Your customers. No customers, no business. Focus on your customer's every need.
Frontline workers are the most important, because from your customer's perspective, they are your business.
Your customers want your frontline workers to be informed, resourceful, responsive, and empowered to make intelligent decisions on-the-fly.
Frontline workers truly want to make your customers happy. Nothing is more important while they are on the job, otherwise they should not be on your team.
To do so, they want to be informed, to have resources at their disposal to help them be responsive, and to be empowered to make decisions on-the-fly. These are the same qualities your customers want.
Let's break this down:
To be properly informed, employees - particularly frontline workers - require access to detailed, current (real-time) information, from wherever they are, and from whatever device they are using at the time, with as few restrictions as possible. Cross-platform information systems are essential to remove "blind spots" and to encourage usage by all workers.
To be resourceful one must have resources. The most important resource is information. Information on customers, status and location of other team members, records of past, present, and future work. They also require quality equipment necessary to perform their job functions.
Being responsive means to be able to act upon requests immediately. For this to happen staff need to have access to real-time information at any time, from anywhere. They also need to have the trust and authority to make decisions without requiring constant approval by supervisors and management.
Most companies feel they support and empower their employees. It is difficult to know where the limits of employee empowerment are because the goal posts keep moving. What was considered groundbreaking 10 years ago is now common place, however one company stands out among all others. The Brazilian company Semco takes employee empowerment to the extreme. Not everyone can do what they do, and to be fair it took them 30 years to get to where they are today, however the results are striking. To learn more, access the More menu above and select Further Reading.