Discover how using a video strategy with your frontline workers can increase skill development, boost engagement, and accelerate meaningful business results.Download PDF
Frontline workers make up 80% of the global workforce, spanning from industries like retail, manufacturing, hospitality to healthcare, and beyond. They are the backbone of our global economy, with nearly 90% of organizations relying on frontline workers.From Microsoft’s Work Trend Index, frontline workers reported being underserved from tech tools and training resources.
“For decades, companies have focused their enterprise communications attention on information workers, rolling out increasingly sophisticated tools that make collaboration among the office set easier, smarter, and more intuitive. In the process, most companies have left their frontline workers behind. These essential workers are often given second-rate technology (if they’re given any at all) that fails to address their needs.”
Training manuals have proven to be less effective, especially as they generally consume more time than frontline workers have or are willing to give.
So, how are the experts weighing in? Read on to discover how Powtoon customers are creating learning materials that drive positive results by swapping out old manuals and PDFs with engaging video learning.
“With Powtoon, we can easily create videos that tell a story and immerse employees in an experience or environment. The result is a very engaging video that works much better than a PDF document.” -Tibco
Leveraging video from platforms like Powtoon presents an immense opportunity to serve frontline workers and improve their experience by providing modern learning programs, engaging content, and the right channel distribution strategy., If you can hit all three of the above, the potential for boosting frontline workers’ skill development are limitless.
In this guide, we will cover:
Frontline workers don’t necessarily have access to the systems and tools in place that are often used in the corporate realm of their organizations (like a desk or computer), and they are left feeling underserved and disconnected from your company culture. Let’s take a look at what’s holding them back:
1 LACK OF ACCESSIBLE L&D CONTENT
The methods used to train frontline workers need a serious revamp. JD Dillon expresses his expertise in the matter, stating the following:
“...traditional training tactics, such as classroom sessions and eLearning modules, are near-to-impossible to deliver to large, dispersed, busy workforces. Industries such as retail, contact centers, and hospitality also experience considerable turnover on their frontlines, which makes it even more difficult to provide each employee with the support they need to be successful.”
Classroom or desktop-based training sessions involve a behavior foreign to front-line workers as many are actively on the move making this approach ineffective, expensive, and unscalable. Combining the right training content with modernized tech tools can help equip employees with the knowledge they need to do their jobs successfully and in line with mandated compliance.
WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY
2 LACK OF TECHNOLOGY ADDRESSING THEIR UNIQUE NEEDS
Tech is widely underutilized when it comes to training and equipping frontline workers and is often more customer focused. Often provided second-rate technology (if any) current systems fail to address their specific needs and don't properly integrate into the organization’s broader communications fabric. It’s become essential to integrate technology into all aspects of an organization to create a more cohesive and sustainable ecosystem of learning and development throughout the organization to maintain an engaged and productive frontline workforce.
WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY
3 LACK OF SUFFICIENT SUPPORT FOR INTRODUCING NEW TECHNOLOGIES
Companies that do provide modern tech tools to their frontline workers rarely have the proper training to effectively incorporate such technologies into their workflow.
“Even among those workers who do receive the latest digital tools, many of them haven’t been properly trained in how to use them: 55 percent have had to adapt to using digital tools on the fly.”
Given the massive investment into new retail technology, effective training methodologies are a must.Developing, engaging, and empowering employees so that they can effectively leverage your technology investment requires methods that rapidly drive long-term knowledge and skill retention. Doing so helps you maximize your technology investment while building a front-line workforce prepared to perform.
WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY
Video is a powerful tool to help successfully deliver learning and development for your front-line workers. With the right format and content, videos can be engaging, valuable assets that create an enriched learning experience.
The fact is, 65% of your workforce are visual learners. That’s because our brains are wired for visual information, which is decoded 60,000 times faster than written text. Not to mention, written information in the form of PDF manuals, emails, and presentations, fails to provide valuable context of frontline working environments or convey important emotions like trust and empathy. This is where video learning comes in:
Here’s how you can start using video to support frontline workers throughout the employee lifecycle:
1 CREATE AN ONBOARDING PROGRAM SPECIFICALLY SUITED FOR FRONTLINE WORKERS
Frontline workers are not knowledge workers. They don’t come into an office or controlled environment and go through a formal onboarding program. Most enter an active workspace and immediately start work with their boots on the ground. So it’s important to create an onboarding experience that suits their more active work environment and workflows while having an impactful reach.
2 STREAMLINING CONTENT DISTRIBUTION WITH VIDEO
Traditionally, bulky training manuals and text-heavy documents are used to train employees. However, this strategy requires a lot of time and effort and hinders effective knowledge retention.
For example, a 67 page safety manual will take 1.9 hours to read. Video allows you to relay the same information in half the time (54 minutes) while ensuring better knowledge comprehension and retention.
