Brief 

Leaders need to get out of the office and visit front-line workers if they want to learn what’s really happening, says Denise Lee Yohn in this blog post and video. “Because of their direct interaction with customers and/or the operations at the core of our business, they are often in the best position to let us know what works and what doesn’t — and they can be a valuable source of customer insights,” Yohn says.

 

Insight

Now that things are opening up more, leaders should make it a priority to get out into the field. I mean, we need to get out of our offices and spend time on the front lines, whether that’s in our stores, customer service centers, warehouses, production lines or customer’s homes and offices. In this video, I’m going to talk about the value of spending time in the field with employees — and in a future segment, I’ll cover why and how to engage with customers in the field.

Getting out into the field can mean doing front-line employee jobs. We gain valuable insights from doing what they do every day. For example, every few weeks, Deliveroo CEO Will Shu spends a night on his bike delivering restaurant meals or groceries just like one of his company’s gig workers.

This practice helped him recently to notice a lot more couriers popping up from startups promising delivery of 20 minutes or less. He saw firsthand how their ultra-fast service presented an existential threat to his business, so he’s initiated tests at his company to rival these new competitors.

Getting out into the field can also mean spending time talking with employees, getting their input and feedback. Because of their direct interaction with customers and/or the operations at the core of our business, they are often in the best position to let us know what works and what doesn’t — and they can be a valuable source of customer insights.

 

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