Firstline Worker: Your most valuable employees

How many Firstline Workers did you interact with today? For me, I count around a dozen or so that range from the barista at the coffee shop, gas station attendant, waitress at the restaurant I ate lunch at, the gate agent when I boarded my plane to fly home, when the cable repair technician came to repair my home internet, and so on. These workers represent the companies they work for, and essentially represent that company’s brand. They sit on the “firstline” and are the first employees to interact with those company’s customers – and they play an important part in the customer experience lifecycle. It’s vital these employees are empowered to do their best work, and are connected with the rest of the company so they receive the same information, share best practices and can thrive in the digital age.

In this blog post, I have three video recordings where I discuss the Microsoft Firstline Worker vision, a demonstration of Firstline Worker, and an overview of the Firstline Worker application StaffHub. I hope this will inspire you to learn more about how you can empower these employees within your organizations and perhaps reuse these decks with your customers or within your organization to evangelize the importance of including Firstline Workers in your digital transformation.

If you are a Microsoft Partner, you can download the decks I used in the videos at under the “Engage with your customers” section.


Firstline Worker Vision (15 minutes):

Firstline Worker Demonstration (16 minutes):

StaffHub Overview (10 minutes):

In addition to the StaffHub video above, I invite you to browse the other StaffHub blog posts I have written on how to set it up and use it. Please refer to the StaffHub section of my blog using the drop down menu at the top of this page.

StaffHub: Instant Message Using the StaffHub Mobile App


Using the StaffHub mobile app, firstline workers can send instant messages to not only each other to accomplish tasks such as check the stock level of a particular item, but also to the entire team (in my example below, the retail store).

The purpose of this blog post is to demonstrate this instant message capability. If you have feedback, or would like to see more please let me know in the comment section below.


Access Instant Messaging:

From within the StaffHub app, at the bottom tab Messages

This will display a list of messages that are occurring. Currently I am only participating in a group chat with the entire team (retail store). Tab the name of the team, in this case San Diego Retail Store Chat:

Send a Message to the Team:

Within the chat, type a message. This will be sent to everyone on the team:


Let’s examine what this looks like from another team member’s app, in this example we will view Adele’s app. Within Adele’s StaffHub app she has 2 new message notifications. Tap Messages:

It appears she has new unread messages in the San Diego Retail Store Chat group (with a preview of the latest unread message) tap this group:

She sees that Megan, the store manager has sent a new message asking about stock levels:

In response, Adele was able to check the stock levels and will relay information on her findings back to Megan:

Send a direct instant message to another team member (peer to peer):

The store manager (Megan) received a call from a team member (Matt) indicating he will be sick today. Megan needs to ask Adele if she can cover Matt’s shift. From within the main Messages screen in the StaffHub app, tap the compose icon in the upper right corner:

In the To: field type in the name of the user, in this case Adele. Tap Adele’s name then click Next:

Important: This can become a group message to multiple individuals by adding another name in the To: field.

Type the message you would like to send:

In Adele’s smartphone app, she will have a new message notification (and will also receive a new message notification toast on the smartphone itself). Tap Messages:

In her list of messages, she will see a new message. Tap the message:


Type a response to the message:


Firstline workers can quickly message eachother, a group of their peers, or their entire team to collaborate, ask and share information – all through the StaffHub app.

StaffHub: Automatically Assign Licenses to New Users


When a new team member is added, StaffHub (if configured to do so) will automatically create a new user account and add them to a Security Group called Deskless Workers in Azure Active Directory. However, the user will still need to be assigned a license in order to start using StaffHub. This blog article will walk an IT administrator through the process of using group-based licensing in Azure Active Directory to automatically assign licenses to users that are added to a security group (i.e. DesklessWorkers).

Note: This capability requires Azure Active Directory Premium, and at the time of this writing this capability is in preview functionality.


Below is an example of what the DesklessWorkers security group in Office 365 looks like. Notice it has one member (Matt Soseman).

Next, I will browse to that user Matt Soseman to show that he currently does not have any licenses assigned:

We now need to ensure that when users are added to the DesklessWorkers security group, they are automatically assigned a license.

