Remote work feedback: Essential practices for frontline teams 

NGG-PORTADA- Trends - Remote work feedback

Frontliners are an integral part of nearly all sectors of the economy. They are vital in maintaining daily operations and their roles have a direct impact on customer satisfaction.  

Investing in their growth is a win-win for both companies and frontline employees, in fact the Kahoot’s 2023 Workplace Culture Report highlights that 64% of frontline employees are willing to continue working with the company if given enhanced support. 

But the truth is, that most frontliners feel that they are easily replaceable, undervalued, and that corporate leaders do not understand the work they do as pointed out in the O.C. Tanner Global Culture Report 2024.  

Taking these meaningful insights in mind, we have prepared this article, so you can get the best advice on how to have key conversations through remote work feedback mechanisms with your frontline teams to enhance their experience and reduce turnover.  

Feedback loops : Making a difference for frontliners  

Constructive feedback loops and implementing feedback mechanisms are essential for the career growth of employees, but it’s even more important for remote deskless or frontline workers that are disconnected and don’t have direct contact with corporate offices. Actually, frontliners place feedback as the second top priority for their professional development according to the survey conducted by Kahoot.

Moreover, feedback loops are essential to building a healthy relationship between managers and employees and have a direct impact on the performance of staff, as mentioned in a Forbes article ¨the employee-manager relationship is consistently ranked as a top driver of employee satisfaction. ¨ 

It’s clear that a two-way communication with continuous feedback is beneficial, it builds healthy work environments which improve performance. But how can you connect with frontline employees who are on the move and are less accessible than their corporate peers?  

Building strong connections with your frontline employees 

The basis of successful remote feedback with frontliners lies in building strong connections with them, as previously mentioned, this is something they feel lacks but is at the top of their wish list. Let’s look at how we can improve communication with them first before going deeper into feedback mechanisms 

Get to know your remote frontliners inside out  

As a leader how many times have you really considered who your frontliners are? Analyzing their demographics and understanding their everyday work can be extremely useful to know how, when and where to give feedback.  

For example, if your frontline workforce is comprised of a younger generation, going digital through a mobile on-the-job training app can be the best way to connect with them.  

The key is to discover what their preferred tools for communication are and which are the communication channels where they can be easily reached. We leave you some statistics that could help you better understand this type of professionals:  

Frontline workers training market: Who they are?

Find the right ambassadors to increase real feedback  

Involving frontline employees in the feedback loop between their peers and leaders can go a long way towards building safe and open feedback channels.  

According to a Great Place to Work case study, a company found significant success by creating employee circles. In these circles, employees volunteered to conduct one-on-one conversations with their frontline colleagues and then shared their insights and feedback directly with leadership. 

Why did it work? Because they felt that it was easier to talk with a fellow colleague in a less formal environment rather than in a more corporate setting. 

Providing open internal communication channels, such as chats, where employees can have informal conversations with co-workers to gather feedback and exchange ideas, can help leaders understand the realities of their day-to-day work and implement high-impact improvements.  

Enable spaces for easy connections between leaders and frontliners 

Feedback is not a one-way street, it’s important to understand that it should be a continuous circle where top leadership and employees have reciprocal conversations and information flows both ways.  

Providing tools that address the communication gap frontliners face with leadership is vital, mobile employee apps, such as isEazy Engage, are a great solution since they provide multiple communication spaces where management and frontliners can give and receive feedback in different formats.  

Traditionally, feedback mechanisms have relied mainly on monotonous performance reviews, one-on-one meetings with management, and static online suggestion boxes. On the contrary, employee mobile apps provide dynamic feedback mechanisms that amplify the voices of frontline workers, letting leadership maintain a more direct and continuous contact with them anytime and anywhere.  

Building stronger connections with frontline teams for effective feedback is just one part of the equation. To truly excel, managers and leaders must cultivate a robust feedback culture throughout the workplace. But how can it be accomplished to drive continuous improvements and motivation among frontliners?  

4 Tips for frontline managers to create a healthy feedback culture  

Ed Batista, executive coach and an instructor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, highlights in a Harvard Business Review article that ¨the most ardent and capable feedback champions will give up if the organizational or team culture doesn’t support their efforts. ¨ This statement emphasizes the importance of having a feedback-driven workplace- this applies to frontline, corporate employees and leaders. 