“Powtoon has enabled us to quickly create and deliver content in a format that resonates with our mission to inspire and empower youth culture. Through short, engaging, visual storytelling, we are able to get training into the hands of our store teams in as little as 1-2 weeks depending on the subject matter.”
- Jennifer Baker, Senior Manager, Retail Learning & Development at Foot Locker, Inc.
3 OPTIMIZE LEARNING CONTENT FOR MOBILE
Videos optimized for mobile can be made quickly and sent just as fast directly to your frontline workers’ devices. As most frontline workers do not use a desktop computer for the majority of their workday, having training materials available through their mobile and tablets sets them up for success
So, what are some best practices regarding when you should add video to your L&D programs? Here are 3 awesome examples:
1 CUSTOMER INTERACTION TRAINING
Your employees represent your organization as a whole, and it’s important that every exchange between staff members and customers reflects your organization’s values. Creating a customer interaction training video can remind frontline workers of best practice guidelines used when interacting with customers.
2 HEALTH AND SAFETY GUIDELINES
Demonstrating health and safety guidelines is not only mandatory, but it’s an essential role that L&D teams must take on to foster a positive working environment where employees feel protected.
3 OPERATIONS & SYSTEMS TRAINING
Companies that do provide modern tech tools, systems, machinery, and more to their frontline workers rarely have the proper training to effectively incorporate such technologies into their workflow. Guarantee your frontline workers more efficient work processes by creating a video that demonstrates the ins and outs of how employees should be operating the new system(s) appropriately.
Foot Locker, a leading retailer in the footwear industry with over 3,00 retail locations globally, needed to upgrade, update, and streamline their training materials for all levels of retail staff. From field leadership including Regional Vice Presidents to part-time team members, it was critical for Foot Locker to align everyone on their strategies and expectations of the in-store experience.
By leveraging scalable video content created in Powtoon, Foot Locker was able to evolve from training manuals handed out in binders to training with experiential visual learning across 3,000 locations and 27 countries. It helps enhance their in-store experience and create a common visual language across all learning materials company-wide.
Powtoon’s library of characters and branding elements helps Foot Locker enhance their in-store experience and create a common visual language across videos, emails, presentations, and other training collateral. The team uses Powtoon’s animated backgrounds to bridge between virtual and physical.
Before video, creating learning content was labor-intensive and didn’t effectively get messages across to global employees. With video, Foot Locker’s L&D team scaled their content by taking learning materials traditionally put into a binder and turning it into engaging, bite-sized video content with audio, voiceovers, and characters moving on screen. Foot Locker even uses characters to emulate its diverse employees and create a deeper sense of belonging. As a company celebrating youth culture, video helps them showcase characters wearing joggers and streetwear instead of traditional suit-and-tie.
“Footlocker focuses heavily on diversity, inclusion, and belonging. Training materials where everyone looks like a cookie-cutter wouldn't work for us. Powtoon’s visual learning platform really enables us to create these dynamic characters that can be from all different geographies, body types, heights, and ethnicities, so everyone who takes this training feels connected to the video!”
- Jennifer Baker, Senior Manager, Retail Learning & Development at Foot Locker
In order to ensure consistent employee performance and customer satisfaction, Foot Locker created a hiring training video highlighting best practices and guidelines to follow when hiring for a new role. By using video, this training content was made accessible to frontline workers across 27 regions. The impact? More high-performing employees that match the company values, meet the customer expectation, represent the Foot Locker brand, and seamlessly collaborate with other frontline staff.
You’ve got the video creation part down, but how do you engage people enough so that learning isn’t seen as an interruption? And what’s the best way to motivate people to practice continuous learning in their work routine? Here’s a breakdown of the different distribution methods to best reach frontline workers in their flow of work.
Interact. (n.d.). Multichannel communications: How to plan and execute a strategy.
To put it simply, this research on multi-channel communication led by Interact highlights the fact that frontline workers, along with warehouse staff, factory workers, delivery drivers, and so on, find communication tools such as email, MS teams, and employee apps to be less effective than remote-friendly tools such as SMS, digital signage, and Slack.
Now that you’ve seen how video can be a highly effective solution to the most common problems facing frontline workers, you might be wondering what’s the best way to apply these insights. Here are our major takeaways to create the most impactful learning and development materials for frontline workers:
An organization’s frontline workforce is a vast pool of untapped potential. Adopting modern video learning methods, paired with distribution channels that reach the full potential of the learning experience, opens up many avenues for both knowledge and employee retention. So, what kind of results can you expect? With the right learning strategy, learners are likely to retain 95% of video content.
So, how can you get started? Powtoon is a visual engagement solution that gives L&D teams the flexibility to create, manage, and distribute all kinds of videos and visual learning content in one place. Powtoon can help you identify your learning and development needs and determine the best solutions to meet your L&D goals. If you’re interested in seeing how video can assist with your learning and development programs and improve your corporate learning results, we encourage you to book a call with our team.REQUEST A DEMO