Login to Azure

Login to Azure by browsing to , then on the left side click Azure Active Directory

On the Azure Active Directory blade, click Licenses

Click All Products and check the box next to the license you want to assign. Note, this may be the F1 license, or any license SKU that includes StaffHub. For purposes of this blog article, I will be using E5. Then click +Assign

On the Assign License blade click Select users and/or groups

Search for DesklessWorkers and press Enter. Check the box next to DesklessWorkers:

At the bottom of the blade click Select.

Next, click Assignment

Chose the licenses you wish to assign the user. For purposes of my example, I will leave all licenses to On. However, you may wish to turn all licenses off and only leave Microsoft StaffHub to On. When finished click OK at the bottom.

Back on the Assign License blade click Assign. At this point, whenever a new user is provisioned in StaffHub, the user’s account will be automatically added to DesklessWorkers and automatically assigned a license. Browsing back to Matt’s user account in the Office 365 Admin Portal I can now see that he has been assigned the E5 license SKU, and notice Microsoft StaffHub is also assigned:


StaffHub: How to Provide Files and Training Material via the Mobile App to Firstline Workers

Introduction: The average firstline worker (doctor, nurse, barista ,retail employee, manufacturing worker, etc) will often not have access to enterprise IT services such as SharePoint, and other Office 365 services. This can be challenging especially when a new employee is onboarded and needs to take required training, or when important documents need to be distributed to employees. The Microsoft StaffHub app can help provide the connectivity and access to these resources for that firstline worker to use – right through the mobile application.

The purpose of this blog post will show how a manager can upload files to Staffhub and how an employee can access those files via the mobile app.

Login to StaffHub as a Manager:

As a manager, log into the StaffHub web application by browsing to

Once logged in, in the upper right corner click Files:

Upload a file:


Click Add a file:

In the Open dialog box, browse to the location of the file you would like to upload, select that file and click Open:

In the fly-out on the right side, click Add:





















The file will be uploaded, and displayed in the Team Files repository:

Add a Link (URL) to Team Files:

A link to a website can also be added to the Team Files repository, for example let’s add for quick access to Human Resources SharePoint site. In the upper left corner click Add URL:

In the fly-out on the right side, type in the URL of the website in the Website URL field, type a title in the Title field and add any comments in the Comments field (optional) and click Add:

The new link will be added to the Team Files repository:


Access the uploaded files via the StaffHub Mobile App:

On the firstline worker’s mobile phone, launch the StaffHub app. Within the app, on the bottom menu tap Files:




On the Files screen, notice the link and file that were previously uploaded are listed. Tap the item Onboarding Package:

The PowerPoint presentation will launch in a viewer and the employee can now read the onboarding/orientation package:


As indicated in the above process, StaffHub provides a simple way to upload files and distribute them to employees across the team in a fast and efficient manner. Stay tuned for future posts on StaffHub!

StaffHub: First Logon Experience for Firstline Employee

Introduction: This blog post is part of the StaffHub blog series. In this post, we will look at the first logon experience to StaffHub from the perspective of a firstline employee.


Downloading and Installing the App:

After creating your team in StaffHub, and adding members to the team, it’s now time for the firstline employees to start using the StaffHub app. When the team members were added to the team, the manager can enter their mobile phone number and send an invite. This will send an SMS message to the employee’s mobile device with a link to download the app. Below is an example of this SMS message on an Apple iPhone:

Create an Account:

Once the user has installed the app, launch the app. On the Home screen press Need an account?

Note: If the user has an identity in Azure Active Directory, they can login with their account by pressing I have an account. However, for purposes of this blog we have configured StaffHub to dynamically create new user accounts in Azure AD and automatically assign the appropriate license for StaffHub use in Office365. For more information, see StaffHub: Automatically Assign Licenses to New Users

On the next screen, type in your mobile phone number and press Next:

A verification SMS will be sent to the mobile device. Enter the code from the SMS and then press Next:

On the Create Your Work Account screen, fill out the name and password fields and press Next

On the Success! Page, verify the information is correct and take note of the work account address (i.e. and press Next:

You will now be prompted to login, enter your credentials and click Sign In:

A new SMS message will be sent to the user’s mobile device with a verification code. Type in the verification code and click Next:

You will now be signed into the app, and presented with the main MyShifts screen.

At this point the user can start using StaffHub. Refer back to my blog (Staff Hub section) for next steps on configuring the team’s schedule, using the different features within the app,etc).