So how can frontline managers foster it? What does it take to truly have an environment where feedback matters and generates a positive impact?  

1. Provide a safe environment 

Building a safe environment where honest and respectful communication persists at all levels of the company is the first step. As a frontline leader you will need to encourage employee feedback without the fear of negative consequences. 

2. Set the example for your frontliners  

As a manager you need to lead by example, show your frontline workers that you are open to feedback by actively seeking and receiving it yourself, and embrace it as a valuable tool for growth and improvement.  

3. Offer continuous opportunities for feedback 

Check-in regularly with your frontliners, you can use fun polls or conduct feedback surveys, implement direct or group chats and create spaces where employees are encouraged to comment and voice their thoughts, ideas, or concerns.  

4. Successful feedback loops: Listen and act  

Did you know that 41% of employees have left their job because they felt they have not been listened to? Part of implementing successful feedback loops is not only giving feedback but listening to the challenges of your frontline employees and acting upon them to make operational improvements.  

Connecting with your frontline workers and cultivating a feedback culture within your team are key practices for providing effective feedback to remote workers. Now let’s explore some of the dos and don’ts for giving feedback.  

Mastering feedback: Essential dos and don’ts for Frontline Managers 

Giving feedback can be tricky; you need to motivate your frontline workers while addressing areas for improvement without demotivating them. How do you strike that balance? Ultimately, it’s not just what you say, but how you say it. 

Here are some dos and don’ts that you can use as guidance:  

What should a frontline manager do when giving feedback?  

✅ Prepare your feedback session before you give feedback to your employees, saying the wrong words or expressing yourself the wrong way can impact negatively on employees. Try to be specific when giving feedback with examples, so that they can understand the areas of improvement and be open to discussion with them.  

Here’s an example:  

You are not doing a good job! Vs I have perceived that you are not answering customer queries on time, is there a reason why and how can I help you?  

✅ Be empathetic. Take into consideration that frontliners have high stressors in their job roles, from dealing with frustrated customers, irregular shifts and low paying salaries. As per HR Dive 33% of them can suffer from anxiety. As a manager, try to put yourself in their shoes when giving feedback and try to find solutions that support them. 

✅ Use the right tone of voice. Try to use a tone of voice that is professional, yet at the same time supportive and understanding. Some elements to consider when adjusting your tone of voice for feedback are pitch, volume, rate of speech, intonation, and emphasis. Striking the right tone can make all the difference.  

✅ Provide solutions and support. Giving feedback on areas of improvement should not be the only focus. Try to explore with your frontline workers what are the resources they need to improve and try to give them guidance by offering solutions to their issues. 

✅ Include positive feedback. Giving only negative feedback can be a big demotivator, try to also include positive feedback to reinforce desired behaviors.  

What should a frontline manager not do when giving feedback? 

Avoid giving negative feedback in front of other colleagues. This can be demoralizing and can be a big blow to your employee’s self-esteem. Moreover, it can impact negatively on the synergy of the team.  

Don’t be vague. Giving generic feedback can confuse your employees and can decrease their performance instead of improving it.  

Don’t micromanage. If you do not delegate responsibilities to your employees, they will never make improvements. Avoid solving the problem yourself, instead try to adopt a coaching mindset and guide them towards making improvements and giving them the right tools they need.  

Delivering feedback at the wrong time. As a manager, there are many other tasks you need to handle, and it might be tempting to leave feedback on the side and then loop in with your employee later. This is a big error, giving timely feedback is essential to fix the issue at the right time.  

 

To sum up  

Preparing yourself as a manager to give remote feedback to your frontline employees is vital for them to improve their performance and to decrease turnover. Creating feedback loops and mechanisms through the right technology, as well as making the right adjustments to how you give feedback can bring about positive changes in the mindset of your frontliners and increase their engagement.  

Want to cultivate the relationship with your frontline employees and guide them towards success? With isEazy engage, the app for frontliners, you have everything you need to connect with them, through its informal communication channels you can send them feedback via chat individually or to a group, send them surveys to know their opinion about a certain topic, they can share and comment on their favorite company resources and much more! Ready to discover isEazy Engage? Request a demo to discover all the benefits for you and your frontliners.  

Sara De la Torre

CONTENT CREATED BY:

Sara De la Torre

Content Marketing Manager at isEazy

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