Microsoft recently unveiled the latest features within the Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Viva designated for serving million frontline workers in Microsoft releasing its Work Trend Index Special Report, “Technology Can Help Unlock a New Future for Frontline Workers.”
According to Microsoft, 2 billion frontline workers globally represent 80% of the global workforce, with around 88% of organizations employing individuals in frontline positions.
Increasingly, companies are investing in digital tools for frontline workers to modernize workflows, enhance job performance, and improve workplace culture and communication.
According to Microsoft, it had seen 400% growth in monthly active usage of its Teams collaboration platform among frontline workers since March 2020.
Additionally, The Work Trend Index report displays core insights impacting nearly every workforce segment:
A culture of caring is the new currency on the frontline: 76% of workers feel bonded to each other, yet over 60% say their company should better prioritize culture and communication from the top. In addition, 51% of those in nonmanagement positions on the frontline don’t feel valued as employees.
Frontline workers are at an inflection point: Amid the Great Reshuffle, frontline workers cite better pay and benefits, work-life balance, and flexibility as reasons for considering a job change.
Optimism for tech is high: 63% of frontline workers are excited about the job opportunities tech creates and tech ranks third on the list of factors workers say could help reduce workplace stress.
There’s an opportunity to bridge the tech and training gap: 46% of frontline workers feel pressure to adapt to new tech or fear losing their jobs — but 55% say they’ve had to learn new tech on the fly, with no formal training or practice.
The firm is unveiling the latest joint offerings with the industry partners as well as capabilities specifically designed to support frontline workers in Teams and Viva, Microsoft’s employee experience platform introduced in early 2021.
Microsoft is enhancing Teams’ integration with Zebra Reflexis, which connects the Reflexis Workforce Management solutions with the Shifts application in Teams. This new integration streamlines shift scheduling and time-off requests in Teams, making them easy for managers to approve.
Scheduled queuing for virtual appointments is now available in Teams, providing one location for real-time updates on wait times, missed appointments, and staffing delays to create a transparent and stress-free experience for customers and patients.
The Viva Connections app in Microsoft Teams links frontline workers to company culture, resources and tools, news, and employee resource groups in the flow of work. Integrations with strategic partners such as Workday and Espressive make accessing important resources easier and put actions like payroll and HR resources in one location.
The Viva Learning app enables frontline employees to discover, share and track learning content right from Microsoft Teams — making it easier for a company’s entire workforce to stay up to date on required and recommended training. New updates make it easier to assign learning from partner solutions like SAP SuccessFactors, Cornerstone OnDemand, and Saba Cloud.
The partnerships with learning providers like EdCast and OpenSesame enable an extensive content library to help frontline workers upskill and train with relevant learning content in the flow of work.
For IT, improved device management helps ensure that misplaced shared devices can be easily secured and located.
Emma Williams, corporate vice president of, Microsoft, “It’s no secret that the pandemic is reshaping work for all workers, and at a faster pace than we have ever seen. Empowering frontline workers remains essential for digital transformation. Together with our partners, we’re equipping frontline workers with tools that allow them to stay connected with their team and company leadership while concentrating on the customer or job at hand.”
Emma also added: “If done well, we believe technology can modernize workflows and enhance job performance while also improving workplace culture and communication.”
Additionally, during February, 1st, Microsoft Cloud for Retail will be generally available. Microsoft Cloud for Retail accelerates business growth by providing trusted retail industry solutions that integrate with retailers’ existing systems. It starts by unifying disparate data sources across the end-to-end shopper journey, allowing retailers to maximize the value of their data, resulting in one holistic view of the consumer.
According to Microsoft, once connected, data and AI aids retailers in better understanding and elevating the consumer shopping experience. In providing more relevant and streamlined experiences throughout the retail value chain, retailers can build a real-time sustainable supply chain. The solution also includes the Teams and Viva capabilities announced today, all working toward empowering store associates.
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