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Inside corporate: How frontline staff feels miles apart from its company's C-suite

PTI|
Communication barriers
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Communication barriers

A quarter of frontline employees surveyed in India said they feel disconnected from their head office, while a large section said they are not connected to their company's C-suite, according to a report by Workplace from Facebook.

About 95 per cent of the respondent frontline employees said their company has internal communication barriers and they lack the tools, means and context to share new ideas with their employers, the report titled 'Deskless Not Voiceless' said.

The study surveyed more than 1,200 business leaders and frontline employees in Indian businesses with more than 100 employees.

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Informal idea-sharing
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Informal idea-sharing

"Frontline workers say one of the biggest barriers (60 per cent) to sharing ideas internally is that they must report everything through their immediate manager, yet many of them do not have e-mail, and only half (53 per cent) have access to real-time digital collaboration tools. In turn, 76 per cent still rely on formal conversation to communicate," the report said.

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'Deskless not voiceless'
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'Deskless not voiceless'

It added that 61 per cent of business leaders said they see the value of nurturing frontline employees' thoughts and ideas, and 95 per cent said they see the overall value that frontline workers bring to a business.

"However, just 66 per cent have actually visited their frontline workers in the past year. The gap is even more pronounced in industries such as architecture," it added.

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Losing creativity
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Losing creativity

The Deskless not Voiceless research found that there is a communication failure between managers and frontline workers in India, which is leading to feelings of isolation and disengagement, stifling innovation and creativity, said Workplace Director (Asia Pacific) Luke McNeal.

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Inhibiting growth
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Inhibiting growth

"Deskless employees told us that they struggle to feel connected to head office and company leaders, that there are barriers to communicating internally without the means, context, and tools needed to reach decision makers... This disconnect is inhibiting growth," he added.

To combat this, businesses must focus on engaging with their entire workforce, especially those who don't sit in the headquarters, he added.

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Copyright © 2019 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service