits for a business, and here are the major reasons why:
- Integrators are trained leaders who know exactly what to do to help your business integrate its processes across the board.
- Integrators can hold a part-time position and come from different management roles, notably CEOs and CFOs, but they can also work freelance and come from other companies or agencies.
- Integrators are experienced in managing major firms.
- Integrators have specific skill sets and expertise and know the exact goals and how to reach them fast and efficiently.
- Integrators know when to scale your business and how to do it effectively.
Simpler Frontline Processes Should Be a Priority
Lastly, the matter of frontline employees and their lack thereby is an emergency. Basically, the pandemic and its aftermath have pinpointed major issues in this field, which generally fall under two categories: poor management of frontline employees and better working conditions and work models.
Frontline employees often have to do many tasks manually not because it is necessary but because this vocation is terribly neglected. Start with making the lives of your frontline employees easier: use timesheet template and tracking hours apps to simplify manual work.
Next on, make sure to train your managers. These people often lack field experience and literally have no clue which common problems frontline workers face on a daily basis.
Lastly, make sure your business applies field service best practices, as follows:
Service Best Practices
1. Schedule services at the right time and place, taking day-to-day workflow into account
2. Track the costs; they should include job costs, contractor and equipment costs
3. Track job progress by enabling better communication
Project Best Practices
1. Organize project phases
2. Manage project phases
3. Track costs and budgets in real-time
4. Manage billing and invoicing
Maintenance Best Practices
1. Test your assets in the field
2. Keep your assets organized
3. Plan asset servicing in the field
Much and more can be done to improve your business operations and not all hacks are complicated or time-consuming (though, of course, changes in habits should be permanent, so expect some hard work at least).
The four main aspects you should address are:
- Providing continual learning opportunities for your employees
- Simplifying frontline processes
- Hiring an integrator or two
- Providing flexible working conditions
Additional tips may come to mind, but start with these for the best results.