The state of frontline internal communications | S5 E15

First published: 2 July, 2024

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Engaging Internal Comms Series 5
Engaging Internal Comms Series 5
The state of frontline internal communications | S5 E15

The State of Frontline Internal Communications in 2024

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Ben Collier, the co-founder of Ocasta Engage, to delve into the intricacies of frontline internal communications as we see them in 2024. Our conversation was not only enlightening but also packed with actionable insights.

Understanding the Frontline Employee

Firstly, let’s define who frontline employees are. These are the individuals you meet in retail stores, on your travels, in hospitality venues, healthcare institutions, and insurance companies. They are the ones who interact directly with customers and represent the face of their organisations. Ben and I discussed the unique challenges these employees face, such as limited time for communication and a sense of isolation from the company’s main office.

Rethinking Content Delivery

A significant takeaway from our discussion was the need to spend less time on content creation and more on considering delivery methods. Traditional communication channels are no longer sufficient. Frontline management teams play a crucial role in delivering messages to ensure better understanding and engagement among frontline staff. It’s about moving beyond the memo and finding innovative ways to connect with and empower these vital team members.

Expanding Communication Forms

Another key area we explored was the expansion of communication forms beyond traditional channels. Ben stressed the importance of embedding understanding through training and microlearning, as well as being present at the point of need for frontline employees. This approach not only supports learning but also ensures that communication is timely and relevant.

The Overlap of Internal Comms, L&D, and HR

We also touched on the overlap between internal communications, Learning & Development (L&D), and Human Resources (HR). These departments should not operate in silos but rather work closely together to address frontline challenges effectively. This collaboration is essential for creating a cohesive strategy that supports the frontline workforce comprehensively.

The Cultural Impact of Effective Communication

Building a strong organisational culture is paramount, and effective communication is at its core. Ben and I discussed the pitfalls of overreliance on email and the necessity of rethinking communication strategies to consider their impact on frontline employees. We also delved into crisis communications and the need for a more streamlined approach to information dissemination.

The Pitfalls of Information Overload

A poignant moment in our conversation was when Ben highlighted the confusion that arises when the same information is available in multiple places but with slight variations. This can lead to inconsistencies in how teams operate, which is a clear signal that our communication strategies need refinement.

The Importance of Engagement

As we wrapped up our conversation, I was reminded of the critical role frontline employees play in our organisations, especially as the touchpoint with our customers. It’s essential that we get our approach to engaging them right. Ben’s work is a testament to the depth and breadth of this topic, and I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to discuss it with him.

Looking Ahead

We concluded our discussion with the hope of revisiting these themes in the future, perhaps when we’ve moved beyond the ubiquitous use of email and onto new, innovative communication strategies.

Guest profile

Ben Collier is co-founder of Ocasta Engage who specialise in knowledge sharing, training, comms and coaching technology for frontline teams. Ben has many years of experience in mobile app and website development. Ben is also an ambassador for E2E which is a platform where high growth entrepreneurs.

LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/benjamincollier

Report download URL: https://go.ocasta.com/guides/state-of-frontline-comms and https://bit.ly/frontline24

Episode links

Link to a relevant episode of the podcast: https://thebigpicturepeople.co.uk/blog/podcast/communicating-with-frontline-employees-s4-e7/

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